>September 17, 2009
Every Christian at one point or another has probably either heard someone say, or has said themselves, “God told me…” The tough thing about this statement is that it is phrased as objectively true, when it is typically completely subjective. The problem is that unless God spoke in an audible voice and other people heard, there is no way to know that the person claiming this actually heard God speak. Many cults and odd religious groups were started because their leader “heard God speak”, but then failed to weigh it against any objective truth. People have committed murders because “God told them to.” Also, many Christians have acted in an impulsive and damaging way, stating that God told them to do it.
I know the above paragraph is rather negative, but I say all that to beg the questions: how do we hear from God? Is the Bible our only tool for hearing His voice? Does the Holy Spirit speak as a voice in our heads or by impressing thoughts on our minds?
Firstly, you can always rely on the Bible. I will refrain from a lengthy write-up on why the Bible is reliable, but those of you who are Christians should already be on board with me. If you want to hear from the Holy Spirit, then read the Bible, He inspired and orchestrated it’s writing.
Secondly, any thought or idea you have should be weighed against the Scriptures. Obviously, if you feel like killing somebody, committing adultery, or knocking somebody out, you probably don’t need to look up a Bible verse to know those are bad ideas. Beyond this, the Bible deals with financial stewardship, parenting, friendships, relationships, and any other ethical question you may have. Mine it for information first.
The questions we ask God that are the most difficult to deal with are things like: Should I take this job? Should my wife and I have a child? Should I attend this school? These are all very specific questions.
We should most definitely pray that God would give us direction in these things. The next step is to gather as much wisdom from godly men and women that you can. Don’t make the decision on your own, get input and prayer from others. Above all, the most important thing is trust. You have to put your trust in the sovereign hand of God. At the end of Matthew chapter 6 Jesus instructs His followers not to worry about material goods but to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The most important thing in life is not your job, your family, the school you attend, the church you go to, or the ministries you serve in. Your highest calling is knowing the One, true, living God and being conformed into the image of Christ. Make that your focal point and all the other details in life will be subject to your pursuit of God and your inclusion in the expansion of His kingdom.
Blessings to you as you pursue our incredible God through Jesus Christ!