Reflection for Fri 22 May

Do you hear God?

Sometimes we may think that God does not speak, or at least that he does not speak to me; it is for others, better qualified, more experienced etc. That is definitely not the case, although sometimes it is true that we fail to hear him. Maybe we have set ideas of how God speaks, and so miss his voice when he speaks in other ways. Or may be we are just in too much of a rush?

I encourage you today, to listen to his voice. What is he saying to you today?

God speaks in all sorts of different ways.
Elihu was one of Job’s friends – not one of the ones who gave him rubbish advice, but the one who spoke with more wisdom. He said this:
“God is greater than man. Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man’s words? For God does speak — now one way, now another — though man may not perceive it.  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride; to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:12-18)

There may be a “usual” way that God speaks to you, and that will vary for each of us according to our different personalities. For example, for me, God most often speaks in the following ways:
– Inspiration that just comes when I am preparing a sermon, through my daily readings, or through my friends.
– Or when I am out walking. Yesterday, he spoke to me through the beauty of a tree. God was saying “I am a God of beauty and provision.” I looked at it and was moved to say “Wow! You do make great trees, God!”
Others I know hear through dreams or words that form in their minds, or pictures. God spoke to Elijah through the whisper, or the sound of utter silence.

How does God most often speak to you?
And how do we know he will speak, even to me? And how will I know it is him speaking? How will I understand?

Elihu reveals this for us: “But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8)  It is the Spirit within us, the very breath of God. The word used is ruach; when it is pronounced, it even sounds like breath.
So do you have the Spirit of God in you? Then you will hear his voice, and you will understand it. It is as simple as that. Too often we over complicate it!

And when you know he has spoken – wow, it is exciting!
You can’t contain yourself, it bubbles up and out of you. If you don’t let it out, you will burst!
This too, Elihu experienced.  “For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me; inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst. I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips” (Job 32:18-20)

If we do this, if we call on God, if we listen to him and follow his voice, then I believe God has said to us as a church:
“Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jer 33:3-4)
And he has said to us that there will be fruit, treasures to discover: “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Is. 45:3)

Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ is in you,
The hope of glory in our hearts.
He lives! He lives! His breath is in you,
Arise, a mighty army; we arise!

God bless
Jonathan

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