There is a scene in the movie “Gandhi”, where Gandhi, a young lawyer in South Africa, is walking a boardwalk with a white clergyman. Walking and talking together in public was against all proper societal decorum in the Apartheid state. During their chat, a young man accosted them for being together. His mother yells from her upstairs window and the ringleader leaves the two friends alone.
As they continue their walk, the clergyman exclaims their “good luck”. Gandhi is surprised by this view of what just happened and says, “Good luck? I thought you were a man of God.” The clergyman replied, “I am, but I don’t believe God plans His day around me!” The audience around me laughed at the comment. It’s a common attitude that in everyday life, God isn’t really interested in giving us divine guidance in the little stuff of life.
The Bible’s record shares a very different reality. Over and over again we read of God choosing to plan His day around those He chooses.
In one of my favourite passages of Scripture, 1 Samuel 3:1-10, we learn of God speaking to a young boy. Young Samuel lay on his cot in the Temple when he hears someone call his name. He rose and ran to his old master, Eli, thinking he had called him. However, the third time young Samuel comes running to Eli’s side, thinking he had been beckoned by his master, Eli realizes what’s been happening. He tells Samuel to tell the voice, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” And so begins one of the most remarkable relationships our Heavenly Father would ever have with one of His children.
God was heard clearly by an innocent, humble child. God’s voice is best heard by the humble.
Moses probably holds the all-time record for lengthy conversations with God. Why Moses? The possible clue is found in Numbers 12:3 which says, “Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth”. There is an obvious close connection between his humility and his close working relationship with God. Wisdom literature tells us, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” (Proverbs 29:23), while the Psalmist (David) in Psalm 25:9 writes, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Pastor A.T. Pierson was personal friends with C.H. Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, George Muller (wrote his biography), C.L. Scofield, Adoniram Judson and he was the elder statesman of the Student Missionary Movement that influenced thousands of the early 20th Century. He commented on Psalm 25:9, saying:
“Humility is a real preference for God’s Will. Where this holy habit of mind exists, the whole being becomes so open to impression that, without any outward sign or token, there is an inward recognition and choice of the Will of God.
“God guides, not by a visible sign, but by swaying our judgment. To wait before Him, weighing candidly in the scales every consideration for or against a proposed course…. Is a frame of mind and heart in which one is fitted to be guided; and God touches the scales and makes the balance to sway as He will.
“BUT OUR HANDS MUST BE OFF the scales, otherwise we need expect no interposition of His IN OUR FAVOUR.”
What this 19th Century Bible commentator is saying is God’s preferred vehicle of choice in making His Will known, His “still small voice”, is a humble follower of Christ. A believer who displays a meek mind and life. A mindset that God can “sway judgment” or open up to His “impressions” or “tip the scale” and make His voice clear.
God loves to speak to the unassuming, the humble:
An 80 year old shepherd with a speech impediment becomes a nation builder. A teenage shepherd, the kid brother, who becomes a nation and Kingdom-builder. Some uneducated fisherman from a back water Roman province who become spiritual Kingdom builders.
God’s tendency is to clearly inform the unpretentious, those who are careful to not tip the scale. The humble hear his voice.