Christianity -- Christian Living/God?
QUESTION: Sir, how do I know if God has spoken to me.
Months ago when I was a deist I fell into a situation that got me seeking God over it, he told me pray, have patience and faith.
Later he told me that I need to return to church, the situation also prompted me to pray for another's salvation, yet I've been told I never heard from God
Your question has several interesting aspects that I would try to evaluate and respond to.
As I understand "deism", it rejects the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, explaining that the Apostle Paul, and others in authority within the church, corrupted the original intent of religious thinking for personal gain. While I agree that there has been much corruption among people of faith, God has promised, in His Word, to preserve His Word to all generations. That would, in my opinion, cause rejection of the teaching that God simply created the universe and is never involved in its day to day operation. There is just too much information, in Scripture, where the Lord has intervened.
I have no idea who, whether a deist or someone else, told you that you had not heard from God. The deist would automatically assume that, because their belief system doesn't allow for a direct communication with man from God, that you couldn't have heard from God. Some errant Christian belief systems teach that man cannot hear from God until he/she has become a Christian.
I believe that the Scriptures that we have today, referred to as the Bible, are the inerrant written Word of God, and are sufficient in helping us to understand enough about God, although even that is limited knowledge, to come to faith in Him, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is also sufficient to guide us in our thinking toward God, and in following His direction in our lives.
Man hears from God in a variety of ways, but because God has spoken to us through His Word, and He cannot lie, everything that we hear, that we think might be from God, should be examined through the prism of Scripture.
For instance, if I think I hear God tell me to commit a sin, God's Word says that God doesn't tempt man to sin. Thus, we would know that revelation did not come from God.
Since God did create the universe, everything in it points to God. That is a part of His design. He has continued to influence man to trust Him, since the creation, and continues to influence us today. He spoke to us through His prophets in times past. He also, has spoken to us, in these last days, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me." Nothing Jesus said contradicted the Words of the prophets of God. One thing He declared, "If I be lifted up (speaking of His crucifixion), I will draw all men to myself", indicates that He continues to draw man today, through the work of the Holy Spirit.
God also speaks to us through circumstances, although we should examine these through Scripture, as well. If God directed you to return to church, for instance, the Scriptures teach that, glory to God should be "in the church". So, I would conclude that, based on Scripture, that was a revelation from God. Which church? I would suggest one that looks to Scripture as the inerrant Word of God.
Praying for another's salvation is also suggested in God's Word, and thus, I would suggest that it probably came from God also. Many of our decisions in life are directed through principles, found in God's Word. God declares those principles to us, and expects us to follow them. When we find ourselves, or if someone guides us to understand, we are not following those principles, it is God directing us to get back where we should be in life. Sometimes God uses people to guide us, but again, that direction would never go against what God has declared, in His Word.
I hope this information will help you, as you continue to understand God's direction in your life. One passage that helps me is found in Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
With Love in Christ,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I am told I'm wrong about these messages because
The messages said, go back to church, repent, etc I've only been to one church in months singing, dancing, but they preach obedience to God, I was also invited to a Methodist church much more formal.
The reason I'm told I never saw God is because I asked God concerning a certain young women, I asked if we'd ever date. That's when I saw the messages pray, be patient, and have faith.
Over time I was told to go back to church and felt the need to pray for the young girl.
Any time we are faced with a decision about dating, or in anything else in life, we should always seek God's divine direction. His response,m based upon what I read in Scripture, is always pray, be patient, and trust the Lord. These are consistent with God's Word, and because of that, I would say you have the right answer from the Lord.
I know many churches that teach about obedience to the Lord, who do not follow Biblical principles of grace, but focus on obedience to the extent that they make your obedience to God the means of having a relationship with God. Many of them teach that if you fail in being obedient, then you have no faith, and cannot be right with God. The Scripture seems to contradict that, teaching that our obedience can only come as a result of a relationship with God, and when those of us who have such a relationship fail, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.
The formalities of the Methodist church, nor the freedom to exhibit the praise to the Lord, as shown in the other church, should never be the main thing we look at when choosing a church to attend, as there are many that name the name of Christ who are not His. Those that "abide not in the doctrine of Christ", are none of His. Look instead for the teachings of the church to determine whether of not it lines up with the Word of God.
With Love In Christ,