Ok, so that may not have been how God spoke to Abram when he invited him to leave his home and journey to a new place (Genesis chapter 12 if you want chapter and verse), but it certainly worked.
We were thinking about how we hear God- and of course this led to what kind of voice God has… the consensus at the table seemed to be a deep voice that was sometimes loud- though it has to be remembered that the round table conference I was facilitating was my children at breakfast…
We could get the idea, too, that God could speak with written words- just as we know what someone is telling us to do by reading a letter or note… that was fine.
The harder one is/was thinking about how we hear God speaking in our hearts… is it simply that we have enough knowledge of the Bible (God’s Word) that we’re able to know what God would have us do in a given situation- the whole ‘WWJD’ thing- by reading the Gospels and reflecting on them I can try to do what Jesus would do today in this place… but that doesn’t encompass the idea of relationship- that’s just knowledge and imitation, really. (Don’t get me wrong- knowing about God and imitating Jesus isn’t a bad idea, its just not the same thing as knowing God and being guided by Jesus).
Abram seemed to know God, and heard God speaking into his life- whether audibly or in his heart. Abram also seemed to continue to get to know God as he journeyed- putting time aside for it.
Abram didn’t always fully trust God or get things right (see the whole Egyptian episode where he pretended his wife was his sister…).
But God still spoke to Abram and worked in and through him.
All of which gives me some hope, even when I slip up.