Does God really speak? I’ve encountered this question several times. Some from my own mind and plenty of times from those around me. Whether you’re a Christian or not you’ve probably heard someone say, “I really felt like God was telling to me do…” or “God is telling me that I should…” What do those people mean? Does God really speak?
I’ve always been a little jealous of the people in the Bible who were able to hear or see an image of God so clearly. I feel like, of course if that happened to me than I would follow whatever He said, do whatever He wanted me to do, and my faith would be unshakeable. But, I don’t hear an audible voice or see an image of God speaking before me, so it makes sense that my faith wavers, it makes sense that I bounce back and forth between what I assume I should be doing, it makes sense that I struggle with decisions. Right?
Here’s the thing; God does speak. It may not be in the way we want to hear it, but God has provided us with multiple ways to hear his voice.
The Bible is the actual Word of God. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). When we read the Bible we get insight as to who God is. His character. His ways. His words. His desires. His plans. When we read Scripture we are hearing God speak to us. As much as I’m jealous of those in the BIble who heard God’s voice sometimes I imagine how they would consider us incredibly lucky to have the actual Word of God at our fingertips in our iphones whenever we need it.
God has always used people to say things that others need to hear and I don’t believe he has stopped doing that. Sometimes these people were called prophets and at other times these people were strangers who ‘just happened’ to be in the right place at the right time saying the right thing. When you’re looking for the voice of God sometimes speaking to a follower of Jesus is a divine moment. Words from our friends can be used by God to speak into us. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17)” Are we willing to hear it? “Mockers resent correction so they avoid the wise (Proverbs 15:12)” Lean into the conversations with other believers and be open to hearing a message you may be asking for.
The power of prayer and fasting is real. Prayer is a time not only to come before the Lord to praise him, lift requests, and ask for healing, but it’s also a quiet time to listen. Many times when I stop speaking is when my mind will remember a scripture, or something someone has said to me, or a new thought will arise that clearly wasn’t there before. We want to hear from God but do we take the time to listen?
God speaks. He uses Scripture, people, and prayer to speak into our lives. I believe that God can do anything, so yes He can choose to send an angel into your home and speak loud and clear if He chooses, but I also think he has provided all these things and more to make his will for us clear and to speak into our lives. The question I’m left with is; am I willing to listen?
The next time we’re each asking ourselves questions about what God’s will is for our lives, what decision to make, or even if this is all real, let’s take a minute to see what the Bible says about the situation, take a friend out for coffee, and spend some time in real quiet focused prayer.
Written by Carly Voinski,
Worship & Weekend Experience Lead