The Narrow Gate – When God Speaks

Image via Author, Bighorn Range, Wyoming

Our God intends to have conversational communion with us in which He will reveal important things to us.  In this conversational communion we can speak to our God about lives and daily living in simple, easy language, and Jesus will also speak to us.  It is truly a two-way conversation for us that our God wants with us each day.  Let me give you a recent example:

I recently finished a five-day backpacking trip into the Cloud Peak wilderness in the Bighorn range in Wyoming.  There were five of us, three adults and two high school students.  Reilly, the other leader on the trip, and I both regularly experience this conversational communion with our God. 

One day, Reilly, the two students, and I scrambled on Class 2 rock to the top of Cloud Peak, a 13,000 ft. summit.  On the way up, one of the students injured his foot making it painful to walk.  I stayed with him as Reilly and the other student continued to gain the summit.  I rarely split up a group in the wild. When the one student did not wish to go on, I asked our God what we should do. He indicated to me that I should send the others ahead, and that it would be okay to do so and good for them in the end. I had confidence that our God would handle any exigent events that might arise.

And arise they did. The two did not return at the appointed time, and over an hour later we heard three well-spaced pistol shots coming from near the summit.  It was clear that our friends were in trouble and unable to proceed. Quickly gathering my things, I informed Joey, the student with me, of the problem.  Joey said he would go along to help. 

As we ascended, I prayed to our God to seek His direction in the matter.  He indicated that I need not worry. He had a plan for good in this. He also indicated that if we stopped at the viewpoint, we would be able to get a cell signal there if we needed help. While this was comforting, I also was reminded that I wouldn’t be needing to make a call. When we got there, we had three bars on Joey’s phone. We were unable to get reception prior to that point.

After covering about half the distance to the summit from our earlier stopping point, we came to a viewpoint from which we could see most of the route to the top.  For a while, we saw no movement.  After about 15 minutes of scanning, we saw the two of them moving slowly toward us.  It turned out that Reilly had been stricken with acute altitude sickness at the summit and was for a few hours incapacitated.

When we joined back up as a group, the Lord made it clear that the issue was altitude sickness and that if we were to descend it would clear up. That is exactly what happened. Reilly experienced a remarkable recovery and was able keep moving without stopping by the time we were halfway down the route. Evan, his companion, stepped up and did everything perfectly when Reilly struggled to remain conscious. Evan had never been in a similar situation but responded to every challenge exactly as would a well-trained climber. Joey’s feet did not hurt the entire time we were responding and hiking back down the mountain and to camp.

We arrived back at our camp at nearly 11 PM, five hours overdue.  All through the ascent to help them and the return down to our camp, the Lord kept reminding me that He had this in His control, and that He was at work in all of us through it. I had an uncommon peace throughout the event. The adventure had been a time of hearing and obeying the Lord’s voice for all of us.  It was the high point of the trip, despite the difficulties and discomforts.

I could tell you many stories from my own life about hearing our God speak in difficult and dangerous situations, everyday decision, in understanding the scriptures, and in counseling or speaking to others.  It is as Isaiah the prophet wrote in 30:21: “And you will hear a voice behind you, when you turn to the right or to the left, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” What Isaiah described for us has been a common experience.  My God has spoken like a voice behind me, something that has become an everyday occurrence for me and for many people I know.

We have been offered a true union relationship with our God based upon loving Him, knowing Him, and being joined into Him by His Holy Spirit given to us.  He desires to walk in conversational communion with us daily, sharing deep fellowship and imparting His life, His wisdom, and His words to us. The Bible predicted this in the Old Testament and described it in the New. Indeed, it is hard to imagine that our God would put His own Holy Spirit into us to join us into a deep union with Himself, only to then remain silent and not help us in our journey with Him.

In the next content post I will unpack some of what I have learned about developing this conversational communion relationship with our God every day.  Until then, try starting your day in conversation with Him.  Begin your day speaking of your love for your God. Then ask Him, “What do you have for me right now, my Lord?” Listen for a few minutes in silence.

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