If someone told you that God spoke to them, would that seem strange to you? Is it rational to believe that the One True God would speak to puny, sinful humans? Is there a way to determine if God has really spoken to someone or if God is speaking to you?
These are questions that touch the core of human existence. Whatever time in history you may choose, whatever nationality, location, or religious environment one may examine they all have this in common; most believe God has spoken and still speaks to man.
But it is not simply the almost universal belief that God speaks to His creatures that proves that He does. It is the testimony of Holy Scripture that God has spoken and still speaks. He has spoken to individuals throughout history as recorded in the Bible and ultimately, He spoke to all of us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1-2).
If you were to hear someone say, “God told me…” how would you know if they were speaking the truth, lying, or simply deluded?
First and foremost, I would ask, “Is the message true to Scripture?” Scripture is God’s word! I would want to know if what they believe God said to them in any way contradicted Scripture. If what they believe God said to them is not true to the revelation of God found in the Bible, then it clearly was not God Who spoke to them.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:8)
The Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testament is not like any other writing; it is the word of God. There are a multitude of reasons for believing this that we may address at another time. But if someone said that God told him or her to do something that defied God’s character or the truth He has already revealed I would ignore what they said and avoid them altogether.
Another question to ask, “Is the person who claims God spoke to them a trustworthy individual?” Obviously God can communicate any way He desires and through anyone He desires. God has used the ungodly (and even a donkey!) to bring His message to people. The Bible is full of examples. However, if someone’s character and lifestyle did not reflect godliness, I would question the validity of their story. Also, if someone were known for emotional extremes, rash decisions, hasty words, and instability I would highly doubt anything they say whether it is about God or the weather. Furthermore, many will attempt to deceive and manipulate by claiming God said something. Beware.
How about you? Has God spoken to you?
You may use the same tests to confirm whether or not what you think God said to you is really from God. First, search the Scriptures and ask God for wisdom. When you read Scripture, you are reading God’s word!
If the impression or even “voice” is absolutely true to the full revelation of Scripture and if you are careful to examine your emotional state and you find confirmation from certain individuals; then it is quite likely that God spoke to you.
Be sure to seek godly counsel. Find people who are mature in their walk with God, thoroughly familiar with Scripture, emotionally stable, and spiritually consistent. Share with them what you think God may have said to you and weigh their comments with Scripture and time in prayer.
Know this: your desire to know God and hear from Him is, most certainly, not your imagination. Man does not normally seek God. The reason you are seeking is because God is calling!
However, if you say, “No, God has never spoken to me!” I would suggest that you consider this a very serious indicator that something is amiss.
“He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” –Jesus (John 8:47)
The message that God is sending to all mankind is a call to turn to Him. He has revealed Himself, His purposes, and His ways in the Bible. He has spoken and made several things very clear:
- He loves us (John 3:16)
- We need Him (Romans 3:23; 6:23a)
- He wants to help us (Mt. 11:28)
- His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was sinless, yet willingly died as a sacrifice for our sin and rose from the dead (2Cor. 5:21; Romans 4:25)
- We must turn to Him and trust Him (Luke 13:5; Eph. 2:8)
- He will forgive us and make us His own (John 1:12)
- If we reject Him we have no hope (John 14:6)
- He will never leave His own (John 6:37)
Consider this list in the light of what we said earlier. God will never contradict Himself. For my list to be true, Scripture must support it. You can tell that from the sampling of texts above, obviously it does. Happily, we can confirm that these simple truths are taught throughout God’s word, the Bible!
So, at the very minimum, you have “heard” God call you to turn from your own way and turn to Him in trust and surrender. Once you do, there are many more things God will say to you as He reveals Himself to you and guides you.
Oh, you may say you have many other questions and you need to hear more from God. Please understand, that whatever your needs may be, none are greater than having a real and personal relationship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In a future blog we will discuss how God speaks and guides His people, but for now it is imperative that you respond to what you already know God has said to you.
If you have a question about how to receive Christ as your Savior and Lord or if you have surrendered your life to Christ, we want to hear about it. We would be thrilled to help you enter into a relationship with Christ as well as encourage you as you begin to follow Him. Just use the “Contact” form.
Yes, God has spoken and still speaks. The question is are we listening and will we respond?
“Speak Lord for your servant is listening!” (1 Samuel 3:7-11)