Job 33:14 “For God does speak—now one way, now another—
though man may not perceive it.”
This is actually one of the most fundamental messages of the Bible. On the face of it, it would seem improbable that the Creator of the universe in all its vastness would speak to such insignificant beings as we are, but He does, and the problem, as Elihu says here, is that we often fail to recognize that He is speaking, much less what He is saying to us. Experience shows us that He tends to speak to different people in different ways, just as Elihu says here. Some people receive dreams from God. That seems to have been a prime method of communication with the two most famous Josephs in the Bible, both the son of Jacob and the husband of Mary. Some people receive visions, such as Ezekiel and Daniel did. A few, such as Moses and Jeremiah, actually have conversations with Him. However, the most frequent way He speaks to all of us is through His Word, and His stirring in our heart. The most important thing to remember in all of this is that He does speak, and so we need to be listening expectantly. Frankly, a lot of people don’t really want to hear from God. They have an instinctive awareness that if God tells them something, they’d better do it, and they want to go their own way and ignore God. That’s self-destructive in the extreme. Not wanting to listen to God is proof we don’t know Him, because He is love itself. (1 John 4:8) We are like a two-year-old whose favorite word is NO, but that same two-year-old is going to want to climb up into Daddy’s lap sometimes, and if we’ve run away we can’t do that. The path of blessing is recognizing that God is holy, so His rules have real consequences, but He is also gracious and loving, which means His rules are always for our good. When we have that firm awareness, then we can turn and tune our hearts to listen to Him.
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a dream that was definitely from God, but He has spoken to me in many different ways, and I’m grateful. The reason I love the SOAP method of devotions, as taught by Wayne Cordeiro of Hawaii, is that it makes me aware of what God is saying to me through the Bible, on a daily basis. That in turn makes me more sensitive to recognize when He speaks to me “out of the blue,” giving me knowledge or wisdom or correction. I can say with complete assurance that listening to God is a total blessing, even when He is correcting me. I often need to be corrected! As a pastor, one of my real frustrations is in trying to help people understand that God is speaking to them, and not just to me. Because they see me as some sort of “super Christian” they don’t think He talks to them, when actually He talks to all His children. All I can do is speak the truth in love and pray that the Holy Spirit would illuminate their hearts.
Father, thank You for Your desire for intimacy with Your children. We lose so much when we run from that! Help me be so in touch with You that those I encounter would be set free to repent and believe as well, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!