But the real question is this: Does He answer? Does He communicate His desire? Of course He does! I have never heard a booming voice from the clouds, but I have heard in my mind very straight answers that sounded quite real. I have also found that certain doors close and others open. I have had answers come through other people. I have had answers, many times, through a new look at His Word. Because He cares for me, He answers me. He leads me when I call on Him. Sometimes I have to wait and listen. At other times the answer comes right away and I know what to do. He loves me; He is with me; and He speaks to me.
This is not something that should be surprising. Because I have a relationship with Him, He is active in my life. Do I always obey? I wish! Do I always do the right thing? Well, sometimes I forget or neglect to ask. Sometimes I don’t ask because I don’t really want to know at the time. But none of those things changes the fact that He is real and active in my life. Even if I choose the wrong path, He calls to me. He pulls me back to Him. He loves me.
And, yes, there are times when I don’t seem to get an answer. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to hear what He said. Maybe it was because I wasn’t ready. I don’t know; but, if there is any fault, it lies in me. In some of those times I have had to move ahead with my “best guess,” trusting that He will either move me in the right direction or make some good use of my mistake.
So how will He speak to you? Don’t ask me! Ask Him. Just as every earthly relationship has varied and intricate dynamics, so your relationship with Him will be just between the two of you. He may consistently lead you to the Bible or to a good friend or you may find many different ways in which He will speak. Just trust that He will lead you. He says that His sheep know His voice. It may sound different to each of us, but we will know that it is Him.
Here’s the simple plan I use: Ask Him. Submit to Him. Trust that He will lead you. When I say that you should submit to Him, I mean that you give the decision over to Him. If you want your own way no matter what, if your mind is already made up, don’t waste your time asking Him. He is not a rubber stamp to make you feel good about your own will. When you ask, be willing to do what He says. Listen to Him.
So, yes God speaks to His people through the Bible. But He also goes beyond the Bible. The Holy Spirit is in us to lead us. He will arrange some way to get His will across to us—if we want to hear it.
I truly appreciate your comments!
(I am traveling these days. This series of posts was quite popular a couple of years ago. I hope you find them helpful. Please feel free to comment as usual. See you on the other side! – Dave)