One frequently asked question among Christians is “how does God speak to us?”
The motive being that people want answers to their questions. They want to know how to submit their inquiries and where to get a response.
For centuries the mantra has been that we speak to God in prayer, but where is the divine receiver? How do we get the answer?
People would love to ask God a question like a divine Siri and promptly get a response from an app on their smartphones.
“Should I take that job?”
“Do you have a perfect plan for my life?”
“Doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible…?”
“Where is the closest coffee shop?” … God would know.
When they don’t hear an audible voice, people ask with more passion, as if God is a magic eight ball who requires a good shake to get a clear answer.
“Ask again later.” D’oh. Shake it again.
The White House will respond to your issues if you get 99,999 other people to sign your petition. That’s a lot of prayer warriors just to find out what your college major should be.
The truly desperate for God to speak to them treat God like he is deaf and mute. Since he hasn’t spoken to them in words, they beg him to show them a sign…blink once for yes, twice for no.
“He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me…”
Unhelpful books advise people that God speaks through circumstances and so you should look at events and strange occurrences around you to divine God’s response like a heathen witch doctor.
They say God speaks through nature. Perhaps the tribal religions were on to something with their practice of consulting the bones.
“Yes, the wind is changing… and the leaves suggest… let me see your palm again.”
Surely, this should not be the behavior of people who claim to worship the one true God. The God who gave us breath and life and language surely can be more clear to us about his will…
… and he has been.
God Wrote a Book
God has spoken. We have it recorded in words in a book.
If you want to know what God has said, then you need to know the Bible. The Bible contains the very words God wants you to have.
This is the idea behind a fundamental Christian belief: divine inspiration. We have God’s words written down.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” – 2 Timothy 3:16
God is not a vending machine that gives you a fortune cookie when you put in a prayer quarter. God, the Spirit, spoke through men in writing a book that speaks to men.
What God has said is in the Bible. God’s will for you is found in the Bible rightly divided.
If the Bible does not have the answers you are looking for, perhaps you are asking the wrong question (link).
Instead of asking, “How does God speak? I need to ask him something.” Perhaps it should be, “What did God say? I wasn’t listening.”
God has spoken, but nobody wants to listen. Children rarely listen the first time. When they keep asking the same question over and over again, parents respond with “I’ve told you a thousand times, what did I say?”
God told us once. He wrote it down for us to read and study. What did God say?
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:17
If this is true, then you don’t need God to say it twice. Everything you need to know about God and what he wants you to do is found in the Bible (2 Tim 3:17).
Trust God that he has given you what you need. God’s word is sufficient. Study God’s word rightly divided. (Helpful lessons are here and here.)
While you are begging God to speak, he has already spoken to you through the book collecting dust on your shelf.
Open it and read.