choosing to hear

Last night I was at a meeting where a speaker told of how God specifically spoke to her in detail about an event in her future. It was an amazing and moving story, and it ended with the formation of the ministry that was touching hundreds of women that night, and thousands around the world.

Today I was talking with a friend who also attended that meeting.  She asked why God speaks to some people so clearly.   She feels that her faith would be greatly strengthened by an obvious sign of some sort.  I have a feeling a lot of people have had that same thought.

I have to say that I have no definite answers.  I sure don’t know the mind of God.  But I have some thoughts.  I think that the less junk that’s in the way, the easier it is to hear God, however he chooses to speak or show himself.  I don’t think that everyone or even most people should expect a specific voice, but I do believe that all believers can learn to hear and recognize the Holy Spirit’s guidance and urging.  However, he can get drowned out  by anger, unforgiveness, money issues, selfishness, unconfessed sin, or just daily life concerns.   There’s a reason that the Bible says “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

I also think that there is an element of choice.  God can give guidance, nudge my heart, speak to my spirit, even send signs.  If I choose not to listen, if I explain away or ignore the still small voice, God isn’t going to shout.  If I don’t pay attention to what he speaks into my life through my Bible reading today, he’s not going to use skywriting.

People saw Jesus make the blind see, the lame walk, and even raise the dead.  Some believed and followed him, some said he was possessed by demons,  and some wanted him killed.  God can show me all the signs in the world, but whether or not I choose to believe is still in the realm of my free will.  God can speak to my heart, but I have to first; have my heart open to hear him, and second; choose to listen.

 But the rich man said, “Abraham, then please send Lazarus to my father’s home. Let him warn my five brothers, so they won’t come to this horrible place.” Abraham answered, “Your brothers can read what Moses and the prophets wrote. They should pay attention to that.”  Then the rich man said, “No, that’s not enough! If only someone from the dead would go to them, they would listen and turn to God.”   So Abraham said, “If they won’t pay attention to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even to someone who comes back from the dead.”  Luke 16: 27-31

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:2

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