I wish I had a pause button. I would use it every time someone says, “God told me—” PAUSE. Or “I had a word from God—” PAUSE.
I’m interested in what God said. But I’m more interested in how God said it.
Was it an audible voice? A thought? A dream? Was it a word or a phrase or an entire sentence? Was it something you wanted to hear or were expecting to hear? What made you sure it wasn’t your own idea or desire? How did you know it was God? Did He use other people or speak to you Himself? Did you know right away it was God or did it take some time to figure out?
It’s not that I don’t believe them. It’s that . . . I don’t hear God.
Perhaps it’s semantics. I have had peace in situations that couldn’t possibly have come from my own anxious heart. I have had moments of clarity crystallize out of chaos. I have inexplicably known I needed to respond in a particular way in a specific situation. Was God communicating with me in those instances? Probably. But there was no voice. There were no words I could snag and set down in ink. I could not say, “God told me ____.”
Maybe it’s because God knows me so well. Were I to have the luxury of hearing a voice I knew to be His, I would wait to hear it. I would require the confirmation, the validation, the authority. I would do nothing without it. My faith would shrivel.
But now—in the quiet—I am prompted by unquantifiable thoughts to trust, to obey. Sometimes my faith is only big enough to warrant obedience. It fails to hope beyond the initial response.
And that’s enough.
If I knew how it would play out, it wouldn’t be faith. If I knew I’d hear His voice, I’d miss His quieter nudges.
So maybe I am the one who needs to be paused. Not to demand recordable words but to notice the ways He makes His will clear . . . though I may never say, “God told me.”