I know a man who does not believe that God speaks today, either by dreams, or by visions, or even by impressions. No, says this man, God only speaks by his word. The man is confused, not realizing that when God *does* speak through his word, he always does it in conjunction with the *Holy Spirit*, who, in fact, is the One who is speaking. For it is not the word that speaks, as though the written word had any power in and of itself (this is to elevate the word above God), but rather, it is *****God Himself*****, through his word, that does the speaking. But this man will hear none of that — because he is afraid to “experience God,” I believe. He is thus “caught” in his thinking. He is dead, even while he lives.
Frustrated, I asked this man the following question: “But what if a man whom God loved dearly and who himself was obedient to God was walking along and about to fall into a pit. Do you not think that God might warn the man, either by a dream, or a vision, or an impression of some sorts? What good is the word to this man then? He needs God to speak to him, personally, to help him then and there.” The man’s reply was, “No, God would not speak to him, because that is inconsistent with God’s character, as revealed in his word.” What this man failed to allow was God to correct his improper interpretation of the word. Here I was, an “ambassador” of sorts, trying to gently correct this man, but he would have none of it.
How can it be that we become so steeped in our understanding of what is biblically right and wrong that we fail to even allow God to teach us through experience? It is an unfortunate thing, indeed. I believe God is saying to each and every one of us, “Please, allow me to TEACH YOU through experience. Experience will never NEGATE or GO AGAINST my word, but it will help to properly shape your understanding of it.” By allowing ourselves to truly “experience God”, we will thus receive a deeper and more fuller revelation of who he really is.
Here too is a man who was so “steeped” in his theology, and his belief of what was biblically “right and wrong”, that he was even persecuting Christians — nay, Christ himself! For he was walking along the road one day, ready to even see Christians killed and persecuted, when a VOICE (note emphasis!) spoke to him from the sky, saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me! … I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting!” (Acts 9). As the story goes, the man Saul was deeply shaken — and his misguided theology was changed, radically, from that of persecuter of God’s people, to co-laborer *with* God people. What a switch! The call has gone out! Experience God! It will change the way you think, and act, towards God, his people, and his purposes for your life!
Are you willing to allow God to do that?