Sunday, August 8, 2010
Question for You
How does God speak to you?
This is such a subjective topic - within the Christian world, or even the secular world, man has claimed to have received leading and guidance from God, using the words like, "God told me to...", and "God spoke to me...", and "God led me..." to explain their actions and feelings. I have used these words as well, so I am not accusing or finger-pointing. I am being sincere.
So my question today is, how does God speak to you?
Samuel heard the voice of God as a young child. He was awakened in the night to God audibly calling his name. Later in life, God told him to go to the house of Jesse of Bethlehem and He would instruct him to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be king over Israel. (I Samuel 16)
I read this story this morning and got caught up on one of the details of the story. Picture this: Samuel, a famous prophet, shows up at Jesse's house and asks if he will sacrifice with him. He also requests that Jesse's sons join them as well. Seven boys gather with this aged father and prophet, and one by one God tells Samuel that they are not His chosen king. Finally, the last of the seven stands before Samuel and Samuel has to be sure this is the one, because God said the king would be one of Jesse's sons. Of course, Samuel didn't know that there was one more boy in the field with the sheep - the youngest son. So he looks at this final son, knowing this must be the one, and God says no again.
Samuel asks if there were anymore, and Jesse brings in the little redhead from the field. Finally, God says yes.
What struck me as curious was God's ongoing conversation with Samuel throughout this gathering with Jesse. What did it sound like? Could Jesse hear God as well? Or did Samuel hear God's voice in his head? Samuel knew the voice of God since he was a child, so was it a certain tone that made him know it was God and not his own conscience?
I really am curious about this.
Fast forward to present day. I know the usual answers to this question. Some will say that God speaks to them through the Word of God. (concrete, tangible answer) Others will say that the Holy Spirit speaks to them. (a little fuzzier) And still others will say that God spoke to them in dreams or while they were meditating. (what exactly did that sound like?) As I wrote earlier, this is a very subjective experience and as my husband has told me before, you cannot argue with someone's experience.
Keep in mind, Samuel did not have the complete Word of God, as we do today. He had the audible, verbal Word of God, as well as the Law, right? But we have the whole collection, so definitely, God will use His Word to speak to us. I am a huge advocate of dependency on this Word - so was King David. If you aren't sure what his view on God's Word was, read through Psalm 119.
So what does it sound like when God speaks to you? I am hoping some of you will post your answers, because this topic fascinates me. I personally believe that the concept of God speaking to man is biblical and completely abused within the church today. Harsh? Maybe, but we are to be a discerning people. So talk to me. How do we know when it is God and not our own mind? Does He communicate only through the Word? Does He do it through other people? Does He do it through our own thoughts?
Okay, I'll make it even easier on you - answer either question: How does God speak to you or how have you heard that God speaks to other people? (This way you are not on the spot!)