How does God speak to you?

By Yvette Walker

The voice of God. Audibly hearing his voice. Isn’t that what we seek when we pray? We ask for something and we think, “wouldn’t it be nice if God just said, ‘Sure, I can get that for you,’ or ‘I’ll make it happen right away.’ ”

But he doesn’t. That’s not how God works, and if I’m honest, sometimes that frustrates me. How about you?

But wait. I didn’t say God didn’t have a voice. He does. The Bible says he does, and people all over the earth have heard his calling. But it’s not the kind of voice we expect from the King of Glory.

It’s not a powerful voice or thunder. The Bible calls it a whisper, or a “still small voice.”

I did a Facebook live on the Positively Joy page and the community page Sunday night. It has been a year since I chose joy. Since I awakened to his voice and desire for me at a Christian worship retreat in the Dallas area led by singer-songwriter Rita Springer.

This anniversary reminded me of the reason I went in the first place. I had stopped hearing God. Oh, it didn’t happen all at once. I used to hear him clearly and often when I was a girl, mostly when I was in church. I went to church often, between services, because I felt him there keenly, in a way I didn’t feel him in other places.

Sitting there on the cold pews of St. Dorothy’s Catholic Church, I felt a comfort. When I grew up and got jobs that took me to different cities, I would seek out churches in these new towns where I didn’t know anyone. But I knew God!

I went to the retreat and during an exercise on listening, I prayed that God would speak to me. It was a warm day but there was a very mild breeze, not a bluster. As I sat on a bench, an acorn dropped from a tree onto a white van directly below. It seemed a big sound for such a small acorn, and I smiled.

I see what you did, God. OK, I’m listening.

I learned that I needed to open my creativity and awaken myself to his voice. And, I needed to get back to the Bible! I needed to dive into his work in a way I hadn’t before.

1 Kings 19:11–12 tells of the prophet Elijah who, on God’s instructions, stoon on mountain to witness the Lord pass by. The word tells us that he looked for him in the wind, and then in an earthquake, and then in a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in any of those.

But then, scripture says, “And after the fire came a gentle whisper”

That is the NIV translation. But the King James and New King James uses the language we are probably more familiar with.

God’s Revelation to Elijah

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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, a still small voice.

We see other references to God speaking to man in whispers or spirits

We hear of such an encounter from Job 4:16: “A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end. It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice.”

It’s in the small encounters, the small voice that enters your head when you are at peace, the small signs.

A friend last year gave me a key. On the key was written the word faith. She wanted to remind me that the key to faith isn’t necessarily a big act or a big leap. It can be, but it can be the small acts in times of stillness. Just listen and hear his voice.

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