One Sunday, about 20 years ago, when my kids were small, my family and I were walking late into church. As my husband and I were herding the older ones through the lobby while juggling a car seat, diaper bag, coats and bibles, we tried desperately to not look like the frantic mess we felt like. Our church at that time had speakers in the lobby so you could hear what was happening in the sanctuary. At that moment our pastor began praying for the service. As we were rushing through to take the kids to their classes my 3 year old stopped, dropped her coat, and with eyes wide declared….”Mommy, I can hear God!!” I stopped, turned around and smiled at her and quickly explained that it was just the pastor praying and then continued to guide her to her class. Later on I began to regret not slowing down in that moment and allowing her to experience, just a little longer, the awe and wonder she must have felt at the thought of actually hearing the voice of God.
Later, I began to think about how incredible it would be to hear actually hear God’s voice speaking! I know I will hear Him in heaven…but what would it sound like here on earth?
In the bible He frequently spoke to His people. It has been described as sounding different ways. Sometimes as a rushing river, or as loud thunder, and even as a small voice in the wind. Regardless, it was always familiar to them. I think that’s amazing!
However, I’m reminded that God DOES speak to us! Maybe not audibly, but through his written word. Through the bible. I don’t know about you, but I have this tendency to forget the details of a conversation or of an amazing sermon unless I take notes and write it down. Even if it was life changing…I lose some of the content. I wonder, if God spoke to me on a regular basis, would I do the same thing with his words? Unless I wrote down every one I would most likely forget them! However, I don’t have to worry about that because he already made a way to have his stories, words, and instructions written down so we can read, study, and memorize them and not forget!
2 Timothy 3:16 says that “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another-showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way”
People haven’t always had access to God’s written words and only since the invention of the printing press have we had actual bibles. Even so, there are still people today who don’t have access to even one. I look at my bookshelf and feel a combination of gratefulness and shame for having so many bibles on my shelf. Grateful to have so many at my disposal and then shame for not using them more! Perhaps hearing God’s audible voice was and is more common when the written word isn’t available. I’m reminded that I can go back and read over and over again God’s words and be filled each time! What a gift!
I remember the days when we would have to figure out where we were going before we started driving or pull over to look at a map if we were lost. Or having to physically go to the library to look up information from encyclopedias and check out books when we needed to learn something. Gone are the days when accessing information took time and effort. Now we simply do a google search or ask Siri. Technology is incredible! But it has also made us kind of lazy. We have to not be lazy about reading the very words of God! (even if it is from your phone!) It’s how we learn to recognize his voice! Then, when the Holy Spirit speaks to us, we are able to recognize it’s Him because the words are familiar!
I want each one of you to know when He’s speaking to you too! To distinguish his voice in your head from all others! It is such a freeing experience! I encourage you to read your bible and memorize meaningful scriptures! Ask Him to help you understand what he’s telling you and by doing so you will be able to recognize his voice!