Does God speak to people? Average, everyday, imperfect people?
In the Book of Beginnings, Genesis, we see examples of Him speaking: to His triune self, to humanity, and to the serpent (chapters 1-3). He also stated His intentions and the reasons He created, declared a reality that being alone is not good for man, called out to the humans who hid from Him, confronted the man, woman, and serpent with Truth, gave consequences of their rebellion, and spoke a promise of a future redemption.
God’s voice was literally heard by others in both the spiritual and physical realms.
All throughout scripture, God spoke and people heard. Sometimes it felt normal, sometimes they had no idea what was going on at first. And, His voice came in various ways to various people in various situations - He was and is willing to use whatever manifestation will help grab our attention. So, let's not limit our understanding of "God speaking" to audible tones for our physical ears.
God is without limits, including in the ways that He speaks to us.
Communication is vital to any good relationship. And what God wants most for us is that we live in relationship with Him.
Imagine a couple in love, separated by war. One goes off to fight, while the other stays home. They exchange letters, reminding one another of their love, commitment, and promises for the future. Even though they can’t physically feel the one they love, they sense their nearness inwardly and they are reassured of their character. Their love is able to continue to grow.
That’s what the Bible is for us. It’s not a list of rules to oppress us - burdensome dos and don'ts. It’s a love letter; God reminding us of His love, commitment, and promises for the future. It’s one way we can remember His nearness and be reassured of His character.
He didn’t stop speaking when the Bible was canonized.
God's Spirit is here, moving and speaking. When we come to those scriptures that may seem contradictory, it's the Spirit of God that guides us into truth and lead us in our unique situations. We need God's Word working in tandem with His Spirit to hear Him clearly and experience Him moment-to-moment.
Jesus said that we are able to hear Him speak (John 10:1-16) and that the Holy Spirit would remind us of everything Jesus said (John 14:26). We are innately designed by our Creator with the ability to tune in to His Voice.
Knowing that we are capable of hearing, remember that learning to hear Him clearly and discern what He's saying will probably take some time and effort, just as with any relationship.
We have the benefit of the Bible to both help us get more familiar with the sound of His Voice and the character of His nature. Anything we hear, we need to weigh against proven scripture to test its validity because God’s is not the only Voice speaking, since we also hear ourselves, other people, and the enemy.
God is still speaking today. And we can hear Him. Let’s lean in further to the sound of His Voice.