1 And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer. 2 Samuel 5:22-25
A friend asked me if I felt God speaks to us through other people. My response was an immediate yes. Yes, God uses people around us to speak his purpose and will, perhaps more often that we realize. Then, there are times when a stranger tells us something completely relevant to our lives. It’s as if God whispered in their ear, pointing us out. When messages like this come, it feels proper to drop to our knees and be thankfully worshipful. God’s so diligent and desirous to communicate, he’ll use any means.
Life is happening all around us, and the things that happen sometimes move right on by with hardly a thought. But, as Liz Ditty points out, quiet God-messages can be found if we’re attuned to them. Our experiences, sometimes mundane, can be used by God to share his purpose for us, whether in the moment or as a turn of our rudder. Our hearing the message is up to us.
God’s love and desire for intimacy with us is intense. Hearing God can be challenging for us. David was a man who spoke with and heard from God. Perhaps the difference between David and most of us is David would pray, and then listen for God. He could ‘hear’ God’s reply to his prayer. If you’re like me, I have a hard time pausing, let alone hearing. Let’s follow David’s practice, learning how to pray followed by pausing to hear. We believe our lives to be so full and busy, but David’s prayers concerned imminent battle. But, he didn’t proceed without hearing. What a powerful example.
By Rich Obrecht