This discussion on hearing from God has raised a raft of questions for me. I’m shy about sharing some of them, because I’m not sure they even make sense. Both the questions and the answers are still incubating. But Jenifer’s comment on my November 18th post, interestingly enough, speaks to the first of my questions, recorded in my journal on November 15th.
Jenifer says: “God is always speaking to us. Sometimes it is in the big things and sometimes it is a whisper in the wind. The more aware we are of Christ in our daily activities, the more we will notice when He speaks to us.”
My November 15th journal entry asks this question: Does God speak specifically to me every day, or are there only some times when I need to hear specific words? Are there some days when we just walk together in companionable silence?
Jenifer’s statement is obviously true, and I want to especially note her reminder that “the more aware we are of Christ in our daily activities, the more we will notice when He speaks to us.” But how does God speak? Is it always specific?
So here’s my mind trying to work out this truth:
God speaks all the time.
I know He does. He thunders on the mountaintops and he whispers in the wind. But what does that mean? Does He speak specific words in those sounds? Or does he just give us an intuitive sense of who He is—a majestic, powerful God, or an infinitely gentle One?
Psalm 19:2 says that the heavens declare the glory of God, day after day and night after night. God speaks to us constantly through the natural world.
He speaks constantly through His written word too. Every time we open the Book we read God speaking, even if nothing we read connects specifically with where our minds are at the moment.
And I’ve also come to believe that He is constantly whispering “I love you” in our hearts, as if those words are constantly being broadcast on some kind of spiritual airwave. Whenever we happen to tune into that station, we hear them.
But the kind of speaking I’m trying to listen to right now is more personal, more specific. How often does God want to take one of His eternal truths and apply it to my life, for a specific reason, at a point in time? How often does God want me to experience this kind of realization of Him?
God also speaks specifically at particular points in time and space.
One day when I was walking alone along a forest trail, He pointed out a flower that He said He’d put there just for me. I needed a flower that day, but I didn’t want to pick it because then it wouldn’t be there for someone else. He said, “It’s yours. Pick it. I can make more.”
When I was in agony over some things that were happening, or NOT happening, in my church, I wondered if God’s Spirit had departed from us—given up on ever being able to use us again. I picked up the Bible and read Haggai 2:5: “Be strong, and work, for My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.”
And every time I ask Him for a random word, for no specific reason except to be reassured He is there, I hear an instant response: “I love you.” I know that’s true, but for some reason it surprises me again every time He says it.
So maybe my question about how often He speaks specifically is nonsense. Maybe I just need to keep my ears tuned, as Jenifer has said, and let Him speak however He wants.
Maybe I need to hear His voice in the thunder, the wind, the giggles of my grandchildren, the sigh of a friend, but also make my ears available for a specific word that says, “This is the way. Walk in it.” when I turn from the left to the right.
Thanks, Jenifer, for stimulating my thinking about this.
And, Kristen, God does use you. Keep up the good work.