God speaking to us has been critical in our life decision making. Do I believe God speaks to us? Yes, I undoubtedly do. After reading the Bible through year after year for the last 25 years, it’s clear God speaks to His creation in a variety of ways.
God said, “Let there be light.” That seems simple enough to see. God spoke and light became a reality. God walked and talked to Enoch, shared with Noah about a big boat, gave Abraham a dream, met with Moses face-to-face, wrote on tablets and walls, loosened a donkey’s tongue on His behalf, declared His glory through the heavens, put ideas in Nehemiah’s heart, showed up in visions for the prophets and they spoke God’s words. Angels talked for God to Mary; He used stars for wise men.
Then, in the words of Max Lucado, God put skin on in the person of Jesus and spoke words of healing and forgiveness, taught through stories, instructed through miracles, demonstrated love by action — the cross being the extreme example of love.
God spoke through the new church in signs and wonders, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, inspiration from the first testament, visions, experiences, dreams, and letters.
No doubt about it. God talks to us. He’s speaking to all of us in some way or another and more than likely in the way we can best hear.
God spoke to me personally through a vision early on in our marriage and called me to preach. I share this story when I teach on Lordship / Surrender. I saw my life like a boat in the middle of the ocean, with Amy and my son Kyle and all our possessions. From a bird’s eye view I saw all of us heading over the edge of the world, like they told Christopher Columbus would happen if he sailed too far west. As the boat tumbled over the water’s edge into a great abyss, I cried out to God, “NO! I don’t want my life to end this way. What do You want me to do?” He said ever so gently, “I have called you to preach.”
One day sitting in the early morning hours reading Hudson Taylor and the Phillips translation of the New Testament, I stopped at Matthew 6:33. Amy and I had been pondering how to live a life of faith, trusting God with our finances. I read, “Set your heart on the kingdom and his goodness, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.” In that moment God spoke to me through His Word, he will take care of us right when we need it.
We could write a book full of stories like these. Perhaps we should. God has spoken to us about what to do and how to live and where to go through special speakers, undeniable circumstances, family members, friends, books, gentle nudges in our spirit, and most importantly, His Word.
Knowing God has spoken gives us confidence in our decision making especially when things don’t turn out as expected. We’ve had plenty of these. Those moments don’t deny God’s presence in our lives; they point us to trust Him even more.
YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying His prayers and obeying His commands in matters great and small. We are dependent upon hearing His voice as individuals, together in team contexts and in larger gatherings, as an integral part of our process for decision making. (YWAM Foundational Value #3)
In a recent post on YWAM Tyler’s Instagram page, a photo was taken of the Discipleship Training School students reading “Is That Really You, God?” by Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission. The caption reads, “Ever had a thought pop into your head and you wonder, “Is that God?” What if it was? Would you ignore it? What if you did know it was God speaking to you? Would you listen? A vision of young people crashing the shores of every nation with the Gospel of Jesus popped into into one man’s mind — and he asked, “Is That Really You, God?” This vision would lead to the birth of the largest missions movement on the planet. This is the story of YWAM. It’s the beginning of DTS. We are blessed to encourage our DTS students to embrace the journey and become world changers. “Go and make disciples of all the nations” (Mathew 28:19)
As missionaries with Youth With A Mission, we are committed to seeking God’s heart for the activities He desires us to engage in. We need Him directing this mission. We want Him directing our lives. Our thoughts are not always His as much as we wish they were. Many times His Word to us stretches our faith and abilities.
“Today, when you hear His voice don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7
God is speaking. Let’s listen and obey.
Until all have heard.
A big hearty thanks to all who have heard God’s prompting to partner with us in missions through prayer and financial support. We can’t do what we do with YWAM without your support!
Here’s the first two foundational values we highlighted over past couple weeks: