Does God Still Speak To People Today? Romans 8:14-17
“14) For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17) and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭14‬-‭17‬
We now come to a very exciting subject. There is much debate about how God communicates with people today. Yet, the most common phrase in the Bible is something to the effect of; “Then the Lord spoke to _______, saying… “ (see Exodus 3-4, Acts 13:2)
Phrases like these were extremely common throughout the whole Old Testament as God spoke through His prophets. But according to Ephesians 2:11-22, we have much greater access to the Father today through the indwelling Holy Spirit than any time in biblical history since the fall.
Yet many believe and teach that God no longer speaks to people today, except through the Bible and a few very limited circumstances. But that’s not what the Bible teaches. The issue is not whether God is speaking today, the real problem is that people are not listening. They are dull of hearing. They have tuned God out!
The following is a condensed study of ways the Bible says God can and does speak to people. I have not experienced all of these, but many of them I have. They have increased in number and frequency as I have matured in my walk in the spirit/Spirit and have interacted with other Spirit filled and anointed members of the body of Christ around the world.
This study is broken into two parts. Both are important. Part One will look at “Ways God Can and Does Speak to People.” Part Two will look at “Ways to Test the Voice of God and Increase Your Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.” God wants us to live in truth and avoid deception.
This study may stretch you. Take time to read each point and study the accompanying Scriptures. (Many more Scriptures could be added to illustrate or undergird each point.) The goal of this study is merely to support the proposition that “God Still Speaks to People Today.” This study is intended to enhance your walk with God.
Part One: Ways God Can and Does Speak to People.
God can speak to us through the Bible. (John 8:31-32, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:2-4) God can speak directly to people. (Exodus 3:4-5, Acts 9:3-9) The most repeated phrase in the Bible is: “and God said!” God can speak through the witness of creation. (Psalm 19:1-6, Romans 1:18-23) God can speak from heaven with an audible voice. Examples include God speaking to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 22:11-12), from the mountain when the law was given (Exodus 19:18-25), at the Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17), at the affirmation of Jesus (John 12:27-28), and on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5). God can speak to nations through judgements, discipline and natural disasters. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68, 2 Chronicles 7:11-22) God can speak to individuals through times of personal discipline and trails. (Hebrews 12:7-13, 25) God can and does speak to people through the witness of human conscience. (Romans 2:14-16) God can speak to us through the lessons of human history. (Romans 1:18-23) God can speak to us through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:13, Ephesians 1:18, 1 John 2:27) God can speak to us through Scripture memorization and meditation. (Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 119) God can speak to us through Spirit directed times of prayer and fasting. Prayer involves both speaking to God and listening to God. (Isaiah 58:5-12, Acts 13:1-4, Ephesians 6:18-20) God can speak to us through inspirational times of praise and worship. (Matthew 18:20, Ephesians 5:15-21) God can speak to us through listening to the whispers, witnesses and promptings of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to our spirit. (Romans 8:16, 1 Corinthians 2:10-13) God can speak to us through a spirit of wisdom and revelation into the knowledge of Christ. (Ephesians 1:17-18) God can speak to us through the sermons and teachings of pastors and elders. (Acts 2:42-47, 1 Timothy 4:6-16, 2 Timothy 1:14-14, 4:1-5) God can speak to people through signs and wonders as we preach the gospel and do his work. (Mathew 4:23, Matthew 10:7-8, Acts 2:43, Hebrews 2:4) God can speak to us through the utterance gifts of the Holy Spirit given to the body of Christ. (Acts 20:22-23, 1 Corinthians 12:8-11) God can speak to us through praying in the spirit and praying with our mind also; singing in the spirit and singing with our mind also. (1 Corinthians 14:14-15) God can speak to us through a prophecy or word of exhortation directed specifically toward us. (1 Timothy 1:18-19, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12) God promises to give wisdom to those who ask. (James 1:5-8) God can speak to us through a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge spoken into our spirit by His Spirit. (Acts 20:36-37, 1 Corinthians 12:8) These gifts preclude that the spirit of man is alive, functioning and listening. God often speaks through illustrations, types, shadows and analogies that illustrate biblical truth. (See 2 Timothy 2:3-*7, Hebrews 8:5, Hebrews 10:1) God can teach us through the positive examples and stories of godly people. (Hebrews 11:4-40) God can teach us through our own mistakes and failures as well as those of others. (Book of Ecclesiastes, 1 Corinthians 10:5-11, Hebrews 12:9-13) God can speak to us through Divine circumstances. (Acts 8:25-38, Acts 16:6-10, 1 Corinthians 16:8-9) God