Does God Still Speak Today?

Filed under Walk with God Your Heart on Jul 17 12 by

The past few months have been very challenging for me spiritually. God has been speaking to me in new ways, and it’s been difficult for me to accept and obey his words because I’m not always comfortable with the way that he chooses to speak. I grew up believing that we know God through the scripture, and that the Holy Spirit convicts us when we are doing something wrong. These statements are true, but the problem was that was all the I believed about the Holy Spirit. I rejected the spiritual gifts that are spoken of in the Bible, and I certainly didn’t believe that God could ask me to do something specific for him. So when I found myself without a job and God told me not to look, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Well-meaning people around me told me that I needed to look for a job. That IS the responsible thing to do, after all. But I felt certain that God was telling me to wait. I felt stuck. If I did the reasonable thing, I would be responsible in the eyes of those around me. But would I be disobeying God? Some would say no: The Bible doesn’t tell me what type of job to look for. This decision is entirely up to me, and God doesn’t care what I decide as long as I’m not doing something wrong.

The problem is, the closer I get to God, the more I am able to hear his voice and realize that sometimes, he does indeed deliver specific commands, and it’s up to me to listen and obey. Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God really helped me in my journey toward understanding the Holy Spirit. In his book he says, “People…have in a sense, asked [Jesus] to join them on their life journey, to follow them wherever they feel they should go rather than following Him as we are commanded. The God of the Universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before…Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us. He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true Life.”

The more I know the Spirit, the more I desire to let go of my own plans and follow His commands, even if they seem counter-intuitive. God can see things that I can’t see, so why wouldn’t I go where He tells me to go? I don’t know everything about the Holy Spirit. In fact, I do not know much. But I would like to share with you a few of the things that I have learned. Perhaps they will help you on your journey of learning how to live by the Spirit.

Ten Things I’ve Learned About the Spirit

1. The Holy Spirit is alive, active, and isn’t limited by my understanding of him. In the past, I’ve scoffed at other people’s spiritual experiences because I had never experienced anything supernatural. But we need to recognize that he can do anything and can choose any method of speaking to a person; we can’t explain the scope of his actions based on personal experience alone. “God doesn’t really do that very much any more” is a huge cop out for those who don’t want to take the necessary time to dig deeper and really discover the Spirit. It takes effort! This is not a surface-y topic that can be neatly packed into a box with a few verses and explanations.

2. The Holy Spirit is infinite. Nobody in the world could write a concise and all-conclusive book that actually details how the Holy Spirit works. Nobody knows everything about the Holy Spirit, so beware of anyone who acts like they do.

3. The Holy Spirit isn’t for power hungry people. If we receive the Spirit of God, we can’t take credit for any of His manifestations in our life. We must be willing to give God all of the glory for the things we do with the Spirit’s power.

4. Don’t reduce the Holy Spirit to solely an interpreter of scripture. Yes, He does that. But He also does more than that. He guides us. He can give visions. He can speak to our hearts. He can guide us in knowledge of God through scripture, creation, and through the restoration of the image of God that was placed in us.

5. We don’t always understand what the Spirit is saying right away. Sometimes, I know that God is speaking something into my life, but I have to wait to find out what he means because he wants to know that I trust him no matter what.

6. We don’t always leave room for the Spirit to work miracles. We are way more selfish, self-sufficient (in our minds, anyway), and comfort-seeking than we realize. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of living in this society. We don’t need miracles when we keep ourselves in that safe place of providing for our own needs.

7. We sometimes misunderstand the Bible’s usage of the phrase “the Word of God”. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (read John 1:1-18). The Bible is the Word of God, but the Word of God encompasses something that is greater than just the written word. The Word of God is “God revealed to man”; the Word of God is Jesus Christ. Realizing this helped me to understand the Spirit in a deeper way.

8. We all have different Spiritual gifts. See 1 Corinthians 12. 12:28 says, “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.” Administration. Teachers. Not every one of these gifts has the appearance of being supernatural. So how can one person say to the other, “God doesn’t do that anymore.” It’s like me saying to someone who is a teacher, “Well, I’ve never taught. I don’t really know how. God doesn’t do that anymore.”

9. The enemy WILL try to trick you. Satan doesn’t want us to believe the right things about the Holy Spirit. We are very limited when we have so little faith.

10. The most important spiritual gift we can possess is LOVE for God and for others. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (MSG) says, “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

Again, if you are thirsting for the Spirit but aren’t sure where to start, I really recommend Forgotten God. More than that, I recommend reading the book of Acts and studying the ways that the Spirit led the disciples in building the early church.

Does God Still Speak Today?

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.
  • http://hipmamamedia.com Hip Mama Media

    I totally agree that we can’t explain the Holy Spirit only within the confines of our personal experience. I always find it slightly incredulous that someone would say something was true or not true soley based on their experience of it. We don’t do that in the natural world (I personally have not visited the moon, but I believe it exists and it has gravitational affects on earth), but yet we do this in the spiritual world. I am so thankful that no one has a completely handle on the Spirit! That is the beauty and majesty of our great God! I will have to check out Francis Chan’s book!