Does God Speak Audibly to People Today?
As transcribed from the Video above, Mark Dever explains:
You know, some people today say that God speaks to them audibly. I do not want to say that He doesn't. I do want to offer some caution about that.
The Bible, in a number of places, even in the New Testament, warns us not to be deceived, and not to think that we can't be deceived. One's about self-perception. And if I say, "God spoke audibly to me," then that would seem to have as much weight as scripture. And I know the scripture's right.
So, I can tell you, in my own experience as a Christian, there are some times when I think the Lord has told me to do something, and I've done it, and I haven't seen anything really come from it. There are other times I think the Lord has told me to do things that press on my spirit, whatever the best language would be, and it's been extraordinary. It's thing that I would have known how to plan.
But, I don't think this happens to most Christians, and it doesn't happen always to me. It's not anything I rely on or depend upon in that sense.
So, basically, I think God is sovereign. He can do what He wants. But, I want to be very careful, particularly if I'm a teacher, if I'm teaching publicly, if I say that, if I make people kind of specially in awe of me, and very careful, they'd better not cross me, I want to be careful about that. That's not good for pride, that's not good for the authority of scripture, that's not good for what God's doing in other people.
I also, on the other hand, don't want to make them think, "Hey, the Bible's a kind of grade B boring thing. I want the real ... I have the experience ... let me hear from God. Then I'll really know." You know, I just think, let's leave that to God. He can do that as He wants. We don't have in His word any promise that He's going to do that. And therefore, I think it is unwise to talk publicly much about that.
I will share experiences that I personally have had with reticence, in small groups, occasionally. And I think I'm kind of doing what Paul did in his example of how he was careful. And I haven't been caught up in the third heaven. You know, but how he was careful about even sharing what the Lord taught him.
So, I think a lot of Christians probably have experiences like the ones I'm referring to, but I think it's appropriate that we be humble and realize that we could be wrong about them. But, you know what, we're not wrong about this. So, we want to put our emphasis in public on this.