In response to this: http://apprising.org/2012/05/25/ten-minutes-with-john-macarthur/
I agree with JM that the concept of having a “conversation with God”, as per the “contemplative”, “emergent”, “mystical”, “spiritual formation” movement understanding is definitely pagan.
I disagree with JM that the reason it is wrong is that God no longer speaks except by reading the Bible. (So, JM gets an invite to preach in New York, and then he searches thru the Bible to find a Scripture which will tell him whether it is God speaking to him to go to New York, or not. It’s silly. Scripture does NOT teach that.)
The reason having “a conversation with God” is wrong is that it approaches God the wrong way and treats Him as if He were an idol. Such an approach to God reeks of fallen man’s arrogance. The proponents of this actually think, in their delusional state, that they are controlling God. They ask Him a question, and they give Him a few minutes to answer, on cue. Very thoughtful of them, eh. Very considerate of them to give God an opportunity to speak on cue. It’s your time to talk, God. I’m listening! C’mon, talk! I don’t have much time, talk! It’s your turn now.
That’s only fair, isn’t it? You’ve done your talking to God, and now you can give Him a little time to speak. Very nice. God will be happy He’s been given a few minutes to speak. A nice little imaginary friend who will speak to you when you ask him to, and then put him back in the box till you need him to speak again.
They treat God as if HE is the one in the hot-seat, and HE is obliged to answer right on cue, and preferably before the little prayer time is over and the world beckons. It would be very convenient if He would comply and engage in conversation with us when WE require Him to speak.
Of course, such language betrays that such people have NEVER KNOWN the God of the Bible. It is the language of idolatry – a god which you can control, a god who will cooperate with you, and allow you to call the shots.
But the true indwelling Holy Spirit continually speaks to the obedient, faithful disciple of Jesus, teaching us all things. Yes, He is the One who writes the Scriptures in our hearts and brings everything Jesus said to our remembrance – of whom His sheep know His voice, and He leads them. That’s Bible. JM is far less Biblical than he thinks he is.
The condition is that we truly yield to Jesus as LORD, denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Him.