The Lord our God has not sent you to say...(Jeremiah 43:2)
As God's people, we often claim that we want God to speak to us, give us direction, and make known to us the things we need to know. Christians know that the Bible and prayer are God's primary ways of communicating with us. So, if we neglect the Scriptures and prayer, we cannot be very sincere about our claim to want to hear from God.
But God is not limited in the ways He talks to us, and those who have come to know Him at all know that He often uses messengers that we think He would never use. Do you and I want to hear from God? Let me suggest that you not ask for or expect burning bushes or angelic messengers. Read your Bible, pray and then scan your life for people and circumstances through which God is undoubtedly talking to you.
God Speaks Through Unlikely Messengers
One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is quickly assuring themselves that God would not speak to them through certain people. I don't mean speak by someone declaring, "Thus saith the Lord..." I mean, God often holds Scriptural truth before us through other people, or someone may tell us things about ourselves that we don't want to hear. That unbelieving co-worker who often gets on your nerves might very well be the person that God chooses to use to show you how wrong your attitudes are.
We never know through whom God might reveal truth to us. But many think that if they don't like someone, God doesn't like them either and would never say anything through them. Often we close our ears to God's voice because our eyes are too open to the sins, faults, or our sheer dislike of the messenger through whom God is speaking. "Who are they to tell me anything about my life?" "They've got their own problems; why should I listen to them?"
So it is, many people miss God's message to them because in pride, they judge the messenger.
The Bible tells us that "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Our refusal to live by the truth of this verse is why we often miss what God is saying. God is pleased to reveal Himself to the humble, and He doesn't just mean people who think they are humble or say they are; He means people who are actually humble. A humble person knows that God can speak through anyone. A humble person knows that God might very well speak through someone they don't like because this person they don't like is God's test. Will we humble ourselves and accept the truth no matter who it comes to us through? Will we refuse the truth because the messenger is unacceptable to us?
Do We Want to Hear From God?
How deceitful our hearts are. When we don't want to hear the truth, we will find every excuse to avoid the truth. Does the fact that the messenger has faults and sins change the fact that truth was presented to me through them? Do their faults lessen the truth that applies to my life? So it is, many people miss God's message to them because, in pride, they judge the messenger. If you want to know what God is saying to you right now, you might consider the person you dislike most and your most recent conversations with them. Did they tell you something you didn't want to hear? Why didn't you want to listen to it? Because it was untrue? Or could it be that it was true and you won't humble yourself enough to let God speak to you through whomever He pleases?
Here is the great principle, the messenger is not to be our primary concern but the message. God is not hiding, nor is He silent but, He will not be dictated to as it comes to what He says or through whom He says it. God tests our hearts (Jeremiah 17:10), He is out to reveal whether we want to hear from Him or not. If we do, our hearts and ears will be open to the message through whomever God sends it.
The Scriptures and prayer are God's primary way of speaking to us.
God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
God reveals truth to us often through unlikely messengers.
The truth is to be our focus, not the person through whom it comes.