Call me crazy but I believe that God speaks to us. There are people in this world that would literally call me schizophrenic for making this statement. I happen to believe this for several reasons. The first reason that I believe this is experience. People have told me things that God told them to tell me, and it was something they would not have known otherwise. I have also been on the other side of it. I’ve said things to people who I would not have known except for God’s voice speaking directly to me. The second reason that I believe this is the fact that our God is a relational God. He created us for the purpose of us to have relationship with Him that means that he communicates with us. Sometimes that means He speaks through the Bible (Hebrews 4:12) which He wrote with the help of a lot of people over a long period. Sometimes that means He speaks with an audible voice as He did to Jesus at His baptism (Matthew 3:17). Other times, He speaks directly to our hearts, as He did in Peter’s conversation with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). It is also Biblical. In John chapter 10, Jesus relates the relationship between God and His people as a sheep-shepherd relationship. In this analogy, He states plainly, the sheep know the shepherds voice. If the shepherd did not speak to the sheep, they would not know His voice.
Now, I say all of that because I have a belief about God’s voice. My belief is that we often attribute God’s voice to saying things that He does not say and we don’t listen often to things that He does say. For example, I have a friend. I know this is a shocking fact, but let us work past it. My friend is married and has a baby. In order to make ends meet, his family was living with his wife’s parents. The situation was not great, but he was working. His job did not pay great but he enjoyed it. The city they were living in one of the best cities for a college graduate (which both he and his wife are) to work in. Anyhow, he decided to quit his job and move to a really expensive area of the country, for a job interview. His wife was really uncomfortable with it because there was no guarantee of a job. Because of his move, he is jobless and his family is essentially homeless. After pointing out this glaring fact, he said, “I prayed and I feel like God told me to move.”
While I claim not to know the mind of God, I am reasonably sure that God did not tell him to move across the country-to a more expensive area, leaving his family homeless for a prospect of a job. By the way, he did not get the job. I say this because it does not line up with the Bible. Check out what Paul says to Timothy: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). I don’t say this to condemn my friend, but to point out this fact: When God does speak to you, it will always line up with His word (the Bible). It is the final measuring stick.
I had another thought the other day. Since God is a relational God and He understands us better than anyone else, what does that mean about how He communicates with us? For example, I had a friend who is facing a really rough situation tell me that she has had tons of people tell her all kinds of things to do “from God.” Not all the things told to her set well. My thought is this: Is it possible that God sometimes speaks to us knowing how we are motivated to get us to do something that is not necessarily what He is saying. For example, there are certain people in my life that I know how they will react to me saying certain things. So in order for me to get them to do something, I will tell them to do something different. Is it possible that God does this too? Or if God does God always mean exactly what He says?
For Clarification: I believe 100% in the Bible and what God tells us through the Bible is His will. The question addresses when people “have a word from God” for you.