Listen closely – you just might hear God talking

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2011

One of my favorite authors, Catherine Marshall, wrote a biography about her husband, Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall, after his death.

In “A Man Called Peter,” she tells of an incident that happened to him early in his life. Peter was walking home one dark and starless night from a nearby Scottish village where he worked.

He had difficulty seeing the path as he made his way through the heather-covered fields. Suddenly, he heard a voice say, “Peter!” The urgency in the voice caused him to stand still and he replied, “Yes,” trying to focus on who might be speaking through the darkness.

Hearing nothing, he began walking again. Suddenly, he heard the voice again, sounding even more urgent, “Peter!” When he stopped the second time, he stumbled and fell to his knees. Putting out his hand to catch himself, Peter Marshall found there was no ground in front of him.

He felt around in a semicircle and discovered he was on the very brink of an abandoned stone quarry. One more step and he would have plummeted to certain death. The incident made an unforgettable impression on Peter Marshall.

Have you ever heard God talking to you? Some have heard an audible voice, like Peter Marshall. Even though I can’t say I’ve ever heard God speak aloud, He still speaks to me through His inspired Word.

There have been times when I’ve been reading my Bible and a particular scripture seemed to leap off the page, helping me understand what was happening in my life. Other times I’ve heard His still, small voice speaking silently to my heart – often words of guidance and comfort. At times, I can sense His loving presence as though His arms are wrapped around me.

Psalm 139 tells us there’s no place where God is not present. “Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Another one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, once said, “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God.” The two disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t realize the Risen Lord was walking and talking with them. The Apostle Paul has written that the Lord is “not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). A.W. Tozer has written, “The voice of God is a friendly voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.”

People see and hear God every day, they just don’t recognize Him. Someone once said of God’s voice, “We do not always hear because of the noise, hurry and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.” He still speaks to anyone who will listen. Do you hear God calling your name?