Does God speak to His children? Absolutely!
Do we hear the audible voice of God in our lives? I don’t think so!
Let me explain why I feel as I do. There are clear, tangible evidences of the voice of God being heard throughout the Bible. God spoke to Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:9-19). He spoke to Cain (Genesis 4:6-15). God spoke to Noah (Genesis 6 to 9). God spoke to Abraham (or Abram) throughout Genesis 12 to Genesis 19. He spoke to Abimelech in a dream (Genesis 20:3). God talked to Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. He spoke to Daniel in a dream (Daniel 2:19). God spoke to Moses all through the book of Exodus. Of course, Jesus, the Son of God, the Son of Man spoke in human form throughout the Gospels (just get a red-letter bible and see). He spoke to Paul (after knocking him flat and blinding him) in Acts 9:4-6, Ananias in Acts 9:10-16 and Peter in Acts 10:13-15. He spoke to John in the book of Revelation.
There are also visible manifestations of His presence throughout as well. The burning bush (Exodus 3:2), the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night before the nation of Israel (Exodus 13:21-22), a smoke shrouded Mount Sinai, evidence of the Shekinah glory (Exodus 19:11-18). Nebuchadnezzar saw one like the Son of God in Daniel 3:24-25. Various sightings of the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament (a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ). For over 30 years God walked the earth as Jesus the God/man, as evidenced throughout the four Gospel accounts. In Acts 9, that blinding light around Paul, in Revelation 1:13,that nearly blinding vision of one like the Son of Man.
I am sure I missed a whole bunch but I have belabored the point already. God has made visible appearances, and has spoken audibly throughout the Bible. Not to mention the times God spoke amongst the Godhead (The Genesis 1 creation account, at Babel in Genesis 11), and probably several other times I have not noted where God knew it He was better off talking to Himself than any of us sinners. And He did not always speak to the exceedingly faithful; think of Cain, Abimelech and Nebuchadnezzar. But appear and/or speak He did, when it suited His purposes. So, why don’t I think He is doing that today? Because we have the written Word of God, and the Bible provides us with the availability of a sufficient knowledge of, and wisdom from God. The inspired Word, written down by human authors “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21), over approximately 1600 years by about 40 authors, preserved even until today despite any attempts to eradicate it from the face of the earth. We have what we need, in a form that we can access and use, study from and meditate upon, pray through and turn to with relative ease.
So how do I think we hear the voice of God? It comes through the pricking of your conscience when you are doing or thinking of something that is not in His will; that’s the Holy Spirit gently (or otherwise) prompting and prodding you to the right thoughts, words and deeds. It is that clarity of vision as to steps to take (or not take), things to say (or not say) and the feeling you just need to wait; that’s the Spirit clearing out the fog of indecision or bad advice, for God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). It is that serene peace, that calm of heart, mind, soul and spirit that comes over you when a decision is made. For the Spirit will indwell you with a peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7) It has been said that if you can keep your wits about you when all others are losing theirs, you really do not understand the situation. But for the child of God, that is what the Holy Spirit does to encourage and strengthen you to live your life for Him in the here and now.
I believe all of these ways God speaks to us are as effective as those more visible manifestations cited above. It requires faith in Him alone, it requires obedience to His will. It requires of us what He desires for us, and His voice will ring out to us. He has given us what we need, and wishes us to immerse ourselves in the Word to understand His will and purposes better, to allow us to draw closer to Him. I don’t think He need appear again to us (albeit for his Second Coming) nor speak out loud, because if we seek Him in faith through His Word, it is sufficient for us within His plan.
So if anyone is claiming to have seen or heard from God directly, audibly or visibly or both, I would have to say it is most likely something they ate, something that doesn’t agree with them. Because if they think they are listening to the audible voice of God, I certainly don’t agree with them.
That should not discourage, but should encourage us, because if we diligently and faithfully search the Scriptures daily like Bereans (Acts 17:11), we know confidently, and would proclaim boldly that…
Jesus is coming soon!