God is Speaking
By Kevin Jude McClure
Like you, I want to hear the Lord when He speaks. He will speak, for so He promises. Consider Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you”.
Have you noticed that in the Bible verses where God promises to speak, the emphasis that God makes is on His speaking, more than our listening? I am not arguing that learning to listen isn’t important. It’s just that most of the teaching I’ve received about hearing God places the focus on our ability to hear instead of God’s ability to make Himself heard. So, it is important to remember that when God promises to speak, He directs our attention to His faithfulness to communicate to us, not on our ability to hear.
Now, it’s been Biblically demonstrated that there are people who won’t hear, or can’t hear, God no matter how He chooses to speak to them. God incarnate, Jesus Christ, spoke again and again, yet there were many who were unable to truly hear His words. He referred to them when He said they have eyes and ears, but do not see and hear. Why couldn’t they hear? Because their hearts were not predisposed to accept His direction. Listen to the words of Jesus in John 7:17, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
Isn’t this passage a promise that guarantees that for those whose hearts are prone to obey God, it is inevitable that they will indeed be able to discern the truth? Methinks!
It is to those of us who are intent on pleasing God that I write. Does God want you to fret over hearing His voice? No. Rest, be at peace. Know that He will make Himself clear to you. How? Think about the following.
- God used repetition to speak to Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-10). Samuel was a young boy and unfamiliar with His voice. God spoke again and again, and even used a more experienced but apparently backslidden priest (Eli), to get through to Samuel.
- God used a whisper to speak to Elijah (1 Kings 19:12,13). Elijah was very familiar with God’s voice and could recognize it even when He spoke softly.
- God used a loud voice to speak to John the Apostle on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:10). I am grateful that God will turn up the volume when that’s what we need.
- God used prophets and teachers to bring direction to Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:2). Hearing God is rarely an independent kind of thing. Our connection to the Body of Christ is vital.
- God used silence, and then He spoke (Job 4: 16). The ability to hear anyone or anything is enhanced by learning to be quiet. Quieting your heart, taking time to be still before God, to wait on God, is a discipline that will help you to hear when He speaks.
What’s the point of all of this? That God will use whatever means are necessary to ensure that you will hear Him. Wouldn’t you go to whatever lengths are required to get a message to someone you love? No doubt! Then why would you question God’s commitment to communicate with you? Because He loves you, He will speak to you.
Rev. Kevin McClure and his wife, Laura, live in Roseville, MN. They have four children. Kevin is the senior pastor of New Beginnings Church in Eagan, MN. New Beginnings joined the Alliance of Renewal Churches (ARC) at its inaugural gathering in June 2002.