Are You Talking to Me?
I’ll never forget the first time God spoke to me. It was, of course, the day I was born again. I heard Him as clearly as if He were standing in front of me. He spoke through the pastor. I don’t think I fully realized God speaks to people until weeks later, in the Deep Faith class.
We were at the end of one of the classes, in our small group, discussing what we had learned. My friend Leah was saying something about God speaking to her. I asked, “How do you hear the voice of God?” I was totally fascinated. I wanted to hear God’s voice!
So how do I hear the voice of God? I learned there are several ways to hear Him. The most important and obvious way is through His word. The Bible is the living word of God. The Bible is what I read to learn who God is, what He requires, what He thinks. I learned about His character, His plan for redemption of men, His promises, and His commands.
I have an example of hearing God through His word. I was at work one day and I was irritated. People seemed to be obstructing me from doing my job. Very time I had to run for something, it just seemed like folks were getting in my way. They were not being helpful. They were being unfriendly. I was exasperated. I remember crying out to the Lord, asking Him to speak to me, asking Him why I had to work at this job.
I got my Bible and opened right up to Ezekiel 2 – 1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 4 For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ 5 As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
And then I read Ezekiel 3 – 16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
When I read these verses, I heard God saying the name of my hospital in place of the name of Israel. I was awestruck. I had the answer I prayed for.
God speaks through people. This explained how I heard Him through the pastor the day I was born again. I’m fortunate to hear Him regularly through my pastor. It’s crazy how the sermon will seem to be directed just to me. There was another occasion at work. I was having a particularly hard time dealing with coworkers. I was in a terrible mood. There was no joy on my face at all. I actually have a scary face when I’m in a bad mood. The scrub person I was working with is a Christian. He came up to me and almost whispered in my ear, “Michelle, where is your joy? You’re going to heaven.” I ran out of the room in tears. It was Gregg speaking to me, but I heard God. I was so convicted by those two sentences.
God speaks through the still small voice. It took me awhile to realize He was speaking to me in this way. The first time I realized He was speaking to me was 3 weeks after the fact. When I was undecided as to whether or not I should serve at The Refuge, I woke up that one morning thinking, “Why are you going there? Are you going there to make friends? You’re going there to serve the Lord.” I was talking to myself as if I was somebody else, a third person.
On another occasion, I woke up early on a Saturday morning and told the Lord I was willing to go wherever He wanted me to go, do whatever He wanted me to do. I got out of bed and made plans to go to a store. I wanted to buy something in particular. As I was driving to this store, I heard a car accident. I looked down the street and saw that it was a fender bender. I kept driving. Then the voice said, “You should go see if they need help.” I said, “But I want to go to this store.” He said, “Didn’t you just tell me You would go wherever I wanted you to go? Maybe they need a phone to call for help.” I said, “Oh, all right.” I turned the car around and found the accident. I asked the people if they needed help. One of them said they needed a phone to call the police!! God is so amazing and glorious!!
Most recently, I was praying about fasting. I told the Lord I didn’t understand fasting. Why should I fast? I clearly heard in my head, “Deny yourself.” I just knew it was the Lord. It was clearly a command. So I fasted. All through that day I heard Him say, “Deny yourself.” I felt very close to Him. It was a wonderful experience!
It’s such a thrill when the Lord speaks to me. My prayer is over time I will hear His voice more and more clearly. We live in such a noisy world, we must listen closely.