In reading Jonah this morning, I find it interesting that the “word of the Lord came to Jonah”. These simple words contain one of God’s most intriguing mysteries. The fact that God does personally speak to people. I wonder how God actually spoke to Jonah. Was it in a dream, a vision, a strange circumstance, or does someone tell him? Is there a voice from heaven that only Jonah hears? Does he have a gut feeling that he just can’t shake?
When you think about it, this is a fundamental question for someone who believes in a “personal” God. How does this God let people that He loves know what He wants?
I hear people say with such certainty things like “God told me” or “I heard God’s voice”. I sometimes wonder about such bold assertions. But it really doesn’t matter what I think about what others feel they have heard from God. The Bible is filled with accounts of, well, let’s just call them “interesting people” coming up with strange stories of how God spoke to them. Often the people around them thought they were weird, if not out of their minds. Yet they ended up being right about hearing from God.
There are specific things that God wants to see happen. He will speak to us and invite us into His will. Our privilege is to discern His voice and join Him. It is then that we find our place in His story. Jonah’s place was to save the lives of thousands and thousands.
So how does God speak to us? In many different ways.
1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. Hebrews 1:1 (NLT)
If you talk to ten people you will get as many different answers. I like that. I like that God is both mysterious and personal. Ask any parent who has more than one child and they will tell you that it takes different approaches to communicate effectively to their children-what works with one does not with another. Good parents who love their children and want to provide wise guidance will learn their child’s language and get through to them. Parents can also be very creative in the way that they “cast vision” for their children and enjoy the relational process.
God knows your language and He speaks it fluently. I believe that He enjoys communication with us. But often He is mysterious. We must allow for this fact and let Him speak to us how He sees fit. Whether or not we are listening is another discussion entirely. Suffice it to say that if we want to hear, God knows how to “get through” to us. Those who do not, well, I don’t know about what happens for them. I guess they go it alone.
Does God have something He wants to say to you? Or me? Are we listening? Is there something he wants us to do? Is there someone He wants us to save?
Current Musings from the book of Jonah