Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 (NLT)
People have often asked me, “Have you ever heard God speak to you?” I think they are looking for me to have actually heard God voice in an audible sense. Maybe if I can affirm that I have heard God’s booming, deep, and certainly male voice a la the old cinematic biblical spectacular or maybe like an angel showing up on that television show, they would know that God is real.
Sorry, folks. Although the biblical narrative offers many instances of God speaking directly to people like a real person would talk, never happened to me. And yet I know God is speaking to me all the time. Maybe in a voice that is clearer and more challenging than the voice Isaiah heard in the temple in the verse above.
God is speaking to us all the time. How do I know this? Because it is God’s nature to communicate with us whom God has made in God’s own image. From the story of the first humans in the Bible, God speaks directly to them. Not only with words but also by God’s actions.
So God continues to speak to us in so many ways. Calling us to a vital relationship with God’s self and into loving our neighbor. Most often God uses the circumstances of our lives to speak to us. We face a crisis; we lose something we valued; we find out everyone doesn’t see things the way we do; we are inspired by beauty, natural or created by a person.
What is so remarkable about God speaking to us is that God’s voice can come to us in the most ordinary and unexpected moments: meeting a stranger in the checkout line; a clip found on social media; something one of our family members said to us; working with others on a worthwhile endeavor; listening to a homeless person’s story.
Yes, I know God speaks to us as we read scriptures, sing hymns, or pray. These things keep us grounded as we listen to God. And yet, if we are listening, God can speak to us, calling us to something greater than who we think we can be, in the many ordinary moments in our lives. But we have to pay attention. We have to listen. Listen deeply.
Do you desire for God to speak to you? To tell you how blessed and loved you are? To offer you challenges to live beyond the ordinary life to a life of radical love for others? To receive encouragement to live boldly in God’s will for your life?
We can begin by asking God to give us an earnest listening ear. And as we listen intently, we may hear God say in very specific ways to us like God did to Isaiah, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” And we can then gladly answer, “Here am I. Send me.”
But are we listening?