The sound of crickets and money

Published 6:12 am Friday, April 6, 2018

In a conversation with a friend I mentioned that when praying God had spoken to my soul to give me guidance. He looked quite surprised, and asked, “Does God talk to you?”

Recently, on “The View,” co-host Joy Behar said, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct, hearing voices.” 

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Does God talk to us? Are we odd or even mentally ill if we think we hear God’s voice? I hope not, or I’m in big trouble.

What I have found is that as my relationship gets closer and closer to God the more I hear his voice, like a dear friend, who I know well, and know how he thinks, what his will is for my life, and how he wants me to see the world through his eyes. I am not always right when I think I have heard God’s voice. I often seek counsel from others I trust to see if they have a confirming witness.

I know this is normal and God’s desire because it is clear in the Bible that God talks to people all the time. It says more than 3,000 times “Thus says the Lord,” and then prophets, disciples, and kings shared words they knew were from God. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). When Elijah was on the mountain running from Queen Jezebel God spoke to him in a “gentle whisper” or “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12). This is the most common way God speaks to us, quietly, in our souls, when we are quiet and still. When God speaks to us in great epiphanies, like Moses’ burning bush, it usually indicates he has a very big, and very hard task for us, and we will need that powerful encounter with God to stay faithful (Exodus 3).

The best way to learn to hear God’s voice is to spend time in quiet prayer. My youth minister has a very different style of prayer than I do. Yet, we both experience the wonderful joy of hearing God’s voice. We have written a simple pamphlet on hearing God’s voice from each of our prayer styles, and you can receive it if you email me at

There is a story about a Native American and his friend who were walking on Times Square in New York City and the streets were busy, noisy, and filled with people. Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”

His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!” The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, and he located a small cricket.

His friend was amazed, but the Native American said, “My ears are no different from yours. It just depends on what you’re listening for. It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you.” Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. Even with all the noise of the crowded street blaring in their ears, nearly every person within 20 feet noticed the sound of the coins and turned to look and see if the money that hit the pavement was theirs. “See what I mean?” said the Native American. “It all depends on what’s important to you.”

The same question must be asked to each of us, “What is important to you?” As we go through our daily walk, where is our focus? Is it money? Entertainment? Work? God? Far too many people are busy and focused on so many worldly aspects of life. Would you like to hear God’s voice, and know more clearly what God’s will is for your life? Are you willing to slow down some each day, and “be still, and know that I am God” as Psalm 46:10 calls the believer to do? I hope you will take the time to email me, and start looking for a closer walk with God through prayer. 

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see,