Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has received an inordinate amount of press coverage and publicity. Less so, was her interview Sunday with “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Known as people of faith, Oprah asked them to explain how they hear God’s voice, Is it a “voice in your head, is it a feeling, is it prayer?
It’s “all three of those things, for sure,” Joanna replied.
Joanna said there were “five pivotal moments” where she claimed she could say “that was God’s voice, that was Him.” She further explained “the sense of peace” she felt and how that it gave her “chills.”
“With the idea of religion, I shy away from that, my relationship with God, it’s like no one else’s,” the creative designer explained. “God is so creative that I can’t impose what my belief. … He shows up in beautiful unique ways for all of us.”
Chip noted that it was a bit different for him. “God shows up for me in very practical real ways. Like I work, that’s how I meet with God,” he stated. “When I sweat, and when I’m lonely, I’m sad, I’m mad about something.”
He added that they both grew up in “pretty conservative Christian families,” but confessed that he wasn’t well versed in Scriptures. Although he attended church regularly, Chip admitted that he “didn’t love to open the Bible and read the Bible for hours a day.”
The Gaines’ approach to hearing the voice of God and establishing a relationship with Him is shared by many in the world today. I’ve personally heard professed Christians express similar thoughts.
So, are you allowing God to speak to you? And if so, how does He communicate to you?
There’s only one way that I’ve heard the voice of God in 73 years. And that’s through His revealed Word, the Bible.
The Hebrew writer affirmed that while God spoke directly in time past to the patriarchal fathers and the prophets, that His spokesman today is His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1-3).
On the Mount of Transfiguration when Peter impetuously wanted to erect three altars honoring Moses, Elijah and Jesus, God’s voice thundered from heaven saying, “”This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matt. 17:5).
In the shadow of the cross, Jesus promised His apostles that His voice would continue to be heard as he sent the Holy Spirit to reveal His Word to them. He said the Spirit would teach them, and remind them of “all things that I said to you.” Furthermore, Jesus offered this assurance.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 16:13-14).
Years later, the divinely inspired apostle Paul affirmed that the Holy Spirit did indeed reveal “the mystery of Christ.” He wrote it down. Not in complicated, complex, encyclopedic form, but briefly. Succinctly. And in a way that we can understand when we read it. (Eph. 3:1-6)
I would respectfully suggest to Chip Gaines, as well as Joanna, that their insight into God’s will for their lives would be dramatically enhanced through a good Bible reading program. It doesn’t requires hours a day. Just 20-30 minutes a day. 5 days a week. Let me offer Mark Robert’s 2021 Bible reading chart. Maybe begin with the New Testament plus Psalms and Proverbs this year. Then next year graduate to both Old and New Testament.
I, too, have felt the presence of God in my life. When I see a full moon shining over the Gulf of Mexico, or a majestic sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, or view the splendor of a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I sense His awesome power and presence. I think of Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
I’m also reminded of Psalm 19:1. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” Interestingly, the Psalmist connects God’s world to His Word as He reminds us of its value, impact, and guidance in our lives.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
I’ve also felt the presence of God in worship services with my church family. Through Bible preaching, prayer, praise and communion, I hear the voice of God. I see His manifold wisdom in His church (Eph. 3:10) I experience “pure and undefiled religion.” And feel the joy of fellowship with God, His Son, His Holy Spirit, and His people. (I Jn. 1:1-4).
Are you hearing the voice of God?
Get into His Word. And you truly will.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman