Lynn and I were on vacation at Indian Lake in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. We were nestled comfortably in a little mountain cottage right on the lake, and had turned in for the night. Shortly after midnight I awakened to discover our cabin filled with light from the moon and its reflection on the surface of the lake. It so moved me that I recorded a note in my journal,
“12:07 AM July 1st, 2004. I wakened … to the vision of reflected glory! Sky as clear as glass and water like a rippling mirror. A full moon reflecting a greater light off of the water. The beauty of reflected light creates an awe and a hunger for the greater glory behind it all. That is what revival is all about! May the world behold a reflected light of the glory of God in His church in bold crystal clarity!”
The following night was rather stormy at least until we went to bed. Lots of lightning and thunder! Even so, in the cool mountain air, Lynn and I again found ourselves in a deep sleep. Then at 1:30 AM, I was suddenly awakened by something loudly striking the cabin. Lynn heard nothing and remained asleep, but there it was again, a huge bright full moon shining on the lake as it did the night before. As clouds moved rapidly across the face of the moon, I feasted on the ways it changed the appearance of the lake. Sometimes fully illuminated, other times almost dark, and then one part would brightly shimmer, than another, and then seemingly the whole lake would fill with light. God spoke to my heart about revival that evening again, and I entered a full page more in my journal.
Oswald Chambers who knew something about the voice of God and how He speaks, once said,
“Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.” My Utmost, Feb. 10th.
If I were to ask you if you have heard the voice of God, you might say, “Yes, I have at times experienced something of Him when I was hiking in the Grand Canyon” or perhaps “It was while gazing at the stars far from the city lights.”
The Scriptures teach us that God speaks to us in many ways. Sometimes He speaks through creation or nature as many of us have experienced, sometimes He speaks to us through phenomena or “out of the ordinary experiences” which might include miracles, angelic visitors, visions or dreams, audible voices, or perhaps even those unusual coincidences that are not by chance and full of meaning. Sometimes He speaks in a “still small voice” or the witness of the Spirit, which we may not even distinguish as a voice as such, but may more closely be perceived as a prompting, a burden, a leading, a clear compelling thought or impression. And then always, God speaks through His Holy Word, the Bible. Often, we’ll find that God does not speak in just one way or another at any given time but will be speaking in more than one way.
We can be sure of this, whenever God speaks, He speaks infallibly. Unfortunately, because we’re human and too often prone to sin, we do not hear or obey infallibly. But at least we know that the God who declares “I the LORD do not change” [Mal. 3:6 NIV], the God about whom James declares, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows [James :17],” such a God will always speak in a manner that is consistent with His own character and His written Word. His character and the written Word become the only true standards by which to test what we subjectively believe to be the voice of God speaking to us through creation or nature, phenomena or even the “still small voice.”
But the bottom line is this, God speaks today. And He does so, loudly enough for anyone who is willing, to hear His voice. Are you listening?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4a NIV
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20 NIV