May 20, 2015

How God Speaks

Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. Hebrews 1:1 (NLT)

How does God speak today? How do you know when God is speaking and if it’s really His voice you are hearing or your own imagination, or worse, the enemy implanting thoughts to derail you? If you’ve ever wondered how to recognize God’s voice, you’re not alone. The writer of Hebrews tells us that God spoke many times in the past. We can read about God speaking to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets in the Bible. He spoke in many ways including visions, dreams, angels, and supernatural manifestations like a burning bush or a talking donkey.

What about today? All of the messages God gave in the past and all of the means by which He spoke pointed to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, or as the writer of Hebrews tells us, “in these final days, (God) has spoken to us through His Son.” Jesus Christ is the message. He is the voice of God to man. Jesus said, “I say only what I have heard from the One who sent Me….” in John 8:26 (NLT). If you want to hear from God, listen to the words of Christ. Jesus came to reveal the Father. When Philip, one of the disciples, asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus replied,

“Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! … The words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me.” John 14:9; 10b NLT)

The clearest picture the world has ever seen of God is in the face of Jesus Christ.  He is the God/Man.  Hebrews 1:3 adds:

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven. 

When you read about the ways in which God spoke in the Old Testament, it’s tempting to wish He spoke the same way today. I think people living in those days would have said, “I wish we had the Word of God written down for us like they have today.” So much of what God has to say has been said. All we have to do is pick up His Word and read it for ourselves. But, there is a great mystery in hearing God’s voice through His Word. The mystery of revelation is illumination. Illumination is a work of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit illuminates our understanding of His Word in order for us to make personal and practical applications in our lives. That makes reading your Bible dynamic!

It’s a game-changer when you begin to hear God’s voice speaking to you through His Word! As you read, make a note of what God is saying to you. Document it in the margins of your Bible or in a journal. Put a date beside it and, as you look back, you will begin to see the path God has led you. It will become a legacy of faith for others to follow. What is God saying to you through His Word?