For Paul, it was a blinding light and an audible sound from heaven. For Moses, it was a burning bush. For Elijah, it was not the thunder, earthquake, or fire– it was a still, small voice. For Joseph, it was a vision in a dream. For many generations, God has spoken in dynamic and diverse ways. Personally, His voice typically comes through scripture, prayer, or in the quietness of solitude — typically.
But God is not typical. God is God – sovereign Creator of the universe, Sustainer of life, and Plumb Line of truth. God is Father — infinite wisdom of the ages, timeless truth and unwavering love. God is Son – immeasurable sacrifice and abundant grace. Holiness and Righteousness bankrupting heaven to walk among men in flesh such as I. God is Spirit – omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Holy Guide and Counselor – lover of my soul and quick to whisper in this servant girl’s ear – “this way, child.” God is Trinity – Godhead — Three in One – inseparable, indescribable, irresistible. Hard to wrap my thoughts and finite rationale around, yet so much higher are His ways, thoughts, and plans that I gently rest in His abundant, amazing grace and provision.
This same God — this same voice — still speaks today in dynamic and diverse ways – to hearts that truly listen. My God spoke to me recently through a gracious, compassionate, and discerning friend. It was as if when this friend spoke, I was temporarily blinded. A crushing heaviness, as though a fist had been forced into my chest constricted my breathing and my heart began to wildly palpitate. I could feel my temples pulsating with the heavily increase of my heart and my eyes welled with uncontrollable tears. I could actually feel heat in my chest surrounding my heart and I had to think, “Is this the ‘burning within us’ the disciples spoke of as they walked on the Emmaus Road with Jesus?” As the saltiness flowed down my cheeks, did the room go temporarily silent or was my heart drumming so loudly in my ears that I could not hear anything but “That Voice?” That voice.
I knew that voice. That voice was no stranger to this heart of mine – I had heard it many times before – and continue to hear today. It’s the same voice that speaks to me through scripture and pierces the very depths of my being with truth. It’s that same voice that whispers peace over my anxiousness and assures me of His ever-watchful care. Yes, it’s that same voice that calls me out of the comfort of my familiarity and beckons me to walk on the water of the unknown into places where I must rely on the direction and guidance of the One I call Faithful and True. That voice – it’s like none other I’ve ever known.
In a study by Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God; Knowing and Doing the Will of God, the author states that God speaks by the Holy Spirit through 1) The Bible; 2) Prayer; 3) Circumstances; 4) and the Church (body of believers) to reveal 1) Himself; 2) His purposes; 3) and His ways. Blackaby also points out in this study, “When God speaks, one knows it is God. When God speaks, one knows what God says. When God speaks, one knows what must be done in order to be obedient” (Blackaby). I have found this statement true time and time again in my walk with the Lord. I know when that voice speaks, it is God – I know what He says; there is no questioning – and I know what I must do to be obedient. On that day, the voice I knew to be the God of truth came through a friend like a perfectly aimed arrow, sinking deep into my heart and pulsating floodgates of righteousness through parched and dry veins restoring my soul.
As my friend innocently talked with me, he had no idea that, yes, I was attentive to his words, but I was actually hearing straight from the throne room of heaven. The very breath of the living, sovereign God flowed through human lips and confirmed to me a direction that I knew I must follow; for, God had spoken to me in days past concerning this very subject and I had been awaiting further, spiritual direction — confirmation. When God is speaking to my heart concerning something He wants to refine in my life, I hear the same voice in a sermon; I turn on the radio and there it is; in my Bible study the same words jump off the page; in a song lyric — it’s that voice that strickens me to the point of lifting my eyes in wonder and dancing to the heartbeat of a Savior that sets free the captive; and yes, even through a friend – that voice — that same voice — it is ever before me — beckoning me — Come. Follow. Trust. Obey. Listen. Be still. No, my friend did not know what was wildly happening in my soul that day, and I didn’t tell him at the time for the flood of emotion struck me literally speechless. The very voice of God left me dumb – to fall at His feet like John — as if a dead man. When the voice of God speaks, I need to simply keep silent and listen. My words need not be heard.
I continue to be awestruck and humbled to hear from heaven and know that the very God who has the power to put a stop to everything of this world as we know it, cares so deeply about me that He speaks to the intimate, quiet place of my heart. He gently opens the secret chamber door and enters the room where only He and I commune as one. It is here I become as Mary, anxious of nothing, lingering at pierced feet, drinking in and breathing deep — “that voice.”
*Blackaby, Henry http://www.blackaby.net/expgod/