can speak to us through dreams, visions and revelations by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 20:3, Matthew 2:12, Acts 10:1-48, Acts 16:6-10, 2 Corinthians 12:1-6, Revelation 1:9-10) God can speak to us through angelic messengers. (Matthew 1:20-21, Luke 1:26-37, Acts 8:26, Acts 27:23-24, Hebrews 13:2) God can and does speak through persecuted believers when they stand trial for their faith. (Matthew 10:16-20) God can speak to us by listening to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. (Revelation 2:11; 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22) God can speak to us by watching and paying attention to the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:2-3) God can speak and guide us through our spiritual leaders. (Ephesians 4:11-12, Hebrews 13:17) God can speak and guide us through the counsel of our parents, spouse or children. (Proverbs 1:8, Matthew 27:19, Ephesians 5:22-6:4, 1 Peter 3:1-7) God can speak to the lost through those sent to preach the gospel to them. (Acts 1:8, Romans 10:14-15) God can speak to us by watching where He is already at work and joining Him at that level. (Acts 10:44-48, Acts 11:15-18) God can speak to us through listening and learning from other mature and godly believers who are walking in consecration, the power of God, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 1:1-2, Hebrews 11:1-12:3) God speaks to us through evaluating the fruit, works and results coming from the teaching or instruction of others. (Matthew 7:17-20, James 3:13-18) God can give to his beloved even in his sleep. This may include finding lost items, mechanical designs, organizational structures, problem solving, engineering insights, and new inventions. (Exodus 35:30-35, Psalm 127:2) God can speak to us through civil authority. (Proverbs 21:1, Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17)
Part Two: Ways to test the voice of God and increase your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
Start with the presupposition that God still speaks to people today and does miracles. (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Hebrews 2:1-4; Hebrews 12:25-26) Compare everything to Scripture… God never speaks, leads or works contrary to His Word! (John 15:7: 2 Timothy 3:13-4:5) Measure everything by the character and nature of God… He does not speak or lead contrary to His truth, holiness and goodness. (James 1:13-18, James 3:13-18) Put off your old self, be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on your new self. Much of the subject of God speaking is based on the spirit of man being born-again, alive, functioning and walking in fellowship with God. (Ephesians 4:20-24, Colossians 3:1-11, 1 John 1:1-7) Read and study your Bible depending on the Holy Spirit as your teacher. When you do not understand something, pray for wisdom and illumination. (John 16:13-15, 1 John 2:27, 1 John 5:7) Recognize that the Holy Spirit can be grieved and quenched through sinful living and disobedience. We can silence His inner voice. (Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22) Filter out the other competing voices that scream for your attention. You must silence the voice of your flesh and emotions, the voice of Satan and the demonic realm, the voice of the world and its false wisdom and philosophies, the voice of false teachers, and the voice of others who are not in tune with God. (2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:8) Test the spirit or spirits to make sure they are from God. (1 Corinthians 12:1-3, 1 John 4:1-3) Recognize that you can increase your sensitivity to the inner voice of God by obeying and acting on what He has already revealed to you! Step up and step out for God! (Matthew 7:24-27; Ephesians 4:14-16; James 1:21-25) Move beyond the milk of God‘s word and position yourself to receive the meat of God’s word through sanctification and intensional spiritual growth. (1 Corinthians 2:10-3:3; Hebrews 5:11-14) Trust God that if you seek a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, He will not mislead you. (Luke 11:10-13, Acts 1:4-8) Be teachable and willing to listen, learn and be corrected by other mature believers. (Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Timothy 1:2-17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Why did I include this subject in our study of spirit/Spirit Quest? Because, the basic premise of our new life “in Christ” is that fellowship with God has been restored! The spirit of man is no longer dead. (Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 1:1-7) The born-again Christian can again function according to the creative design of body, soul and spirit and enjoy intimate communion with God. This study is intended to enhance your walk with God.
Fellowship with God precludes that God can and does communicate with His people today. (1 John 1:1-7) The whole concept of the inner man coming alive at the moment of salvation and being infused with new life is about communications and fellowship with God.
I am therefore baffled by the notion that God does not speak to His people much more today in this age of the indwelling Holy Spirit than at any time in human history since the fall of man. Ephesians 2:11-22 teaches that Jesus removed the walls of separation and gave us total access to the Father through His Spirit. There is no limit to the potential depth of intimate communion with God for the redeemed and Spirit filled man or woman.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global