Why Doesn’t God Speak Audibly to Us as He did in the Bible?

You may wonder why God does not speak audibly to you. Cadet Scott Swires will address your concern in this intriguing article. By Cadet Scott Swires
young woman-sitting-headphones

I think this isn’t an honest question. What we’re really asking is, “Why doesn’t God speak to me audibly?” You already believe that God speaks or you wouldn’t question why you don’t hear Him. 

You must already believe that encountering the audible voice of God is possible or you wouldn’t be asking about it. You might be nervous that it’s too good to be true. Much of the Gospel appears too good to be true. It is that goodness of God that helps us find our answer.

It is good to look at why we want to hear the audible voice of God. Some say it’s because they would have greater faith. Remember that an entire nation saw Jesus face-to-face and most did not believe in Him. Another reason we want to hear God’s voice audibly is to know without doubt that the message is from God. 1 John 4 and 1 Thessalonians 5 are clear that we should test every message, no matter the source. God is not intimidated. To sincerely ask for confirmation that something is of God is wisdom, not lack of faith. 1 Thessalonians 5 also reminds us that God is sanctifying us until we reach completion. As we submit each message to testing we grow in discernment—a gift often missing in many congregations today. My father taught me to submit everything to Scripture, to my mentors, and to God in prayer. This is very similar to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, which encourages us to use Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason in relationship with the Holy Spirit as sounding boards.

Maybe you grew up hearing Bible stories of God speaking to Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, and others. I’d like to point out how rare the audible voice of God is in Scripture. God often spoke through dreams, visions, angelic visitations, impressions, reflection on Scripture, and other forms of revelation. In the Gospels, the voice of God is experienced three times—at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3, Mark 1), the Transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9), and before His crucifixion (John 12). 

So, why don’t we hear His audible voice? I believe that it is because of the goodness of God we first mentioned. All of my questions, all of my responses, all of my life must be filtered through the goodness of God. I am led by His kindness. That means, I do not frequently hear the voice of God because He is kind and it is for my best interest. 

Let’s look at the disciples’ response at the Transfiguration. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to Mount Tabor to be alone and pray. The face of Jesus shone like the sun, and Moses and Elijah appear. After Peter sees them he focuses on building shelters for them to stay in (Matthew 17:4). Peter misses the revelation of the divinity of Christ before him, and focuses on earthly considerations—building shelters. A few verses later, “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.’ The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground” (Matthew 17:5-6). This must have been awe–inducing, terrifying, and difficult to process.

Does God speak audibly today? Yup. Does He do it all the time? Nope. Why? One reason is, because He is kind. God’s goal is to grow us into beings of intimate fellowship with Him. When we trust in His goodness, we understand we are hearing Him the best way for us at all times.  

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