August 3, 2010
Does God Still Speak to Ordinary People?
"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:25-26 (NIV)
The Bible tells amazing stories of God speaking directly to humans. God walked and talked with Adam. He spoke through a burning bush to Moses, and God had direct messages for His people after speaking with the prophets of old. Growing up, I wondered if God had stopped speaking to normal people after Bible times. After all, I never heard Him speak.
Years went by, I matured in my faith, got married, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and loved God and His people. But I never heard Him speak to me. Honestly, it didn't bother me much, because I figured God had said all He needed to say, and it was in the Bible. What more did I need to hear?
Apparently, God had something more to say. It wasn't until we moved across country that I discovered He longed to communicate personally with me.
Twelve years ago, my family moved from Phoenix to Charlotte. It wasn't a move I wanted, but I begrudgingly acquiesced to support my husband's dream of living somewhere else. Instead of embracing the adventure, all I saw was loss: my career, church, friends and extended family. I was heartbroken.
It was in that condition I started hearing God "speak" to me. It wasn't in an audible voice, or in any unusual way, just a clear voice in my spirit. One that hadn't been there before. God put Scriptures in my mind I didn't know I had memorized. He spoke words of encouragement specifically for me. He gave me direction to do things I never would have done on my own. Here's an example.
We had been church searching for a few weeks when God directed us to a small congregation meeting in a grade school. One week, a lovely young woman gave her testimony. My heart was moved. That very same week, I heard a radio spot by the woman who had spoken at the church. God spoke to me in a way I'd never before experienced and He clearly told me to call her and offer my services as a volunteer.
I was startled, but obeyed. It took a few phone calls, but I finally reached Lysa TerKeurst, the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.
"Hi Lysa," I said. The next words came tumbling out of my mouth as I blurted, "I've just moved to Charlotte, I saw you at church, then heard you on the radio. I've got a degree in Journalism and I'm wondering if you need any volunteers."
There was a pause on the other end of the phone before Lysa answered, "We've been praying for someone with a degree in Journalism."
It was exciting to hear God speak to me, and I began to understand what Jesus meant when He said God the Father would send His Holy Spirit to communicate with us. I saw how God was orchestrating events when I listened to and obeyed His Spirit within me. In a conversation with a friend from home, I told her about this new experience. She said that perhaps my life had been too full to hear God before my move.
She was right, but there was more. I was very independent and made decisions without consulting God. In truth, I hadn't needed Him or His counsel, very much. Or so I thought. It wasn't until everything I depended on was removed, that I became empty and desperate for God to fill me. From my place of need, God's Spirit became my counselor, comforter and guider.
Years ago, I asked God for help in this area. I knew I had the potential to slip back into my independent ways, and I wanted to keep hearing His voice. I asked Him to always keep me humble and in need of Him. Although that was a hard prayer to pray, it's even harder to live out because God answered it. If that's the price of hearing God, I'll gladly pay it.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to ordinary people through Your Holy Spirit. Forgive me for the times I get busy and independent. I want to hear Your voice above all else. Help me to trim things from my life so there is room for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
God took Glynnis from volunteer to Senior Editor of our P31 Woman magazine!
He Speaks to Me by Priscilla Shirer
Find more encouragement with our free Everyday Life article Hearing God
Spend a few moments in prayer and ask God to speak directly to you. You might ask Him to answer a question or give you direction. When you get an answer, write down this experience and share it with someone else.
When do you know the thoughts you have are NOT from God?
How can you open yourself up more to hear God speak?
John 14:16-17, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (NIV)
Acts 16:9-10, "During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." (NIV)
© 2010 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 03 August 2010.