God’s not trying to tell you anything

Moses_PluchartHe was trying to make sense of his circumstances. Why were these things happening to him? Surely there had to be some greater purpose? Maybe God was trying to tell him something?

I often hear people say these words and I always find them jarring. These words are really quite ridiculous, and very disrespectful to God.

It’s not that God doesn’t tell us things. He does. In fact, he always has. But he doesn’t have to try to do it. He’s more than capable. As if God has to try to communicate. If God wants to tell us something, he will—simple as that.

He’s not up there somewhere trying to find a way to get our attention, planning a new and improved media strategy, hoping he can finally make a connection. God doesn’t waste words. He’s not in the business of talking to himself.

When God speaks, things really happen. Big things.

God speaks and the creation comes into existence.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
(Psalm 33:6)  

God speaks and people are born again into a new and enduring relationship with God.

…you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
(1 Peter 1:23)

God’s word is not an ancient, dusty document.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12)

God’s word has the power to change people’s lives for the better.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

God doesn’t waste a single word.

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
it will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
(Isaiah 55:10-11)

God doesn’t try to tell us anything. He speaks, and when he does, we’d be wise to listen.

8 thoughts on “God’s not trying to tell you anything”

  1. perfectly put; I share your frustration. And then there’s the frustration of people telling me what God is trying to tell me! And then i need to repent of my critical spirit -ouch

  2. Hi. I came across your post by way of a friend sharing it. I made a comment to him, so thought perhaps I should also make the comment to you. You make a good point about the power and relevance of the Scriptures, but you seem to be overstating/over-rationalising/over-absolutising the case, presenting only one aspect of the way God operates, which also could be “really quite ridiculous, and very disrespectful to God”. Is it really never or only in very exceptional circumstances that the LORD speaks to us through providence (though not contrary or independent of the Scriptures) etc?

    And on a different note, do you think the Scriptures say anything clear about pictures of God? May I suggest you consider using a different image for your post…

    1. Hi Craig, thank you for your comment. Firstly, I’m not really a fan of that painting, but images make blogs more interesting and old paintings don’t have copyrite problems.
      Secondly, my point wasn’t that God can only speak through Scripture. The Bible itself tells of God speaking in many and various ways. My point was that God doesn’t have to TRY to speak. He does it really well.

      1. Hi Dave. I can understand the point, and use of rhetorical hyberbole to make that point. I’m glad you weren’t trying (!) to say that God only speaks through Scripture. I guess I have heard too many people saying things like you said, and they were really trying to avoid any kind of experiential or providential encounters with God, and so I responded to that. Also, I didn’t think it was helpful that the opening paragraphs made it sound as if it would be a sin to use the words “try” and “God” in the same sentence. While I agree with your point that God doesn’t use “trial and error” to work out how to speak, I’m not sure that is what all people are implying when they use the word “try” (although I suppose there are many who would). Although I’m probably about as a convinced Calvinist as they come, I don’t have a big problem with saying things like “God tried to tell somebody something”. Not because of perceived weakness on God’s part, but because of failure on the human side, in not perceiving or receiving his word. Anyway, thanks for sharing, you have good insights that can benefit others. Yes, we should try to listen to God whenever he does speak to us 🙂

  3. Craig it is a blog not a dissertation, thesis or even an essay. Stating anything other than than one point is unfeasible and kind of not what anyone would do in a single blog post.

  4. I feel like you’re splitting hairs here. Oftentimes God speaks and isn’t heard. You could express this through the turn of phrase that he is *trying* to speak, much like we might say “the sun is trying to break through the clouds”. Having said that, I think you’ve made some good points here about the potency of God’s word/communication.

    1. I agree that it may be an idiom for some, but my intention is to get us thinking about whether we mean what we say. And whether what we say about God is true and helpful. Cheers

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