Does God talk to you?

One of the best books I have ever read regarding the will of God and its application to our lives is Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View by Gary Friesen.  In it he discusses in depth, but accessibly, how all too often Christians go about trying to determine the will of God, or “hearing God’s voice”.  Common phrases include “God has been putting it on my heart that…” or “You have to learn to listen for God in your prayers…”.  I suggest reading the book if you have started a discussion with either of these phrases or are in a church where you are taught to try to interpret between God trying to speak in your life and mere desires you have.

I had one such discussion through social media earlier this morning on a friend’s Facebook page.  My responses to him have likely never entered his mind when he related to me that God, yes, the Almighty Creator of the universe, YHWH, The First and the Last, The Beginning and the End had been talking to him in his head and in his dreams.

prophet 1

prophet 2

prophet 3

I initially wanted to know what exactly Walter meant when he said God spoke to him.  I was curious as to whether he was referring to an inkling, or feeling that God intended this or that, or if it was a direct contact.  Had he expounded that it was a feeling of his which he interpreted to be God’s nudging, it would have been appropriate to find out how he could possibly know whether it was his body responding to last night’s gas station sushi, or God.  But I wasn’t expecting him to claim to be the recipient of a direct message.

I don’t want to be misunderstood.  I believe God can make direct personal contact with someone.  Understandably, it would be an awe inspiring and life-changing experience.  However, I do not think this happens as people believe it to happen.  It strikes me as rather trivial in nature the subjects of such reported discussions with the Creator.  I do not believe God would speak with frivolity, and therefore if He made His voice audible to someone, it would be a message of the sort that it should be communicated to anyone who would listen.

As I responded to Walter, I wonder about the people who make the claim that God speaks to them, in Walter’s case audibly, if they realize they are making rather significant claims.  When God speaks, His words carry unimaginable authority.  You are essentially a Prophet of God much like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Moses et al.  You can see my surprise when Walter told me God was wrong, and had to be corrected.

Comments

  1. I don’t know if I’d say that God spoke to me, but here’s the story. About 7 years ago my wife got an amazing out of the blue job offer and a great church. We prayed, consulted other believers, all the usual things. But at one point it became so extremely clear. We could either go in the direction God was pointing, or we could screw things up. We went, and it’s been amazing. I certainly wouldn’t claim God talked to me, but I’m pretty sure He communicated exactly what He wanted us to hear.

    • Craig

      I just can’t seem to wrap my head around why God would give a feeling or hint rather than be perfectly unmistakably clear. We are not taught in the Bible that this is how God communicates.

      Couldn’t it be that you, having read the Bible and seem to have a firm grasp on its teaching, that you are able to make good and prudent decisions? Couldn’t it be that within yourself you knew that if God were to point you in a direction, given what you already know is expected of us as believers, you were naturally drawn to the best decision?

      Again, I’m not discounting possibilities. I’m trying to get to the most probably explanation.

  2. Yes, Walter is making quite the bold claim. I’ve never heard anyone say they heard God speak audibly before. I have not read Decision Making and the Will of God but it sounds fairly similar in content to the similarly-named book Decision Making God’s Way by Gary Meadors, by NT prof in Seminary. While I open to the idea of direct revelation of God through the Holy Spirit I am more inclined to interpret these events as simply the product of a mind that has been transformed by the ongoing work of God in the believers life. So, I would be more likely to interpret Walter’s Acts 17/13 dialog as an internal dialog that resulted from his knowledge of those respective passages. This means its still a result of revelation from God, but its previous revelation and experience, not direct/immediate. Then again, it’s a bit unfair for me to judge his thoughts through my own theological construct.

  3. Did you notice all the way through you obscured his name, yet in one of YOUR comments you posted it – your fifth comment you gave his whole name.

    In response to Walter’s question about a Bible passage to prove there is no longer prophecy, you can point to Eph. 2:20 which says the church’s foundation was built on the prophets and apostles, and once the foundation has been laid, we don’t need to lay another one. Hebrews 1:1 says in the PAST God spoke through prophets, but now through his son.

    But Walter really isn’t any different than the many false teachers claiming the same thing he claims; you know, like Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, C.Peter Wagner, the whole IHOP gang, etc.

    I think there is another good book regarding seeking God’s will is Gary Gilley’s “Is That You Lord?” Subtitled, “Hearing the Voice of the Lord – A Biblical Perspective”

  4. In high school there was this girl who came from a super religious family. So religious, in fact, they did not own a television or radio. They were not allowed television or radio, so why own one?

    Anyone, she used to talk about how her parents would frequently pull the car over while driving because they were getting a message from God. So, they stopped the car so they could listen with all their attention…

    Yes. They were completely insane.

  5. Steven

    Walter related the Acts 17/13 dilemma as a dialogue, not an internal decision, unfortunately.

  6. I also am very skeptical of those who say God spoke to them directly, and of those who claim they know what God wants us to do. I have argued that God and Natural Law are very close. Of course, not the same for most people. But very close when you think about it.

  7. John,
    I’m not sure I have a good answer for you. I can say that this opportunity was so far out of what we thought would happen, that we probably needed a lot of convincing. I would also say that there was so many things along the way that confirmed that this was the right thing to do, that God was probably being more clear than we wanted Him to be, we just weren’t ready to go along for the ride. The up side is that by the time we caught up, we were 100% in and embraced the change.

    I’m not suggesting that this is typical or anything like that, just that in that particular case it was very clear what God wanted for us.

  8. This is such an important topic. People use “sloppy God talk” far too often and put terrible burdens on people who don’t understand the topic. They think they aren’t real believers because they aren’t getting the personalized messages that these super-Christians are.

  9. Irish Colleen says:

    Come on now….doesn’t Beth Moore hear God speaking to her…calling her Honey & baby!

    Irish Colleen

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