Why does God whisper to us?

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7 Responses to “Why does God whisper to us?”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    (This is an old re-post)

    Why does God whisper to us?

    It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
    Proverbs 25:2

    If a king had to shout at his servants to get them to do anything it would indicate he is not highly esteemed or honored.

    If the king has only to whisper and the servants scramble into action, it indicates the king has a position of honor among his servants.

    The servant and friend of God who will obey even the slightest and most quiet prompting or whisper of the Holy Spirit is truly a person who loves, honors and fears God.

    The immature wrongly think that if God has to shout at them to get them to do something, that He is honoring them. They would be proud of the fact that God had to shout at them to get them to listen, thinking that God is honoring them by that, and ignorant of the fact that when they ignored His whispering to them that they were dishonoring Him.

    It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: It has to be this way, as it’s a matter of His glory. His glory is in the fact that He conceals.

    …but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. When we put all our being into seeking God and what He is saying to us, it both honors Him and honors us.
    Even though God lives inside us, He never directs us to look inwardly to find Him. The Holy Spirit never causes a person to pray to God in them, but rather, to God the Father who is in heaven, hallowed be His name…

    A more pertinent example of the difference in honor between whispering and shouting would be simply the case of a father and a son working together, and the father quietly asks, Son, would you come over here and lend me a hand?

    The son ignores.

    Maybe he thinks that because his dad spoke so gently that really he doesn’t need any help or it’s not urgent.

    Again the father asks and is ignored.

    Then he shouts, and the son jumps up and rushes over to help.

    That’s shame on the son, right? He had dishonored his dad by misjudging him. When he ignored his dad he was judging his dad.

    Then, if we ignore the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, how have we judged God? We have judged Him as a person who is not so close to us. We have judged Him as distant and detached and not as indwelling and abiding in us.

    To hear and heed the whispers of God we need to have faith in His true nature, that even though He is Almighty God, He dwells with and in the humble and lowly, and is so acquainted with them that He expects them to know that the whisper they hear in their spirit is actually the voice of the Living God.

    A person who doesn’t really know the true nature of the Father will be expecting to hear the voice of God thru more spectacular means.

    It seems like a paradox, that God Almighty can be present in a person and yet they find it hard to hear His voice.

    Was reading on a blog somewhere that all one needs to do to hear the voice of God is to open the bible and read it.

    That’s true when we are talking about establishing the truth which is in Jesus, however it is not always true when it comes to living your life led by the Holy Spirit. The bible is not a substitute for the Holy Spirit, they are inseparable.
    Yet there are Christians today who do claim to be led by the bible, yet their lives are not led by the Holy Spirit, and they mock at the thought.

    We should remember that, when we read the bible, if the Holy Spirit were not our personal tutor, then we would not understand a word.

    It’s therefore foolish to try and depersonalize the Holy Spirit and say that He does not speak to us today, when He communicates EVERYTHING that God has to say to us, IF we are submitted to the LORD Jesus Christ.

    Christ rules our lives by the ministry of the Holy Spirit revealing His Truth and Words to us. When our life is yielded to Him, He shows us where to go, what to speak, what to do…. everything.

    It’s not just you and the bible. The bible does not tell you all the details of what the LORD wants you to do. Obviously, He never intended that you would have to open the bible every moment to find out when you should pray, who you should pray for, whom you should speak to, and every detail of our life.

    If you have truly bowed the knee to Jesus Christ then you can only live by His guidance, which is by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    If you have not truly bowed your knee, then it won’t really matter to you whether the Holy Spirit guides you or not.

    It’s not just you and the bible. It’s you, the bible, the Holy Spirit and the Father and the Son.

    Many saved evangelicals today are not filled with and led by the Holy Spirit, as per the NT definition, so it is not surprising they don’t understand what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit. Which is a vicious circle, yet it is His grace alone that breaks thru that closed loop.

    All saved people have the Holy Spirit indwelling, but not all are filled with the Spirit. And such people do hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to a certain extent, understanding the Scriptures to a certain extent, and instructing them and guiding them, but they don’t realize that it is He who is speaking to them. They just think it is their own thoughts speaking to them.

    This is where our closed-loop kicks in. When a person thinks that it is their own intelligence or diligence which is the vehicle by which they have understood what they think they understand, then they have been deceived by their own ego. That’s what closes the loop and forms the vicious circle and cuts them off from hearing the Holy Spirit – their intellectual pride.

    Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit permitted them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, beseeching him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel unto them.
    (Acts 16:6-10)

    …forbidden by the Holy Spirit
    …but the Spirit permitted them not
    …seen the vision
    This is subjective guidance.

    In this particular case the Holy Spirit did not use any Scripture in order to communicate God’s specific will and guidance to Paul.

    The anti-Spirit people could criticize that Paul was being led by subjective spiritual experiences and not by the Word of God.

    Or was it OK for Paul to be led by subjective experiences because he was an apostle, but it’s not OK for us today?

    They are asking us to believe that the Holy Spirit has changed since then in the way He communicates the will of God to Jesus disciples, which is a false teaching.

    The Holy Spirit is the only way in which The Father thru the Son COMMUNICATES with His people.

    Hearing the “voice” of God may throw some people off. They may think it implies hearing voices in your head, like a psychiatric patient who hears voices.

    Try the word “communication”. Is there a spiritual (Spirit to spirit) communication between The Shepherd and His sheep? Does the Shepherd communicate with you in your spirit and not just your mind?

    Unless you see a Scripture will you say that the Shepherd has not communicated with you?

    If you answer, No, then just check that you are truly one of His sheep, who hears His voice and follows Him wherever He goes.

    The Truth of the Scriptures always influences everything we are hearing from the Holy Spirit. Even in guidance, such as I have quoted above in Acts 16, there is no clash with the influence of the Truth of the Scriptures, as being inconsistent with the nature of Christ. Any subjective guidance will always be strongly consistent with the nature of Christ, as revealed in Scripture. If there is an inconsistency, then it is not the Holy Spirit we are hearing.

    In all that I’m saying here I’m appealing to the Truth of the Scriptures as the last word.

    Yes, you may be disgusted by all the abuses and falsehood associated with people who claim to hear the voice of God. So am I. Yet, don’t let abuses and error make you rebound off into error yourself, by ricocheting off on in another extreme, and becoming just as unbiblical as they are.

    Yes, some who claim to be bible fundamentalists are the most unbiblical.


    .Concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel unto them. Acts 16:10

    Paul had to INTERPRET the vision or dream as being a message or direction from God. He had to draw a conclusion from the vision and interpret its meaning. This is quite helpful. In everything we need to know whether God is speaking to us thru various means and to know that He requires us in each instance to interpret what He is saying to us.

    Hearing God’s voice requires interpretation. Paul concluded that that was what God was telling him thru the vision. So, hearing the voice of God can also mean coming to a conclusion about something.

    Hearing the voice of God is deeper than an experience. I’ve only used the term “subjective experience” as a concession, or a bridge, for the sake of communication, but it’s not the best definition.

    It would be more accurate to say that God communicates to us, speaks to us, by causing us to know something in our spirit.

    What is knowing? Is “knowing” a work of God, or our work, or both?
    (if you’re interested, do a word study on “know”, “knowing” and “knowledge” )

    A witness

    The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    (Romans 8:16)

    This is another aspect of what it means to hear the voice of God – a witness from the Holy Spirit.

    Are we earnestly seeking to do God’s will, and consequently, do our spirits witness with the Holy Spirit concerning the things the Holy Spirit wants us to do?

    A Spirit-filled Christian will wait on God, and always seek God for His witness. Those not filled really do not have sensitivity to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and they trust more in their own judgment and feel confident to make decisions without any witness of the Spirit.

    The fact that most of evangelicalism rigidly follows a set program shows that there is little practical evidence of the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Some going to such churches may experience the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their personal lives, but the church they attend has not yet figured out how the church corporately can be led by the Spirit.

    Those not filled really do not have sensitivity to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and they trust more in their own judgment and feel confident to make decisions without any witness of the Spirit.

    God’s pattern for the church (1 Cor. 14) was so that we would always have to seek and find the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and hence, GROW in the practical ability to hear God’s voice and find His will and guidance.

    He designed the church with this as one of the ends or goals: Assembling together is supposed to train us to be led by the Spirit.

    As you fellowship in a 1 Cor. 14 type church, slowly you will become far more sensitive to the witness and guidance of the Holy Spirit, than if you remain in the audience of a traditional church (By traditional church, I mean any church that does not obey the 1 Cor. 14 pattern). This is just one aspect by which we grow thru obeying God’s directions for how the church should function.

