Can you hear God now?
Many times, when we speak with God, we are left feeling that He is not responding. We are not hearing any answers, so God, for some reason isn’t listening or replying. But God promises us not once, but six times in the bible that he will not leave us or forsake us, and He means it. Sometimes, God just wants us to wait, the time isn’t just right. But a lot of times, the problem isn’t that God isn’t speaking to us, it’s that we aren’t hearing God. We may be listening for Him but not hearing. God speaks in many ways, and if we are expecting God to speak in a certain way we don’t hear Him when He is speaking to us in a different way. God gives us a good example of being open to listening for His voice in many ways with Elijah. In 1 Kings chapter 19, Elijah is running from Queen Jezebel who wants him killed and Elijah calls out to God, who responds.
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9-13 (ESV)
Elijah knew by heart, the story of Moses and how God spoke to Moses in powerful ways. He knew about the burning bush and how when Moses went up on the mount, the mount was covered with a great storm with thunder and lightning. So when Elijah is told to go out and stand on the mount and listen to God, he may have been expecting God to speak to him in a powerful way. And God did show his power, there was a great wind, then an earthquake and a fire. But God was not speaking to Elijah in these powerful ways, God spoke to Elijah in a low whisper. As powerful as God’s voice is, He created the universe just by speaking, and in the end, He will destroy all who oppose Him just by speaking, God spoke to Elijah in a low whisper. If Elijah had been just focusing on something powerful from God, like with Moses, he would have missed God speaking to him in a low whisper. Elijah would have been left standing on the mount saying “God, why aren’t you speaking to me?”
This is a mistake that we often make, we expect God to speak to us in a certain way and we don’t hear anything. And all the time he is speaking to us in a different way. We may be listening for God to speak to us in a great and powerful way, looking for some big sign, and God is speaking to us in a low whisper saying “hey, I’m over here, listen”. Or we may close our eyes and focus, listening for the whisper but not hearing anything, and all the time there is a big sign flashing behind us saying “here I am, over here!”
God can speak to us in very powerful ways, he can speak to us in obvious or not so obvious signs. He can also speak to us in a soft whisper, one that we hear in our hearts. However God chooses to speak to us, we will recognize Him because we will feel it in our hearts, because when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, that’s where God lives, in our hearts. But to recognize His voice, we have to hear it, and to make sure we hear it we have to be open to however God may speak to us, big or small. If you are listening for His voice, don’t put God in a box, expecting Him to speak in a certain way. God fits in our hearts, but He doesn’t fit in a box. When we do this, we are only boxing ourselves in and missing what God has planned for us. Be open to God’s voice, He may be speaking to you now.