The God Who Speaks

One day probably five years ago, my daughter came to me with a request.  I don't even remember what the request was, but it was a life changing incident in my relationship with God.  You see, I spoke to my daughter.  She asked me for something, and I answered with words.  I don't remember what I answered.  Did I say yes or no?  Did I give a vague maybe?  Did I say "in a minute"?  I don't know, but my daughter knew and understood what I said.

I don't remember what I answered, because it was not my response that was life changing, but rather the fact that I used words to answer her.  I can't imagine not using my voice to answer her without the image of a stern, hard face popping up in my mind.  Parents do not simply hand or deny their children the things for which they ask.  We actually verbally answer, because we are in relationship with them.  In that moment, I saw clearly that God is a FATHER.

Always before, I had looked to the result of my prayer as my answer.  For example, if I prayed for God to heal someone, if they became better, I took that as a yes.  If they didn't get better, the answer was obviously either wait or no.  It was a discouraging way to pray.  I was never actually certain what the answer was.  Even if the person became better, I wasn't sure that was God saying yes.  Maybe the person would have gotten better anyway.  If the person stayed sick, I didn't know whether the answer was wait or no, unless they died, of course.

At the time I had my revelation that God has a voice, I had just begun reading a book by Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer.  In the book, he reminded his readers that God always answers prayer.  When I read this, I was still thinking of the result as the answer, but when I heard my daughter ask me something and myself answering verbally, I knew that a result is not an answer.  A verbal response is an answer.  God is not a vending machine.  A vending machine dispenses results.  God is a father.  He relates with us, and relationship requires words and communication.

The image I had of God was of a loan officer reviewing my application and stamping approved or denied.  I didn't expect God Himself to answer me.  I just waited to see whether I received my check.  I wanted to qualify for my loans, so I did whatever I could to make the loan officer approve my application.  On my application, I might stress my righteousness, my neediness, my sinfulness, my good motivations, whatever I thought He was looking for.  And I got everyone I could to submit letters of reference – their prayers.  Then I waited.  It was an anxious time.  When I got my check (or not), I wasn't sure what it was about my application that made Him say yes (or no), so I didn't know how to do better the next time.

Well, when my daughter had a request, I used my voice and answered her, and in that instant, I knew God, The FATHER, must have a voice and answer our requests vocally.  I started to ask Him not to answer my requests only with actions, but first to answer vocally.  I must admit, I have had some interesting vocal answers.  God is quite humorous.  From believing and experiencing that God vocally answers prayers, I was able to grow to believe that I could converse with my Father.

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