Has God Stopped Talking, or Have We Stopped Listening?
Two instances of God communicating with people depict the range of the voice of God. When he spoke from the mountain, the children of Israel begged that he would not speak. Elijah saw that God doesn't always speak through wind or earthquakes, but may be speaking in a still small voice. God has given us the Bible as His final authority and communication. Anything claimed to be from God must totally agree with the Book. We have the word of Christ to "search the scriptures" and the Apostle Paul wrote that we should, "study to show ourselves approved unto God." When we preach the Word of God, the Spirit of God uses that word like a sharp two edged sword and delves into the heart and soul of the hearers. They correctly realize that God is speaking to them and they correspond. Recently I have made a fresh study of the book of Amos. In Chapter 8, he summarized his message to the objects of his message that there would come a time when there would be a famine. Not a famine of food and water, but of the words of the Lord. There is ample proof in the Bible that sometimes when God is displeased with some one or some ones, He goes silent. One should know they are in deep trouble if they feel the silence of God. The instance of Amos's prophecy involved Israel and lasted some 400 years so it is obvious that God is serious by His silence. In our dispensation any born again believer knows the voice of God as provided by the Word of God through reading or hearing the Word preached. The Spirit of God takes that word and goes to work. Sometimes we have to go through an Amos type famine and the silence is deafening. People who are in God's service, either as full time, or volunteer are led primarily by the still small voice of God. Missionaries wind up on far flung fields, pastors become leaders of churches, Sunday school teachers stand before a class of eager hearers, etc. Lately a wide spread phenomenon is taking place. There are not as many missionary candidates, churches are having some difficulty in locating pastors, and churches are having to combine or cancel classes for lack of teachers. The question is restated, "Has God stopped talking, or have we stopped listening?" It is not feasible that God has discontinued calling laborers into His harvest. Vacant churches and vacated positions in churches lets us know that God should still be calling people into the work. The size of the multitudes falling into the abyss of hell show the need of the light is greater than ever. Another purpose for the word of God is conviction and reproof. God uses His word to instruct us unto righteousness and again the Holy Spirit speaks to the heart of His children in chastisement and leadership that we walk circumspectly in this crazy world. What brings the title of this article is the obvious disparity between the actions of many believers and what the Lord has commanded of us through His written Word. God is still talking because the Word of God can still be purchased off the shelves of bookstores. Sadly there is a deepening loss of preachers and a broadening road of humankind who refuse to listen. We know what God is saying, we are procrastinating, compromising and rejecting His Word. The lost world must hear the Word of God in order to be brought under conviction and repentance. We as believers must remain sensitive to the voice of God to maintain his blessings and to be led by His Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes and ministry through us. Sometimes we may need to go back to the place we stopped hearing that voice and pick up where we left off.