TALKING TO A GOD WHO DOESN’T TALK BACK

I have always been a believer.

Since an early age I have believed in God. Nothing has ever changed that. Unfortunately, there have been times when I have been lazy and neglected talking to Him. Honestly sometimes my prayer life gets pretty boring. It hasn’t been because I don’t believe or care. The truth is that it’s hard to talk to someone who doesn’t talk back,

Yes, I know and have heard all of my life that God speaks in different ways. I have all heard all the explanations why He doesn’t talk back but – you know – sometimes those easy explanations just doesn’t cut it for me. It would be a whole lot better if God talked back in the way we communicate with others.

I’m sorry but I don’t believe these people who say that God told them something. God didn’t tell you who is going to be president or that an asteroid is going to hit the Earth. I can’t keep my eyes from rolling when I hear someone say that God told them something.

I went through a period in my own life when I was on a mission to actually hear from God. I did all the things that preachers and books said would work and none of those things compelled God to speak to Milton Hooper. Through that experience I came to a couple of conclusions as to why He never talked to me. I am not a super duper spiritual person or preacher and if He wanted to talk to me He would. He’s God and there is nothing I can do to make God do anything.

Even with failing in my quest to hear from God, I continue to believe.

So why doesn’t God talk back?

Billy Graham once said: “God does speak to us today, not in an audible voice, but in written words — the words of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, given to us so we can know Him and discover how He wants us to live. He also gave it to us so we can have hope — hope of God’s forgiveness, and hope for His presence with us, both now and forever.”

Other Theological experts say that God doesn’t speak is that we have the Bible and He has said everything that He needs to say.

Seriously?

God CAN talk to us but most of the time He doesn’t. I don’t know why. He’s God.

After years of sitting in churches with loud preaching and “moving of the Spirit” it wasn’t until I spent a week at a monastery that I learned the amazing discipline of silence. That is the closest I have ever been to hearing God. It seems that the noise of the world we live in drowns out any chance we have to hear God speak to us. Even with the discipline of silence, that still doesn’t mean God will talk back to us like you and I would to each other. The problem with anything else is that we are competing with other voices – especially our own.

This is why it would be so much easier if God would just speak. Then we would know for sure that we have heard from Him. I am very skeptical of people who say that God spoke to them. It is clear that He doesn’t make it a common practice to vocalize anything to us. That really puts us at a disadvantage in prayer. It also makes critical evidence of proving His existence to those who don’t believe. It sure would help if he spoke. I have never understood that. Wouldn’t MORE people believe if He did?

So why do I still believe in a God who does not speak?

Faith.

Faith isn’t always easy or something tangible like an audible response from a sovereign God. Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I could probably do a lot better job in the earnestly seeking part. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee He will talk back but maybe I can more easily recognize other ways He communicates to me.

God doesn’t speak to us from a burning bush or in a conversational manner because He has given us free will. He wants us to choose to believe Him, not because He speaks from an audible voice. It doesn’t make it any easier. I still would like to hear Him. I would love to hear Him say my name.

Even if He doesn’t, I will continue to believe. One day it is certain I will hear Him.

The Lord Told Me….

Yeah, I see the way you are looking at me right now. I’ve done the same thing when I hear someone say that. It’s almost certainly an eye roll and a sigh.

“Okay, let’s hear it. What did “the Lord” tell you?”

Hey, I have fallen for this too. There was a time I would be in awe of someone who would say that. I have met people who have called themselves prophets, prophetesses and those who claimed to have a “word of knowledge” from the Lord. I used to wait anxiously to hear what these people would say or hoping they would give me a “word”. I have even tried it myself. Yeah I know. Creepy right?

It is very wise to be wary of people who say they have a word from the Lord. Too many people have abused this claim and instead of something divine, it becomes a game of Simons says.

“The Lord says touch your nose.”

“The Lord says laugh.”

“The Lord says bark.” (Oh believe me, this has happened.)

All this stuff really gives God a bad reputation that He didn’t ask for and it’s really not fair. You don’t need these super spiritual people to hear from God. You can hear from Him yourself. You don’t need a spiritual circus sideshow to do it.

The problem is that people are lazy. They want the easy answer without having to find it themselves. You don’t need a spiritual psychic to find out what God wants you to do. You just need to spend the time to do it yourself.

Like I said, I have fallen for this stuff too. I have been in awe of these people when I should have been in awe of God and seek Him for myself. No, it isn’t always the easy way. Seeking God for yourself can be hard.

If any of these people say they have a word from the Lord and it is in contradiction to the Bible they are a false prophet so you’d better beware of these folks. Don’t let yourself be manipulated by their guilt trips or warnings that you could blaspheme the Holy Ghost. They love to use those tactics to play upon your fear.

Listen to me. God will speak to you. I can’t say that it will be in an audible voice, a burning bush or an angelic visitation. God does it in many ways and methods. I have learned that you just can’t assume how God will speak. Sure, sometimes He absolutely does use other people and when He does, it is awesome.

I have learned that many times God will speak through circumstances in your life. I know that’s not a super spiritual answer but you just have let God do what He wants to do. If He wants you to know something bad enough He will find a way to get through to you. Sometimes we get anxious and impatient but I’m pretty sure that God isn’t worried.

I have always wanted to hear the audible voice of God. I went through a period in my life that I pleaded and begged God to speak to me so I could hear Him with my ears but He never did. You know what? God isn’t going to be manipulated into doing anything. We aren’t going to command Him like a genie in a bottle. We aren’t His master.

