In this post we explore how we hear God's voice today.
The primary way God speaks to us today is through the Bible. Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) says about the Bible: 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path'. So, if you want to hear God's voice, you only need to read your Bible.
It is also true that in the Bible we often read of God speaking to people. How God spoke to them is not always clear, we are often simply told that God said such and such a thing to them. We do know that God used visions to speak to people (e.g. Jeremiah 1:11-14). Also, God's words to Jeremiah felt like a burning fire in his heart (Jeremiah 20:9). Nehemiah was aware that rebuilding Jerusalem's wall was something that God Himself had placed on his heart to do (Nehemiah 2:12). The fact that Nehemiah was aware that it was God may indicate that God's voice is self-authenticating. With God's voice comes the awareness that God has spoken. The two-disciples on the road to Emmaus said this about their encounter with the risen Christ: 'Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road..?' (Luke 24:49 NKJV). Christ's voice had a unique effect on their heart.
If we think that God has directly spoken to us, it is important that we test what we think God has spoken. First of all, if what we have heard contradicts what the Bible teaches, it is not God who has spoken to us - God does not contradict Himself. Also, if we believe that God has told us something that will happen in the future, and that thing doesn't come to pass, it is not God that we have heard (Deuteronomy 18:21–22). Finally, we should note that the canon of Scripture is now closed. This simply means that the Bible is now complete - no new revelation is to be added to it. The doctrines that we are to believe and base our lives upon are found in the Bible only, and not from anything that anyone today claims God has told them.
Verses marked NIV are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Verses marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers. Verses marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Verses marked NLT are from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Quotations marked NEB are from The New English Bible: The New Testament © ‘The
Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961, 1970.