God speaks. Back to Acts!
1/22/2017 11:34:13 PM
God speaks - in his Word and to us as individuals?

God speaks. Back to Acts!
Well of course, God speaks in the Bible, but what about to you and to me?

God’s voice: do you want to hear it? If you are anything like me, I never want to miss out on things! How many of you grew up in a church or faith tradition where you were taught that God speaks to his children? I did not.

While there was never a time in my life that God was not a huge part, the way to hear from God was exclusively from the pages of Scripture. At 15 years of age, I signed up to become a member of the Conservative Baptist church I was attending in the Oakland hills. [As a matter of fact, from our church property, one could throw a rock and hit Bible Study Fellowship’s headquarters where Mrs. Johnson wrote curriculum and taught, along with my sister-in-law’s mother, Pearl Hamilton.] 

In membership class in the pastor’s study, I learned the specific doctrine of that particular denomination—and as it pertains to this topic, that
~>the canon of Scripture had been closed by A.D. 397. . .
i.e., God no longer speaks.

And yet . . . while I was a freshman in college in San Francisco, I began attending a church that taught me so much about the third person of the Trinity: the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that takes up resident within the follower of Jesus Christ at the time of conversion—in truth, that is the born again experience Jesus himself described in John chapter three, verses 3 – 6. Jesus tells Nicodemus that it is the Holy Spirit who gives birth to spiritual life (v.6), and the Lord promises that when he goes away, the Father would send the Holy Spirit.1. 

Then Luke writes of the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem-just weeks
after Jesus’ crucifixion,
forty more days on earth,
and his ascension,
plus 10 more days of being together and praying that,
“everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit
and began speaking in other languages,
as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2.4
Read Acts 1 and 2, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…
which record what happened, from Jesus’ ascension from the Mt. of Olives to Peter’s powerful message. Oh, and by the way, what did the spirit-filled people speak that day? The faithful spoke aloud the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the languages of the hearers outside – who had flocked to Jerusalem from all over to observe the Feast of Passover.
~>NOTE: God spoke to them through the Holy Spirit

We are getting back now to our study in the book of Acts, written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke … Luke, a physician, who gives meticulous attention to details—persons, dates, locations. In the morning briefing, “Have you felt the wind?” http://pastorwoman.com/ReadArchive.aspx?id=2784, I go into detail.

Here’s what I want you to know—
~>you must find out for yourself what you believe about
whether or not God speaks individually to his followers today.
This is not the only subject of faith where you must search the scriptures and study and get answers for yourself (like the Bereans did in ACTS 17.11), but I would submit to you that it might just be the most important one. 

That begs the question, ‘Why would you want to hear God speak to you?’
-to prove there is a God?
-to grow your relationship with him?
-to know him better?
-to make sure you’re not missing out on something?

Maybe in part, all of those things.
But it is not his voice alone that we must seek but God himself!

Along with one of my favorite teachers, Dallas Willard, I sincerely believe that
~>the primary address at which the voice of God may be found is the Bible.
Willard wrote, “More of God’s speaking to me has come in conjunction with study and teaching of the Bible than with anything else.”3 Yes!

Read God’s words to you—meditate upon them and make them part of you. Then you will know when you hear a prompting from above that it is consistent with God himself. If you did not already, take five minutes and read the launch of the early church:
Read Acts 1 and 2, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…
And hey, let’s long to hear God’s voice in our lives!


1 – recorded in John 14.15-17
2 – Acts 2.4
3 – Hearing God, Dallas Willard, p.183