I recently read an article written by a nationally recognized, evangelical pastor who claimed that God only speaks today through the Bible. He rejected the idea that we mortals could receive ANY communication from God except from the Bible. His theory even denied one could receive a “calling” from God or any direct guidance or leading of the Holy Spirit. When I finished reading his words, I felt a great sadness for him and those who followed his teaching. You are mistaken dear pastor—God still speaks!
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13 NKJV).
Before I go further, I want to affirm one thing. I believe the Bible is God’s Word and it must be held as the indisputable communication from God. In the practicality of life, we must hold the Word of God as the standard by which we judge everything that we may think is coming from God. In other words, even if some trusted spiritual leader tells us something that supposedly comes from God, but it contradicts the Bible, then we should reject it. If we think we have a leading from God and it does not pass the scripture test, then we need to consider it our own thoughts and not a word from God. But please understand—God still speaks!
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, / that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV).
I have never heard the audible voice of God, yet He has spoken into my spirit so strong that there was no doubt it was God. Then there have been other times when God was speaking to me, yet it was that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit. And to be honest, I have also had those situations when I thought the Holy Spirit was leading me and it turned out to be my own thoughts. Even in my human frailties—God still speaks!
“After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. / And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ / Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them (Acts 16:7; 9-10 NKJV).
There are some people who have a theology without an experience. Others have an experience without a theology. We need to have both, a theology (expounded from the Bible) and an experience (a personal encounter and relationship with the Holy Spirit). It is through His Word and through the Holy Spirit—God still speaks!
It would take a book, not an essay, to discuss all the different ways in which God speaks. It would take a book and a span of experience, not an essay, to discuss the many ways to discern the difference between other voices and the voice of God. Even a book, along with this short essay, should convince you—God still speaks!
My purpose here, is to encourage you not to put God in a man-designed theological box—He doesn’t fit. Those who design those boxes will tell you to relegate the miracles, guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to a former pattern and time. It is a sad paradox that those who espouse the Bible as unyielding truth deny the very truths it contains. Even though men choose not to hear—God still speaks!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt