“God told me that I was …..” “God told me that he would….” “I will wait until the Holy Spirit tells me….”
Unless, we are referring directly to the Word of God, we are saying that the Word of God is not sufficient. I so often hear this, and am usually amazed. Not that I believe that they hear an audible voice and I do not, but that they actually believe that they do.
This has always been disconcerting to me. Some have even shared back and forth conversations. I remember hearing one preacher say – “What does his voice sound like?”
I am prompted to write this as I have just come upon a quote by Puritan theologian, Jonathan Edwards, from blogger Faith Unlocked – Quotes on God’s Promises page.
“And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.” –Jonathan Edwards
God has revealed in the Bible all we need to know.
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29 KJV
Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7 KJV
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 KJV
I believe that the Bible is sufficient. God has given us all we need. The Holy Spirit within opens up the Word to us. We need to take God at his word, and rely on it for direction.
So what does that look like? Let’s say there is a brother or sister who gossips, or commits fornication, or some other known sin. What shall we do? The Bible clearly tells us what to do. We do not have to wait for the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do. The Bible instructs us on how to handle this.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1
What if a Christian says that they believe that they have married the wrong person because they are not compatible, and they no longer love them. The Bible tells us except for sexual immorality or abandonment, we are to remain married until death. Matthew 19:1-12 I Corinthians 7:10-16 .
What if a Christian wants to date and marry a non-Christian? 2 Corinthians 6:14
This is just a sampling of situations showing that God’s Word does give direction.
Yes, there are some situations when you clearly don’t know which way to turn, like which job to take, who to marry, and you cannot find your answer in the Bible.
The following scriptures have helped me.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15
When we are in a Bible-believing church, we are able to look to other believers and the elders of our churches who will help us to rightly divide the word of truth in its application to our lives. I do this to ensure I’m not off base. That is why it is important for us to be plugged into a local church.
Back to the quote by Jonathan Edwards, he describes the foundation for our beliefs that we are having actual conversations and direct input from God rests on the creations of our imaginations. We need not create nor imagine. God has already provided.
The Bible is sufficient. Let’s learn to look to it for direction.