Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The One who Speaks

I always enjoy the bible story found in I Sam. 5. One morning the Philistines find their god , Dagon, fallen on his face in his house , so they carefully set him up again only to find him down again the next morning minus his head and his hands. Not a very powerful god!! He could not even call for help when he needed it !!

That is what sets our God apart from all other gods. He SPEAKS !! Isaiah 52:6b “…I am He who speaks..” Isn’t it incredible that the God who created all we see , to Whom belongs all power in this universe (Psalm 62:11) would stoop down to speak to you or me??
Speaking , using words, is vital to building a relationship. And that is the invitation of our God… to be in relationship with Him. No other god offers that!!

What a privilege we have … but why do we not hear Him more clearly? I know God does not often speak with an audible voice, but He can !
( I have a book called “A Mighty Tempest” by Michelle and Rachelle Hamilton . If you haven’t read it, find a copy. It is the autobiographical account of a mother and daughter who go on vacation together .The daughter goes out alone in a bunca , gets into trouble and is swept out to sea. I won’t give away the story ,but facing death she encounters God in a very tangible way… Incredible story , and so inspiring !! )
We may not ever hear the audible voice of God but we can all hear Him speak !! Jesus say, “My sheep HEAR my voice” (John 10:27) , so the question is not whether or not God speaks - the question is why don’t we hear Him??

I think there are several reasons, some of which may be:
1. We don’t believe that He speaks !
I get a monthly e-magazine from Gary Gilley, pastor/author . He comes right out and says that God does not speak personally to anyone and if people say that He does they have had too much pizza. Reading my bible proves to me that God speaks !!
2. We aren’t listening.
If you are a parent you know how hard it is to get your children to ‘listen’ to you. They are experts at simply tuning you out, especially when they think what you are saying is not in their best interests !! And we are like that too, sometimes we are so busy listening everywhere else that God is simply ‘tuned out’. To hear God we must first BELIEVE that He speaks , and then we must LISTEN for His voice.
3. Our reception is poor.
We recently moved up on a mountain and the only disappointment I have had is that it is very difficult to get a radio sign. There is too much in the way - the mountain itself, interference, static. I think that is our biggest problem in hearing God. There is too much in the way. The noise of this world overrides the still, small voice of God and we can’t hear. Spending time in God’s Word clears away the ‘static’ of this world's twisted thinking. God’s Word washes us (Eph.5:26,27) and tunes our hearts to hear His voice.
4. We are not still.
“Be still and know …” Ps. 46:10) How often do we first line up all our trusted Dagons and only when they fall over do we turn to God. Whether our life is calm or chaotic we need to stay still, patient and trusting, confident that He will speak.

Even when we are listening sometimes we miss God for the simple reason that we allow our doubt to steal His voice. Haven’t we all been there? It is so easy to tell ourselves it couldn’t have been God, it was a coincidence or our own thoughts or imagination. And yes, we all know people who have mistakenly believed God spoke to them .
Are there safeguards to know whether or not it was God’s voice we heard ?
The most sure standard of testing God’s voice is the bible itself. God will never contradict Himself and anything He says will line up with scripture. A young man I know said that God told him to leave his wife because God wanted him to be married to someone else…. not much discernment needed here. That was not God’s voice.
I pay close attention to co-incidences. Oswald Chambers says that 'God is the God of co-incidence' – how often do co-incidences catch our attention? Someone may come to mind that I have not seen for years, and then that same day they call or I meet them somewhere. Is that not a God-thing?
God so often speaks to me through the simple things in my day … nature… music…someone who calls or visits or e-mails….I love to study the bible characters in how they communicated with God and I love to read the stories of godly men and women. We can learn so much from one another … but in the end we must each build our own personal relationship with God. We learn to know His voice through experience… the more we communicate with Him… the more time we spend in His Word.. the more clear His voice becomes.

Can I share one personal experience?
One day I was home alone busy sewing in my workroom. It was very quiet except for the sound of my machine and I was lost in my thoughts. Suddenly , a thought flashed across my mind, “Go outside!” The thought was so ‘loud’ I got up without questioning it and was walking toward the door before I stopped and thought, “What am I doing? I have no reason to go outside.” But the feeling of urgency was still there so I went outside perplexed as to what I would do. Once outside , I heard a commotion going on on the far side of our property behind an old outbuilding. As I walked toward it to investigate, I picked up a stick just in case I would need to defend myself. I came around the hen house and came face to face with a snarling coyote and my hissing mother cat guarding her kittens. The coyote ran away as soon as he saw me . A few more minutes and my mother cat and her 5 kittens would have been dead. Does God care about the things we care about ?? Most definitely.


Demara said...

Aw you know Julie I think you could write a book. You could publish your work into the self-help devotional section of a book store. I just LOVE YOUR WRITING, YOUR STORIES and especially YOUR LOVE FOR OUR FATHER God!!!

Thank-you for commenting on my site, I feel privaledged to visit you everyday!

Your fellow e-penpal

Lovella said...

Thank you for another thought provoking post. There have been so many times that I have felt an urgency and have blessed in my obedience to the Father.