Today I read a blog that was criticizing a well known woman who writes Bible Study curriculum for women. I don't want to even say who the well known woman was, because the bigger issue for me as I read the post was the reason the writer was criticizing this woman. The author criticized the woman because she has periodically, as she is talking, said something to the effect of "God told me ______". The author basically went on to say how if you believe her, then what God told her is new revelation, and therefor devalues the validity of the Holy Scriptures, so it can not be of God. As I checked out this particular blog, and other sites it was linked to, I was stunned that it appears that this type of thinking has a huge following in what would be considered conservative circles.
I've never heard the specific woman Bible Study instructor to whom they were referring ever say anything that God revealed to her, that was in contradiction to what is already written in the Bible. It may be that she's said something and I missed it, but I really do not think that was the issue. The issue was that these people thought it was wrong for her to act as if God spoke directly to her; the author even went so far as to say that perhaps this woman did indeed hear a voice, but implied that it must have been the voice of the enemy - I was shocked at this thinking.
When I open up my Bible I see Jesus telling us in John 10:26-28:
26"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
27"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.When I read these verses, it sounds to me like God speaks to His followers and they will recognize His voice.
Then there's also the passage in John 16:5-25 when Jesus is speaking about the fact that He was soon to be leaving the earth. He promised that after He left He would not leave His followers alone but would send the Holy Spirit to them. He went on to say in John 16:13-15:
13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
Again it sounds like the Holy Spirit speaks God's truth into the heart of the individual Believer.
I think there are lots of ways God speaks to His followers. I've experienced Him speaking to me through the Bible, through circumstances, through godly counsel,through people He brings into my life, through a still small voice in my spirit. Whenever I think God is telling me something, I always go to the scripture to ensure that what I think I'm hearing is in the line with scripture.
I'm grateful that scripture indicates repeatedly that the creator of the universe, is interested in having a relationship with people, a relationship with me.
What about you, what are some experiences you've had with God speaking to you?