• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Samuel A CainBut the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 ESV)

There are many who call on God without really knowing who He is. They want a sign from God to help them make a difficult decision, or a special feeling that urges them one way or another. Many would like to hear the audible voice God.

If someone calls your name and you do not recognize the voice, you probably do not know that person very well. Therefore, how can someone recognize the voice of God if they have not spent time with Him in the Bible and prayer?

Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV)

Understanding and knowing God is very important. If God spoke audibly, what would He sound like? If God spoke to you in the Spirit, how would you know that it is truly Him? Would the Bible absolutely support your experience? We know through the Scriptures that God has spoken to His people in many ways:

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 world. (Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV)

What is your relationship with God that you would expect Him to speak to you audibly or otherwise? Does your prayer life give you this expectation? Do the days and hours you spend reading and studying your Bible give you a true understanding of God? Is your cooperation with the Holy Spirit leading to greater holiness in your life and a closer affinity to the God of all creation? Have you been born again?

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, (1 John 4:1 ESV)

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24 ESV)

Test the spirits. Worship Him in spirit and truth. I believe that most people are speaking of their own feelings when they say things like: “God spoke to me …” or “I heard God …” Yet, our feelings can be deceitful. (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV) We are to test such experiences by the written Word of God. We must intimately know the truth of the Bible to judge such occurrences.

If you are a mature Christian who has consistently pursued the renewal of your mind through God’s Word and prayer (Romans 12:2 ESV), I believe that in various circumstances the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance (John 14:26 ESV) scriptural principles and specific Scriptures which help you to discern the best decision or judgement you can make at a particular moment.

In the above sense, I suppose you might say that God spoke to you. However, it is the Holy Spirit (God) helping you to remember the written Word of God and its application to your situation. This implies that you have spent a lot of time in God’s Word! Therefore, you have heard God through His written Word. Avoid relying on emotional experiences which are often deceptive and go to the Scriptures for a timely word of wisdom:

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 competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)

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