A friend on facebook (Tim Dukeman) recently said:
– I’m deadly serious about this. God doesn’t speak through impressions, feelings, “leadings”, or any of that other nonsense. He speaks through the Bible.
– Nothing in the Bible would lead us to the idea that God speaks in these hyper-spiritual ways. If you hear an audible voice, we’ll talk.
But this “leadings” nonsense is paganism.
– I used to ask God for specific guidance. I have repented of such foolishness.
This was my response:
Tim, have you never read a Scripture and felt vaguely convicted, and then asked God to reveal to you the specific attitude or action you needed to repent of?
I do that all the time. I read something and ask the Spirit to search my heart and bring to mind whatever He wishes. Suddenly I’ll realize, “Oh! I’ve been arrogant. *That’s* not good.” So I’ll repent.
I consider that the leading of the Holy Spirit. It’s Scripturally grounded, but goes “beyond” the Scripture in that He brings to mind something specific in my own life to which the Scripture corresponds. It’s a kind of “revelation” about my own circumstances and heart.
It’s not authoritative. I don’t even have to know whether it was my own insight or something God led me to think of. But it seems silly, after having asked God to guide my thoughts, to say that it is wrong to believe he actually did guide them.
I realize this is not what you meant. But I think it is what you should have meant.
Tim’s further response:
You are correct. That is an important caveat. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. If you feel convicted of sin after reading Scripture, that’s usually legitimate.
But what I said above stands.
Comments? I have a lot of other opinions on this, but I want to organize my thoughts a little before saying much more.