My nephew recently encouraged me to write “whatever God was speaking to me about” unless he added “that ceased with the book of Revelation.” I certainly understand his question and concerns, and I think it is one that many people share today. There are many charlatans who claim “Thus saith the Lord” when in fact the Lord has not said. So this is an honest attempt to answer the question “does God still speak?”
As a Christian, my inclination is to start with Scripture. Critics would rightly point out the circular fallacy to claim that “I know God speaks, because the Bible says so.” So I won’t start with Scripture, but I will end up there. The difficulty with determining if God still speaks, is that we live in such a loud culture. We are constantly screamed at by this world. Media demands our attention. Our lives are so busy and loud that we miss God. Because God whispers.
God does speak, but we often don’t hear Him, because we have gone deaf at the loudness of our lives. Our own minds won’t let us be quiet, our thoughts, appetites, and desires clamor for attention. Like a child deprived of their favorite trinket, we scurry about chasing shiny and noisy toys, until another one comes along. We bang on the instruments of our offenses, pounding the percussion of pettiness, and strumming the lyre of our loneliness, resulting in an orchestra of chaos. This is the concert of cries. God goes unheard and eventually forgotten, unless we tune our ear to hear the voice in the cries.
On occasion, someone will come along and claim that they heard from God. We wonder aloud, “Is this real?” We enter into a conversation. We listen to the skeptic, the scientist, the philosopher, the poet, the preacher….but then we move on. Again with the noise. A season finale. A series finale. A candy bar. A cheeseburger, ice cream, fried chicken. A summer movie. An election. A relationship. A pet. Baseball, football, basketball. Money, sex, fun, happiness…then its gone again, and then its back again. And someone says “does God speak?”
Maybe God was speaking all along, in all of those things. In all the aspects of our lives. The monumental and the mundane. Life, death and everything in between. God speaks. Do you hear Him?
Your child laughs…did you hear Him?
Your wife smiles….did you hear Him?
Your grandmother dies, you cry….did you hear Him?
You remember…did you hear Him?
You think, You feel, You love, hate, forgive. You are alive. You sleep. Did you hear Him?
I promised that I would eventually get back to Scripture. This is a good one:”Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!” (Hebrews 1:1-3 MSG)
I believe Jesus is the ultimate voice of God, the voice that counts. He is still speaking in profound ways. The voice of Christ is one that understands profound pain, loss, neglect. Suffering finds its purposes in Christ. Can you hear Him?
As C.S. Lewis has observed: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Are you suffering? Rest assured God hears you.
But can you hear Him?