Some theologians say, “God doesn’t promise to talk to us, so therefore, He doesn’t.”
May I say this in response?
Dear Nay-Saying Theologian,
Is this reasoning, as stated above, your proof that God no longer speaks to individuals today?
I would submit that you consider that millions of people can testify that whenever they read the Word, it speaks not only to encourage their faith, but to their personal longings, questions and situations. For example, anyone who has ever read a scripture, such as, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,” (Phil 4:13) and had it speak directly as a solution to a dilemma, can testify to the power of hearing God’s voice.
But not only does God speak through His Word, He can speak through sermons, friends, nature as it continually worships the Creator, and also through God’s still, small voice.
After all, if God loves us enough to put His Holy Spirit on the inside of us, I’m sure He meant for us to become human candles burning bright with His presence. So it stands to reason, that a God like ours wants more from us than shopping list prayers. He not only wants our attention, He wants us to have a listening ear.
Søren KierKegaarD, a Danish Christian philosopher and theologian who lived in the 1800’s once wrote,
“A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end, he realized that prayer is listening.”
Hearing God’s still, small voice is first about learning how to abide in His Presence, and while we abide, learning to open a listening ear to His voice just as the prophet Elijah discovered,
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
I believe that the question God asked Elijah is the same question God whispers to each of us, “What are you doing here?”
The answer should be; we are here abiding in the power of the presence of God as we rely on His direction and leadership in all areas of our lives.
In my book, Experiencing God’s Presence, Learning to Listen While you Pray, I lead readers into that place where they not only can consciously abide in God’s presence, but hear and recognize God’s still, small voice in their lives.
So Dear Theologian, did Jesus not say to us when He spoke to his beloved disciple John, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelations 3:20 (NIV)
Did Jesus not teach in John 10:27, “My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Not only do these Scriptures indicate that God wants to speak into our lives, they also indicate that we need to learn how to listen.
Christians throughout the ages have learned to hear God’s voice and in so learning, have discovered that their relationship with God can be more; more intimate, more vibrant, more personal, and more filled with the sweet presence of Jesus.
In conclusion, Dear Theologian, while perfecting the art of dissecting faith, don’t forget to live it.