Will God talk to us?
“And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaohs house (becoming part of his harem). And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.”
In the Old Testament days God dealt more directly than He does today. In fact, I was thinking the other day as I was getting ready for this lesson, there is a good book by Sir Robert Anderson entitled: The Silence of God. It is rather hard to comprehend. It is written in Old English, more or less. It seems like an odd title, but Sir Robert Anderson was a Bible scholar as well as the head of Scotland Yard. He must have been a layman. But, he was a tremendous Bible scholar. In his book, he draws this analogy of God constantly dealing in an intrinsic way with the Old Testament characters. But when we get to our Age of Grace, God is comparatively silent because we have The Book. God doesn’t have to talk to us audibly. God doesn’t have to appear to us in the miraculous. I always have to qualify that. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe God cannot miraculously answer our prayers. Sir Robert Anderson makes a point of the fact that in this Age of Grace it is as if God is silent, compared to His dealing in the Old Testament,.
Think about that. We just don’t expect angels to appear. I told someone at a class one night, “If all of a sudden on my way home at 11:00 at night I’d see a bunch of angels on the highway, do you think I could take it? I know I couldn’t. I don’t think you could either!” What if all of a sudden God would just appear as He did back in the Old Testament? It would crack us up. We’re not prepared for that. And God doesn’t expect us to be. Indeed, God is silent today compared to the days we are reading about. Here, God even appeared to pagan Pharaoh and revealed to him that, “This lady out there is not what you think she is. She is a man’s wife.”
“And Pharaoh called Abram and said, `What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife (God told him, but Abram had not)? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.'”
I Corinthians 12:11
“But all these (the things that he has listed up there in verses 8, 9 and 10) worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally (differently) as he (the Holy Spirit) will.”
Do you see that? So it’s not for you and me to go and say, “Oh I want this gift, or that gift,” No, you just take the gift that God has given you. Now I think the greatest thing we can do is just simply say, “Lord here I am, I’m available, use me.” And let Him direct you where He want to use you. I’ve told people this for years that I don’t wait for God to say something out loud, He’s never spoken to me out loud, but I’ll tell you how He talks to me, and that’s with open and closed doors. He gets us just exactly where He want us. If something doesn’t fly and the door closes, don’t push against it, you just take it that God doesn’t want you in that direction. You will find another open door someplace else so just take that one. And then from the Word, His Word can just impress you so much. Another one is by prayer, and that’s some of the ways that we can find what God wants. But just to simply go to God and say, “I want the gift of such and such, no I don’t think this is what the Bible permits. We are to leave that up to the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 3:16
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Now again to just point out Paul’s revelations and I think this is all part of the mysteries, did you ever read that the believers were indwelt by the Holy Spirit of this in the Old Testament? No way. Now they knew of the Holy Spirit, but you want to remember like David and Samson, the Holy Spirit would come upon them, but He wasn’t there permanently, He could leave at the drop of a hat. And of course that’s what happened to Samson. When the Holy left off with Samson he was as weak as a dish rag. But when the Spirit was upon him, he had all kinds of power.
Now here Paul is making it so plain then that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. How do I know the Holy Spirit lives within me? I don’t feel Him in there. I don’t hear Him talking to me. I’m not one of those who hears God talk out loud. I’ve never yet heard Him talk audibly to me. Now I think He affects our thoughts, and as we study the Scriptures God speaks to us through His Word. But to hear Him say, “Now Les I want you to do this.” I’ve never had that happen, and I’m a little bit dubious when people talk like that, because the Bible doesn’t teach that. But we do have the indwelling Person of the Holy Spirit living within us. Now back to Ephesians chapter 3. So Christ in the Person of the Holy Spirit is dwelling in our hearts as believers. By faith is the only way of knowing.