On November 4th 1995, Yigal Amir, an Israeli and devout Jewish law student, assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin because, he claimed, God told him to do it. In May 2003, Deanna Laney, a 38-year-old Texan mother of three, ‘devoted wife and choir member in her church’, killed her two sons aged 6 and 8, and bashed the skull of her 14-month-old baby. After doing it, she phoned the police and said calmly ‘I have just killed my children. God told me to do it.’
When I hear stories like that I can only think that either God has gone mad or I am worshipping a very different God from the one these people do.
The two examples above are perhaps a bit extreme but they do illustrate what can happen when people do not recognize the voice of God. Every day, people around the world make wrong decisions based on the belief that God is telling them to do it. How many, for instance, have gotten married thinking the person was “God’s choice” for them, only to realize later they made a big mistake?
Truth: Who doesn’t want to hear God speak to them?
But how does God speak to us? Can we know when He speaks? How can we be more sensitive to hear His voice? Can the devil speak to us and pass off as God? Let’s explore the issues around this subject.
I would say that 99% of what God wants to say to us is written in the Bible. And the remaining 1% includes different ways He may use to draw our attention back again to the 99% that He already explained in His Word.
In other words: It is extremely important that you do not deviate from God’s Word when seeking guidance from God for your life. To look for dreams, visions, signs, prophecies or any other kind of special revelation will probably lead you to the wrong place. Some of the most confused Christians I have ever met were deep into this kind of belief. That’s because the devil uses these things to speak to people and pass off as God.
God has repeatedly said that His Word will never change. He is committed to it. He is not like politicians who promise and don’t do it. Neither does He have a memory problem to forget what He said. So there is no other word, advice or revelation that can be safer, surer, or more reliable than the Word of God itself. You are safe if you stick to it.
“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3.16,17
Having said that, it is important that you take the Scriptures as a whole, bringing every verse you read into context. Loose verses of the Bible can be easily misinterpreted and lead you to disastrous consequences. God has given us faith and intelligence to be used together to our benefit. If you use your faith alone, you will become a fanatic. If you use your intelligence alone, you will become a stupid unbeliever.
God speaks to you through His inspired Word. Therefore, read your Bible and meditate on it. Make time to hear God more, and He will speak to you more. It’s amazing how much you can benefit by cutting down a little on watching TV, listening to music and reading the papers, and instead using that time to spend with the Word of God. Try it.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Do you have them?