Does God Speak to Us?
Does God speak to us? Personally, I mean. Does God whisper personal instructions to me that I’m supposed to follow? Should I expect Him to or be disappointed if He doesn’t? Does God speak to us personally? I believe that question is worthy of our study, and I believe the Bible gives us a very clear answer.
We know that at one time God did speak to men personally. Men heard His voice with their ears. God called them by their names and gave them personal instructions. Noah received a personalized architectural design for his ark (Genesis 6:13-21), as well as a personal alert about when to enter the ark (Genesis 7:1-4). Abram received personalized promises from God in Genesis chapters 12 and 15. It’s possible that God personally spoke to Moses more than anyone else. Genesis 3:4 records the first instance when Moses heard the voice of God, “... God called to him from the midst of the burning bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!” God spoke to these men, and He spoke to them personally. He even used their names.
Yet, we also know that’s not the only way God’s knows how to do business. We know He used other methods to communicate His message to man. God spoke to prophets and had them deliver His word to large groups of people. We see this in men like Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, Obadiah and so many more! God wrote His words of instruction on tablets of stone and delivered them to the Israelites at Sinai (Exodus 31:18). In the Old Testament, God is fond of sending angels to speak on His behalf (Daniel 10) and isn’t above sending a talking donkey if He feels that’ll get His point across (Numbers 22).
The book of Hebrews says that in times past God spoke in many different ways (Hebrews 1:1), and as we study we find that to be true. The book of Hebrews also tells us that in our days God “has spoken to us in His Son” (Hebrews 1:2). Does God speak to us personally? No, He does not. The Bible teaches that if God wants to say something to me He won’t whisper in my ear, I’ll hear His message through Jesus.
Now, what does that mean? Does Jesus speak to me personally? Does He whisper instructions in my ear? The Bible is pretty clear that He does not. Jesus did speak to men personally while He was on this Earth. He called Zaccheus to come down from the tree (Luke 19), and He called Peter and Andrew to get out of their fishing vessel (Matthew 4). Yet, the Bible teaches us that once Jesus ascended to heaven He wouldn’t be the one personally delivering instructions anymore. Instead, the Holy Spirit would deliver the words of Jesus to the apostles. Remember what He told the apostles the night He was betrayed?
“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But 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 said to you” (John 14:25-26).
Now, what does that mean? Does the Holy Spirit speak to me personally? Does He direct my footsteps or whisper instructions in my ear? The Bible clearly teaches that He does not. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit would speak to the apostles. They were given the authority to speak for Jesus (Matthew 16:19) and they were given the truth by the Spirit Jesus sent to them (II Peter 1:20-21). Once they had possession of that message from the Holy Spirit they wrote it down and sent Jesus’ message across the world. They also laid hands on godly men and women who became prophets and revealed the Spirit’s message as well (Acts 8). They repeated this process until God had communicated and preserved everything mankind needed to know (II Peter 1:3), and at that time the prophesies and the inspiration dried up leaving us with a book, a heavenly library, we call the Bible (I Corinthians 13:9-10).
God does speak to us, but not personally. He does not whisper personalized instructions in our ears. He doesn’t send angels or pass along information through our pets. He does not tug on our heart or set a warm feeling inside of us. He speaks to us, and the Bible clearly tells us how. In these last days, God “has spoken to us in His Son.” His Son sent the Holy Spirit to His apostles and those apostles communicated the will of God to the rest of us, and that message is preserved for you and me in that precious leather-bound book sitting beside you. If you want to hear God’s personal message for you, open it up and get reading.