God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
This is the greatest hearsay of Christianity, and the essence of its truth. Many religions believe in multiple gods; Jews, Christians, and Moslems all believe there is one God only. Yet, we Christians argue that the one God has taken three forms. Can God really be in Heaven and on earth as a human at the same time?
Think what it must have been like for the Twelve who followed Jesus for three years and heard him say things that sounded like he was claiming to be God. Jews had spent too many centuries learning the hard lesson that God is one, and only one, to tolerate any man making such a claim. Even so, the Twelve stayed with him when hundreds of others fled at some of his words.
Yet, John records, I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. CJB
How will they know; how will they understand? Proverbs gives us some understanding. Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? NIV
Yes, but it is a still small voice. It is difficult to hear, even when we are quiet. Why is the Holy Spirit not more aggressive? Why does the Spirit not strike us the way Paul was struck?
Origen, writing around 230 AD, had this to say about the Spirit: By my regeneration [baptism] I have received the faith, but I am still ignorant. And yet I have a firm hold on something that I do not understand. I am born again, capable of rebirth but without conscious perception of it. The Spirit abides by no rules. He speaks when he pleases, what he pleases and when he pleases. ACCS While Origen professed that God lived in three forms, Origen died before the doctrine of the Trinity was fully developed a century later.
How does the Spirit speak to you? Each of us receives the Spirit differently, based on our individual needs and personalities. The rustling of leaves in a breeze, the crashing of the surf, the words of the Bible, the memories of loved ones, the thoughts and writings of good people of God, the awareness as we sit in complete silence. Nor is there only one way for the Spirit to speak to you. You are filled with his presence in one way, only to have a singular visit in a dream or a clear voice as you walk through a crowd. As Origen said, he speaks when he pleases.
What if you never hear the still small voice? Perhaps you are tuned to the wrong station, or you expect to hear the voice in one way, but he is speaking in another. We must always be open to the Word no matter the source. Nor can we assume that the person speaking the Word will be Christian.
Be righteous and do good.