“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” Ge 28:15 NIV
How come when someone talks to God we say, “They are praying,” yet when someone claims that God talks to them we think they are “flaky”? Has God suddenly stopped speaking to His children? Would you stop speaking to yours? John Calvin described God’s guidance as “the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit.” And Saint Ignatius called it “movements of the soul—thoughts, feelings, or desires…given to us by God.” They may come as a conviction of sin, an assurance of God’s love, or the call to do a certain thing, but they’re a “must” for the spirit-guided life. To hear from God you must be receptive, and sometimes—desperate! During a very bad time in Jacob’s life God appeared to him in a dream, saying, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” When Jacob awoke the next morning, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it” (v. 16 NIV). “Not aware”—does this describe you? As you read these words your thoughts are being guided by a human being: a writer. Don’t you think God can do the same, or better? In truth, God can guide your thoughts without the influence of intervening sounds or images. Look what happened to Samuel when he was a boy. God spoke to him one night in the temple, but he didn’t know it was God speaking. He needed the help of Eli the high priest to recognize the voice of God. But once he did, his life changed dramatically—and yours will too.