Today I learned (again) that God loves to speak to us. The key is that we need to be listening.
I’ve been asked a few times by new followers of Jesus how in the world you can “hear” from a person you can’t see. Or email. Or friend on facebook. (Well, that’s probably not entirely true, I’m sure some smarty pants out there has made a profile for Jesus.) It definitely takes some time, and I’m definitely no “expert” listener… there are times in my life that I get so wrapped up in other things that I forget to really stop and be still. God’s voice is often very, very quiet. Quiet but powerful.
Back in college I led a Bible study by Henry Blackaby called Experiencing God. (I highly recommend it to all who follow Jesus or who are thinking about it.) Blackaby writes that God speaks primarily through His Word (the Bible), but also through circumstances and other Christ-followers. However, as He speaks through circumstances and other people, nothing He says will ever contradict what He’s already said in Scripture.
This is why I adamantly stress that you must be immersing yourself in God’s Word on a continual basis. Yes, even the books of Leviticus and Ezekiel and others that seem daunting or out of place. (It’s also important to read the entire Bible from cover to cover at least once in your life, because you will get the big picture of God’s redemptive story.) Themes, events, and names will start to pop out at you as you grow more familiar with them. You’ll start to catch yourself thinking about certain passages of Scripture as God uses them to hook you into His presence throughout your day. You’ll find yourself speaking God’s words back to Him in prayer, while pouring your heart out to Him. And this, my friends, is communicating with God.
As you immerse yourself in Scripture, you will begin to see the world around you a bit differently than before. It won’t happen overnight, but eventually you will start to notice that He uses people and situations to communicate with you. Look for His face in the flowers outside your apartment building. Listen for His voice in the thunderstorm. See His hand as a mother cares for her newborn. Notice how certain themes will become noticeable—for instance, last night my husband, Aaron, told me that just because writing and teaching isn’t necessarily in my current day-job description, I should still write and teach. So I posted last night’s blog. I prayed for more encouragement. Then today I made a new friend who wrote that I don’t need a position in order to write and teach. God moved in each of these ways and I got the message—“Write and teach, dear child!”
It is my sincere prayer that every person who reads this will hear from God, because He is constantly speaking to us.