One day the LORD told Jonah...
The Lord gave this message to Jonah...
-Jonah 1:1a (CEV, NLT)
When was the last time God told you something? Have you learned to hear God's voice? Do you need to be prophetic to hear God or should all of God's children be able to hear his voice? I believe that we can all hear (John 10) and that we can cultivate a hearing ear by being attentive (Matthew 11:15, Revelation 2:17, and 3:22).
To hear, the hearer must be a listener; but also the speaker must speak. The story of Jonah begins with God's initiative. God got the idea, God gave the order to Jonah. God initiated. Does the Bible teach us that we should only do things that God initiates? No, the Bible teaches us that God gives us wisdom on how to conduct our lives and there are many standing assignments that are for God's people for all time, such as "love one another", and "go and make disciples of all nations."
When God spoke to Jonah, it was the in-breaking of the kingdom of God. Heaven sent a message to a person on what the King wanted done on earth through this chosen vessel. God chose to speak something and chose to speak it to someone. It didn't matter to Jonah if God was speaking to anyone else. When God spoke to him, it was a direct message, order, or assignment. God, being God; and we, not being God, are to be obedient to God. Sounds silly to state it, but human history is filled with us ignoring God's instructions and guidance and instead playing god or building false gods. There is only one God, who is good and righteous. The whole issue of, "is that you, God?"; is another topic, but in summary, God, being God, can make himself clear and make us know it is really Him speaking. God knows if we're having trouble hearing him because of our human frailty. He knows when we are deliberately not listening or disobeying and when we need help in hearing.
(image from Kar Keat at Mandarin Youth Ministry)