One of my main ministry phrases has become, God is always at work in your life. (John 5:17)
I probably say it daily to different people in different situations, while counseling, during sermons, leading our staff and ministry leaders. I say it all the time.
The question in response to that statement is, are we paying attention?
Another way to articulate the same idea is, God is always speaking. The question is, are we listening?
I’m always struck by the story of Jesus’ transfiguration as recorded in the gospels.
Jesus takes a few disciples to the top of a mountain to pray. While there, He is transformed and becomes bright and radiant. Luke says He becomes like flashes of lightning (9:29). Matthew writes that His face shone brightly like the sun (17:2). Mark records that His clothes were a brighter white than anyone could ever bleach them (9:3).
In all three accounts, as Jesus is transformed a cloud overtakes the top of the mountain and a voice speaks saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.”
God charges the disciples who are present with Jesus, and us who are reading, to listen to Jesus. The passage assumes that God is continually speaking through His Son.
Hebrews 1 says, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (v1-2).
God is always speaking. The question is, are we listening?
This, of course, raises the question, “How do I know?” How do I know what God is saying? What if it’s my own half-baked idea and I just think it’s from God?
As a pastor, this is one of the more frequent questions I hear from people. I sense that people who are seeking God desperately want to hear from God, but lack the confidence to say with certainty, “This is what God said to me.” Or, “This is what God is doing in my life.”
Over the next few weeks, I want to explore the idea of how we hear from God. My conviction is that it should be a normal part of our Christian experience, and that we need not be embarrassed or uncertain to say that God has spoken or moved in our lives.
During this series of posts, I want to look at different passages in Scripture that illustrate people who listened and followed God’s leading. I also want to share some stories from my life to show how I’ve grown in my own listening and discerning. I’ll also share some practical things to do to develop your ability to hear and discern God’s voice.
I’d love to hear from you throughout this series about your own experience in hearing from God. What questions have you wrestled with, and how are you growing in this area?
God is speaking. The question is, what is He saying to you?