October 13

2 Timothy 2:8-15

Luke 17:11-19

God communicates. That’s important, because all strong, warm, intimate relationships depend upon good communication and it opens up the possibility for people to live in a close relationship with God. Of course, God does not speak through physical organs as we do. God can speak in any language or even in ways that are beyond language. God communicates spirit to spirit and heart to heart. It comes in many forms, such as insight, conviction, conversion, comfort, challenge, encouragement, call. There is an intellectual side to it, but it touches the deeper parts of our emotional and core being. God can speak through any medium – another person, an incident, a series of events, a dream or vision – but many have experienced it coming through creation, the Bible, the Church and other people of faith. Above all, God communicates through Jesus. Not only in what he says, but in his whole person, his life, death and resurrection. As John says, “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” But the word of God cannot be tamed. We cannot tell God who to speak to or rule out any group that God cannot communicate with any more than anyone could tell Jesus which lepers to heal and which not to. Paul rejoiced that while he was in prison the word of God was not imprisoned. (2 Timothy 2:15) People can be killed, imprisoned or scared into silence, but God’s word cannot be silenced. Irrespective of the limited influence that the church might have in the community, the word of God is not ineffective. No one, not even the church, can rightly claim to be the exclusive spokesperson for God. God speaks directly to the heart and soul. Of course, any assumed communication from God needs to be tested against the whole history of God’s self-revelation, particularly that made through Jesus Christ. It needs to be tested against God’s communication over time to the Church. Not every feeling of the heart or urging of the spirit is of God, but let’s keep alert, listening for what God might be saying to us today.

  • What are some examples of good communication building close relationships or the absence of communication destroying personal relationships?
  • If God does not have physical organs of speech what do we mean when we talk about God speaking?
  • Who or what have been vehicles of God’s communication to you?
  • If God speaks in many and various ways, how helpful is it to call the Bible the Word of God?