    If you read 1 Cor. 14 again I pray you will see that this requires a total dependency on hearing the voice of God. Read it again and then ask, why does God require it done this way? What did He have in mind?

    When men rejected the counsel of God, and set in concrete their traditions, then people became far less sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If you follow traditions you no longer need the Holy Spirit to guide you, moment by moment, and thus you never learn to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    ~ Ian Vincent

  2. memoriestoday Says:

    Great Ian!
    I feel a little sick tonight, but I hope I will be able to share with you about that soon
    Lord bless

  3. among the forgotten Says:

    Excellent article and explanations Ian.
    I cannot think of too many issues Christians are in need of today that would be more important than understanding the issue of being led by the Spirit clearly. As you rightly said, their are extremes on both sides of this issue- few are found who properly teach and live out either “being filled” or being “led of the Spirit.” Most are caught up in the fanatical extremes of fleshly excesses they call the Spirit or a refusal to acknowledge that we are to be led moment by moment by God the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of what man calls Sola Scriptura (I personally hate these terms) confines people to dead orthodoxy where God would free us to a living reality of who He is or how He would lead us. The latter seem to think any subjective leading to be equated with “new revelations” and yet that has nothing to do with it. Being led of the Spirit has nothing to do with adding to the faith once delivered but relates to the Spirit’s leading for our individual lives. They are not the same thing.
    You rightly point out that our fixed practices (my terms) hinder our ability to hear from God individually and corporately and bind us to the traditions of men and yet the Bible states that where the Spirit is…..there is found liberty!
    The truth be told, in any place or manner in which the Spirit is bound in believer(s) bondage will result- the life of Jesus will not be free to express Himself. Within these various forms of bondage we cry out loudly to the religious leaders of men who ignore the son’s and daughters cries and yet our God hears us. Only after the futility of attempting to garner the attention of those who think they rule over us do we finally begin to hear the voice and whisper of the Spirit. Once we do there is no turning back, there is no desire to return to Egypt despite the former comfort we once found there.
    Jesus says, He makes all things new and Paul said, in Christ that the old things passed away (not will pass away) and that new things had come (not will come).
    The walk in the Spirit is a very present reality of discovery wherein we take possession of that which we have now in Christ. I may learn of this truth intellectually, but can only receive it as I submit myself to the Spirit of God moment by moment.

  4. ian vincent Says:

    Thanks brother, good post.

    On the point of Sola Scriptura, i believe it.

    Truth and Direction are two separate issues. Sola Scriptura covers truth but it doesn’t cover specific directions. It covers the nature and character of directions but it doesn’t give specific direction in many choices which need to be made, like where and when, for that we need a guidance of the Spirit which is not just on the level of referring to the text.

    Like the guy who was agonizing over whether he should marry Grace, and he opens the Bible and the first verse he sees is, Grace to you!

    But Sola Scriptura will definitely define whether Grace is someone worth marrying, it will define our understanding and our criteria in choosing.

    We believe that God is always revealing the meaning of His Word to people. This is true revelation. The Bible would be meaningless to anyone without revelation of the Spirit.

    Extra-Biblical revelation concerning the Truth is a false revelation.

    With “new revelations” It may seem like new revelation but if it seems it’s new it is only bcos it is new to us.

    If it is “new” bcos it is not in the Bible then it is false.

    Some people even tell me that meeting in homes is some “new revelation”.

    And i’ve met folks who vehemently stand by Sola Scriptura except after a lot of editing out the bits they think no longer apply.

    Its a mixed up shook up world… the song goes.

  5. Al Nelson Says:

    Great post and discussion! Continuing for a moment on Sola Scriptura, I’ve always understood it simply as defining ourselves apart from works based religion like Catholicism or Mormonism. It doesn’t eliminate for the need for walking in the Spirit as Paul directs.For without the Spirit we are and can do nothing. Neither do we understand anything of the Kingdom.

  6. Al Nelson Says:

    Reblogged this on lastdaysoftheage.

  7. ian vincent Says:

    Yes, Sola Scriptura came out of the reformation for that very reason.

    But today it used in a much wider sense by many evangelicals to try and prove that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased.

    But bcos of Sola Scriptura I believe the gifts haven’t ceased.

    They say that any prophesying must be new revelation and therefore out of the orbit of Sola Scriptura.

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