When God Speaks
The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it. - (John 10:2-5)
Does God still speak to people today? Is He interested in what happens to us as individuals? Does He really have a master plan for our lives?
God truly is interested in us as individuals. He does have a master plan for our lives, and He does want to speak to us. Jesus described Himself as our Good Shepherd. And as His sheep, we can hear and recognize His voice.
So how can we know when it is God speaking? First, we need to remember that God primarily speaks to us through His Word, and He will never lead us in a way that contradicts that Word. We don’t have to go any further than the Bible to know the will of God for our lives.
God also speaks through circumstances that can include failure or even hardship. We don’t enjoy it when God speaks to us through tragedy and hardship, but as C. S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”12
Often I have found that if something is the will of God, then it will be confirmed. There are times when I feel the Lord has been speaking to me through circumstances, such as an opportunity that has opened up. But I never make decisions by looking at circumstances alone.
Lastly, God speaks to us through His peace. Colossians 3:15 tells us, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” God is the author of peace, not of confusion.
Maybe we hear the voice of God more often than we think. Then again, maybe we’re not giving Him the opportunity to speak. Today would be a good day to take your Bible and get alone with Him, away from the noise and confusion, and ask, “Lord, what do you have to say to me today? I am listening!”
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When God doesn’t make sense, when it seems that He is asleep, when it feels like He doesn’t care, we must remind ourselves of His promises. Going back to God’s promises, we find something that we desperately need in those hard times: perspective.
That eternal perspective is the focus of Dr. James Dobson’s book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, which we’re offering as a thank-you to anyone who gives a gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.