"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40 NKJV).
We know beyond all doubt that God speaks to us through the Scriptures. This is not the ONLY way He speaks – but it is the first and foremost way He speaks. Indeed, ALL others methods of revelation must align to the clear and comprehensive teachings of Scripture. Otherwise we are to dismiss them as nothing more than straw.
“Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:28).
When we say that God speaks through the Scripture, we mean it in two specific ways. First, the Bible is the historical Word of God. In other words, you don’t have to wonder if He is speaking to YOU when He says things like, "Thou shalt not steal.” That is the Word of the Lord, whether you like it or not. It is historical and final. The Lord has spoken.
But there is also a second way that the Lord speaks to us through the Scripture. Not only does He speak His historical word to us – but He also speaks a personal word to us. Many times you can be reading in the Bible and unexpectedly come upon a passage of Scripture that jumps off the page and resonates within your heart with such vibrant life that it seems as though it were written specifically for you in that moment.
Here are three proven characteristics of a personal word from God coming through the Scripture. First, it will be relevant to some real need you are experiencing, or some challenge you are facing. It will fit you as though it were tailored made just for you. Second, it will be revealing; giving you some definite sense of direction or supply for your immediate situation. And, third, it will be redemptive; always leading you into a deeper love for Christ, and a higher resolve to live a life that pleases Him.
Open your Bible and your heart and ask God to speak to you. Then brace yourself – because HE WILL!