We are made in God’s image, and God loves to communicate. He has communicated by His written word in the Scriptures. He has communicated through the life of His Son (Heb. 1:1,2). He also desires to communicate daily as we walk in fellowship with Him. The Scriptures are the foundation of His communication to us; His life is our model; and His living voice is our compass. His written Word, His life, and His living voice comprise the key ways we experience intimacy with God, but it is the nature of His words that make them transformative.
The Scriptures are clear that God’s words carry with them life. Heb. 4:12 describes the Word of God as “living and active. His Word, whether written, spoken, or lived, cannot help but carry life with it, because that is who He is (John 14:7). Because God is life, when people touched Jesus, they were healed. Because God’s words carry life, people like the Samaritan woman and Zaccheus could hear Jesus’ words and be transformed in a moment. No altar call—simply His words of life (John 4:5-29; Luke 19:1-10).
Because of the life God’s words contain, they are literally pregnant with transformation when heard by receptive and prepared hearers. The Scriptures use the symbol of the seed as a word picture for understanding the nature of God’s Word. The Word of God is alive and can produce automatic and transformative growth in a person’s heart when it is received, as noted in Mark’s gospel (Mark 4:26-29). One of the Greek words for “seed” is sperma from which we get our English word sperm. Do you see how the Scriptures are rich in layers of meaning when it comes to the metaphor of intimacy? As the original language helps us understand, when the Word of God, the seed, encounters the human heart, a spiritual conception takes place in the womb of the heart. Once it impregnates us, the living Word possesses the proper “DNA” to replicate itself as a living and vital agent in our hearts.
Given the centrality of words to relationship, transformation, and impartation of life, how is it that we can doubt that our God is constantly speaking to us each day? Many theologians acknowledge that God can speak through His Word, but shy away from the kind of living day-by-day communication Isaiah called God’s “still small voice.” Could it be that the inventor of the tongue is restricted to communication by words written 2,000 years ago, or could it be that He is still speaking each day but we have forgotten how to listen?
It seems that God is speaking each day, but we are not tuned in to his “frequency.” There are countless radio, cell phone, and television waves laden with communication where you sit right now, but unless you are tuned into the right frequency with the right receiver, you cannot hear them. I am convinced that God is literally screaming to us each day in the events of the day, the people we meet, or loved ones and our enemies. He is speaking through pleasant circumstances and terrible trials, but all the while we are not tuned into the gentle voice of His Spirit. If you are skeptical, I dare you to try something novel—something you may not be accustomed to: be quiet and listen. Determine to approach God in faith and be still. Hearing God starts with the desire to hear His voice and the faith to be silent long enough to let Him speak. If you dare, set aside some time for quietness today and let Him speak to you about the circumstances of the day. You’ll be surprised at how much He has to say!