Because I won't let the great continualist drama die, someone asked me on my blog why, if my view is correct, God doesn't spend all day talking to people the way Satan does with his supernatural army via ESP and the supernatural.
I think it's a great question which deserves some TeamPyro time.
One of the premises of this blog is the passage in Jeremiah 23 where God is, well, telling it like it is:
28Let 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. 29Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, 'declares the LORD.' 32Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.Listen: that's terrifying stuff. God says here that His word is like fire and like a hammer that breaks rock to pieces. God's word is not like the banter in the marketplace; it's not like conversation at the dinner table. So in the first place, when you are asking God to speak to you, you are asking for something you probably have no point of reference to receive.
That's not saying you're stupid or evil: it's saying that what God has to say is beautiful and dangerous; it is powerful and fearful. What God has to say is not something you're going to get via IM or in an e-mail from throne-of-heaven.com.
In the second place, when Isaiah received his call to be the prophet, what happened to him? The KJV said he was "undone". The Hebrew is "damah" and it is the same word used in Hosea 4:5 – "You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother." Personally, if that's the kind of experience I would get by receiving some truth from God, I think I'd be willing to let someone else receive the telegram.
"But cent," says the astute reader of TeamPyro, "what about Jesus? Can't we believe that because Jesus has died for our sins and the Holy Spirit is among us as a helper, we don’t have to fear God the way Isaiah feared God? Isn't your view here, um, in the wrong dispensation?"
Let's see: when Saul sees Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul is struck blind and must be taken and cared for until God sends someone to heal him and bring him to right faith; when John sees Christ in the final Revelation, all of the images of Him are fearful and glorious.
While our relationship to Him is secure and eternal, we are still sinful men. If God was standing next to us 24 hours a day saying something to us about what we are doing and ought to be doing, I have this suspicion that most of the time he'd sound more like a drill sergeant than like Fred Rogers.
In the last place, it's a lie to think that because Satan is chattering on to anyone who will listen that God ought to do the same thing. What God has done is spoken to us completely and sufficiently in Scripture – and because He is God, we can trust His word to be true at all times and in all places. And because he has said that His Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our lives, we ought to trust it to be just that rather than a cheap novel which is old news to us.