The Voice of God
Ralph V. Reynolds
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled unto God” (II Corinthians 5:20).
God certainly desires to speak to His people. He wants His children to hear His voice and listen carefully to what He has to say to them. It is evident from the testimony of the Scriptures and personal experience that He uses several means in allowing His voice to be heard. According to the conditions and circumstances of the moment, He speaks through the following various means:
1 Directly. There are times when He speaks to an individual either by an audible voice or by a deep impression. The Bible gives many examples where God spoke audibly.
Upon the road to Damascus, God spoke to Saul in an audible voice, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Then men who were traveling with Saul heard the voice but saw no man. In this manner, God can still speak to men.
He may also speak with a deep impression, an inward voice, which may be just as clearly heard as if it were shouted. In this matter, God has spoken to me clearly and emphatically. At times I even heard the words that He said. When God speaks, He will not leave us in doubt concerning the message He desires to communicate.
2. Prophecy. At Antioch, the Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Barnabus and Saulfor the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). God spoke here either through a message in tongues followed by an interpretation or through prophecy. At any rate, God spoke by means of a supernatural utterance of the Holy Ghost.
God frequently speaks to the church by one of the gifts of utterance. At such times, the church should listen attentively to what God has to say.
3. Word of God. This is the final authority on all spiritual and eternal matters. Unchanging and infallible, it provides the answer to every problem. It can never be questioned. As such, it is God’s Word. When preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, it is the voice of God to all who listen.
4. God’s Minister. The minister is preaching in Christ’s stead. He is God’s ambassador, delivering God’s message. One should never minimize the importance of hearing the gospel preached by an anointed messenger expounding the truth of God’s Word.
However, is the voice of the preacher the voice of God? Certainly not! The preacher is not God. Although the message he preaches is the infallible truth of God’s Word, he himself is not infallible. He is still a man, and a human being, subject to all the weaknesses of the flesh.
Upon one occasion, the people shouted that Herod’s voice was that of a god. Because he accepted their acclaim and denied it not, he was eaten with worms and died. The reason was he gave not God the glory (Acts 12:23).
It is an indisputable fact that preachers do make mistakes. They have been known to make wrong statements and err in judgments. They may be men of God, ambassadors, speaking in Christ’s stead, but they are still human. Anointed vessels through which God is speaking, certainly, but still human.
One of the great qualities needed here is humility. The more humble they are, the more they can be used of God to be His spokesman.
Even though they are not infallible and possess much humility, they can still preach with authority as Jesus taught (Mark 1:22).
How can a minister preach with authority even though he is conscious of his own human lack? How can he be humble and bold at the same time? In answering this, one must remember that he will be anointed in direct ratio to his broken, surrendered spirit. He must be yielded to God in order to be used by God. He is very much aware that he is a human, but he is bold because he is preaching God’s message. Confidence is the key word here. He has prayed and heard from God. He is positively assured that he has heard and received the message that God wants him to deliver. Therefore, he confidently preaches with authority.
He preaches neither apologetically nor arrogantly. There is no argumentative tone to his voice or a spirit of paternalism demonstrated. He does not preach down to the people nor does he preach at the people. As God’s ambassador with God’s message he addresses the congregation and ministers to them on a one to one basis.
When he stands behind the pulpit, he never humiliates anyone with sarcasm or ridicule. I have heard some ministers make remarks that have made me cringe. One minister who was dealing with evolution said to the church, “The only monkey you will see is when you look at yourself in the mirror.” Ouch! It was not funny. With such a remark, the minister hurt himself more than anyone else.
The true minister of God ministers to his flock. He loves and is interested in the welfare of everyone. He values each man and woman, boy and girl, saint and sinner. His desire is to help, encourage and save. He uplifts and strengthens with God’s Word. As such, He is God’s ambassador preaching in Christ’s stead the words of life eternal.
The above article, “The Voice of God” was written by Ralph V. Reynolds. The article was excerpted from the 11th chapter of Reynolds book If The Sheep Could Speak.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.