I was talking to someone recently who doubted that God would speak to her personally. Although she asks God questions and waits in silence for Him to reply, what she hears in those quiet moments sounds to her just like her own thoughts.
I asked her to describe some of the things she hears during those times. When she did, I commented, “Those sound like the kinds of things God would say.” Although she nodded, I could tell she wasn’t convinced. For her, the problem wasn’t really the content so much as it was the mode of communication. My friend just really couldn’t imagine God talking to her and using her own thoughts to do it.
An idea came to me: “Mary,* do you think the enemy ever talks to you?”
“Oh yes, he does, far too often!”
“Does he use an audible voice, then?”
“No, not an audible voice.”
“Well,” she said, hesitating, “I guess he talks to me through my own thoughts.” She smiled. “Yeah, I see what you’re saying. If the enemy talks to me using my own thoughts and he’s just a counterfeiter, then I suppose God might speak to me through my own thoughts, too. Okay, I need to rethink this.”
Mary was seeing a simple truth that it has taken me years to realize: God is spirit. Although He can speak to His children in audible voices, through angel visitations, dreams, burning bushes, talking donkeys, or any other spectacular means, He most often speaks to us Spirit-to-spirit, in His still small voice (see 1 Kings 19:12; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14).
We do need to discern what we are hearing, of course. But I want to be careful not to miss God’s speaking to me simply because He often chooses to do it through my thoughts. What about you?
*Not her real name