Everything that we know about God
teaches us that He desires to communicate with us. It is a part of His very character. Romans 1 tells us that God speaks to us even through the magnificence of His creation.
John 1:1 describes Jesus as the
Word: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was
God. Words communicate. God desires to communicate with His
people. In Matthew 4:4,
Jesus tells Satan, “Man does not live by
bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” The verb “proceed” is in the
present continuous tense. A better
translation might be “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that
is continually proceeding out of the mouth of God.”
In John 8, Jesus says that He
only did what He saw the Father doing and only spoke what He heard the Father
saying. Jesus Himself continually heard
from His Father. He was in
constant communication with Him.
His life demonstrated a total dependence on hearing from the Father and
then obeying Him.
Was Jesus able to do this only
because He is part of the Godhead?
If that is true, hearing God speak in this same way is outside of the
realm of our capabilities. Or was
Jesus dependent on the same Holy Spirit who now indwells us.
Subscribe to Get Simply Church Updates
Join our mailing list to get occasional updates from me!
7 replies on “Does God Still Speak Today?”
I love what you are developing here about the centrality of hearing God’s voice!
One of the most important verses on this for me is John 14:16. “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Paraklete (one who comes alongside to help, counselor, coach, etc.). As you know, the word “another” means “another one just like the first one”. They had experienced Jesus as Paraklete for three years. They had intimate, daily conversation. And now, through the Spirit, who “speaks only what He hears from Jesus” (16:13), the same conversation continues. That had to be why the Spirit was so important to the early church.
And, now, we get to join that conversation!
Felicity, Glad you are raising the bar on what it means
to be children of God. I often come back to Paul’s word,
“Pray without ceasing” as an expression of an ongoing
continuous two-way conversation with God all day, every day. I am convinced that Christ’s relationship with the Father is something we can have too.
Thank you for bringing up such an important subject for the saints of God.
I would have to quote our Lord and Savior, when (in John 10:3-5) he states, “To him (the Shepherd of the sheep) the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
This is an interesting passage, in that it encourages me to know that the Shepherd’s sheep do NOT know the voice of strangers, nor will they follow the voice of strangers. They only LISTEN to the VOICE of their Shepherd.
People think that sheep are stupid. Technically, they aren’t. There is a wonderful story on video (I think you can see it on YouTube) about a man who befriended a sheep that came to him because (as the man observed) it felt lonely. The man treated the sheep like he would a canine companion. One day, he decided that the sheep needed to go back to its flock from where it had come. So, he took the sheep back to its flock, which wasn’t close by. A few days later, he saw the sheep coming over the hillside and through the man’s pasture, just because it wanted the love the man had given to it.
Puts a whole new perspective on this passage of Scriptures, don’t you think? Even sheep aren’t too stupid to know when they are loved by someone. When we KNOW the VOICE of our Shepherd and we know he loves us, why would we listen to the voice of a stranger? We wouldn’t. We only follow the VOICE of our Shepherd.
As an almost complete stranger to this website, but one who would likely be found to be completely sympathetic to the truths of the one true Church expressed here, may I jump in with a question of my own: Is this the central (or even right) question to be asked?
Asking the question implies an assumption that perhaps God does not speak. But how can this be? He is the Living Word. His name is a verb, not a noun.
It seems to me we should be continually asking whether what we are hearing is our Master’s voice, or someone or something else. On what basis do we say we KNOW God spoke to us? There’s a can of worms which can lead to all manner of confusion, strife, dissension – in the hands of the foolish.
In response to a brother who was asking my opinion on a particular teacher who offers four simple steps to “Hear God’s Voice” I offered the following:
A simple Berean test I employ (mostly subconsciously, at least at first) when evaluating any teaching is to try to square up the overall thrust of the teaching (and the teacher himself) with the overall thrust of the Word and those who delivered it to us. We see this all the time. Just name your pet theological/ecclesiological bent, whether it be Calvinism, Arminianism, Premillenialism, HouseChurcheology, Orthodoxy, Missional. You name it. Now put it in the mouth of a dynamic teacher who is so committed to that perspective, and what do you get? Well, you certainly may get some fascinating new insights, and God may speak to you through it. And you will get a teacher with a following and a cottage industry (The Prayer of Jabez comes to mind). But when you stay there you lose sight of Christ. “I determined to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Now, if this particular teacher were doing a 4-part series on hearing God’s voice as part of a larger picture, I’d look at it as an exploration of just one facet of the diamond which is the Word of God Himself. And like I’ve said, I have no serious issue with his four steps. But when I get the sense that the teacher’s focus is so wholly on this one facet, I take pause, and really start looking at the Word. Is the teacher’s focus truly Christ Himself, or is it something other? When you read the New Testament (in particular) you see over and over and over again that while the writers take up manifold themes and issues, they always, always, always come back around to pointing our eyes to Christ. Any preacher who doesn’t ultimately do this is trying to sell us something (else). Yes, I will grant you that this teacher says to turn your eyes to Jesus, but the whole focus of his message is not that. It most definitely is something else.
An illustration: do you know about the airline that went down in the Florida Everglades back in the 70s? Eastern Airlines DC-10 I believe. Apparently a landing gear warning light came on, although there was actually no real trouble with the gear. The crew got so focused on the warning light that they took their eyes off the overall picture, like for instance, a little thing such as their rapidly losing altitude. The rest is history as they say, with the alligators enjoying a feast. Anyway, I get the sense that early on in this teacher’s walk he got so focused on a warning light (“Why can’t I hear God’s voice”) that he has to some degree missed God’s voice along the way, and is now flying others along on his adventure. Personally, I don’t feel the need to go there.
He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
For what it’s worth…
I agree with you on the need to focus on Christ. I will be looking in later posts at how to distinguish the voice of the Shepherd from the many others we may hear.
Amazingly, just this past week I have been studying the book of Acts again to see how mission was intiated.
My questions whilst reading have been:
‘What was the Missional Breakthrough?’ and
‘What happened prior to this?’
Here is some of what I found:
The Gospel comes to the Treasurer of Ethiopia who then takes it to his country
(an angel spoke to Philip telling him what road to go down, then the Holy Spirit spoke to him about walking besides the carriage)
Paul begins preaching in Damascus
(Jesus appears to Paul and Ananias independantly in visions bringing direction)
The Gospel spreads into Galatia
(the Spirit said set appart Paul and Barnabas whilst they were in prayer and fasting with prophets and teachers)
The Gospel spreads into Macedonia
(Paul has a dream of a man dressed in Macedonian clothes calling him- he concluded that the Holy Spirit was sending them there)
Many Believe in Corinth
(Jesus appears to Paul in a vision telling Paul not to be afraid but to speak out because He has many in this city, so Paul stays for a year and a half)
I’m loving this stuff on ‘hearing God speak!’
It was vital to the mission expansion of the early church!
Jesus said ‘My sheep hear my Voice’
‘Does God Still Speak Today?’ If He doesn’t, we are in desperate trouble
Hi All! I have been reading the book of John for the past few weeks. I was wondering whether or not God speaks to His people and how He does it. Am totaly convinced He does.