Does God Still Speak?

Does God still speak to people? If so, how does He do it? And if He is speaking, how do we know it is His voice we are hearing? After all, we all hear multiple voices. Some voices are audible. Others are just in our heads. But…I’m getting ahead of myself. For the sake of argument, let’s just assume one of the voices we hear, whether audible or just in our head, is actually coming from God.

I heard and recognized God’s voice for the first time when I was twelve. It was humbling, scary and exciting all at the same time. It was also addictive. Because of his voice, I became a follower of Jesus and I began a journey that has been both frustrating and delightful. Because of his voice, I became a pastor and entered into Biblical studies. I earned a Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Pastoral Studies. I then earned a Doctorate of Ministry with an emphasis in Spiritual Disciplines. I have been a pastor for over 25 years. For all of my adult life I have been dedicated to hearing God’s voice, trying to obey it and attempting to share with others what I’ve heard from Him. I know a little bit about this topic, but at the same time I feel as though I really know nothing. That’s what makes this journey frustrating sometimes.

Due to my training and years of experience, I can give a solid theological answer to the question: “Does God speak?” I can also provide a Biblically grounded answer to the question: “How does God speak?” In fact, let me just go ahead and answer those two questions right now. But I warn you, even though they are correct and fully accurate, they will leave you unsatisfied, especially if you are currently struggling with hearing God’s voice.

Does God speak? Yes. See, I told you the answer would leave you feeling empty. Right now I could share with you a dozen Bible verses that all point to God’s ability to speak to people. One of my favorites is Isaiah 30:21.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Isn’t that a cool verse? But this is not the experience of many people. More than a few people who believe in God have told me they just can’t hear his voice. They pray earnestly. They go to church. They strive to be moral, good, kind people; but God seems silent. If the people who love God get frustrated with this phenomenon, imagine what the skeptical person who doubts God speaks must be thinking?

How does God speak? The answer to this question is a little more complicated, but my years of training and experience have prepared me for the task. Here we go. God primarily speaks to people through four different venues or some combination of them:

  • He speaks through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
  • He speaks through the reading and/or teaching of His word—the Holy Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • He speaks through His presence on earth known as the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26 and 16:12-15)
  • He speaks through His creation. (Psalms 19:1-4)

Wow! Don’t you feel better? Now you know how God speaks. I’m guessing angel’s voices are ringing in your ears since the great secrets of hearing God’s voice have been revealed to you. But again, I’ve sat with hundreds of people who already knew this information. I’ve listened to them share their struggles with hearing God’s voice even though they know how He speaks. The knowledge of how God speaks does not guarantee we will actually hear Him when He speaks. Again, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Imagine how disillusioned or disheartened the person is who doesn’t read the Bible or listen to people who teach what it says. What about the person who has a hard time swallowing the idea of a Holy Spirit on earth or the individual who might believe Jesus was a real person, but can’t accept he was raised from the dead? Think of that individual who is awed by nature, but can’t yet accept there is a Creator. Is God trying to speak to them? And if so, how? They have internally disqualified all or some of the venues He uses.

Does God only speak to us if we are willing to meet Him on His terms? Or, is God speaking all the time and we just aren’t recognizing it as Him? Does God only speak to people who think favorably of Him? Or, is God speaking to everyone, even those who don’t think He exists?

For the next several weeks I’m going to be blogging about God speaking to us. I hope you will join me. The blogs are for those who want to hear God’s voice and for those who are skeptical of God speaking at all. Please follow my blog and let’s hear God’s voice together. And, if you think it is worth someone’s time, share my blog with someone and encourage him or her to follow along.

9 Comments on “Does God Still Speak?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was just thinking the other night about this topic. One of my favorite verses is “Be still, and know that I am God.” I have a hard time getting still and truly listen to his soft voice but He is slowly working in me. God does speak….we just have to be willing to listen.

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  2. Thank you for addressing this subject. God is alive and well and speaking to and through His people. It is refreshing to read that we can experience His voice in the ordinary and everyday as well as the mountain top experiences! I can’t wait to read more of your insights.

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  3. I enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next one . What about visions ? Can we still receive visions today ?

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    • Visions and dreams are not the same thing. Visions happen while we are awake. Dreams happen while we sleep. In the Bible, God used both to speak to people. To answer your question…yes. God can speak to people through visions, but we can’t make Him speak to us that way. He determines how He speaks to us and we decide if we trust what He says.

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  4. This is great Cary. Intriguing. I am looking forward to what you will share. I really like the progression of information and the unfolding of it.

    And I love the Isaiah passage! The only thing I’ve heard Him say from behind me is “jump” and He said it twice… in 2001.

    Thank you for putting your knowledge and experience in writing so it can be shared. I think I’ll pass it on to a few I know who might be interested.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  5. Pastor Cary. Thank you for this reminder of how God speaks. I think sometimes we can’t hear Him because so many other “voices” try to drown him out. Jeremiah 29:13 is one of my favorites because the more we seek the Lord with all our heart, His voice becomes so much more apparent.

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  6. God definitely speaks but we truly have to listen. I pray often that I will be able to hear and see what HE is saying.

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  7. I hear God more than I ever have. Trouble with me in the past was, I wasn’t listening. Just assuming He heard me and someday I’d see/hear an answer. I had to unplug my ears and finally did through Baptism and following the good book. Now His voice is louder than I could ever have imagined. Thanks for helping me hear His voice.

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