YOU CAN HEAR GOD FOR YOURSELF
By Roberts Liardon
I was in a sports bar in Atlanta having lunch one day when I overheard a conversation nearby. I do eavesdrop, I will confess, if people talk loud enough for me to hear. About one table over this conversation was going on among a family and their friends. The discussion was about some TV preacher who had said that God had told him something; and these people were making fun of this, feeling rather sure that this preacher must have been tripping on something or smoking something. They didn't believe that human beings could hear from God. I thought, "How sad that people don't know that God does talk to people and that, especially in the new covenant, being able to hear God talk to us is much easier than it's ever been for the human race at any time in history. Everybody, and I mean everybody can hear God for themselves
GOD DOES SPEAK TO PEOPLE
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, chapter 1, verse 28a, says, "...and God said to them". God blessed us and then He spoke to us. So at the human race's inception, the very first thing we heard was not the singing of the birds in the trees or the sounds of various others of God's marvelous animal creation ? it was the sound of God's voice in our ears. So it is natural for human beings to hear the voice of their Creator. It is good to know that from the very beginning God has been speaking to us. He's not been mute. He's not been holding back His precious words and His guidance and His encouragement. He has been very open about speaking to all of us as, even from the very beginning, "God said."
JESUS RESTORED OUR HEARING ABILITY
In the old covenant, when God got upset or He wanted to make a bigger statement, the people either got it from the prophet or by way of some type of physical sign that the senses could detect and recognize. Therefore, we have the same kind of expectation in the world today, even in the church. We want to hear via somebody or we want God to do something, like shake the pulpit or set a bush on fire. Pushing to hear from God in these ways though is reverting to a lower position of hearing. The people in the sports bar in Atlanta didn't understand that God speaks today, that from the very beginning of the relationship between God and man, God has been in a positive frame of mind toward us; and He not only initiated but has maintained a communicative stance toward the human race. He is not trying to not talk to us; He is trying to talk to us. Because of the fall and the resulting deadness of our spirit, communication between man and God had to be altered back in the beginning-but that has bee fixed through Jesus Christ.
Jesus restored our individual communication with God to the degree we no longer have to depend on someone to tell us "Thus saith the Lord"' or to wait for a burning bush or a Red Sea splitting. Most people in the world want God to communicate with them in an old covenant way-not the one on one way that Christ restored. God is willing and eager to talk to us and to have us talk back to Him! He is not the hard God He is often made out to be. He so very much wants us to hear from Him and to be led by His Spirit; and He wants to hear from us too. Knowing this and knowing how to be led by the Spirit of God (how to hear the voice of God) is one of the greatest lessons we could ever learn.
We want to make sure we can hear God for ourselves, no matter where we go in life.because then we can overcome, and then we can make it!