The truth is that God loves us and He wants to have a relationship with us. I know that some of those TV preachers and extreme religious people have tainted who God really is but God is interested in us and in every aspect of our lives. He wants to be included. Hey, I am not smart enough to explain this to you or to try to convince you of it. I just know He’s a God that isn’t looking to strike you with a lightning bolt and send fire down from heaven.

I love the quote from the movie “Facing the Giants” when Coach Grant Taylor says “God can do whatever He wants to do, however He wants to do it. And He chooses to work in our lives because He loves us, because He’s good.”

If you ask me in what ways God has spoken to me, I would say mostly through circumstances in my life but He has also used other people with a timely word that I needed. Not one of those “the Lord said” but something I needed to hear in the right place at the right time. Many times I have found direction when reading the Bible and applying it to my situation. Sometimes by just sitting quietly – which is a lot harder than you think it is. There have been times He has given me a sign like the time I needed to know if He wanted us to move to Nashville. I was in a store looking through T-shirts in Tampa, Florida and the moment I got that prayer out of my mouth I pulled out a shirt that had Nashville, Tennessee on it. Yeah, you can think what you want but that was a God moment. You don’t have to believe it but when it happens to you it is pretty amazing.

As far as these people who have had a “word from the Lord” for me, it never turned out to be accurate or even helpful to me. I got burned by them and I learned from it. I’m not super spiritual or a perfect little praying hands Christian but God does speak to me. I just have to listen. That’s the hardest part.

The Lord Told Me….

Yeah, I see the way you are looking at me right now. I’ve done the same thing when I hear someone say that. It’s almost certainly an eye roll and a sigh.

“Okay, let’s hear it. What did “the Lord” tell you?”

Hey, I have fallen for this too. There was a time I would be in awe of someone who would say that. I have met people who have called themselves prophets, prophetesses and those who claimed to have a “word of knowledge” from the Lord. I used to wait anxiously to hear what these people would say or hoping they would give me a “word”. I have even tried it myself. Yeah I know. Creepy right?

It is very wise to be wary of people who say they have a word from the Lord. Too many people have abused this claim and instead of something divine, it becomes a game of Simons says.

“The Lord says touch your nose.”

“The Lord says laugh.”

“The Lord says bark.” (Oh believe me, this has happened.)

All this stuff really gives God a bad reputation that He didn’t ask for and it’s really not fair. You don’t need these super spiritual people to hear from God. You can hear from Him yourself. You don’t need a spiritual circus sideshow to do it.

The problem is that people are lazy. They want the easy answer without having to find it themselves. You don’t need a spiritual psychic to find out what God wants you to do. You just need to spend the time to do it yourself.

Like I said, I have fallen for this stuff too. I have been in awe of these people when I should have been in awe of God and seek Him for myself. No, it isn’t always the easy way. Seeking God for yourself can be hard.

If any of these people say they have a word from the Lord and it is in contradiction to the Bible they are a false prophet so you’d better beware of these folks. Don’t let yourself be manipulated by their guilt trips or warnings that you could blaspheme the Holy Ghost. They love to use those tactics to play upon your fear.

Listen to me. God will speak to you. I can’t say that it will be in an audible voice, a burning bush or an angelic visitation. God does it in many ways and methods. I have learned that you just can’t assume how God will speak. Sure, sometimes He absolutely does use other people and when He does, it is awesome.

I have learned that many times God will speak through circumstances in your life. I know that’s not a super spiritual answer but you just have let God do what He wants to do. If He wants you to know something bad enough He will find a way to get through to you. Sometimes we get anxious and impatient but I’m pretty sure that God isn’t worried.

I have always wanted to hear the audible voice of God. I went through a period in my life that I pleaded and begged God to speak to me so I could hear Him with my ears but He never did. You know what? God isn’t going to be manipulated into doing anything. We aren’t going to command Him like a genie in a bottle. We aren’t His master.

The truth is that God loves us and He wants to have a relationship with us. I know that some of those TV preachers and extreme religious people have tainted who God really is but God is interested in us and in every aspect of our lives. He wants to be included. Hey, I am not smart enough to explain this to you or to try to convince you of it. I just know He’s a God that isn’t looking to strike you with a lightning bolt and send fire down from heaven.

I love the quote from the movie “Facing the Giants” when Coach Grant Taylor says “God can do whatever He wants to do, however He wants to do it. And He chooses to work in our lives because He loves us, because He’s good.”

If you ask me in what ways God has spoken to me, I would say mostly through circumstances in my life but He has also used other people with a timely word that I needed. Not one of those “the Lord said” but something I needed to hear in the right place at the right time. Many times I have found direction when reading the Bible and applying it to my situation. Sometimes by just sitting quietly – which is a lot harder than you think it is. There have been times He has given me a sign like the time I needed to know if He wanted us to move to Nashville. I was in a store looking through T-shirts in Tampa, Florida and the moment I got that prayer out of my mouth I pulled out a shirt that had Nashville, Tennessee on it. Yeah, you can think what you want but that was a God moment. You don’t have to believe it but when it happens to you it is pretty amazing.

As far as these people who have had a “word from the Lord” for me, it never turned out to be accurate or even helpful to me. I got burned by them and I learned from it. I’m not super spiritual or a perfect little praying hands Christian but God does speak to me. I just have to listen. That’s the hardest part.