In Bible days, God spoke to His children quite often. You can open the Bible to virtually any page to discover that.
Over the years, I’ve heard lots of people say that God no longer speaks to His children.
This always seemed odd to me–for two reasons. One, His nature never changes. Two, ever since I was a little girl, He has spoken to me pretty regularly, in several different ways. This year especially, with my One Word being Listen, I’ve found again and again that God still speaks in numerous ways.
God told us in both the Old and New Testaments that He never changes:
“For I am the Lord, I do not change …” Malachi 3:6
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJ
If that is true, and if God spoke to His children during Bible times, then He still speaks to us today. Besides, ever since the Garden of Eden, God has chosen to build a relationship with us humans. Why? Because He loves us. And I believe a huge part of that relationship is speaking with us.
The question is, do we listen for what He has to say to us?
While He may not speak audibly to us as He did to Moses (see the book of Exodus), although He can do so if He chooses to, He has very distinct ways of making His words known to us.
Have you ever been listening to a song you’ve heard a million times but one of the lyrics stood out as a confirmation to something you’ve been asking God to reveal to you?
That has been one of the ways in which God has spoken to me in the past. Another is bringing a word or phrase to mind when they were nowhere near my train of thought. Yet another is when I’ve been praying over a certain thing for a while and listening hard throughout my daily life for His answer, He’s inspired a random person (a bank teller, grocery store cashier, or one of my parents, for example) to say the exact thing I needed to hear, the precise phrase(s) that I needed to hear–the words that are the exact answer to the prayers that have been on my lips for days or weeks.
Sometimes God’s voice comes to me as a soft, internal whisper in my soul. Other times, it’s just on the verge of being audible, as if there is another person in the room–only there isn’t, except for God. This type of speaking has happened to me a couple of times in recent weeks, actually.
He also speaks to me through specific verses in the Bible. The verses He uses to speak to me depends on the situation I’m facing and what He needs me to hear in that given moment. His Word is definitely still alive and speaking; we just need to take the time to read it with open ears.
He’s also spoken to me through impressions upon my heart. While watching a butterfly dance among the blooms on a desert willow tree, I received an impression of comfort and security in relation to God providing for my needs just as He did for that butterfly. If He could provide food via the nectar in those blossoms for the insect, He can definitely provide for my needs (food for my body and money to pay my bills)–and His way of speaking this truth to me was unique for that moment. Another example of this type of speaking is that a sense of peace will wash over me when His answer to my prayers settles into my soul. That peace is the impression upon my heart that is the voice of God to me in those moments.
When I’m stuck on the plot or dialogue of a book, I redouble my prayers for guidance. Earlier this year, when working on The Cottage on the Hill, this very thing happened. As I was praying and trying to fall asleep one night, I heard a whisper in my soul with a couple of bits of dialogue. I knew they were God’s answers to my prayers, so of course I grabbed the Post-It Notes and pen I keep near my bed for just such occasions. The story is way better for my taking the time to listen to God and take notes on what He told me. If I hadn’t done so, the scene in Moira’s kitchen wouldn’t have been so poignant and lovely.
God tends to speak to His children in ways unique to His relationship with them. Consider these instances:
* He spoke aloud to Moses from the middle of a flaming bush (Exodus 3)
* He spoke through a wet fleece and then a dry fleece in answer to Gideon’s request for guidance (Judges 6:36-40)
* He spoke in an audible voice to Samuel, who mistook the voice for that of Eli at first (1 Samuel 3)
* He spoke to Elijah in a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12)
* He spoke to Ezekiel in a voice that sounded like many waters (Ezekiel 43:2)
* He appeared to and spoke in person with Saul (who later became Paul the apostle) (Acts 9)
Every instance is so different, so unique to the circumstances each person faced. The key was, God spoke in a way that caught the person’s attention. And the people listened to Him.
The most incredible way God has spoken to me has been via Jesus in person. I have seen and heard Him in person twice that I recall: once during my salvation experience at age seven and the second time when I was dealing with an extremely high fever with the Wuhan Virus, in January 2021 (but it was no hallucination; I was still in my sane mind and remember everything about that moment very clearly). The first time, Jesus gently but firmly confronted me about my sin of lying and how much it hurt Him (thus, leading to my accepting Him as my Savior and repenting [turning away from] my tendency to lie). The other was to confirm the sealing of my soul. I’m still in amazement that He came into my home on both occasions, with a specific message to speak to me. His voice was soft and gentle, caring and heartfelt, and oh so compassionate. It gave me a sense of peace that surpassed anything I had ever known before. And I wished I could spend more time in His physical presence, listening to Him. In fact, I yearn for more moments such as these, if the Lord my God chooses to grant them to me.
(Just so you know, God spoke to me by way of a clear and persistent impression in my mind to add the above paragraph. I usually hold those two experiences close to my heart, because they mean the most to me. But God wanted me to share them with you today. Somebody reading this needs to hear them. I don’t know who, but He does.)
This week, I’d like to challenge you to listen carefully for how God is trying to speak to you. It might not be in ways you expect, but if you’re watching and listening for it, His voice will likely come in ways that catch your attention and bring you into closer awareness of His presence in your life.
Because, friends, our God still speaks.
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