In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
- Luke 1:26-38
“[Margaret, an angel appears to Jenn and speaks] ’Your desire to overcome your fear and to talk about how God speaks to you comes from the desire of the Spirit that lives within you to be heard. The Book of Amos counsels, “Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Sadly, this is true for a great many people in the world you live in. Many are not listening, or are afraid to listen for the Creator’s voice.
“’But you, Jenn, are listening. I cannot tell you how much that pleases Our Father! God is speaking to you. People all over the world, every day, experience Divine encounters in many different ways. Some recognize the truth of these encounters and give wonderful testimonies, but a great many more do not. Their experiences are discounted as conscience, coincidence, intuition, or imagination. It is imperative, dear child, that all the people of the earth listen to God’s voice, because he is the source of life and truth.’”
- Jennifer Wilder Morgan, Come to the Garden
Would you like to take a morning stroll into your garden in the back yard and run into an angel named Margaret? Okay, maybe by another name. Jennifer Wilder Morgan’s book is a sweet tapestry of Scripture, common life occurrences, and the message these things bring to us. Our experiences could differ, just as the fictional angel says about how God speaks to different people.
Have you ever heard an audible voice of someone who was not physically there? Some people claim to have heard such a voice. Some have seen visions. Some have dreamed dreams. Some just have that persistent thought in their head until they act upon it. God speaks in many ways, but as Margaret says, the key is what we do about it.
Do you discard the experience as being your conscience talking, but then who gave each of us our conscience? God could use that method. It need not be discarded by that means.
I believe that there is no such thing as coincidence. God has a wonderful plan, and when that plan works to have a significant change in our lives, good or bad, God has a purpose for that.
Intuition is often misinterpreted, and most people prefer to ignore their intuition in favor of what is in front of them. Much of modern evangelism starts with addressing the real life needs of right now before the person is willing to think about their purpose in life or whether there is life after death. When you are hungry, you cannot think about that.
As for the imagination, there is one thing that I have noticed in myself and with many others through their testimonies, when it still feels real, in some cases more real than this world, long after the experience, it is not imagination. It becomes something that is not just a memory of the experience. It is transformative, life changing.
God is speaking right now to someone. Will they answer? Will they say as Samuel was taught to say in 1 Samuel 3:10, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Is it you to whom God is speaking?
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.