It made me stop to think of all the other times I have heard God in my life—the incessant pounding of the waves on the beach; the scream of a hawk diving for its prey; the sound of a little boy’s voice who, less than eight years ago, did not exist; my daddy’s final breath as he left for a better place. Anyone who has not heard God in those things, probably does not hear Him in the place where He speaks plainest—His word, for God does not leave His children wondering just exactly what that metaphysical moment they experienced meant for them to do. He tells them plainly.
Remember the Day of Pentecost? Everyone heard “a sound as of a rushing mighty wind” that “filled all the house,” a sound they all recognized as having come “from heaven,” Acts 2:2. Yet when did they finally know what God wanted them to do? Only after the apostles spoke. “Then when they heard this,” they were told exactly what to do, 2:37.
When an angel spoke to Cornelius in a vision—an angel, mind you—he certainly heard God, but he was told to send for Peter who would speak “words whereby you shall be saved” 11:14.
Paul told the Romans “faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ” 10:17, the same word, the same gospel he proclaimed “the power of God unto salvation” 1:16.
Yes, it is possible to hear God in the world around you. If you don’t, you have a remarkably unspiritual mind. If the roar of the wind and crack of thunder in a storm doesn’t fill you with wonder at the power of an Almighty Creator, you need a few pointed reminders as to the brevity and fragility of life and the temporal nature of the world around you. But if you really want to know what God wants of you, get out His Word and read it. Only those who are ready to listen can really hear.
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 8:47.