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God is speaking but are you listening?

Paul  Wong

From the Holy Bible we know that God created the universe by speaking.  “Then God said, ‘Let there be light”, and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3)  After creating Adam and Eve God spoke and gave them a commandment of what not to eat.  They chose to listen to the serpent rather than God.  After their Fall God also spoke to them about their punishment for disobedience. 

God had also promised the Messiah and Savior would come from the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15).  Our heavenly Father had never ceased to speak to His people since the beginning of man’s history.  He gave instructions to Noah to build an Ark that would save them from the Great Flood.  He spoke to Abraham and made a covenant with him.  He told Abraham that through his seed “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:1-3)  He was speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ who would be a blessing to the whole world. 


When the children of Israel were slaves and suffering in Egypt God heard their groaning (Ex. 2:23-25).  He spoke to Moses at the burning bush and called him out to be the deliverer.  Throughout Israel’s history God spoke to His people and directed them. When Israel obeyed God’s instructions they were blessed beyond measure, but when they did not heed His words they had disastrous results.  God speaks in different ways that we cannot even imagine.  He spoke to Balaam through the mouth of a donkey (Num. 22:28).  God speaks to His prophets in visions and dreams (Num. 12:6). 


 “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:  'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.  And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:16-18)


The apostle Paul acted on a vision and went to Macedonia to preach the gospel.  The result was the planting, formation and establishment of the Philippian and several churches in that area (Acts 16:8-15)


The prophet Isaiah wrote:  “For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," And, "This is the refreshing"; yet they would not hear.” (Isa. 28:11-12)  This prophecy was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ “were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:4-6)


God speaks to children and call them to become ministers at a young age.

“Then the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.” (1 Sam. 3:1)

People were pretty much on their own as a result of their actions and attitudes. Here was old Eli, nearly blind, living out his last days of despair pretty much on his own for he had little vision or contact with God.  Here is a young lad, Samuel who had never heard of God.  In the night a voice called out: "Samuel, Samuel."  Thinking it was old Eli he ran to him saying "Here I am!"  Eli sent him back to bed.  A second time he heard the voice and again ran to Eli, and again was sent back to bed.  Slowly old Eli began to realize that this was God calling Samuel and told him what to say when the call came the third time. "Say to the voice, Samuel, "Speak LORD for your servant is listening!'"  So the call came again, a third time and with eager anticipation Samuel answered,  "Speak, LORD for your servant is listening."

And with that a new era began in Israel's history.  Samuel became one of Israel's greatest leaders and as a result of his leadership the era of the Kings, Saul, David and Solomon began in Israel.

God spoke to His prophets but sometimes they did not listen to His voice.  Obadiah had already told the prophet Elijah that he had hidden “one hundred men of the LORD’s prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water.” (1 Kng. 18:13)  The prophet either did not believe it or he was just not paying attention at all (1 Kng. 19:9-18).

9     “And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

10  So he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."

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.

13  So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

14   And he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."

15  Then the Lord said to him: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.

16   Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.

17  It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.

18       Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."


Some ministers and religious groups are suffering from the Elijah syndrome by insisting they have the only true ministry in the world.  They cannot believe that God also have other servants to perform His great work in the world.


 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” (Heb. 1:1-2)

We must always remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is the main Person through whom God speaks to His people (Mt. 17:1-8)


1.          “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;

2.          and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 

3.          And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

4.           Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

5.           While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him! 

6.          And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 

7.          But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid. 

8.          When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.  (Mt. 17:1-8)


The transfiguration gives us a very strong indication that a true ministry must focus on and be centered on the Lord Jesus Christ and not on ministers and their ministries.  Here are some questions concerning our feelings towards God.


Why don't I always feel

God's presence when I pray?


There could be a number of reasons.  Perhaps you're feeling disconnected because your times of seeking God have been inconsistent.  That can make a difference.  Perhaps there is some unconfessed sin in your life that's nagging at you, making you feel unworthy to be near God.  Or maybe you're angry at God and need to settle with Him in prayer.  The important thing is to keep on praying.  Don't quickly conclude that because you don't "feel" anything that God is ignoring you.  Just believe that He still cares for you (Heb. 13:5-6). 


Why don't I hear God respond to my prayers?


How do you know you haven't heard God? How do you know God hasn't been answering, perhaps in a whisper, or through circumstances, or through your conscience?  A lot of times we're so rushed and busy talking we don't pause to listen. We fill our lives with sound and drown out God's normal way of speaking, which is through a still, small voice.  Let me give a testimony to show how we can sometimes miss God’s message.

After the First World War a large telegram company in America was hiring wireless operators for Morse codes.  For the interview the applicants were told to assemble on the same day and at the same time in the waiting room.  A group of applicants paid little attention to the sound of the short and long beeps that began coming over a loudspeaker. Suddenly one of them rushed into the employer's office.  Soon he returned smiling. "I got the job!" he exclaimed. "How did you get ahead of us?" everyone else asked? "You might have gotten it if you hadn't been so busy talking! The manager was tapping out a coded message," he told them. "It said, 'The person I need must always be on the alert. The first one who interprets this and comes directly into my private office will be hired.'  Sometimes God does work in coded messages. I am sure that most of the time God works in very subtle ways. We need to listen to Him and we need to be alert at all times.

It takes patience and practice to hear God. As we grow in familiarity and intimacy with him, we will be better able to hear.  God communicates with us all the time - through the beauty of Creation, the love of friends and family, and especially through our Lord Jesus Christ.   Jesus is the Word of God made flesh so that we can enjoy fellowship with Him.  And then, of course, He speaks to us through the Bible.  It's called "The Word" for a good reason.  It's full of all the truth and guidance we need to live a rich, faithful Christian life.


May God bless you



A sermon based on this article was preached by Paul Wong

to a Congregation in Houston, Texas on May 18, 2002

This article was published on this Website on August 17, 2009

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