Author: David Wilber
In the Bible we often see God speaking to people, seemingly having regular conversations with them, and revealing Himself in very tangible ways. But that’s not the regular experience of many believers today. Did something change?
Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you." (Genesis 12:1)
Do you ever wish that God would just speak to you like He spoke to Abram, telling you exactly what to do and where to go so you didn’t have to wonder? Many of us struggle with knowing what our purpose is. We often have doubts about whether or not we’re going in the right direction. For many of us, nothing would be better than God simply showing up right now and dictating to us a detailed five-year plan for our lives.
While we understandably desire the types of experiences and direct conversations with God that Abram had, it actually wasn’t like we might think. Some of us might imagine God as Abram's buddy who often just dropped by all the time to say hello. But in the Bible there were only eight documented times when God spoke to Abram within a hundred years of his life. And some of those times occurred between decades where there is no record of God speaking at all. (While it’s possible that there were additional times, it’s reasonable to assume that an event as important as God speaking would be included in the narrative.)
When you think about it from that perspective, perhaps Abram’s relationship with God wasn’t much different from ours. There’s no doubt that God still speaks today. Just like Abram, many of us have heard God’s voice from time to time. We’ve felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to go somewhere or speak to someone. We’ve felt God’s presence in deep ways while praying or worshiping. But also like Abram, for many of us, those types of experiences are the exception to the rule in our lives.
So what do we do in the meantime while we’re in between what we might call "supernatural" experiences in which God reveals Himself and His plans to us? It’s no fun to wait around, usually for long periods of time, for God to show up and tell us something to do. The good news is that we don’t have to wait. God has already revealed Himself in far greater ways than even the revelations He gave Abram. And that revelation is readily available to us—all we need to do is read the Bible! Indeed, God’s will for His people is clearly outlined in the Scriptures.
Here's a very simple example: Are you unsure of what to do, when to do it, and where to go? Then ask yourself, "Is today the seventh day of the week?" If it is, then you already have your answer. The seventh day is the Sabbath, and on that day God's will is that we rest (Exodus 20:8-10) and have a holy assembly (Leviticus 23:3). So make sure you're off work and at church. See? By following that simple commandment in God's Word, you're doing what you're supposed to do when and where you're supposed to do it. Easy.
We should consider ourselves blessed. As awesome as Abram’s experiences were, he didn’t have the written Word like we do. We don’t have to wait around for God's revelation. If we want to hear Him speak, we can open up the Scriptures right now.
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