Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Heart Whisperer

"What do you feel God is leading you towards?" "Pray and wait for God to give you an answer." "What is God speaking to your heart?" Do these sound familiar? These are popular jargon within Christian circles and they are all mostly based on the idea of God speaking to one's heart. However, this speaking of God is rarely ever loud, clear and precise; rather, it's tiny, gentle whisper done by God that can be missed by the hearer if he isn't completely in tune with the Spirit. Many have characterized this notion as a "tugging of the heart." Sincere believers have bought into this notion and they all face the same problem: this idea is not biblical.

Greg Koukl put forth a thought provoking question on his radio show one day. He asked, "Does God ever try?" That is, if God wants to accomplish anything, can he make an attempt and ever fail? Most Christians would say no (I realize this relates to theological issues, such as limited atonement but that's a different issue I won't address). So if it is the case that God accomplished whatever he desires, could it be possible he's trying to speak to any particular person and he's not able to get through to him? Definitely not.

All throughout Scripture, God has spoken clearly and precisely to all of those he wanted to communicate with. None of his spokesmen needed to be spiritually in tune with God or have quiet daily devotions in order to "hear the still small whisper." If God had a message, he would get it through to the person(s) he wanted to communicate with. He even got through to individuals who were killing Christians.

The Apostle Paul wasn't searching for Christ. He wasn't having his morning quiet time, praying and asking God if Christ was indeed the way, the truth and the life. The man was actively seeking Christians in order to execute them. What happened? God wanted Paul to become his messenger to the Gentiles and spread the gospel throughout the nations. Did God whisper to Paul and hope Paul would feel the gentle tugging on his heart? Absolutely not! The Lord knocked him off his horse and struck him blind. Then he audibly communicated with Paul so that there was no confusion regarding what Jesus wanted.

Many today are sadly mistaken when they think they need to "hear" from God in order to make decisions. This idea is not only misleading, it's potentially harmful for those who buy into it. I know of one man who had devoted years of his life to becoming a missionary to China. He spent years trying to learn the language and prepare to head over there; however, it never happened. Even though he "felt" Gd calling him to go there, he had too much difficulty learning the language and never went. Others have put themselves and their families at risk because of the supposed "still small voice."

God can speak to anyone he so desires to choose from; however, I don't believe it is the norm and it ought not be expected. Read God's word. Learn from it and live according to it. In all other areas not addressed, there is liberty.

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