Spiritual Formation

Soul Sounds

“There is a sound that comes from gospel music that doesn’t come from anything else. It is a sound of peace. It is a sound of, ‘I’m going to make it through all of this.’" - Yolanda Adams by Captain Stephanie Pavlakis

The voices started softly. Each word clear and simple. The notes perfectly on pitch.
As more voices joined, layers were added to the sound, like dough being folded over and over, the process of lamination creating something complex and yet delicate to the ear. As the harmonies expanded, the voices increased in volume until they filled the sanctuary and as the room was filled, so was my heart. Tears clouded my vision, completely unbeckoned, moved by a deeper soul calling in a way that words alone could not explain. It was a Holy Spirit warming of my being from the inside out through the music of our church choir.

We live in a world of sounds. Even for those unable to hear, they can feel the vibration and movement of sound waves as the waves physically change our body. In Christian spiritual formation, we often speak of silence. The spiritual discipline of silence is extremely powerful and important in discerning the voice of God. But we must not discredit the power of sound.

In Scripture, God is described as sounding like thunder, like the blasting of a trumpet, like turbulent waters, like a violent rushing wind. His sound is also described as the marching of wind through the tops of trees, a breath or a calling voice. There are instances in which God might speak to us in an audible voice. Other times, it is through the voice of a believing friend or a trusted spiritual leader. Sometimes God communicates to us through everyday noises. It can be the splattering of rain drops on the windowpane, reminding us of His provision. It can be through the cry of a newborn, stirring in us a deep knowing of God’s abundant love. And it can be a church choir, moving our souls in a way we can’t put words to, but drawing closer to the Lord all the same. Listen and hear. 

Experiencing GOD

  • Actively seek out God in the sounds you hear throughout your day. What is He bringing to mind? A memory? A feeling? An attribute of Himself?
  • Ask the Lord to audibly speak to you this week. Be mindful that it might come from another person, through a worship song, or in some different form. Seek out His voice.

Supporting Scripture

“Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory.”

Ezekiel 43:2