“And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;”
The believer must be very careful about relying on their feelings to determine what God wants them to do. God has His methods of communicating to His children. Because God never changes, His medium for communication also does not change. How God spoke to people in the past, He still chooses to speak to people today. You will never be successful in serving the LORD and staying in His will if you don't listen to God through His methods of communication. So, how does God speak to the believer today?
First, God speaks to the believer through His Word. God’s Word is the primary and foundation of all that God says. One reason you are to study God’s Word is so that you will know what it tells you to do in life. I believe that God’s Word has the answers to everything in life; therefore, not to study His Word will cause you not to know what God wants you to do and what He commands you to do. Everything in God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation is relevant for the believer today to learn what God wants them to do and to learn the principles that will help them with every decision.
Second, God speaks to the believer through prayer. There are many times in the Scriptures when God's men were praying that God spoke to them. Prayer is a wonderful way to crucify the flesh so that God can have an opportunity to speak to the believer without their flesh being a hindrance. There are many times when I have been praying that God made clear to me things that I needed to do or know in life. The power of prayer is not only to change circumstances in life, but you will also find that God will speak to you when you pray.
Third, God speaks to the believer through His Holy Spirit. John 16:13 says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:…” The Holy Spirit often speaks to your heart about situations in your life that are not clear in God’s Word. One reason you need to be filled with the Spirit is so that He can speak to you with clarity. The Holy Spirit will guide you into the truth you need to follow if you will listen to His voice.
Fourth, God uses His preachers to speak to you. Throughout the Scriptures, you will find that God speaks to the believer through the preaching and counseling of the man of God. Though many don't like it when this is said, it is very evident in the verses above that God uses His men to speak to people. Yes, men of God are men, but God still speaks to them whether or not you like it. In Revelation 2 and 3, God spoke to the church through the pastor. Let me ask you, why would God change how He speaks if He is a God who does not change? The answer to this question is that He doesn't change the way He speaks. One way He still chooses to speak to His children is through the preacher.
One may ask, how do I know if my preacher is guiding me wrong? The answer is simple! If what your preacher is telling you to do goes directly against the Word of God, you will know that He is not leading you the right way. Be careful about not being so filled with pride that you miss God’s guidance in your life through your pastor’s preaching and advice.