Words are words. Right? Whether they're written or spoken, are they equally valuable?
I ask this because over the last few years, I have at times gotten frustrated with God for not speaking to me directly. Audibly. Or at least in that I-immediately-knew-what-to-do, or, these-exact-words-just-popped-into-my-head sort of way.
I hear stories of God speaking to people. My friends, even. And I wonder--why not me? The Sunday-school answer is that I'm just not listening well enough. But I'm not so sure it's as simple as that.
Let's rewind for a second. Why did God speak out loud to people in the Old Testament, but later apparently decide to stop doing it?
Of course, I don't know God's thoughts or his plan, but I realized something.
They didn't have the Bible. Not like we do.
Sure, depending on who they were and at what point they lived, they may have had some Scripture. But they didn't have the entire story, beginning to end. They didn't have pages upon pages of God-breathed truth in the palm of your hand.
Maybe that's why God spoke. Maybe not.
But what I do know now is that we should count ourselves blessed. We have the holy Word of God in our backpack. On our iPhone. On our nightstand. We have the complete story. So much more, then, we should believe, even than the people who walked with Jesus. Peter speaks about the Word being more irrefutable than even witnessing the transfiguration: For we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention to as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts...2 Peter 1:19
So I thought to myself: why am I so intent on God speaking to me, when I don't even read all the words he's already spoken to me through his Word? Maybe he doesn't speak to me because he's already said it. Perhaps the answer is already there. What a blessing to have God's words written to me on-hand at all times. Yep, God spoke those words as much to me (and you) individually as he did the whole of humanity.
Maybe next time I am freaking out about what to do next, I should just read what he's already said to me. Sure, it may not say "DO THIS." But that's where faith comes in.
Perhaps I should focus less on insisting God whisper the answer in my ear, and more on reading the thousands of words he's already spoken to me. His word should be just as precious to me written down as it would be if it was spoken.
Have you ever wanted God to just tell you what to do?