There is so much confusion today regarding how to hear from God. Many people embrace the idea of direct revelation: God guiding them through subjective impressions, words (audible or internal), dreams and visions. I don’t.
In fact, I think those views are not supported by the Bible and the personal revelation idea has become a huge problem and a dangerous one. This is why I’ve written so often on the subject of discerning God’s will and why I am so critical of those who claim to have gotten direct revelation from God. (Blackaby, Beth Moore, Sarah Young and many others)
Phil Johnson of Grace To You gave a fantastic lecture on the subject that I’d like to share with you. Fighting for the Faith aired it a couple of weeks ago and it is not to be missed. In it, Johnson highlights the problems with hearing from God by a means that cannot be verified, how direct revelation flies in the face of Sola Scriptura and some of the disasters that have occurred as a consequence of this way of thinking.
It really is a must listen to session. Here are just a few excerpts:
- “The idea that God speaks routinely to his people today has found more widespread acceptance today in the evangelical movement than at any time in the history of evangelicalism. And this notion that God speaks directly to people is found in some surprising places. It’s not only charismatics who believe God speaks fresh words of prophecy to them. Southern Baptists devoured Experiencing God about a decade ago.”
- “The messages always seem very pliable. Don’t they? The meaning of the message changes with the circumstances. there’s no legitimate hermeneutical approach for interpreting messages that you think came directly to you from God.”
- “You don’t need an explicit message from God telling you whom to marry, or where to go to school or where to go on the mission field. But if you obey the explicit commands and the implicit principles of the Bible God promises he will order your steps beyond that.”