The Lord’s word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: 2 “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come to my attention” (Jonah 1:1-2, Common English Bible).
Well, we finally finished Matthew and now we turn our sights back to the Old Testament and we will now spend time with that character of childhood Sunday school fame, Jonah, one reluctant prophet.
Wow!!! Wouldn’t it be great if we could hear “The Lord’s word” as clearly as Jonah did in today’s lesson? I would love to be able to sit down on Monday, or Tuesday or Wednesday for that matter. Thursday is starting to push things a little close for my taste. I would love to sit down and pray, “God, what text do you want me to preach this week? Oh, and while you let me in on that if you would tell me what to say that would be really great. Thanks God. Amen”
Though I have heard what I truly believe (both then and now) was the voice of God speaking to me, it is far from an everyday occurrence. One day I was driving home. I was considering a major change in my life. The what doesn’t really matter. As I was driving I received a couple of phone calls regarding the change. During the second call, I quickly made an appointment that while not committing me fully in that direction was a huge step in the process. As soon as I hung up the phone, I heard a loud, audible voice saying, “Enough. Stop now!” I did. I pulled the car off the road and made a call, this time to cancel that appointment. I haven’t considered that change since (some of you do know of which I write, the majority do not and if you tried to guess you would probably be wrong).
I know there will be readers who think I lost my mind. There will be those who believe it was all in my imagination. Some others will probably think I didn’t really want to follow that path to start with. I can’t really say. All may be true.
What I do know, well believe is, God does speak to us. The Word of the Lord is not rare these days. People who will listen and discern the Word of the Lord, well that could be a different story altogether.
I have come to understand that sometimes God speaks to us through circumstances. I once had a well-timed letter in the mail. I am convinced it was God. God speaks to us through the words of others. I would submit even the words of children.
God speaks to us through the words of others. I would submit even the words of children. Whenever someone speaks profound words that address our given situation, there is a good chance God’s hand, and voice is involved.
God speaks to us through the words of Scripture. God spoke at least once through these words and I know it has been far more often than once. If God has done it before, many times, God can and will do so again.
God speaks to us through nature. For me, at least, there is nothing quite like a hike in the woods or a walk along the beach to clear my head and better enable me to hear what God is saying. In my experience of these events, I often find that something will happen that for me, is a clear message from God.
I have also come to understand that God often speaks to us through a still small voice. Many may call it our conscience but if we pay attention, I believe we will hear a difference. This voice is the voice where I heard my call to ministry.
God also, at least this is what I believe, speaks to us like God spoke to me that day in the car, in a loud, clear, audible voice. When I read today’s lesson, it is how I think God spoke to Jonah. There should be no doubt, Jonah heard and he knew God was speaking to him. It may not happen as often in this way, but it does happen.
I have only scratched the surface of the ways God might speak to us. But make no mistake, God does speak, even to people like us. It may be in the written word, in a soft voice or a loud voice. It may come in the song of a bird or the words of a child. God speaks. What is left for us is, to listen.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved