Question: Does God still speak to people like He did in the Bible?
Answer: Yes, He certainly does! Sometimes, we don’t recognize His answers.
In the midst ofmore distractions than ever before in history, we are missing His voice, His signals, His instruction. So, it’s not that God doesn’t speak, but that we don’t hear because we are not listening. Or, we may expect Him to answer immediately and according to what we hope for, and His timing is different – in fact, better. You see, His delays are intended to help us (and others along the way!) in multiple ways. Often, He doesn’t speak in the way we expect. God may not give us exactly what we prayed for, but it will be what is best for us. He may not even answer us for a while. That usually means to wait, which is especially difficult for us since we feel we need help right away. In Bible times, He spoke through His prophets through direct conversation, visions, events, and dreams. God gave His messengers power to perform miracles to authenticate the source was truly Him. Once Jesus entered our world’s time and space, God directed others through this promised one, His Son. Later, the disciples and apostles carried messages to people from Jesus and His teachings.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2
“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and Christ, The Morning Star, rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21
Amazingly, He still speaks in many of these ways today! How can we make sure that we hear what He means for us to understand as His responses?
PRAY, LISTEN, WATCH, AND EXPECT!
First, we have to talk with Him and then listen intentionally and expectantly. Get alone and quiet. Spend time reading the Bible, talking to Him, and listening for Him to bring to your mind new thoughts, ideas, and solutions. We must adjust our expectations because God communicates in various ways. He may even cause you to come into contact with wise Christian friends who reinforce what you feel you are receiving from God. Always compare what solutions people offer with the Word of God, the Bible. Consider, would Jesus give you this same advice?
“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
PRAY AND ASK FOR DISCERNMENT
Second, we have to recognize whether the direction that we’re sensing is truly from God. Again, the most important test is, does what you’re hearing line up with the Bible’s truths and guidance? He lets us know His answers mainly through the Bible’s scriptures; if you don’t read them, you won’t be able to safely discern what aligns with God’s will and what doesn’t. Ask Him to help you determine what is truly from Him. God’s instruction is preserved for us in the completed record of the Bible by His Holy Spirit because He means for us to judge all things by those standards. This Spirit from God helps us to know what is true and false and shows us how to apply it to our lives. Never depend solely on what others at church, in books, or online are teaching you as God’s guidance! Jesus gave us warnings about not falling for false teachers and their ideas that contradict His instruction. Compare what the Holy Scriptures teach with what your Bible teacher and pastor are saying. How sad that some of them today are not teaching God’s instruction but their own opinions and what is popular in our culture! They do this to gain followers in order to build their own egos and make more money from donations to their causes. If God is, indeed, speaking through people, what they’re advising you to do will perfectly line up with the scriptures He has given us. Don’t follow your feelings because your own desires strongly influence them and will lead you astray. God doesn’t change His mind and relax His rules for living just because people want Him to.
“Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you. You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes. A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” Matthew 7:15-18
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist [Satan], which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here… Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.” I John 4:1-6
STAY FOCUSED ON GOD AND UNAFRAID
Third, don’t get sidetracked by your impatience and fears. Just because you have prayed for a certain outcome and believe strongly that your desire is what God will fulfill, be humble and open to a different answer, one that is so much better than what you prayed for. God is quite well-known for doing just that!
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20
“And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:27-28
Don’t allow fear to overtake you as you wait, listen, and watch for answers to your prayers. Satan enjoys stoking fear in the followers of Jesus Christ. Refuse to believe His same old lies that God didn’t hear you or will not answer you due to your mistakes and bad choices. You can trust His promises which are documented in the Bible. God ALWAYS hears you, even before you become a believer!
“Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:7-8
The Holy Spirit speaks to us – our minds and hearts – today, just like He has done for others through the ages. It’s not just that He DID speak, but that He DOES, still actively reaching out to our generation in the present! And He will continue.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
Are you seeking peace in your heart?
You surely want to sign on for the kind that lasts – the peace that ONLY He can give. HIS PEACE.
God assures us He is with us at all times. You can feel His peace right now, which is the impression you have when you ask Him to help you sense His presence. God’s beautiful plan is to draw us to Himself through His Son Jesus, who He sent into the world to show us what God is really like. God adopts you into His own family when YOU accept Jesus as His Son who died on a cross to pay the ultimate penalty for the past, present, and future sins of mankind – including yours! Ask Jesus to come into your life and lead you through every day for the rest of your life. If you ask, HE WILL answer!
“I AM with your always, even to the end of this age.” Jesus in Matthew 28:20