fbpx

Downtown

Ministries:

Community Groups
Care Ministries
Outreach Partners
Men’s
Women’s
Children

208 W. 19th Street, KCMO
Services @ 9:00 & 10:45 AM

ABOUT

SERMONS

EVENTS / CLASSES

GIVE

Finding the Voice of God

Written By Allison Payton

Language is beautiful, and powerful. We use our words to communicate in all sorts of different ways: story telling, songs, poetry, text messaging, even in our work emails! But what happens when you cannot communicate in those traditional ways? Does that mean we lose connection to those around us?

During my ten years as a teacher in special education, I saw how communication extends beyond simply speaking and listening. Teaching the deaf and hard of hearing, I had students whose communication style did not match my own. They relied on their capabilities and strengths to communicate and connect with those around them. Here are a few examples:

  • “A” was completely deaf. She was born into a family that communicated through American Sign Language (ASL) and utilized interpreters, when they were available, to communicate with others who did not know ASL. 
  • “B” had a body that was severely limited by disability, and was able to communicate when utilizing a cochlear implant to hear and used his eyes to look between two choices.
  • “C” was impacted by multiple disabilities including hearing loss, autism, and Down syndrome. This meant utilizing multiple forms of communication including picture pointing and a picture-based speech generating device. 

These are just a few examples of the many different communication modalities my students would use. A modality is the specific method, procedure, or way something is expressed or experienced. No two people communicate exactly alike and there are so many different modalities of communication. My world of communication was broadened and deepened so much by the students I worked with each and every day. I was challenged to learn new ways of connection, meeting my students through their choice of expression. Regardless of the modality my students used, each one had genuine rich connections with family, friends, and school staff. Communication extends beyond the words we speak or the messages we send, and leads to the beautiful connections and relationships these students so boldly displayed. 

 

The Word of God

My students broadened my experience of communication and it had an unusual side effect. I began thinking about my communication with God, wondering if I was limiting my experience and connection with him because I was trying to use my modalities and not his. What modality does God use to communicate? 

2 Timothy 3: 14-16 (ESV) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (emphasis mine).

Scripture itself tells us that Scripture is how God communicates with us. 2 Timothy says the sacred writings, the Bible, is “breathed out by God” for us. God spoke, and others wrote down his words. God wrote me a book. He breathed out all of Scripture to talk to me. As a teacher and book lover, this thought stopped me in my tracks. God, the Creator, wrote me a book. It is like having a dedication line at the beginning of the book that says: 

“For Allison, My beloved daughter, this is for you.”

I love to peruse top book lists, see what others are reading, and maybe choose a few to put on my own reading list. The most sold book in the world is the Holy Bible, but it is shocking to hear that we cannot even pinpoint the exact number of units sold. The current best estimate from research that was done by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 2021 says that number is between 5 to 7 billion copies. There is a reason there are so many units sold, and that is because the book isn’t just dedicated to me. Open your Bible and you won’t find my name in it, but yours. God wrote you a book too, with a dedication just for you.

 

The Voice of God

I have never audibly heard the voice of God. I believe people have, and will audibly hear the voice of God, but at this point in my life, I am not one of them. I do not get to sit at a coffee shop and talk with Jesus like I might with a friend or colleague. I don’t even get to use another communication modality like ASL, pictures, or eye gaze to directly form that connection. Communication with God looks different from my day to day form of communication. But I have experienced Jesus through the Scriptures, and Jesus will bless us for our faith without sight. 

John 20:29 Jesus said, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.’ 

No longer do I have to wonder where God’s voice is. I know where to find it every time I need it. He wrote it down for me in the Bible, which I am so blessed to have. It is a challenge reframing my view of the Bible as more than just a book to be read, to be viewed rightly as God’s voice being transcribed for me. This is not a one and done learning moment. It is constant training of my brain, each time I am searching for God’s voice, to remind myself I know exactly where it is and how to find it. 

 

Into the Word Together

Journey into God’s word written down for us in the Bible. This is not a natural or easy thing to do alone, but once you are a part of God’s family, you not only have a book dedicated to you, but brothers and sisters who will walk beside you on the journey toward Christlikeness. So join me and others from Christ Community and engage with theFormed.life to daily equip ourselves to be formed by God’s word and God’s ways with God’s people. We study and wait together, in anticipation of the day Jesus returns. One day we will be in the physical presence of God. No more will we have the barriers or lack of sight, sound, and touch. To that I say, come Lord Jesus, come. Until that day, join me in seeking God’s voice, through the Bible, the book he wrote for us. 

RELATED POSTS

Recent Posts

Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer

I was in a meeting some time ago and someone mentioned the song “Centering Prayer” by The Porter’s Gate. I was intrigued, listened to it on my way home, and was hooked. Something about it just hits me right in the gut.

read more
A Mouthful of Life and Death

A Mouthful of Life and Death

When I get into trouble with my wife, Kelly, it almost always starts with my mouth. When I hurt a friend or a colleague, or unintentionally shame or provoke my teenage children, it is almost always a result of my mouth.

read more
Fourth of July and Holy Saturday

Fourth of July and Holy Saturday

In the spring of 2024, a movie trailer splashed onto movie screens and social media depicting scenes of modern urban warfare. The words “All. Empires. Fall.” interspersed between scenes flashed against a black background.

read more

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.