We would all love to see a miracle right?
Some undeniable, amazing, life changing, tangible event that shows God is real for all the doubters, haters, and even the faithless Christians among us
But how far would we step out in faith to follow God’s voice, even if it seems completely insane to make this type of incredible event happen?
The truth is, God may be asking us to help write history with him all the time, but we may not even be hearing the invitations, let alone following them because of our lack of faith
Hearing Is Believing
One of the most common things people ask, even Christians, is how do we know when God speaks to us
Sometimes, God may speak in a small voice, heard quieter than our own thoughts, or sometimes his voice is heard as clear and audible as though someone is in the same room with us, and then there are times when we get a sudden impulse to do something but we don’t know why, as his guidance often defies rational logic to the point where we struggle to justify breaking our regular routines or comfort levels to follow it
In my experiences, the most frequent way I have heard God speak is when he speaks in a quiet small voice, even smaller than my own thoughts
For example, not that standing in front of earthquakes fire storms are part of my regular routine, but look at how Elijah knew when God spoke to him through a gentle whisper
1 Kings 20:9-13
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too”
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave
Now, of course, it is easier to obey God’s voice if it is thundering around us, but that requires no faith, as we are being presented with something that is undeniably God, rather than hearing something that requires any sort of spiritual sensitivity to understand, let alone obey
I mean honestly, if God spoke to us through a display of supernatural power like an earthquake or firestorm, then told us to do something, we would probably be too afraid to move, let alone even think of disobeying, but when God speaks to us in a small voice, it is incredibly easy to ignore it, in fact, we do it all the time, often without even realizing it–oops!
It is ironic, then, that if God spoke to us in an overwhelmingly supernatural way, even a non-Christian could hear God’s voice, regardless of whether they had a relationship with him or not!
It seems odd that we, who claim to have a personal relationship with God, often wait for some kind of obvious, undeniable communication before doing anything out of what we consider safe, normal or outside of our comfort levels
In all fairness, hearing God’s small, quiet voice is not always easy, so how are we supposed to know when God is speaking to us if it is so difficult to discern in the first place: there is no quick or easy answer, it just takes practice
Surprise: Following God’s Voice Does Not Have A Set Of Instructions
For me, the biggest thing I had to learn first, was to separate my thoughts, the enemy’s influence, and God’s voice, as God’s voice is quieter than my thoughts or the enemy’s influence, and requires a lot of spiritual sensitivity to start hearing consistently
One of my favorite instances of this, was when I was working with the homeless in Vancouver, and I was taking a man named “Pops” I had just met to get something to eat
While we were waiting for the street light to change, God quietly impressed on me that the man had hepatitis, so I turned to him and said, “How long have you had hepatitis?”
(Note how I did not ask *if* he had hepatitis, I spoke confidently and asked how long he had it, as the question reflected confidence in what God had spoken, as at that point, I knew when God was speaking!)
The expression on Pops’ face was awesome, as he turned and looked at me with amazement, asking how I knew that, which I gladly responded by saying, as if it were the most common thing in the world, “God told me”
As you can imagine, that brought a lot of credibility to the conversation, and we started a long friendship from that moment on
Now, imagine if I had waited for God to appear in a burning bush or come down in a pillar of fire to speak that same piece of information because of my lack of spiritual sensitivity or because I had doubt–it would have totally changed the situation!
That is a good example of hearing something quiet, but consider how loud our thoughts are when there is something we want, or are afraid of, as our emotions can easily shape what we think we hear from God
For example, at the time when I met Pops, I was incredibly afraid of rejection, and very insecure, so it would have been very easy for me to not say anything about his hepatitis, thinking things like, “I do not know God, was that really you?”, “What if I am wrong, I would be a terrible witness”, etc…
While these are great questions to ask, we have to make sure we are not using these as excuses once we have truly learned to hear God’s voice, as we may be hearing him just fine, but lack the faith to act on his guidance
Remember, true change and spiritual growth only happen when we embrace it, so we must come fully prepared to have our lives altered by the truth we hear, as we are not going to grow when we resist, or ignore, God’s guidance because we are too afraid to follow it
Would You Follow God’s Voice To The Point Of No Return
Let’s face it, when it comes to miracles, most of us have not seen anything that would make us jump out of our chairs and run around with our hands in the air
But, this does not mean miracles no longer happen, nor does it mean we are not standing in the way of them ourselves
Think about it, we know God wants to do amazing things through us for the sake of his glory, but as part of this, he often asks us to do things that seem totally outrageous as they defy logic, take us out of our comfort zone or seem outright impossible
Look at the instance of Jesus healing a blind man below, as Jesus’ method involved spitting on the ground to make mud, then smearing it on the blind man’s eyes–when was the last time you saw something like when praying for someone to be healed!
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world”
Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing
His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was
Others said, “No, he only looks like him”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man”
“How then were your eyes opened?” they demanded
He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see”
Uh, so like, I would love to pray for someone and have their blindness be cured, but if I had to wipe mud, made out of my own spit no less, in someone’s eyes, that would definitely take me out of my comfort zone!
But can you imagine, what if Jesus decided that was too far for him, and he did not follow God’s guidance, the man would not have been healed!
Also, take note how Jesus did not pray for this man and heal him on the spot after wiping mud in his eyes, instead, he told the blind man to walk off to a different location to wash it out, without even helping him get there!
Can you imagine doing something like that today?
“Hey blind guy, I am going to put some mud in your eyes, you can wash it off by yourself, we good?”
I am exaggerating of course, but you get the picture, as if God led Jesus to do that, doing anything else would have been disobedient
Also, look at the highlighted portion of the passage above, as Jesus said the man was born blind just so “he work of God might be displayed in his life”, which is amazing to consider, as there could be tons of people around us who were born in ways, or are experiencing circumstances, God put them in just so he could display his glory, but without people who walk in faith, and follow his voice, nothing miraculous will happen!
Miracles *Should* Be Exciting And Seem Impossible Before They Happen, As They Are God’s Glory
Now, if God wanted to, Jesus could have prayed for the man and he would have been healed immediately, but it was a step of faith for both of them to interact in this way, and it was exactly what God intended, as they were both outside of their comfort zone in order to experience this miracle
It is also important to note Jesus did not have a history of doing wiping mud in people’s eyes when performing miracles, this was definitely different from even what he would have considered normal
In all honesty, many of us talk about wanting to see miracles, but are often not willing to let go of our shyness, fears of rejection, pride or whatever holds us back in order to follow God’s voice when he calls, which is actually quite selfish when we think about it, as we are standing in the way of God touching someone’s life miraculously–double oops!
Are We Really Prepared To Make A Miracle Happen
The point of this article is to not encourage people to pray for everyone they see, or to put mud in people’s eyes, but to encourage all of us to heighten our spiritual senses, and have the faith to follow his guidance when he gives it
The truth is, we need to put ourselves out in the world in a way that gets us closer to the people it would affect most, not sit around in our sheltered little lives, filling our minds with unimportant problems that don’t bring us, or others, closer to God
Of course, God is not a miracle working gum ball machine who dispenses something every time we get around people in need, but we need to have the heightened spiritual senses to know when God wants to move through us, as we never know when he is going to direct us in some amazing, life-changing way, especially when we are around people who need him the most
And most of all, we must have the faith that God is the living, powerful, miracle working God we read about in the Bible, never doubting, even when his guidance, or the identities of those who follow it, defies any sort of rational logic
In fact, doubt is so strong, it even hampered Jesus from performing miracles when people did not believe who he was!
When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him
But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor”
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith