God does indeed talk! On this point we need to be reassured that 1) Talking with God is possible, 2) Talking with God is available, and 3) It is a normal Christian experience. When we open our Bible we need to realize that the Bible is calling us into an intimate relationship with God. Author, professor and theologian Dallas Willard describes life as a “free-hearted collaboration between Jesus and his friends.” Among many references we are told in the Word, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” Matthew 17:2-5 (emphasis mine) Evidence throughout scripture that God is inviting us into a conversational intimacy is overwhelming.
“The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ‘go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord for your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’” 1 Samuel 3:8-10
The book of Isaiah mentions this theme several times: “Consult me” 30:2, “Listen” 44:1, “Hear this” 51:21, Listen to me 55:2, “Give ear and come to me hear me” 55:3.
Other scriptures record truths like this, “Hear the word of the Lord, all…who come through these gates to worship the Lord.” Jeremiah 7:2.
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!”’ Ezekiel 37:4.
The book of Revelation says; “If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says” five times in Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6..Talk about repeating a theme! God’s Word goes out of the way to point us to Jesus, ground us in truth, and urge us to listen.
God does offer us a conversational intimacy. It’s this give and take that Jesus offers us that allows His followers to experience something more than religion; rather, it allows for a life of relationship and abundance. You do not need to be a hyper-spiritual individual. God speaks to each of us, all the time, in big and little ways.
Just the other night I was awakened from my sleep at 1:35 in the morning. My dog was feeling a bit ill and making some weird noises. As I took her out of her kennel and walked her to the door, it became apparent that she wanted my company out on the deck as she went about her business in the yard. It was cold, and I was standing there in my shorts looking in wonder at the heavens God created. That’s when I sensed God pull near and whisper to my heart. His impression was something to the effect of “Do you want to know if I love you?” I silently answered in my mind – “Lord, I know You do – the beauty of Your creation and Your Word all tell me so. I thank you for everything and believe.” Still the nudging was persistent – “Do you want me to show you?” “OK Lord, but You don’t have to.” (I honestly didn’t want to say yes and be disappointed by the possibility that this was a reaction to a bad piece of pizza, or just my imagination) At that very moment- out of nowhere- a brilliant shooting star faded across the night sky. Tears of joy fell down my cheeks as I began to digest what had just happened. It was confirmation of God’s voice and His love. I wished I could stay in that moment and just be with God. As I thought about it the next morning and how cool it was, I questioned myself – do I tell anyone? The answer that I felt pressed on my heart came posed as another question. Is it important that disciples of Jesus realize that He speaks? Obviously you know my answer to that one.
Let me end this journal entry the way I began it.
God does indeed talk!