I found this article over at the Letter of Marque site, and it is a response to the popular experiential teachings by some who claim that we must all be in tune to hear God’s voice–His actual voice–speaking into our lives. I have seen many Christians, young people in particular, who have been tragically harmed by this teaching. They wonder why they cannot hear Him speak into their heads or hearts when they pray. “It’s like I’m talking to a brick wall!” one teen tearfully wailed to me a recently. I do not know where that young man is in his faith at this moment, but the teaching did damage that I can only hope has been or will be healed. I wish I could have shared this piece with him:
Are you struggling to figure out if those whispers that your pastor has told you to listen for are really God’s voice or a case of gastrointestinal hallucinations caused by a bad batch of pepperoni pizza?
Are you tired of going through the whole rigamarole of filtering those voices in your head through a six point ‘discernment grid’ to try to ascertain if that’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you or proof that you need to make an appointment with a shrink?
Have you read and reread Blackaby and still haven’t got the foggiest notion as to how to tell where God is working in the world so that you can join Him?
If you’ve answered yes to one or all of these questions then I’ve got great news for you! I have discovered a simple and sure fire way for you to hear God’s voice. The best part is that its 100% guaranteed and totally Biblical.
Here it is.
1. Acquire a Bible.
If you do not have a Bible then you can read it for free on the internet at BibleGateway.org. I recommend the English Standard Version for both readability and translational accuracy.
2. Open the Bible.
3. Begin reading it.
Read it with your mind engaged. Pay close attention to grammar and context. Take notes. Set a goal to read 3 to 10 chapters per day.
If you do those three things then you will be hearing God’s voice every single time that you open the Bible. No guess work, no need for six point ‘discernment filters’ and no nagging uncertainty about whether your hearing God’s voice or something else.
How can I be so sure and certain that this works?
I’m glad you asked.
One day, while I was reading my Bible I read 2 Timothy 3:16–17. Here’s what it says:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” [emphasis added]
Let’s break this down.
1. This passage says ALL scripture is God breathed. That means that God, The Holy-Spirit, personally inspired every one of the Biblical authors. In other words, you can know with certainty that every word of scripture contains God’s thoughts and when you’re reading the Bible you’re hearing God’s voice.
2. This passage says that the man of God would be COMPLETE through the reading, learning, knowing and applying of scripture. Notice that this verse doesn’t say that the man of God would be incomplete through his reading of scripture and that he’d need to augment the scriptures through whispers, subjective feelings, internal voices, direct revelation, dreams or visions. NO! It literally says that the man of God would be COMPLETE. The Greek word that is used here is ἄρτιος and it means “complete and/or fully qualified”. There is nothing else needed for the man of God. The scriptures are totally sufficient.
3. If point two wasn’t clear enough, 2 Timothy 3:17 drives the point home by stating that through the written word of God the man of God is equipped for EVERY good work. There are no good works that God would have you do that would require you to rely on anything other than His word to make you complete and fully equipped for the task.
The Bible is sufficient to make you complete and fully equipped for every good work.
You don’t need whispers.
You don’t need dreams.
You don’t need visions.
You don’t need trances.
You don’t need a glory cloud.
You don’t need to figure out how to ‘experience God’.
You don’t need contemplative mysticism.
All you need is the written word of God. The Bible is sufficient to make you complete and fully equipped for every good work and because every word of scripture is God breathed, you can know with confidence that you’re hearing the voice of God.
You may be asking yourself if it could truly be that simple.
Yes, it really is that simple!
- Experiencing Henry Blackaby (watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com)
- When God Talks Back: Elevating Experience Over Scripture (christianresearchnetwork.com)
- Why Bible Studies Don’t Transform Us (solasisters.blogspot.com)
- An Open Letter of Repentance To All Whom I Have Taught or Endorsed The Teachings of Henry Blackaby or Beth Moore (solasisters.blogspot.com)
- How Do You Hear God’s Voice? — Scripture (bobcornwall.com)