by Rex Rouis
I was reminded of a story from a minister friend, told to me many years ago. It is appropriate for today and every day:
I was in my car pulling out of a tight alleyway in a downtown area. Cars were parked on either side of the ally exit and I could not see the oncoming traffic very well. Once I thought I was clear I started to pull out. But, deep inside, I heard a soft inner voice telling me to, “Stop, don’t pull out.” It was faint and easy to miss. I did notice and I stopped.
Immediately, a delivery truck rushed by directly in front of the alley, exactly where I would have been. If I had pulled out, I would have been hit and instantly killed. It shook me. I could have just died.
I thought about that soft voice that saved my life. I thought about how soft it was and how easily I could have missed it. It started to make me angry – “That is not loud enough! Why couldn’t God speak louder than that?” I even said so to God.
Then, I felt God’s awesome presence fill my car and the Holy Spirit spoke very forcefully to me. He said, “Yes, it is a soft voice, and yes it is possible to miss it if you don’t pay attention, but THAT IS ALL YOU ARE EVER GOING TO GET.” Wow, now I was really shaken. I cried out in heartfelt repentance, “Lord, I am so sorry. I thank you for your still small voice, I appreciate it and I am thankful for it just the way it is.”
And yes folks, that is all we are ever going to get. God said as much to Elijah.
So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13 – Note – And after the fire – a soft, murmuring sound, or, a still small voice (qol dmamah daqah, v. 12).
God usually does not speak in a loud voice; people with real authority do not have to. His is the type of voice that one must get close to to hear. “Incline your ear,” He says.
Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Isaiah 55:3
Most everything in God comes down to hearing His voice. That is why the doctrine that says that God does not speak today is so insidious and dangerous. It attacks the very heart of our walk with God. If God does not speak then faith, specific obedience, and His direct involvement in our lives all falls apart. Faith, the Bible says, comes from hearing, and hearing comes from someone speaking, and that Someone is God.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ. Rom. 10:17
The word for ‘word’ in the above verse indicates a spoken personal type of communication; a person-to-person communication. A communication from the heart of God to the heart of man. A word that can only be heard with the heart – a hearing heart.
“Yes, it is a soft voice, and yes it is possible to miss it if you don’t pay attention, but THAT IS ALL YOU ARE EVER GOING TO GET.”It is not a hearing of the mind, nor it is of the intellect. This kind of hearing does not come from reading. It does not come from someone else speaking – even if they are speaking from the written word of God. It comes directly from Christ Himself. Jesus told us that He would speak to us through the Holy Spirit, and that is exactly what it is. This word and this hearing are the basis of faith.
Hearing from God is more of an art than a science. Hearing from Him must be valued and practiced. It is a lifelong lifestyle and walk. God is a living Person and not an inanimate force. He can be wooed and He can be grieved. He can be received and He can be shunned. He can be valued and he can be rejected. He looks at it all. You need to listen to Him before you pull-out in life.