God has a word for us: No more boxes! God does not live in a box. He did at one time, but ever since he broke out of the Ark of the Covenant, he has never lived in a box again. Of course, you and I tend to live in boxes that are often fairly nice, although cramped. They’re neat but stuffy, old, and stale. If God no longer lives in a box, then let’s follow suit, and let’s live outside of the box too!
He wants to lift the lid over our heads so that we can experience his voice in an on-going basis. Let’s breathe in God’s refreshing Word and renew our hearts and souls so that we will walk in a new level of his divine creativity.
God wants us to hear his voice, discern it from other voices, and then, through the spirit of wisdom and revelation, correctly interpret and apply the word he has spoken to us. God has said that Every word may be verified by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Matthew 18:16 TPT). For emphasis, we find this statement, or a variation, two more times in Scripture: in Deuteronomy 19:15 and in 2 Corinthians 13:1.
Evidently, God does not want us to know only the historical Jesus, who came in human form and walked among men. He greatly yearns that we would also know the living, resurrected Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father wants to enable us to hear, know, and obey the risen Lord. But often we don’t realize that he is speaking to us. No wonder we miss his cues. He is such a multifaceted Creator, endlessly creative in how he chooses to communicate.
Our Father’s voice comes to us in such a great variety of ways that we need such moments of enlightenment. Otherwise, we tend to get locked into set patterns. It’s so good of God to temporarily shut down one channel in order to open another. He hasn’t quit speaking; he is opening our hearts and minds to hear his voice in new ways. He does this so that we will continue to grow progressively in our relationship with him. He doesn’t want us to become locked into the same patterns of hearing him. God’s goal is a real, living relationship with us.
To tell the truth, he likes messing with our radio dial! Sometimes he turns the volume louder and then back down, thus creating a greater dependency on him. He loves to roll the dial to different stations to help us learn to appreciate the diversity within the Body of Christ. After we have logged a few more listening hours, we are much less frustrated with who controls the knobs. Eventually, we learn to love the wide variety of ways in which he speaks.
Here are a few scriptural examples, which portray the out-of-the-box ways in which the Spirit speaks to people:
This list is not exhaustive, but it gives a bird’s-eye view of some of the ways God has chosen to speak to (and through) his people. I have been surprised over the years both at how God speaks and what or whom he chooses to use as his voice! Sometimes the package is not one that I would prefer. But he is God—and that means he has the right to pick what he wants to say, how to say it, and what or whom to use.
God is not limited in his attention-getting techniques. He wants us to hear him, and he has plenty of approaches he can utilize.
Once the voice of God came to me in the middle of the night, but I didn’t recognize it at first. The ringing of my telephone woke me up. I got up out of bed, went to our kitchen, and picked up the phone only to find there was no one on the other end—just a dial tone. I stumbled back into bed and fell asleep, but soon the phone began ringing a second time. I rolled out of bed, groped in the dark, and picked up the phone, but again, there was no voice on the other end.
Wearily, I walked back once more to my bedroom and crawled into bed. A third time I woke up to the sound of our telephone ringing. Determined to figure this thing out, I went to the kitchen, picked up the receiver, and listened longer. I still didn’t hear anything. But this time, a still, small voice in my heart whispered, Jeremiah 33:3.
I hung up the receiver, found a Bible, and looked up the verse: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
I was stunned by his invitation, and I spent the next couple of hours just sitting in the quietness of our living room in the presence of the Almighty, communing with him and listening to his sweet, sweet voice.
Now folks, that was a genuine God encounter, a personal and unusual way for him to demonstrate how he takes the initiative to deepen our relationship with him. He caused the sound of a telephone to awaken me from my sleep. He persisted until he got my full attention. He took me to his written Word. The Holy Spirit illuminated his Word and used it to draw me closer to his very bosom.
Yes, after he got my attention, I called upon the Lord, and he did show me great and mighty things that I did not previously know. And this activity has never stopped. God loves to show up and show off!
He wants us to hear his voice in all of its manifestations so that we can bear much fruit—fruit that will remain.
In our process of becoming, we must not forget that ultimately, this is not about us. It is about God transforming us into the beautiful image of his glorious Son, Jesus. By the power of the voice of our personal tutor, the Holy Spirit, you and I will be changed into the image of God’s Son. According to Psalm 29, we will shout praises together as we are changed from glory to glory. Everything in his temple says, “Glory!”
Let his voice thunder. Let the fire fall. Let his word be magnified. Let all creation echo his sound. Let his piercing voice continue to proceed. You and I do not live by bread alone but by the ever-proceeding Word of our Father. Yes, God no longer lives in a box—so why do we? Get out of the box. He is no longer there!
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