It seems that today most people, even some Christians, don’t believe you can hear God. In my late twenties, I started my God adventure just assuming you could hear Him. That seemed from the Bible to be the norm for disciples so I just listened expectantly. And I could hear Him. I told the Lord I would obey everything I heard and to silence all other voices so I could hear. It was a childlike view but it worked! The more I simply obeyed what I heard, the more His voice was clear and recognizable. He spoke to me everywhere. For me, this was the normal Christian life. It never occurred to me that there was any other way to get along with God.
“My sheep hear My voice
and I know them, and they follow Me.”
John 10: 27 NASB
I was always quoting what God said to me. A woman came to me who was a member of a large Atlanta church, a soloist there. She said, “Martha, you must not say that you hear God! It intimidates people.” She told me that Dr. Charles Stanley would never say he heard God. Oh, I was devastated. I said, “Lord I am so sorry, I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to say such things! Forgive me!” I couldn’t deny that He spoke to me, that was unthinkable, but I could refrain from saying so in public!
But I sensed that God said, “Beginning in Genesis, mark in your Bible every place it is written ‘God said.’” Soon I had yellow marks all over the pages. God spoke to everyone . . . to the serpent, to both sinners, even to the murderer! He was a Speaking God and I would never again doubt that for me and for everyone!
In the New Testament, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees who would later murder Him and He knew it. He did not fail to give God’s word even to His enemies. He spoke to Judas, to the thief on the cross, the Samaritan sinner, the demon possessed. He withheld His communication from no one!
That we don’t hear, well, that’s our problem. We assume we won’t like what we hear, or we are afraid of what He could be saying. Or we don’t BELIEVE He does speak to anyone today, certainly not to me personally! Today people who hear God speak are considered odd.
God is not the problem for He is always speaking and speaking to all. And I noticed in the Bible that His words always carried a saving purpose. Even correction is for correction to Life!
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Oh by the way, some time later Dr. Stanley wrote a book, “How to Listen to God.”