This issue comes up more and more in these days of biblically illiterate churches. (I have written about this before.) It used to simply be the statement, “I think God is trying to tell me/you something,” in response to a certain set of life circumstances. Now, with the increase in false teachers claiming to hear from God on a daily basis, it has become the expectation that if you are not receiving direct messages or revelation from God, there’s something wrong with your faith, you’re not listening correctly, or you simply haven’t learned the correct technique yet.
There’s one huge problem with that, however: Nowhere does the Bible teach that God communicates with us in that way.
First off, let’s go back to the statement above: “I think God is trying to tell me/you something.” Do you think it’s possible for God to fail? Is it possible for God to try to do something—in this case, speak directly to you—and somehow fail in that attempt? I don’t think so; he is perfect, after all.
What does the Bible tell us about God speaking to people? I don’t recall a single instance of God trying to speak to someone and failing to do so. In fact, when God spoke it was usually overwhelming and terrifying. There was no way the recipient of God’s message could have possibly missed it.
If you have to wonder or try to figure out whether or not God is speaking to you directly, he’s not. If God speaks to you directly, it will be shocking and unmistakable; you won’t have to put the clues together.
Here’s how Greg Koukl of Stand To Reason has described it:
How often can we expect God to speak directly to us?
– For almost everyone, God will never speak directly to us.
– For the rest (extremely few, if any), it will be exceedingly rare.
God has spoken to us fully in his Word! If you want to hear what God has to say to you, read the Bible! There is no biblical mandate or example that we are to follow that tells us to seek direct messages or revelation from God.
Study the Bible instead. There is nothing more rewarding or more worth the effort.