Transcribed from a sermon by Dan Phillips of Soaring Oaks Presbyterian in California:
I think that some things are unique by a thin margin and some things are unique by a large margin. The Bible is unique by a broad margin. There is NOTHING like it. There is no other ‘word of God’ in writing other than the Bible. It is UTTERLY unique. The trouble in modern Christendom is that we water this down with a phrase that we use too much and use in error; it’s very common for people to say very casually “Well, the Lord told me….” and then they quote some hunch, feeling or experience that they had and say it was the Lord talking to them.
“Well, the Lord told me to buy this stock.”
“Well, the Lord told me to go into gas station the other day.”
“Well, the Lord told me I shouldn’t watch tv show.”
You know, that statement isn’t used in the bible – EVER – except to mean
the very words of God that you can write down and put in your Bible we use it all the time. There is a very mischeivous part of me that, without exception, wants to stop folks and say “Wait a minute, wait a minute! – I want to make sure I get this in my Bible! What was it that the Lord told you that is not in my Bible, I want to write it down….I guess that’s what the blank pages at the back of the Bible are for ? For all the things He kinda keeps mumbling and insinuating and nudge-nudge-wink-winking at us today ?”
The trouble with this is that when we give these feelings, hunches and experiences we have and say that this is God talking to us, the real God talking to us is brought down to a lower level as we exalt our experience to that same level. Instead, we ought to just say “I had a feeling, I got an idea, I had a hunch, I had a notion”….or better still, “I was dwelling on this scripture and my thought went this way….” But if you ever this phrase around me and it’s not a quotation from scripture, expect at least a raised eyebrow…and probably more than that.
Now I can say “The Lord told me to love my wife like Christ loved the church.” God did tell me that. It’s in His Word. God did tell me to work as to the Lord Christ, because it is Him who I serve. God did tell us that in His Word. There’s a great deal more that the Lord told us.
The trouble with this, though, is that with this trivialization with God talking, we make the Bible LESS of a special thing – when really, the speaking of God is a HISTORY STOPPING EVENT. It’s “drop everything and listen to THIS!” That’s what scripture is.
You can hear the whole sermon here: