In God will speak, I wrote:
The truth is, God will speak to me right where I am, and I can hear His voice.
I needed to hear His voice for my specific situation, when I needed His wisdom for healing from cancer. And God will give us a personal word that is unique to our specific situation – the Bible teaches this.
But that is one side of the coin. There is another side which balances it. God has already spoken His general will, and His general wisdom for all mankind, found within the pages of Holy Scripture. As Martin Luther said,
“Let the person who would hear God speak, read Holy Scripture.”
God will never speak a personal word to anyone which contradicts His general word to everyone. When I was a young wife, one of the older ladies in our church confided in me that God had told her to divorce her husband. I instantly knew that God had not told her that. The general word of God for everyone on this subject is:
For YHVH God of Israel says that He hates divorce, “For it covers one’s garment with violence,” says YHVH of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Mal 2:16
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Mat 19:3-9
This is the importance of reading, and knowing Holy Scripture from front to back, inside and out. It is a plumb line against which we measure the thoughts of our mind, the statements of others – be they pastor, televangelist, public official, or friend – and the personal words we hear in our heart. Without the plumb line, the builder cannot build a straight building, and we cannot hear a true personal word.
In fact, I believe that God limits His personal words to the people who do not know His general word, out of love for them, so that they are not led astray.
I read through the entire Bible every year, and have been for decades. You can join me, and as you learn His general word, He will increase His personal word to you!
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