Have you ever thought about the fact that we actually train ourselves to hear God in specific ways? Many times we have trained ourselves after a moment where we heard God clearly speak in a specific way. We look for it the same way because that is how it happened before. We in essence train ourselves to then look for the Word of the Lord in that way, creating a model inside our head and heart that THIS is how God is going to speak to me.
Sometimes it’s not in how God spoke to us in the past but rather how God spoke to someone else. We hear about their experience and then begin to listen in THAT way.
Can I suggest that not only CAN God speak to us in many ways, but that He actually DOES speak to us in many ways and if you’re looking for a specific way, you can miss it.
There is a scripture that speaks to this. In 1 Kings 19 we see multiple ways that God spoke to Elijah. First an angel came to him and encouraged and fed him, next we see that Elijah is in a cave and it says “the Word of the Lord came to Him.” Another divine way of communication where God spoke to Elijah, much like God speaks to us in prayer and through His Word. Let’s look at what happened next.
11 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; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
If Elijah was anything like me I would have wondered about the wind, the earthquake and the fire…”Is this how you’re speaking God?” The louder, the more passionate, the fire is sometimes how we think we’ll hear God, but maybe that’s because we’re not listening for a whisper. A whisper intimates a closeness and intimacy to listen. Simply put, what if we trained ourselves to hear God in the BIG and the little. What if we didn’t pigeon hole ourselves into listening for God in one way, or even a few ways. Instead we train ourselves to hear God in many ways. God wants you to hear Him clearly in preaching, teaching, prayer and the Word, but also in nature, in conversations, from billboards, through worship and the list goes on and on.
Lastly…If you are having trouble hearing God, expand your horizons on how you expect God to speak and how you can hear Him. Possibly just possibly He’s in the whisper and we need to get closer so we can hear what He’s saying.