Reading Reflection:

Made in America, Michael Horton (Wipf & Stock, 1991) Okay, so I went digging for this excerpt and I own more Horton books than I realized. I’ve spent the better part of an hour sifting through underlined treasures of my favorite living theologian.  This one is pretty basic, but has always stuck with me:
When truth has been defined in such terms as, “The Lord spoke to my heart…,” and “The Lord revealed to me…,” the objective authority of Scripture loses its importance.  But we must contend for the fact that, just as God has acted and saved outside of us, in history, so he has spoken outside of us, in history.  From those who say, “God told me…,” I want the details.  What was his voice like? “Like the voice of rushing waters” (Rev. 1:15)?  What was his face like?  Even Moses couldn’t see God’s face, but evangelists based in Tulsa can. And how did you feel when God spoke to you?  Like Isaiah, who after seeing a vision of God, not even face to face, said, “Woe unto me. I am a man of unclean lips”? Nine times out of ten, the person will respond, “Well, the words, of course, weren’t audible. But you do believe that God still speaks to us, don’t you?” they ask. Of course I do. He has said more than I will ever in this lifetime be able to comprehend. But that voice is confined to holy Scripture (151-152).
This can be a hot topic.  I have certainly felt led by the Spirit in certain decisions and actions I have made.  But the fact is; these promptings cannot be immediately confirmed as authoritative words from God.  Since our own hearts and minds are corrupted by sin, we can actually be deceiving ourselves with these subjective experiences.  We can set ourselves up for some pretty serious spiritual manipulation by playing the “God told me” card.  Thankfully, he has given us objective revelation in his written Word.  A friend once approached me with a struggle she was having.  I’ll call her Lola.  Apparently, someone at Lola’s church gave her a message they received from God.  God told them that he had plans for Lola to move.  Do you see the dilemma?  If God really gave that message to Lola’s friend, Lola would be sinning if she disobeyed.  It all starts to sound a little silly.  God did not set us up for such subjective nonsense.  His word is always true, always correct, and always authoritative.  It is also living and powerful (Heb. 4:12).  God’s word convicts and creates life.  It is holy and authoritative, not just some mystical suggestion.