Pastor Zeke is a fictional character. He’s the director of Rustic Knoll Christian Camp, the imaginary setting for my novel, Sticks & Stones. In the book, he’s described like this: “His squat stature, white hair and matching mustache made him look more like one of Santa’s elves than a camp director.”
Zeke is modeled after a pastor I knew while growing up at Lutherdale Bible Camp in Wisconsin. The real pastor didn’t look like Zeke and he wasn’t the camp director. But I gave Zeke his teaching method, which kept us kids completely attentive to his message. He used colored chalk to draw pictures or portraits that helped illustrate his lesson.
In Sticks & Stones, Zeke’s first message to his campers is accompanied by a portrait of the president and he talks about knowing God personally. Not in the same way we know Brett Favre or Taylor Swift or even President Obama. But knowing God the way you know your best friend. Knowing what pleases Him, and what makes Him sad or angry. Knowing His voice the way you recognize your friend’s voice on the phone.
Has God spoken to you? Can you recognize His voice? It’s usually not an audible sound. For me, it’s sometimes a fully formed sentence or thought that appears in my mind, as if invisible lips whispered a silent message in my ear.
Once, when I’d spent months complaining to God that I didn’t need a certain person in my life, God spoke to me about my attitude. He said, “I don’t need you either, but I choose to love you.”
Another time, I was in the habit of comparing myself to other women who were more outgoing and extroverted than I. While wishing I was more like them, the Lord said to me, “Don’t be afraid to be who I made you to be.”
God’s voice is always gentle. He may correct, but He will never condemn. He wants us to be who He made us to be. Listen. Do you hear Him speaking? Will you recognize His voice when He calls your name?
If you’ve heard God speak to you, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.