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“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
God still speaks! God still speaks to humanity, and desires to speak with you. Because our Sovereign King is unseen, we often envision him as an entity that is close enough to see all things, but also too far for personal interaction. But nothing is further from the truth. God was not only invested in our creation and formation, but he continuously invests himself in our daily activities and agendas. In fact I would say that communication with man is something God delights in!
Christ’s sacrifice was more than an atoning act for sins committed by all humanity. God’s motive behind sending his only begotten son into our earth was to reconcile us back to himself. God wanted to bridge the divide and bring us back into fellowship with him. Reconciliation and fellowship require communication…and it is this reality that allows me to confidently assert that God wants to speak with you.
While being tempted in the desert, Jesus declared “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). Some believers adhere to the strict interpretation that God speaks only through his Holy Scriptures or through Old Testament Prophets who are now long dead. Yet I believe from my understanding of Scripture that God communicates in more ways than just the written Word of God. For some he communicates through meditation on Scripture. For others, through dreams and visions. For others, it is through a still small voice or intuitive thought. The point that Jesus was making was that communication with God is of equal or greater importance than the food we need for sustenance. (My friend and fellow Life for Leaders writer, Mark Roberts, has written a very helpful piece on how God speaks to us. You might want to check out: How Does God Guide Us?)
If God places such a priority on communicating with us, why is it so hard for many believers to hear him? Why is there so much doubt on whether or not God speaks to each of us personally? I believe that God speaks to all of us…the question is whether we are on the right frequency to hear and understand him. The first step in hearing God is acknowledging not only that he speaks, but also that he speaks to you. You desperately want to hear God, but I want you to realize that God wants you to hear him even more than you desire to hear him. Often when we pray, we are faced with numerous barriers that challenge the notion of God’s willingness to speak with us. Whether we feel discouraged because of our sins and shortcomings, or inadequate because we are “new to this Christian walk,” or whether we just aren’t sure he speaks due to our upbringing and religious context.
So, the first step in hearing God is removing the mental barriers that make you feel like he won’t talk to you. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that in order to please God, we must be confident in his existence and in his intention to reward those who diligently seek him. In the same way, if you are going to hear from God, you must first be confident in the fact that he does and will speak to you. Whether you are living out the story of the prodigal son, or whether you are stable in your Christian walk, God desires to speak to you on a regular basis. He puts such a premium on communication that he would not withhold his voice from those who desire to hear him. Settle in your mind today that God speaks to you and get ready to hear him.
God, sometimes you can seem so far away and impersonal. Yet we today acknowledge that this feeling is not our reality. We know you to be the God that spared no expense to redeem us. Now we are asking you to help our unbelief regarding your ability to speak, and our ability to hear you. Today we take the limits off of our fellowship with you, and by faith we make room for your voice in our lives. Speak to us now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary.
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