Lately, I’ve been considering the things I’ve been caught up with in the last few years, namely: spiritual revelation. I have come relatively far in my spiritual walk with Christ, but I question whether I have gotten distracted with the shiny sparkly items of certain contemporary prophets and the byproducts of going psychotic in 2012. The notion of seeing, hearing and experiencing things “in the spirit” has got me all confused as to whether I need to occupy myself with trying to hear God’s voice that way or not.
Let me get to the point: I’m questioning whether God uses only the Holy Bible, His Word, to speak to us, or if He also uses the Holy Spirit. I guess I’ve been led down a path ever since I was in my first hospitalization that may never have needed to be so dissected. I don’t understand the voices, the oppression and the demons – but in the same respect neither do I understand the angels, the healing and the miracles. My conclusion? God doesn’t want me to worry my pretty little head over what the signs and wonders all meant. If anything, He speaks plenty to me in His Word.
I wonder still, though. Where do spiritual gifts fit? Where does the gift of prophecy go when we leave that to the first century Christians and Old Testament figures? Is there any more room for God to work through visions and signs and wonders? Perhaps if someone with the gift of interpretation can show up. But in my experience, I’ve seen enough miracles. I need more faith by hearing and reading God’s Word, spoken into my life, planted deep into my heart and mind.
The reason I am bringing this up is because as of late, I’ve been speaking to different friends about my story and my “spiritual experiences.” One trusted source said to dig deeper into it; ask God what all the visions meant. Another godly counselor disagreed: “God has given us the Bible for everything we need…we need to stand on the Word of God and that alone,” and also that “psychotropic drugs open the doors to the demonic, so it’s a waste of time and a distraction.” That friend also pointed out the biblical examples of false prophets: those that predicted things that didn’t happen, and those that predicted things that did happen but led His people astray to serve false gods.
Has the notion of opening myself up to the Holy Spirit and hearing God’s voice in His presence been a scheme for me to become distracted by things like signs and wonders – the underlying premise of those who do those miracles and yet Jesus will say to in the end, “Away from me, I knew you not”?
Another close confidant of mine gave me the best advice: “Take what you’ve learned and trust it.” We also concluded in the same discussion that Christians these days all want these Wow Moments, but it’s not about the Wow Moments. It’s been Wow Moments once in a while for me – but even while Jesus led his disciples here on earth they didn’t have Wow Moments all the time. Sometimes it was just being with Him that mattered.
This kind of ties into the mountaintop-and-valley kind of rollercoaster faith a lot of young Christians are known for. I guess I’m learning that it’s not about the Wow Factor, or the Experience. Those are great, but the bottom line is this: God is with me no matter how close I feel to Him. Knowing He has never left me and never will must sink into my pretty little head before I can grow any deeper. And His Word is His Word. Knowing His Word (Him) is eternal life. The affection for Jesus grows from a relationship with Him, and gifts of the Spirit are only that – gifts. It’s the Giver I must run to.
What do you think? Does God speak to us through Scripture alone, or in the visions and impression of His voice in quiet stillness? Could this be a both/and?