I can’t help but think that the people in the Old Testament had it easy when it came to hearing from God. At least then, God would speak directly and audibly through the prophets. Hebrews 1:1 confirms it;
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,”
But today, at least for me, it seems not so easy to know God’s will on the non-moral choices in life. It is not so straightforward. Of course there are those who claim to have heard God speak to them audibly. I don’t mean through someone else’s words or a message on radio or television, I mean an actual voice from nowhere. I have never had such an experience. When [most] Christians today speak about hearing from God, apart from the Bible, they are mainly referring to “impressions” on their hearts and minds, “thoughts and ideas”, hindsight and maybe the words of another human being.
The next time someone tells you “God told me…” or “God led me to…”, do not always assume God spoke to them audibly as He did to Elijah. Prod that statement. Seek clarification before condemning it with Bible passages suggesting cessationism. More often than not, you will realize that God speaking is not the same as Mike speaking. But God does indeed speak to us today, apart from His word. While most of the messages we get from God cannot be ascertained perfectly at the moment of our hearing, we do acknowledge that they were from God in hindsight.
At least Benjamin Wambugu does. He recalls how he thought God was leading Him into pastoral ministry by providing for Him through His undergraduate theological education. Everyone thought he was going to be a pastor. “Through His servants, [God] spoke to me clearly, that He needed me to go to Bible school,” says Benjamin. Continue reading