October 22nd – God Who Speaks

Yesterday we were thinking about spiritual deafness but the common complaint of the unbelieving world is, “It is not that we’re not spiritually deaf-It is that we don’t believe that there is anyone out there speaking”. So the question is If there is a God, how does God speak?
According to the Bible God speaks in creation, in fact he spoke it into being. ‘God said “Let there be light”‘ – Boom – Light, energy, matter, exploded into being. John’s Gospel identifies God’s creating word with Jesus, who “was in the beginning with God and without whom nothing was made that came into being”. God speaks through creation, but chiefly God speaks through Jesus Christ. In Jesus we encounter the word of God, spoken in syllables of flesh and blood. That same Jesus used to say to the crowds: “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear”. In short, we are responsible for how we hear. In fact, in Mark Chapter 4 for example, Jesus said “Beware WHAT you hear”, for what we are prepared to listen to is a revelation of the personalities of our inmost souls. Think about it, what we listen to, what makes us laugh, cry, what interests us, to what we shut our ears, these are the headlines we placard before the world. “This is what feeds my mind and soul.” “This is what I listen for.”
But how do you know it’s God that is speaking? Good question. We should be cautious because there have been too many butchering dictators and fanatics who claim that they were acting on the voice of God in their minds. When some people say, “God told me …” and then do outlandish things, I say “But he never mentioned it to me”.
How do you know it is God speaking and not your own unconscious mind or even the Devil? For one thing, God never contradicts himself. When folk say, as they have said to me “God told us to leave our marriage partners and be happy together”, I can say with absolute confidence “Oh no he didn’t. That was your genes talking, because God does not contradict what he has said about love and faithfulness, perseverance, security for children: and who said that God said he wants you to be happy anyway? He wants you holy. He wants you obedient!”
The entire vast basket of things to be seen and heard in Jesus contain God speaking in love, love for all: he speaks of and in what is true and just and good: he speaks in loving lives, in sensitivity, in self-discipline: he speaks in conscience: he speaks in scripture (and not just selected snippets of it, mind you). He speaks supremely in the totality of Christ. No wonder the Bible calls Jesus “the Word”.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared: we have seen it … I John 1: 1-2
A Prayer:
Today, speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Now read Isaiah Chapter 48.

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