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Does God still speak to us today?
This is a very interesting question someone asked me recently. In Biblical times we see that God spoke to Moses and other Bible characters. Sometimes it was directly and sometimes it was by the appearance of an angel.
In the Bible in John 10:11-16 it says, "I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd".
This passage talks about Jesus being our shepherd and Him speaking to us. It also talks about those who know Him recognising His voice. I really believe God still does speak to us today. In my personal experience I have found that He uses four different ways.
1. God speaks to us through the Bible
The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to us. It tells us who He is and what He has done for us. There are also many passages that give us practical advice on how we should live our lives. I have found that a number of times I have been reading the Bible a situation has "spoken" to me. By spoken I mean that the situation in the Bible really had something in it that touched me and was relevant to my current situation. It was either a particular verse or a passage. It either gave me guidance, strength, comfort or the person mentioned was going through the same situation I found myself in.
2. God speaks to us through other people
I believe God uses other people to speak to us. It might be a sermon that we have heard or He might have "given" someone something for you that you need to hear at that time. By given I mean that He placed a very strong impression on someone that they feel compelled to tell you about it. This usually takes the form of encouragement or confirming something that you have been thinking about and you have asked God for wisdom about it. Although it may come from someone you don't know too well like a visiting speaker to your church, it generally comes from someone you know and trust.
3. God speaks to us through prayer
I really believe that prayer is a two way thing. We bring our requests and thanks to God and sometimes while we are praying He might speak to us. Again by speak I mean placing a strong impression on you. Something you feel compelled to follow. An example of this was several years ago I was going to change jobs. I felt that another job was more suitable for me in the same organisation. I felt God was speaking to me about this job and what it would entail when I prayed. After several days prayer I was talking to the manager of the job and he said many of the things God had previously spoken to me about. This with advice from others gave me the go ahead for the change of jobs.
4. God speaks to us through an audible voice
I have been a Christian since 1989 and during that time I have heard God speak to me in an audible voice twice. One time was when my wife was in hospital having surgery and I was home with our very young children. It was a very stressful time as you can imagine! Late one night I heard this voice say "Dave". At first I thought what was that! Then several minutes later I heard a voice say "Dave" again. This time I knew it was God. I went to my prayer room and just sat with God. It was like taking a time out. I felt like I was just relaxing with Him. It gave me a sense of peace and I felt my strength renewed. I guess God knew I was going to stop unless He didn't something out of the ordinary!
So does God speak to us today? The Bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever in Hebrews 13:8. If God spoke to those in the Old Testament times why would He stop now! His heart way back then and still is to be in a personal relationship with each of us and talk to us. He might speak to us through the Bible, through other people, as we are praying or even in an audible voice. The key to hearing from God is to believe that He will and then be open to those ways that He might speak into our lives.
Why not pray now?
Dear God, I thank You that You spoke to people in Biblical times. I thank You that the Bible tells us that You walked and talked with Adam in the Garden of Eden. I pray Lord God that You will speak to me. I pray that You will speak to me through the Bible. Please speak to me when I pray to You. Please speak to me through those people around me and even in an audible voice. Please guide me and lead me in all I do and help me to make wise decisions. In Jesus' name, Amen
By Dave Quinn
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