I recently encountered a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. We did the normal catch-up conversation. We attended the same church years ago so naturally the conversation drifted to spiritual matters. She told me how she was counseling another Christian sister in a time of trouble to “listen for God’s voice”. I waited for her to clarify what she meant by this. I assumed that she didn’t mean listen for an audible voice; as she was a very successful mental health professional. She did mean that. She believed, as was often the case at my old church, that God will literally give you a new and individual revelation as to specific twists and turns you need to make in life.
I personally believed that new divine revelation was very possible and that I had quite possibly experienced this type of cryptic messaging myself a decade previous when my child had a near-death experience. I now know that God is not the author of confusion, that He does speak but that His speaking happens in a very particular way.
In the last 17 minutes of “Love That Remembers“(min 32:33) Pastor Wilson biblically educates us on the truth of God-conversations. Another great resource for those wanting to know the truth is Dr. John Piper’s six minute audio Does God verbally Speak To Me.
Todd Friel of Wretched radio brings Dr. John MacArthur in to talk more about God-conversations in What It Means To Be Led By The Spirit. All of these men are great biblical scholars and experts on what God has actually said in His word. But not even that matters. Just about any mind and intellect can gather human knowledge about what is written in the Bible. It’s only the Holy Spirit within a believer that can power the discernment that tells us what is true about God. Unbelievers aren’t given the power to know.
My uncertainty about that voice I heard a decade ago in that bloody emergency room should have told me that it was not God. I am a believer and I now know how to be sure it’s God speaking. Sometimes that knowledge is retrospective, sometimes it is hard fought in study and sometimes it’s in biblical counseling. In any case, it’s all backed up with the truth of scripture, not cryptic thoughts, coincidences, emotions and feelings. The Holy Spirit makes me confident in my knowledge, not mystified. He is the teacher of truth¹. Everything we need to know is in Scripture and will be taught to us by the Holy Spirit as we ingest the Word.
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
This scripture teaches us that every single one of us (believers) are in need of learning during the time we are on this earth. None of us have arrived and none of us are so smart that we don’t need His constant teaching and reminding of what He has already done and said about everything. That includes PhDs, pastors, writers, professors, etc.
The faith that was once for all delivered to the saints².
Even Jesus Himself, speaking like ‘no man ever had’, was not an independent voice. He only spoke what the Father had already said.
For I [Jesus] have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.
When the Spirit of truth [Holy Spirit] comes, He will guide you into all the truth [not some of the truth], for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears he will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.
The wisdom of God is not a new thing. It is that which God has revealed in the past — and it is still the same because He is still the same. He doesn’t give us new truth. He gives us eternal, timeless truth.If you live your Christian life constantly feeling on some New truth – – some novel truth; hoping even, for a truth yet to be revealed…you will never have peace. But if you live your Christian life constantly feeding on the eternal truth – – the established truth; hoping always and only in a truth that has been revealed in Christ – – YOU WILL HAVE PEACE. – Pastor Steve Wilson
I hope you will subscribe to this blog and keep learning all God has to teach through these lessons taught by Pastor Steve Wilson of Grace Community Church.
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¹ John 14:16-17, John 15:26, John 16:12-15
² Jude 1:3