Does God Really Speak To People ?
Yes, He does
There is nothing greater that can happen to a nation, a church, a preacher, or a Christian than to hear the voice of God. But how does the Lord speak to believers? In the Bible we read of Him speaking to some in an audible voice. And while He can certainly do that, He mostly speaks to the child of God through the Holy Spirit by an impression on that person’s spirit. Ideally, the child of God walks so closely to the Lord that He will speak to that person constantly, giving guidance, direction, and instruction through the Holy Spirit.
Does God Speak To Unbelievers?
We believe so. For people to be saved, the Holy Spirit has to break through a shell of darkness as the Word of God is preached, thereby bringing the sinner under conviction and, hopefully, to an acceptance of Christ. When a sinner is convicted by the Holy Spirit, that is the Lord “speaking” to that person so he might give his heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The convicting power of the Holy Spirit, which is an absolute necessity for one to be saved, brings about many and varied responses from the person under conviction. Some yield immediately and say yes to Christ, which is the intention of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11).
Remember Saul. The Bible says he was “yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.” But on the road to Damascus, “he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4).
Surely Saul had heard any number of things about Jesus, respecting His miracles and His teaching and preaching. No doubt he had heard the answers given by Jesus to the most perplexing questions, even those designed to snare Him, but with no success. Yet Saul had reasoned in his mind that Jesus, despite all these things, was but a peasant and an imposter. Now he hears the voice of Christ Himself, and in a moment’s time, he is changed.
Yes, God speaks to people, and He calls them by name. The same voice who said, “Saul, Saul,” also said:
- “Abraham, Abraham” (Gen. 22:11). With his son on the altar and the knife in his hand, the voice of God was never so welcomed, never so sweet, and never so seasonable as it was to Abraham in this moment.
- “Samuel, Samuel.” (I Sam. 3:10). Samuel, being a child, was not yet acquainted with the way that God spoke and revealed Himself, but that would soon change.
- “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41) It would have been far better that day had cold leftovers been placed on the table with everyone hearing the words of Jesus, rather than serving an elegant meal and not hearing Him.
- “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31). In the repetition of his former name—Simon—Bible scholars catch notes of concern, love, and sadness in Christ’s warning to Peter.
“And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Luke 9:35).
In this verse, the words, “hear Him,” actually say, “be constantly hearing Him.” The Lord Jesus Christ is the one to be listened to and not the voice of others. Consequently, this shoots down the Catholic theory of hearing Mary or any other dead saints.
Sadly, much if not most of the modern church listens to the voice of man rather than that of Christ, who is the Head of the church. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). While the believer certainly should glean all that is possible from those whom God has truly called—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Eph. 4:11), still, the believer is to know the Word of God well enough himself so that he will know whether what is being taught is right or wrong. Millions are in hell today because they listened to other voices instead of listening to Christ. The believer must walk close enough to the Lord not only to hear His voice, but also discern that it is from the Lord and understand what He is saying.
For the church to survive, the Lord must speak. For the preacher to have the anointing to proclaim what the Lord has given him, the Lord must speak. If the Holy Spirit abides in the heart and life of the individual, most definitely He will speak.
He Speaks To Lead
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who carries out the work of God on earth, desires to give us total guidance and direction in all that we do. Isaiah 30:21 says, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” We are promised that the Lord will give us minute direction in everything. He will say to us, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” If we don’t know that way, it is simply because we have not earnestly sought His face, His leading, and His guidance. Not only will He show us the way, but He also will go so far as to tell us when to turn to the right hand, and when to turn to the left. That is the minute leading and guidance that He desires to give to us, which is always a perfect guidance.
He Shall Not Speak Of Himself
The Lord said, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit, as God, hears only that which is from the Father, which means that it is absolutely certain of perfection. It is not diluted by human thought, thinking, or conjecture. Consequently, everything that He “speaks” is truth and nothing but the truth. He speaks to the hearts of believers constantly, and they can be certain that whatever He says is perfectly right. And whatever He speaks will always coincide with His Word. If not, or even if there is the slightest variation, one can be certain that the error is not from the Holy Spirit but has come about because the person did not allow himself to be properly led by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit also speaks through prophecy, tongues and interpretation, a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, etc. He speaks constantly, in fact, in the preaching of the gospel, at least that which is truth.
Do you hear His voice? Is the Lord speaking to you?