We serve a living God who loves to talk to His people.
I’ve been reading the Old Testament over the last few months, and have been so moved by how much God loves His people, how He talks to them, leads them and always warns them of the consequences of sin, if they choose that way. He shows us the way we should go, and He tells us upfront what will happen if we disobey. His desire is that we walk in blessing and close relationship with Him, that we live our lives to our full potential, inheriting all His promises and blessings.
What really touched me, and drew me closer to God as my father, was seeing how fatherly He is in every way. I have read much of the Bible throughout my life, but never started from the beginning, and read it as a book… from beginning to end. I have fallen in love with God more and more, and my love and trust has deepened from seeing His incredible Father’s heart of love for us, His children. It is so easy to trust Him when we see His consistent faithfulness throughout the generations.
Just as He spoke to His children then, He is speaking to us now. His precious gift, the Holy Spirit, lives in us, and He is speaking all the time. If we don’t hear Him, it is possible that we are not listening. It’s like a radio that needs to tune into the right frequency, so we need to tune our spiritual ears to hear our Heavenly Father speak to us.
‘Silly’ doesn’t mean it’s not God
During my twenties, I did extensive travelling and lived for short periods of time in various European nations. God used those times to teach me to tune into hearing Him. He would prompt me to do things, that I would initially think would be crazy… but I learnt to have the guts to step out and just do it… even if I made a fool of myself. The incredible thing was, that every time I stepped out and risked, God confirmed that I could actually hear Him, and that built my faith and trust in Him with every gutsy move I made.
Sometimes God asks us to do something that seems really silly… but He’s using the silly to teach us to recognise His voice. The one time I was in a train in Italy, travelling to Switzerland, when God told me to offer one of my oranges to a particular girl in front of me, which I felt Him saying, is South African. My first response to God was, ‘no, she can’t possibly be South African… I’ve hardly ever met any South Africans in this part of the world, she most probably doesn’t even speak English, and will think I’m totally weird for offering her an orange!!’ But I gathered my courage, and stretched out my hand to her, offering her the orange. Within a few seconds, I discovered that she was indeed South African, visiting from Durban. We ended up chatting like old friends on an Italian train! I was amazed!
I’ve had many experiences like that… they have taught me to walk by faith, listen for constant guiding and tune my ears to hear the Holy Spirit speak to me throughout my day. I love asking God what He has to say about things, and then ponder on what He puts in my heart… the exciting part is seeing Him bring the things about that He revealed. That’s when our relationship becomes the living relationship that it’s meant to be.
We’re born into a living relationship
Nothing about God is religious. He is our loving father who loves us passionately, Jesus is our closest, most loyal friend and Lord, and His Holy Spirit our most intimate life-long companion. He is alive and He wants us to discover Him as He really is, not who we think He is.
Let’s tune our ears in, by becoming aware that He is speaking all the time. We are His sheep, and the Bible says that His sheep know His voice. What a promise!!
John 10:3(b), 4
3 The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.