Do I Hear God Speaking?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
When first compelled to address my chemical dependency problem, I was instructed by some in the church that I didn’t need treatment or AA. All you need is Jesus. I was told that any attempt to find help outside the church was a godless endeavor that was in itself sinful. I liked this idea because I didn’t want to go to treatment or meetings. I wanted to do as little as possible while God spoke into my life, affecting his change, without changing anything myself.
I went to church, but I didn’t hear God’s voice and I didn’t change. So, I relapsed several times, losing my job and nearly my marriage. In my disaster, I was angry with God for being absent in my greatest need. Why didn’t you take away the appetite when I asked? Why were you so silent? As it turned out, God wanted me to hear his voice from some very nice, competent people in treatment, who happened to know a lot about addiction.
In today’s passage, John refers to Jesus as the Word – Logos in Greek – indicating that Jesus was the communication or revelation of God, sent to Earth in the form of a man. From beginning to end, the Bible paints a picture of God as a person, who is continually expressing himself to us. God is constantly speaking. Are we listening?
In my addiction, I was deaf to God’s voice because I simply didn’t want to hear what he had to say. I didn’t want to change. I didn’t want to go to treatment. I wanted to follow me. To begin to hear God’s speaking voice, I needed to have my spiritual earwax removed.
God uses a myriad of ways to speak to us. He speaks through his word, but we can’t hear if we don’t read daily. He speaks to us through our church, but we don’t hear if we won’t go. He speaks to us through the constructive criticism of our brothers and sisters, but we remain deaf because we don’t like what they have to say.
God is constantly speaking. Listening however, is a skill that we can diminish or grow, depending on whether we practice it or not. In abandoning our way and seeking God’s, we can and will hear his transforming voice.