Does God Speak To People As Clearly Today As He Did In Biblical Times?

My husband and I are currently facilitating a discipleship class at our church. We have taken this class before almost two years ago. One of the questions in the homework material caused me to we write a super long response and I decided to turn it into a blog post. Does God speak to people as clearly today as he did in biblical times? My answer to this question was basically the same as the first time we took this class but this time I was able to expand on my answer more throughly.

When I look at the Old Testament I see that God only spoke to a select few. The majority of people in scripture weren’t hearing God’s voice or able to be in direct contact with him. He spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden, warned Noah about the flood, called Abraham to be the father of a nation, and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. These are just several of the examples of who God spoke with directly. God reached out first and desired a relationship with his chosen people.

I have personally never had a burning bush experience like Moses did but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t speak to me. The bible is God’s written word and it has convicted me deeply by revealing sin in my heart and calling me to repentance.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

In the Old Testament and up until the death of Jesus the bible explains about the temple and how this huge curtain was hung in order to divide God from the outside world. The curtain separated the Holy of Holies which is were God’s presence resided on earth. Very few people had access to God in the Holy of Holies. God is setting the plot of his story up for the ultimate redemption by showing with the curtain that man is separated from God by sin. Only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond this curtain once each year to enter into God’s presence for all of Israel and make atonement for their sins by offering an unblemished sacrificial lamb.

When Jesus died the need for the curtain was no longer necessary. The curtain being torn signified that now the way into the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time, both Jew and Gentile. Sin offerings were no longer needed because Jesus himself was the ultimate sacrifice.

Jesus, being both fully God and fully man, came to communicate with his creation because he desired a relationship with them. Jesus came to call us out of our sin and into his holiness and grace. Jesus is crucified and he becomes the sacrificial lamb and the ultimate high priest. After Jesus ascends into heaven the Holy Spirit comes.

“But the advocate the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

When I speak and act in ways that I know can only be described as the Holy Spirit working in and through me I hear God speaking clearly.

When I react with kindness instead of hate, I hear God.

When peace instead of worry blankets my spirit, I hear God.

When I love another mothers child like they were my own, I hear God.

Anytime I see the Lord at work in the life of myself or of another believer I hear God clearly speaking to me. Showing me his goodness and revealing how powerful the gospel is to transform lives.

The people in biblical times didn’t have copies of the bibles accumulated in their homes. They were living what would later be written about to encourage and edify others who were to come after them.

Living in the United States and reading about the persecution of my brother and sisters in Christ around the world is horrifying. As is knowing that there are still nations that do not have a printed copy of the gospel in their own language. I realize I am blessed to be able to study the bible freely, to go to church without fear of being persecuted, and to have a copy of the bible in a language I can read. I used to take these things for granted but I don’t anymore.

I have discovered that the best place to hear God speak is through the Bible and by seeking out mature believers to help me clarify my thoughts and opinions and align them with scripture. It is dangerous to base what you think God is saying on one verse instead of in the context of the passage of scripture you are reading and without learning what was happening in the culture and at that time in history.

I am thankful for the bible, my church, and community of believers that God has surrounded me with. God does speak clearly today we only have to seek him.

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Cranberry Oatmeal Bites

I have been in my kitchen so much lately. And this recipe has been made on repeat over the last few weeks. These cranberry oatmeal bites are perfect for snacking on during the day. With minimal ingredients they are easy to make and store nicely in the fridge in an airtight container.

Be careful not to over pulse in the food processor. You still want the cranberries to be visible and the mixture should be slightly wet but not overly sticky.

I hope you enjoy these tasty bite sized snacks.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor.
  2. Use cookie scooper or hands to make small bite sized balls.
  3. Place in fridge.

Makes 16 servings (1 bite per serving)

Nutrition Facts per 1 Serving

  • Calories: 94
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Protein: 2.8g
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Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children

Parenting while joyful can sometimes be painful. How you respond to the the little people God has given you can shine light on your innermost thoughts. I have leaned that how I react and respond to my children when they are disobeying can directly reflect at times my idolatrous thinking. It has and will continue to be an opportunity for me to grow in sanctification and self control.

I am thankful for books like Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children by Sam Crabtree that point me back towards the gospel and away from my own sinful nature. In doing this I am a more effective parent because I realize that God gave me the four children I have for their good and for mine as well as to glorify God.

Below are just a few highlights from this book. I highly recommend it if you are in need of encouragement or new strategies to deal with disciplining your child. It is a short read and will be well worth your time and money!

I received a copy of this book from Crossway to review. All opinions are my own. 

What is Corrective Discipline?

Corrective discipline means:

  1. Identifying actions or attitudes of your child that are unacceptable when weighted against clear and explicit standards, then
  2. acting promptly and decisively to move your child in the direction of compliance with those standards.

The Heart of The Matter

Discipline aims at fostering a specified pattern of character, in the strength God supplies. If you just address outward behaviors without getting to the heart the risk greatly increases for a child to gravitate to external conformity, moralism, and legalism.

While it is great if your child obeys when it comes to discipline the goal should be to impact the heart. Heart transformation will lead to sincere cooperation because that is change that God fully creates and sustains. Proverbs 20:11 tells us that “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, weather his conduct is pure and upright”. A child’s true character will be known by his behavior.

Young children are spiritually unregenerate. Using wise discipline that requires obedience from children can cause them to become aware of their own sin and their need for Christ.

The most important point here is to note that when correction is done well it honors God. As parents we can’t change or stop our children from sinning but we can create a clear association between a rebellious action so that our child understands the consequences to disobedience. If we can’t and don’t expect our children to yield to our authority how can we ever expect them to yield to God.

3 Core Imperatives for Wise Correction

Discipline does not destroy the child but attacks the things that would destroy him. Failing to discipline invites your child to a regrettable future. Wise correction is regret management for all concerned. There are 3 core things to keep in mind for wise correction.

  1. Keep it God centered.
  2. Speak truth – always mean what you say.
  3. Reward obedience, not disobedience.

These several chapters were filled with amazing insight! God is loving and holy and good. I appreciated the example of aiming our children to be good and not “normal” (conforming to everyone else). Parents need to aim for their children’s goodness. When the author’s children became older he would say to them as they were leaving the house “Don’t be normal. Be good”.

Being normal in our culture is an unwise goal because our culture is broken and corrupt. If we tell our kids to “act normal” we are inviting them to look around to their peers to set the standard.

Good correcting must also be preceded by lots and lots of good affirmation. By saying yes often you establish many affirmations with your children and they are more likely to accept your no when they make an unwise request.

There is an entire section devoted to practical strategies to help with before you correct, in the moment, plus questions from parents.

Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children by Sam Crabtree is available on Amazon.

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