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Listening to His Voice: Surrender to God’s Pursuits

Published on June 28, 2021

Jolee Paden

As we get familiar with the voice of our coach, we can hear it anywhere. After hours of practice, competition and traveling in between, we begin to pick-up on the way our coach would want us to respond to any situation: on or off the court. Years later, we can still hear the one-line mottos that coach would repeat day after day, week after week.

Are your ears attuned to the voice of the Lord in the same way?

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go, whether to the right or to the left.’” (Isaiah 30:21)

The more time you spend in a community of Jesus followers, the more you will be able to learn and discern God’s heart. 
The more time you spend with the Lord, the more familiar you become with His voice. We can trust him to guide us as we listen for His voice. We are no longer consumed by selfish motives, but we are beckoned by the still, small voice that gives us true purpose.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.” (John 10:27-28)

As we begin to tune into the heart of the Father, our desires are transformed. The world will tell us to live and compete from a mindset of jealously, rivalry and envy. The Spirit empowers us to live and compete from a heart of joy, kindness and honor. The victory of the opponent does not have to result in our destruction. The world will tell us to strive, earn and perform for the glory of man. The Spirit empowers us to serve and love one another as Christ loved us.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

The more time you spend alone with Jesus, the clearer His voice becomes. The more time you spend in a community of Jesus followers, the more you will be able to learn and discern God’s heart. Just like knowing your coach, you will know how to respond to any situation. When you walk in step with Jesus, you are no longer held captive by fear, guilt or shame. He has set you up for an abundant life filled with love and freedom.

“For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.” (Psalm 32:7)

Pursuing the desires of the world may satisfy you for a little while, but ultimately, they will leave you empty. The ways the world can pull at the desires of our flesh. We are tempted to gossip on our team, get involved in activities that dishonor our bodies or feed our own ego. Yet, when we choose to listen to the voice of the Lord, we can stand firm in our faith. We can choose to celebrate one another, honor our bodies and train with humility. These are the pursuits that lead to a full and satisfying life in Christ.

From the security of the Lord, you will have the courage and wisdom to walk in His ways. Watch your desires transform as your heart grows for your teammates, your hunger for the Word increases and your eyes begin to see the needs around you. You are no longer held captive by the pursuits of the world. As you listen for His voice, you will truly be set free to run your race. 



One way to open your heart and Pursue Life is with FCA’s The CORE. Get eight essentials to strengthen your faith and grow in your relationship with Christ, and then put it into action to disciple others.

Want to learn more about pursuing life and growing your relationship with God? Head to FCA in Action and read our June Pursue articles:


Anchor Article: It’s Time: Surrender Your Heart

Article Two: One Way: Surrender to Jesus

Article Three: Start Fresh: Surrender to New Life



*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible. 


About The Author:

Jolee Paden currently serves as the FCA Director in Washington, DC. She grew up in East Central Illinois and then attended Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), where she ran cross country and track. While at EMU, she published a devotional book for runners (Spiritual Runner: A Runner After God's Own Heart). You can often find her running around DC (literally) and traveling the world. You can reach her at jpaden@fca.org.




Photo courtesy of Unsplash