“For God does speak – now one way, now another – though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing from the sword.” (Job 33:14-17)
Right from the inception, God spoke creation into being when He said: “Let there be light!” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) Again God said: “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water!” (Genesis 1:6) God did not stop speaking until He was satisfied that the physical elements had been put in place for His last creation -- which was Man.
This time around God did not speak. The Godheads came into agreement: “Let us make man in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air, over the livestock and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)
After the Creation, God spoke to Adam and gave him clear instructions as to what was expected of him. He commanded him thus: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16)
Even today, God speaks to everyone -- irrespective of the person’s rank, creed, colour or social status, -- principally through His Word, the Bible; and sometimes audibly. God speaks particularly to those who want to listen, to those who in distress cry to Him for help. (Jeremiah 33:3)
God loves each and everyone of His creation to want to engage in a personal relationship with us - the problem is whether we are ready to listen. If we should ask ourselves the question ‘when was the last time I heard from God?’ What would be the answer? I am certain we will be stunned by the lack of a two-way communication link with God. If anything, we have been operating on our own strength and that is far from satisfactory.
A pilot relies heavily on the Control Tower at take-off and at landing - with of course the help of the instrumentation on the aircraft’s dashboard. Without these, flying would be dangerous. What makes us think we can operate outside of God’s will or go about our business without reference to Him, and still be at peace? We were wired by Him to stay connected with Him; and anytime we attempt to exercise our independence, we find ourselves sinking on shifting sand.
Without these instruments a pilot is totally lost. So it is with us in our relationship with God, our Creator. The more we listen to Him, the more apt we would be in handling life; but when we dismiss His instructions the more likely we are to drift into the enemy’s camp. God has a word for you and me every day, but there is too much noise around us preventing us from hearing His voice. To compound the situation, there is too much interference from competing voices. Too many things that we have given priority to have taken centre stage in our lives and are getting in the way of our relationship with God.
Of recent, there is mounting evidence that we are giving credence to so-called professionals over the word of God. We turn to the guru, the specialist doctor, the seasoned or renowned lawyer, the expert counsellor, big brother, the witch doctor, even charlatans for godly advice. These people who for the most part do not have the fear of God in them, may be unbelievers. My God says his hand is not short to deliver any of us. “The Lord said to Moses, Is the Lord’s hand too short? You will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” (Numbers 11:23) “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)
We live in a world that is prone to making noise; so to listen to what God has to say to us would require having to move away from that setting into a more tranquil environment or seek Him early before the brouhaha sets in. “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) “O God you are my God; early will I seek you;” (Psalm 63:1).
We must find quiet time in our busy and overcrowded schedules to listen to God. When we listen, we cannot go wrong because our thoughts and steps will synchronise with the sweet small voice of the Holy Spirit saying ‘do not venture there’ – revealing to us the hidden dangers. We must cultivate the habit of listening to God - literally train our ears for this - otherwise day after day we shall be going it on our own – without a map or a compass to guide us.
God needs some quiet to speak. He needs to capture all and not some of our attention. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) God was about to show His glory to the prophet Elijah. Check the décor. “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.” (1 Kings 19:11-12) The voice of God is like a whisper to our ears.
It is important that we take heed who we are listening to. Not only that, but what we are listening to. Paul wrote in the book of Hebrews; “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1) What then are you waiting for?
Will God speak to you in vain? God speaks clearly and distinctly. Jesus is saying to you “Follow me!” He alone offers the gift of eternal life. Like Abraham and Matthew, leave what you are doing, come follow Him. Eternal life will be your portion.