We can learn a lot about how God interacts with people by reading the Bible. Perhaps you’re familiar with the story of God calling out to young Samuel in the middle of the night (1 Samuel 3:1-21), or how Jesus appeared to Paul in a blinding vision, as Paul was attempting to destroy the early Church (Acts 9:1-9). In both cases, God spoke audibly, His message direct and clear.
How many of us have prayed that God would likewise speak so clearly to us? That leads me to ask: Does God still speak to us in our modern world?
Yes, though perhaps not in the way that we typically define the word “speak.”
Odds are, if God has a message for you, He won’t open the sky and beam Himself into your front yard. Or use a megaphone. Most of us can’t claim to have heard God speak to us in an audible voice — though some people do assert they have heard God say a word or phrase to them. It’s definitely possible, as the Bible proves. But God typically communicates to us today more subtly.
Have you ever been struck by the words of your pastor, or had a particular verse stand out to you as you read the Bible? That’s God speaking. Have you ever felt a persistent nudge to do something? That’s God speaking.
As we pay attention, we’ll find that God often uses His Word, as well as the words of others, to convict us of sin, give us answers, and guide us through tough situations. God also speaks to us through circumstance; the life issues personally affecting us.
If the Bible tells us that God regularly spoke to prophets and others, why doesn’t He talk to us so directly? Wouldn’t it make believing in Him and being a Christian so much easier?
Perhaps God wants us to get quiet, putting in real effort to hear Him. Perhaps He talked with the prophets directly because they spent so much time in prayer trying to discern His voice. Are you taking time to pray? Are you then patiently waiting for a response?
When I feel anxious or restless, I open my Bible app to find verses about trusting God. As I read the Scriptures, I feel God tell me not to worry; to simply trust His power and His goodness. I also hear God speak when He answers my prayers. In both cases, I am reminded that although I can’t see God, He is real and clearly at work in my life. My doubts diminish as my faith grows.
Perhaps God doesn’t speak to us audibly because He wants us to deepen our faith. In this era of science and technology, we’re told that it’s naive to believe in God because His existence hasn’t been proven by the scientific method.
Some argue that if God were real, He’d make it obvious not just by directly speaking to us, but by physically showing up. Then they’d believe He was real. God has already done so — in a big way. For three years, Jesus personally demonstrated God’s existence and supernatural power. Then He sacrificed Himself to prove God’s great love for us.
As much as we’d like to credit our human intelligence, we simply can’t comprehend God’s complex majesty. But through Jesus, we can know for sure that we haven’t been left here to muddle through life on our own.
God speaks to us all the time — because He longs to be in relationship with us. Are you making the time and space for Him to speak? Begin to do both, and you’ll discover how God, the Creator of the universe, chooses to speak to YOU.
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> We invite you to read Josh’s book, More Than a Carpenter. This short apologetics classic examines the historical evidence of Jesus. He died. He rose. He lives. He is our hope and example!