Does God talk?
If so, how can you hear him?
Growing up in church, I was not taught that God talks. Actually, I was taught quite the opposite--God had said everything he wanted to say and it was captured in the pages of Scripture. Period. Case closed… canon closed. And by the way, if someone claimed to hear that God talked to them, they were crazy or a heretic. Or a crazy heretic.
I had a niggling that just couldn’t be right. After all, if he talked to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Mary, Joseph, David, Esther, Jacob, Isaiah, Paul . . . then why did God just stop talking? Hmmm.
In Acts 20 and 21, there are two instances of how God spoke to Paul:
“And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. 20.22-24
Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 21.10-12. In other words, they found it credible.
How did the Holy Spirit tell Paul what was coming as he traveled to Jerusalem? Hmmm. From Acts 20, ‘the Holy Spirit tells me’… how, Paul?
And in Acts 21, Agabus demonstrated what he believed God had told him was ahead for Paul by taking Paul’s own belt and binding his hands and feet with it. Yikes.
Two instances, two different means.
How about you and me today? Does God talk to us? Yes, he does. In the next couple days, I wish to unpack this powerful aspect of our relationship with our Heavenly Father and its meaning, direction, inspiration and power for our daily lives.
Did you catch it? ‘Part of our relationship’ - key element in hearing God’s voice: relationship with him. I wouldn’t expect a phone call from my husband without relationship with him--whether business, personal or familial, right?
In Israel yet today you can see a lone shepherd with his sheep - I find that enthralling as the Bible paints the picture of the shepherd and his sheep in several places. [see above picture, taken near Golan Heights--oh, it is so amazing to see with your own eyes--yet today!] From John chapter 10, the shepherd of the sheep calls his sheep by name and leads them out; he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me . . . My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me."
How does God speak? Does one literally hear an audible voice….? Not usually quite like that, but ~
->through Scripture **#1 place to hear the voice of God is in his Word.
->in a still, small voice
->through other believers - including messages from the pulpit
->visions - when awake
->dreams - when asleep
->circumstances - opened or closed doors; serendipitous meetings
->a "knowing" in our innermost being
So, let’s get started by talking to God ourselves -
God, I am not sure what to say, [right here you would usually say something like ‘I know I haven’t spent much time with you lately, or I really haven’t thought too much about you talking to me, or maybe you’ve talked to me, but I haven’t really listened’… or whatever, but God, I would like it if you talked to me. Okay? Amen.
This is a great clip, provocative song: God is trying to tell you Somethin'
from the Color Purple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD5uPZzBr5c, (better audio version attached to podcast, click aqua button above.)
Because He still talks,