Tag Archives: God speaks

Beyond the Bible? 2

But the real question is this: Does He answer?  Does He communicate His desire?  Of course He does!  I have never heard a booming voice from the clouds, but I have heard in my mind very straight answers that sounded quite real.  I have also found that certain doors close and others open.  I have had answers come through other people.  I have had answers, many times, through a new look at His Word.  Because He cares for me, He answers me.  He leads me when I call on Him.  Sometimes I have to wait and listen.  At other times the answer comes right away and I know what to do.  He loves me; He is with me; and He speaks to me.

This is not something that should be surprising.  Because I have a relationship with Him, He is active in my life.  Do I always obey?  I wish!  Do I always do the right thing?  Well, sometimes I forget or neglect to ask.  Sometimes I don’t ask because I don’t really want to know at the time.  But none of those things changes the fact that He is real and active in my life.  Even if I choose the wrong path, He calls to me.  He pulls me back to Him.  He loves me.

And, yes, there are times when I don’t seem to get an answer.  Maybe it was because I didn’t want to hear what He said.  Maybe it was because I wasn’t ready.  I don’t know; but, if there is any fault, it lies in me.  In some of those times I have had to move ahead with my “best guess,” trusting that He will either move me in the right direction or make some good use of my mistake.

So how will He speak to you?  Don’t ask me!  Ask Him.  Just as every earthly relationship has varied and intricate dynamics, so your relationship with Him will be just between the two of you.  He may consistently lead you to the Bible or to a good friend or you may find many different ways in which He will speak.  Just trust that He will lead you.  He says that His sheep know His voice.  It may sound different to each of us, but we will know that it is Him.

Here’s the simple plan I use: Ask Him.  Submit to Him.  Trust that He will lead you.  When I say that you should submit to Him, I mean that you give the decision over to Him.  If you want your own way no matter what, if your mind is already made up, don’t waste your time asking Him.  He is not a rubber stamp to make you feel good about your own will.  When you ask, be willing to do what He says.  Listen to Him.

So, yes God speaks to His people through the Bible.  But He also goes beyond the Bible.  The Holy Spirit is in us to lead us.  He will arrange some way to get His will across to us—if we want to hear it.

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)

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Filed under Freedom, grace, Relationship, Theology and mystery, Uncategorized

Beyond the Bible? 1

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.

…more coming…

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)

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Filed under Freedom, grace, Relationship, Theology and mystery

The Grid – Addendum Two

Jesus challenged the Pharisees and the Jewish teachers by telling them: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”  (John 5:39)  He was telling them that the Scriptures are not enough.  God never intended for people to exchange a relationship with Him for a love for the Bible.  God intended for the Scriptures to lead people to Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God!  Jesus is the One who saves us.  God did not become a book.  He came to us in the Person of Jesus.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”   Hebrews 1:1-4

Jesus is God.  The Son took on human flesh to show us the Father.  Yes, this is one of the most marvelous mysteries of our faith, so full of wonder that we may never be able to fully comprehend it.  We may not understand, but we must believe.

Nowhere does the Scripture claim for itself the place of Jesus.  If our faith is only focused on the Bible, and we think that through it we will have life, we will miss the truth of the One who gave the Bible to us.  It is Jesus, and Him alone, who deserves our worship and our hearts.  Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

The goal of the Christian life is not memorizing or studying Scripture.  The goal of the Christian life is to know Jesus.  To walk with Him and know His love.  To live in Him and with Him and for Him.  To enjoy Him and glorify Him.

Now, I understand that what I have written will be rejected by some people and others will have some difficulty in letting go of the inappropriate place they have given to the Bible.  All our lives we were told that the Bible is the center.  But that is not true.  Jesus is the center.  The Bible points to Him.

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)

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Filed under Freedom, grace, Legalism, Uncategorized