Hearing God's Voice
I’ve been surprised at how controversial the topic of hearing God's voice can be. Some Christians are “deeply concerned” when they come across someone who says they get “direct revelation” from God. To the contrary, I’m deeply concerned when Christians say they can’t.
The Bible is clear that God speaks to his people, that his sheep can hear his voice, and that we should seek the gift of prophecy above all other gifts. If someone says you can’t get direct revelation from God, then he or she is flat-out denying scripture. I hate to be so black-and-white about something people genuinely disagree on, but I don't know any other viable way to interpret these things. This is what it says.
Does that mean we can get some new doctrine that rivals or supersedes scripture? Of course not. But if all we have is the ability to read the word and do it, then we’re missing the “relationship” part of a relationship with God. That’s like carrying on a long-distance romance by reading letters. It’s good, but it’s not enough.
In Search of Ears to Hear
If we can’t hear God’s voice, we have no personal guidance in issues like where to move, which career to choose, who to marry, and many other decisions in life, whether large or small. We get no personal touch with encouragement we need to hear in a particular moment for a particular situation.
General revelation is vital for life in general, but it’s not the only kind of revelation there is. If we depend on it to the exclusion of a personal conversation with God, we're cultivating a relationship with principles rather than a relationship with him.
It’s surprising to me how many ministers talk about being “called” to a specific congregation and then criticize others for saying God speaks to them. Who called them if it wasn’t God? And how is that different than the direct revelation they condemn in others? It seems that in spite of best intentions, quite a few people have mixed ideas on this topic.
So I expect my book to draw an occasional negative comment for being “unbiblical.” Some will probably neglect clear themes in the Bible while pointing out my error. That’s okay. The body of Christ is secure enough to have a few internal disagreements.
But I’m confident that this devotional is solidly biblical and full of helpful advice for anyone learning to hear God’s voice. And I hope it opens lots of ears and brings many closer to him.
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