Let me say at the outset that this is a dangerous topic. I believe that God still speaks to His people today—personally and not just through the Bible. However, I also believe that much of what is attributed to God has not come from Him. There are believers who will claim that they have never heard the voice of God and there are believers who claim to hear Him regularly. I have heard people justify their sin by saying that God told them it was okay. I have heard so many conflicting things credited to God that I have said they either cannot all be truly from Him or He is schizophrenic. (I do not think God is schizophrenic.)
So, I have to be careful. If I say that God speaks to us regularly, as a matter of course, some will accuse me of being experiential only, which I am not. If I say that God speaks to us only through the Bible, some will accuse me of believing that God is no longer active in our day, which I do not. Nor am I particularly fond of the concept of balance. The truth may be somewhere between the extremes, but it is not a balance of the two ideas.
With all of that said, I will say again that I believe God speaks to His people today in personal ways, not necessarily through the Bible. I believe He is perfectly consistent and what He reveals to you or me will never be in conflict with what He has said in the Bible, but I think He wants to lead us in more specific ways than the Bible addresses. For example, I read in the Bible that I should not kill or steal. Plain as day and not really open to challenge. But I cannot find anywhere in the Bible whether I should buy another car. I know that I shouldn’t steal a car but, if I have the money, should I buy one? Should I move across town? Should I vote for Mr. Smith? Should I visit my friend as I travel through his town? You see, these are the specific questions that come up in life and the Bible doesn’t address them.
Oh, I know that some people say that Scripture addresses every situation through principles or general teachings. These are the people who seem to have a verse for everything, no matter how they may have to twist or manipulate the verse to make it say what they want. That kind of thinking is dangerous in itself. So many people have been misled and used by teachers who warp Scripture to say what it had no intention of saying.
Instead, I think there is a better way to find the answers to my questions. I ask Jesus. Then I listen. You see, I believe that Jesus is real and desires to be active in my life. In fact, I believe that He is with me and He loves me. I think I can take any concern to Him. I believe Him when He says I should cast my cares upon Him because He cares for me.
I truly appreciate your comments!
(I am traveling these days. This series of posts was quite popular a couple of years ago. I hope you find them helpful. Please feel free to comment as usual. See you on the other side! – Dave)