I recently heard a story about the time that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. The story went something like this:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After having a few drinks and eating a large meal, the two were tired and decided to go to turn in for the night. The two fell asleep and, sometime later, Sherlock Holmes woke up. Looking up and seeing the stars, he nudged his pal John Watson awake. "Watson, what do you see?" Holmes asked. Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars." Holmes then proceeded to ask, "What does that tell you?" Watson replied by saying, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and possibly billions of other planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, I understand that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I believe that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Sherlock?" Sherlock paused for a minute, not believing what he was hearing. He then replied, "Watson, you idiot! It tells me that someone has stolen our tent!" This story may be humorous, but it helps to illustrate what happens in the lives of so many of us.
So many of us are like Dr. Watson. We can look at the world around us and understand many amazing facts about life, our world, and the universe. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think we know that we completely miss what God is saying to us. This is tragic, but I believe that it happens far too often.
I believe that God speaks to us more often than we think. God speaks, but we do not always listen. Sometimes God has something that He wants to do in our lives and, if we were listening to Him, it would be obvious to us. When we don't listen, we miss it, taking up precious time that could be better spent on God or His work. God speaks, and He wants us to listen. Take a look at Abraham.
Abraham was visited by three angels that he persuaded to stay and rest for a short while with him. The angels had apparently been sent on a mission to Sodom and Gomorrah, but passed by Abraham on their way. After spending time with Abraham, they told him about what was going to happen. Because Abraham listened, he was able to plead for the cities. He begged that if only 10 righteous men were found in the entire city of Sodom, that God would not destroy it. This city was destroyed, however, because there were not even 10 righteous in the entire city.
I am not saying that when God speaks that it will be as obvious as angels coming down from Heaven. However, God also doesn't have to speak through this method. If we pay attention, we will find that He speaks in several different ways.
God speaks through His Son, Jesus Christ. If we ever need an example to look to, we can go to no better person than Jesus of Nazareth. As God in the flesh, He gave us the perfect example of how to live life and how to please God with our lives. All we have to do is listen and apply what He has already shown us to do.
God also speaks through Scripture. This is one of the more obvious answers. For those of us who live in the United States, a Bible is very accessible. We don't have to look far in order to obtain one, if we don't already have one within arm's reach. If we need to hear God speak, all we have to do is pick up our Bibles and let God speak to us through His word.
God also speaks through His creation. If you don't believe me, go outside one night and watch the stars. No cell phone. No tablet. No laptop. Just God, you, and the stars. Then tell me about the experience.
Finally, God will speak to His people through a still, small voice. This is the same still, small voice that spoke to Elijah in 1 Kings. Sometimes we have to stop talking in order to listen to God. He speaks to us. The question is: Are we listening? Or will we miss the things God has to say and would like to make obvious to us?