Many today are still wondering whether God still speaks to us. Some church denominations even believe we are no longer in the dispensation of God speaking to His people and that no one should expect direct communication from God to His people.
I read an article from a Theologian who believes that God no longer speaks to us because His word is already given to us in the Bible. He based his argument on the fact that God spoke in Biblical times because as at that time, the work of redemption was in progress and therefore God needed to speak to man at various times.
Now I am not as knowledgable as that historian but I know that even after Jesus went back to heaven, God spoke to the Apostles in various ways apart from his written word. Acts 10: 9-16, Acts 13:2.
If God does not speak to us today what effect would that have on us? This was brought home to me recently when I came across a story told about a mighty battleship caught in a vicious storm.
Through the rain, waves, and fog, a light appeared in the distance. Fearing a collision with another ship, the captain ordered his signalman to warn: “We are on a collision course. Change course 20 degrees east now.” Immediately came the response: “You change your course 20 degrees west.” Irritated, the captain replied: “I am a captain. Change your course immediately.” Back came the reply: “I am a seaman second-class. You change your course.”
By now, the captain was furious. He sent one last message: “I am a battleship. Change your course now!” Through the dark, the flashing reply came forth: “I am a lighthouse.” As you can imagine, the captain immediately changed his course.
Many of us today are like that Captain. We have our hands on the ship’s steering and we believe we know how to navigate our way through life. Sometimes like the Captain, we interprete what we see contrary to what is happening and except God intervenes, we find ourselves rushing headlong towards the rocks.
To understand an issue such as whether God still speaks to us or not, I tend to ask myself the question, ‘Why?’ If I know why something is, then it will be easier to understand its importance. For instance, is oxygen Important? I know it is important because I need it to breathe, without oxygen, we will all be dead.
Is it important for God to speak to us today? I believe the answer is yes because if He does not, many of us will be lost and navigating our way through life without any sense of direction. Having answered the why, we can now focus on the answer to the question, "How can we hear from God?".
Through His Word - A recent poll in America shows that only 24% of Americans believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God. About 26% view the Bible as a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by men. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV) The Holy Scripture may have been written by men but they were written with the inspiration of God.
Another version of 2 Timothy 3:16 reads, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work." (New Century Version)
It is important that we know that God has given us His word and this has been preserved through the ages. Every effort has been made by science and philosophy to discredit the Bible and make it of no consequence but this has not worked, Why? Because God’s word is not merely ink on paper, it is a living and powerful force that lives in the heart of those who receive it. You may read the bible and remember it in your head but it is the power in the word that transforms our lives not the words themselves.
Through His Son - In Hebrews 2: 1 we read, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.”
We know as a fact that when Scripture refers to the ‘last days’, it is referring to the times we are living in. Jesus is the good Shephered and as His sheep, we hear His voice, John 10: 27.
Through The Holy Spirit - “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)
Many years ago, I use to work in a place where the Senior staff there would snap up every opportunity to go for training abroad. When they returned from their training, rather than implement what they went on training to learn, they would drop the manuals and training notes on the tables of their subordinates and ask them to work on it. Thank God that Jesus didn’t just go away and leave us all alone with the manual of salvation! What hope would we have without the Holy Spirit being there to guide, lead and remind us of all that Jesus said in His word?
Gifts of the Holy Spirit - In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Different but all serving the same purpose. Through these gifts, God speaks to His people. Every gift, whether it is Prophecy, Teaching, Speaking in Tongues, Interpretation or working miracles, conveys a message from God to His people and this message is centered on His love for us and His desire to live in and among us.
So we know that God speaks to us. In What ways are we not paying attention to Him?
- By not paying attention to Him - When we are so focused on ourselves and our abilities, we run the risk of thinking that we don’t need God.
- By not taking time to study His word
- By not giving room for the Holy Spirit to operate freely in our lives
- By not leaving room for God to speak to us when we pray - that is if we even make out time for prayer.
I believe God desires to commune with us, His people. We do not have a Heavenly Father who distances Himself from His children. He desires to speak to us but we must also desire to hear what He is saying and have the will to do what He says. The more we do this, the more He will speak to us, knowing that whatever He says to us will have the desired effect.