“When you say you hear from God, what exactly do you mean? Seriously, does he leave you sticky notes?” I remember a friend in high school asking me that. I responded, “I wish! It’s not like that. It’s like…”
And then with meager language we try to explain what it’s like to hear God’s voice and to see him at work in the world. So we come up with language for it—
“A still small voice.”
“A voice that sounds like my own except it’s full of truth and peace.”
“Something from out of nowhere that I knew I must obey.”
“A phrase that just popped in my head.”
We actually know what we’re looking for when we are looking for the hand of God in the world. And it’s not post-it notes. Sometimes some people do hear God’s voice in the ways we have tried to find words for. But the Bible points out concrete ways to see God in the world. God reveals himself in ways we can all train our eyes to see and our ears to hear.
A side comment from a friend last week has me searching out God every day. I’ve been eagerly noticing God at work in the world for the past week, and I must say, I live with an eagerness and a joy in paying attention to seeing more of God.
My friend referred to the fruits of the Spirit— love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (from Galatians 5:22-23). She said— only God grows this crop of fruit! These characteristics are unique to the Christian God, revealed in Jesus Christ and alive in the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have all been made is his image (Genesis 1:27), so we can anticipate seeing God in people! God also created the world and reveals himself through his creation (Romans 1:20). God has given us the Bible and the practices of baptism and communion to show us who he is (Luke 24:30-32). What would happen in our own hearts — what would happen to our faith and hope— if we had eyes to see that God is alive?!
So let me encourage you— tell one another where you see God alive in the world! God isn’t just the bestower of blessings. I’m glad for those who have helped us become people who count our blessings. But lest we forget that God is not a distant provider, give heed to how God himself is present in your life. Let’s also be the recipients of God’s blessings who notice HIM, the person of God at work in the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve started using the hashtag #Godisalive on a daily tweet where I share with the world where I have seen God’s fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and his “invisible attributes” (Romans 1:20) in the world and where his Word has burned within me (Luke 24:32). Let’s ask God to “open our hearts” (Luke 24:32; Acts 16:14) that we might see him! and understand him! and call others to his very presence in his world and in our lives.
The patience of a airport traveler who lets someone skip them in line. — the fruit of patience #Godisalive
The silly joy in my husband’s face in an old-timey candy store. —the fruit of joy #Godisalive
The power of God to bring new life out of darkness in the newly blooming bulbs. — resurrection power #Godisalive
The beauty of a sunset in which the sky met the mountains and the Sound. —God in creation #Godisalive
Join me! #Godisalive