Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Last year I wrote a blog post entitled, When God is Silent. That post continues to be the most read entry on my website almost every day. Many people find their way to my website by searching for the phrase, “When God is Silent.” It’s obvious that many people today are struggling with “hearing” from God. In response to that, I am going to attempt to write a series of posts that try to give some insight into how we can hear from God in the year 2013. Today I am going to focus on God’s Word as one way that God chooses to allow us to hear Him.
It has always been God’s will to speak to and communicate with His creation. In the book of Genesis, we find God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, calling out to Adam and Eve. Then in the Gospel of John, we are told that Jesus, the Word, became flesh. And then later in John 16:7, Jesus tells his disciples that he must go away so that the Holy Spirit can come and “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Trinity wants to communicate with all of God’s creation.
One of the many ways that God speaks to us today is through the Bible. The passage from Hebrews tells us that the word of God is “active.” God revealed the word through Jesus and this “living and active” word of God is being used to accomplish God’s purposes in our lives today. God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit that guides and illumines this “living and active” word of God for us in the present day. In order to have God fully reveal himself to us, we need to spend quality time, reading and meditating upon God’s word.
Joshua is an excellent example of someone who God chose to communicate with and was used by God in a powerful way. We know that Joshua took over after the death of Moses and he was the one chosen to lead God’s people in the Promised Land. Joshua had spent forty years in the desert and he probably knew God’s Law that was given to Moses better than anyone else alive. And what do we find that God told him to do that was necessary for a deeper communication with God? The Lord tells his servant in Joshua 1:7-8: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
God is impressing upon Joshua that he is to meditate on his word “day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” God will reveal himself and his plans for our lives through his written word. Through God’s word you can find direction and balance for living out your own life of faith. God can and will use the Holy Spirit to allow you to hear God by meditating on the scripture on a consistent basis. The Holy Spirit will “speak” to our hearts as we spend time reading and meditating upon God’s Holy Word.
One useful tool that I have found to aid me in this process is to use my prayer journal to write down “impressions” that I am given during my time in the word. I often write down things that don’t make complete sense at the time, but days or even weeks later, I go back to that entry and those scripture texts speak to something that I am struggling with that very day. If you are consistently reading and meditating upon God’s word, the Holy Spirit will use that practice to guide you and speak to your heart.
Jack Deere in his book, Surprised by the Voice of God writes, “In order to experience the power of the Scriptures, our attitude and desire to obey them is crucial. Yet the main reason the Bible is ineffective in the lives of so many Christians is that they simply don’t read it. Make up your mind to set aside a regular time every day to meditate in the Scriptures, so you can hear the voice of God and see the glory of the Lord Jesus. When you do, you fill find that the voice of the Son of God is indescribably sweet, and the face of the Lord Jesus, indescribably lovely (Song of Songs 2:14). Anyone who wants to hear God’s voice on a regular basis will have to become intimately acquainted with the written Word of God.”
 Surprised by the Voice of God, Jack Deere, Zondervan Publishing House 1996, page 112