It’s funny how so many scientists and medical experts are amazed at how well we human beings are designed and yet they don’t believe in the Designer. The fact is we have been wonderfully and intricately designed for many things, one of which is this: we are designed to hear from God. It’s in our nature as born-again believers to have faith, but it’s in our nature as human beings to hear from God. People will say, ‘Well, I just don’t hear God speak at all.’ If that is really true then those people may not be born again because our conversion is a response to God’s personal invitation – it’s never initiated by us. However very often another reason a person may think they do not hear from God is because they have such a narrow view of how God speaks.
It’s interesting how you can have a large evangelistic gathering and preach the gospel and people will come to Christ. But very few of them would say, ‘I clearly heard the voice of the Lord.’ They just listened to a preacher, they became aware of their unsaved condition and their need for God and they may even say they felt the presence of God. Well all of that is actually the result of them hearing from God. The problem is we tend to put God on the same level as we humans talking to each other and yet God speaks in so many different ways. Sometimes He even speaks things that are so deep and so profound that He speaks directly to our spirit; He may deposit a thought or word that can take days, weeks or even months to unfold and enter our conscious mind.
There are times in our life when we might make a really good decision – one that bears incredible fruit for us or our family or our Church. How did we get to that point? Well there could be any number of reasons but very often it was God’s voice speaking into our situation and us not realizing that God actually ministered to us in the night, weeks before the event because He knew what was coming and His presence in our life was His voice to our spirit. God prepared us for that decision which we think was brilliance on our part. It was actually the product of the voice of God.
Many times in my ministry I have heard a brother or sister say, “I am in a very dry season right now; I’m just not hearing from the Lord very well. I can sense His presence at times but I can’t hear His voice.” Again, we reduce God to our human level. We know that a human being can be right in front of us but not say anything because their presence is not the same as their voice. But when God is present in Christ – He is the Word of God. When the Word shows up, so does His voice. We often don’t interpret it as His voice and yet it is. If God is present – God is speaking – and God is always present. So there is a huge difference between God not speaking and us not hearing. The end result looks exactly the same – we don’t hear from God – but the problem is always on our end.
The best example I can give here is this. At this very moment, regardless of where you are or what you are doing, there are literally hundreds of voices bombarding you. There are at least ten television stations transmitting their signal; many more radio stations; short wave signals from around the world are also occupying the same environment as you. There are police, fire and ambulance signals and who knows how many mobile phone transmissions. They are all here, all the time. There’s only one reason you cannot hear them – you are not tuned in – you have not made a conscious decision to hear those voices and you never will until you are tuned in. So it is with God. He is always speaking collectively to the Church and specifically to each of His children, if only we had ears to hear.
In Luke chapter four, Jesus quotes a verse from the Old Testament, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Read that again: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We are alive, because He speaks. Our life is evidence of His voice. Even if it was possible for someone to not have the ability to hear from God, the moment God spoke, they would have that ability because God creates when He speaks. God spoke the whole world into being.
The very nature of faith implies I am hearing, you have a situation come up and you just believe God for a breakthrough and it comes because God speaks and you listen. You just may not have realised it was the voice of God before, but in time you will know. My hope and my prayer today is that God will broaden our perception of how He speaks to us.