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Other Ways God Communicates
In addition to nature and the Bible, God has a variety of means, both supernatural and natural, by which He communicates with us.
One of the most obvious things discovered by reading the Bible is that God loves to reveal Himself and to communicate with people. In fact, God is the supreme communicator. When communicating with us, God uses a variety of means in addition to the Bible. However, what He says is always in keeping with the Bible. Please have a look at God Reveals Himself Through the Bible before reading this article.
WHY GOD COMMUNICATES
Before looking at God's various means of communication, it is important to note that God doesn't speak just to hear His own voice. He speaks in order to reveal Himself and to impact our lives. And God speaks to everyone because He recognizes that we all have a relationship with Him, even if the relationship is poor or we have little or no awareness of Him. When God speaks to us we should feel very special. But feeling good is not the goal of revelation. God wants us to focus on and understand the content of what He reveals. Furthermore, we are meant to respond to God's revelation. When we fail to act upon what God says, we not only offend God and miss out on many benefits, but we also risk losing the ability to "hear" God in the future. The fact is, when we ignore God's voice we distance ourselves from Him.
HOW GOD COMMUNICATES
What follows is a description of some of the ways God speaks to people as found in the Bible. I have divided God's means of revelation into two categories: "supernatural" and "natural". Although these categories are somewhat arbitrary, (since all revelation from God is supernatural by definition), some means of communication are primarily supernatural, in that they involve no natural agency or process.
Although these supernatural means are unusual and rare, from time to time God uses them to speak to ordinary people like you and me.
The other means God uses to reveal Himself I have put into the "natural" category. (By the way, I make no mention of God communicating through nature in this article because I've written about that in Clues to God in the Natural World.) These natural means are all things which sometimes take place without involving any revelation from God.
We shouldn't be surprised that God communicates Himself supernaturally through natural ordinary means like dreams, speech, people, life events, thoughts, etc. For the Bible itself is the result of both divine (supernatural) and human (natural) authorship.
The whole area of revelation from God is, of course, open to much abuse. In fact, throughout history, including today, people have claimed to have received revelation from God before embarking on a very ungodly course of action. That is why we must measure or weigh up what we hear and see, against the Bible. The primary way to test the authenticity of a message or to clarify its content is to look at it in the light of God's primary source of revelation, the Bible. If what we think God has revealed does not measure up to what He has revealed in scripture, then what we've received is not from God. The books of the Bible are the "canon", or "measuring stick", of scripture, by which we must test all other revelation, whether given by supernatural or natural means.
But what are we to do if we have no clear corresponding situation in the Bible against which to measure what we think God may have spoken? When this happens we must look for biblical principles by which to assess what we've seen or heard. If there are no applicable principles, then we must assess a revelation by the fruit or impact which results from it. Revelation from God will result in people repenting or changing, in people drawing closer to God, in Jesus Christ being honoured and obeyed, in people becoming or behaving more like Jesus, etc. (Note: Someone prospering materially or being physically healed is not a sure sign of God's activity. Satan's work can be displayed in counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in things which impress worldly people. See 2 Thess. 2.9 for example.) In spite of the abuse associated with revelations, we should welcome all communication from God and not fear or pre-judge the means. With a firm grasp of what God has revealed in the Bible we have what we need to test or assess revelations and their fruits.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND REVELATIONS
When considering the variety of ways God reveals Himself and the need for testing revelations, it is important to understand the role of the Holy Spirit. God gives the Holy Spirit to those who follow Jesus, as Counselor and Guide. His role is to lead the followers of Jesus into all truth. He accomplishes this by bringing to their attention any means through which God is revealing Himself or speaking. He also does this by helping them to understand their Bibles better, so that they are able to test and benefit from other revelations. We do our "human" part by reading and studying the Bible, and by asking God for his help in understanding. Having done this, we can depend on God, the Holy Spirit, to do His part; opening our eyes and ears to God's revelations. When this happens, God truly lives in us as our constant companion, and is a daily source of comfort, wisdom, encouragement, strength, correction, etc. In addition, we become a wonderful communication of God's Presence and Word to others.
A FEW GUIDELINES
GOD'S SUPREME COMMUNICATION
In closing, let me happily declare and remind you that Jesus is the supreme revelation of God. "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." Hebrews 1.1-3 Or as the apostle John put it, "No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father's side, has made him known." John 1.18
Get to know Jesus Christ!
And read the Bible for yourself!
|Disclaimer: The insights shared are not the beliefs of any cult, sect or denomination. Rather, they reflect the grace and truth which God Himself has revealed in His Word, the Bible. See The Author and Statement Of Faith. Privacy | Admin
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