In Amazon’s search box, if you enter “Hearing God’s Voice,” you will see a plethora of books on the subject of receiving present-day revelations from God, although, of course, no author calls it that. They call it “God spoke to my heart,” “I received a word from the Lord,” or “God whispered to me.” What is this but present-day revelations? And this is exactly how Joseph Smith started Mormonism—a revelation while he was praying!
Many Christian authors and speakers today advocate that God will speak to us like He did to the prophets Samuel and Elijah and Ezekiel. If so, then Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and the Bible was incomplete in 1830, because Smith claimed he had a vision and heard God’s voice speak to him.
Maybe my resistance to this comes from living in Utah, where Mormons determine what God wants by a feeling they get in their “bosom.” But don’t some born again Christians do the same thing?
“If you want to hear God speak—read the Bible. If you want to hear God’s voice, read the Bible aloud!” (Justin Peters). Yes, the voice you hear will be your own, but you won’t be tempted to sinful pride in telling others that you received “a special word from the Lord.”
Our minds are the vehicle for praying—talking to God. Often during prayer we receive insights for our problems. We may attribute this to God speaking to us, but God speaks to us through His Word, whether that comes from reading the Bible, recalling Scriptures, hearing it taught or sung, etc. But prayer is not a two-way conversation with God. I realize that God may use extraordinary means to communicate where His written word is not available, but that is not part of the normal Christian walk with Christ.
Think about this—incredible and surprising and inspiring things pop into the minds of everyone—believers and unbelievers, even atheists, because that is how God made us. God has given us brains with the ability to figure things out, solve problems, evaluate, create, categorize, remember and recall, and much more.
However, in times of extreme duress, it seems that God may do something special to meet our emotional needs. I’ve experienced it too, but it does not contradict anything in the Bible, and it does not foretell the future. Therefore, I always thank God for insights I receive and decisions that turn out good results, because “all things are from Him and through Him and to Him.” But I prefer to see “all things” not as special personal divine revelations, but as the abilities and circumstances and relationships He gives me, as well as Scriptural insights that come from studying His Word in context.
For excellent help regarding this topic, please visit www.str.org, and in the search box type “Hearing God’s Voice” or “Does God Speak Today.” Read the articles that interest you there.