God Told Me
I recall talking to an individual who related to me how often God had “told” them something. I was a bit surprised, but then, I had heard this kind of “Christian speak” before, and I’m sure many of you have as well. But, what does it mean? What about mystical nudges, or Holy Spirit promptings? Does God whisper in people’s ear about parking spots, what to order on a menu, or which flight to book? Does God still speak today?
The Bible is very clear about this question—the answer is yes! The next and obvious question is how does He speak? The answer is by His Son and through His Spirit in the Bible. God does not promise that He will speak in any other way. Could He? Sure, but there is no indication in the Bible that He does. In other words, we can expect and believe that God will speak to us through the Bible, but He does not promise to speak in the ways He has spoken before, or in brand new ways. Never does the Bible tell us to put out a fleece. Never does it tell us to expect an audible voice from Heaven. Never does it tell us to listen for a still, small voice. It only ever points back to itself.
God will always be guiding us through His providence, quietly and behind the scenes. When it comes to our conscious participation in doing His will, He has the ability to guide us however He sees fit. He does confirm His will with us through His Spirit, and gives us peace and joy in response to our seeking Him in obedience. However, when it comes to Him speaking to us since the days of Jesus, He tells us to expect only that He will guide us by His Son and through His Spirit in the Bible.
Here is one classic example: the author of Hebrews writes in 3:7-8, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says…” (notice the wording: says, not said), “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” The author goes back and quotes Psalm 95 and says that through these words, the Holy Spirit is still speaking (present tense), and not that the Spirit has spoken, but that He is speaking, and continues to speak. The words—which were already thousands of years old when Hebrews was written—continue to speak. This is how God speaks to His people today, and how He speaks to His Church. That is why biblical preaching is so critical in the life of the church. It is a public gathering of saints, placing themselves under the authority of Scripture to hear what God is saying to His people. This is how we can know God’s voice today. So, take up and read!