Love overcomes evil by doing good, and one of the marks of genuine love is that it is generous. Paul spells out what this looks like in Romans 12:9-21: Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not...
“God told me…”
I have to confess something. I’ve grown up in the church all my life, but I have never heard God’s voice audibly. That’s not to say that I doubt others have heard a word or a whisper from our Heavenly Father and that it has been sincere. We read accounts in the Old Testament of men and women being directed by God’s audible voice, and we expect to have the same experience.
But this isn’t always the way it goes. Christian, you and I do not need to hear God’s audible voice in order to know him. So then how can we expect God to speak to his people?
God Reveals Himself through His Son, the Word
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
Christ as the Living Word gives us guidance on how we should live. If you have ever asked yourself, “What should I do?” look at Jesus who lived it out in flesh.
Let’s imagine you’re in the middle of a stressful relationship in your workplace. If you want to know what God has to say about your responsibility in that relationship, you don’t have to wait for God’s voice to speak to you through the radio or another audible way. Look at the life of the Incarnate Word, Jesus.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)
God has spoken through the loving life of Jesus in order to spur us toward obedience in the same kind of love.
In John 1, Jesus is mentioned as being the Word, who is also light. Light that demolishes darkness, truth that cuts through lies, clarity that destroys confusion. Praise the Lord that Jesus is the light of truth that models to us the right way to act in obedience when we are wandering or wondering what we should do during life’s trials and uncertainties.
God Reveals Himself through His Scriptures
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105).
You don’t have to wait to hear God’s voice; you already have it, in the Bible. Not only is Christ’s life a guiding light to show us how to live, this metaphor of light is also applied to Scripture. As we pursue faithfulness, we walk in the lamplight of Scripture.
Are you consulting Scripture when you don’t know the way to go? As I desire guidance from God, I pray for wisdom and then actively consult and obey God’s Word. Are you on the fence about what the boundaries should be with your significant other? I can tell you that God speaks clearly in Colossians 3:5, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality…” This is what God has told you. This is his voice!
Here’s what I’ve observed: When we say, “God told me to…” when he hasn’t is not helpful to our growth as Christians or our fellowship with other believers. Think about it: It’s hard to question the validity of someone’s statement if they use the caveat, “God told me to…”
For example, I desire for my relationships to sharpen me, and much of this occurs as I explain what is going on in my life, ask questions of others, and share what Scriptures I’ve been reading. This allows my brothers and sisters in Christ to affirm or redirect me as they read over God’s Word unattached to the situation and with the underlying desire to see me grow in holiness and the likeness of Christ.
God Reveals Himself as Our Hope
Through Christ and Scripture, there is one message above all others that God is communicating to you and me: Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), and when you place your life and trust in his work on the cross,
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:8-9).
He died for us even in our willful rebellion against the Father. Glory to God that Jesus not only died for you and for me, but he completed God’s act of love through his resurrection and ascension, to be seated with his Father in glory where he is the King of kings and Lord of lords. You became a Christian the day you turned from sin and confessed your desire to be transformed by Jesus (Romans 12:2).
Christian, if you are in Christ, you are complete. As a Christian, you are wholly his, as you have been purchased by Christ’s blood. You do not need wait to have your faith actualized by hearing God’s voice audibly. You have been given God’s voice through Jesus and Scripture.
Are you hoping to hear God speak to you with a booming voice? Are you trying to discern God’s will for your life? If so, you’ve got company! Let us press in to listen to the words that God has given us. Matthew 4:4 says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
May there be a hunger and a thirst planted deep within you and me that would only be satisfied by more of Jesus through the teaching of his Word.