Are you ever tempted, seduced, or enticed to do the right thing? If so, you either live with your mother or you have a highly sensitive conscience. The impulse to do the right thing is a “gentle whisper” that we must train ourselves to hear. Temptation, however, clamors loudly for our attention.
I got to thinking about this as I read about the two trees in the center of the Garden of Eden as described in the second chapter of Genesis. “The tree of life” is just mentioned like we all know what that is, and nothing further is said about it. In contrast, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” is the focus of all the action of the next chapter, Genesis 3. One tree stands silently; the other is buzzing with activity.
These two trees illustrate a truth about God.
God is the towering tree of life who gives us breath and food and shelter and laughter day after day after day. His presence is constant and obvious, but he does not demand our attention. His voice is like a gentle wind brushing the leaves of a tall tree. It’s easy to forget he’s there.
The temptations of the world, selfish desires, lies and lusts, are the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s where all the action is. Voices from this tree are intrusive and demanding. They are hard to ignore.
This is one way I have learned to discern the voice of God. It’s not bossy. His words are not harsh or pushy. In my experience, and I make no claim to have this all figured out, the voice of God is a quiet presence, a gentle but firm thought, a persistent impression.
How do you hear the gentle whisper of God in a noisy world?