What happened to the still small voice? When I was growing up, I would occasionally hear a sermon on the still small voice of 1 Kings 19:12. Almost all those sermons included an explanation that it is hard to hear God in the hustle and bustle of life, and that to hear Him, we need to be quiet and listen. Those sermons have all but disappeared. What happened? Why don’t preachers teach us about God’s still small voice any more?
In reality, the question is bigger than that. God does not only speak to us with a still small voice, but oftentimes, His voice is louder – as expressed by Newsboys in their hit song: “My God’s not dead, He’s surely alive, He’s living on the inside, Roaring like a lion.” From the close proximity of our hearts, Jesus pours out His love on us. He shows us His glory. He calls us, challenges us, inspires us, leads us, guides us, teaches us, encourages us, and warns us of things to come. He convicts us, corrects us, and comforts us. He empowers us, satisfies us, sustains us, and gives us hope. The bigger question is, “Why don’t preachers teach us any more about the deeply satisfying intimate personal relationship with the living God that His presence in our hearts creates?”
A quote from John MacArthur helps explain why:
“God no longer is speaking. If you are listening for a still small voice, you better be careful because what you think might be God might be some other spirit. […] Now then, can God impress things on us? Of course. If God’s Spirit in us wants to direct us one way or another, certainly He can impress us our thoughts in one way or another. But there’s no functional manifestation of that in the human body. That is to say, I can’t know when I’m getting an impression from the Holy Spirit and when it’s just my own mind because there’s there’s no indicator. I don’t have a red light in my head spinning around saying it’s God.” [Transcribed by me from audio at http://www.gty.org/MediaPlayer/questions/QA001].
The prevailing sentiment among evangelical leaders today is that God has given us the Bible as the full and final revelation of Himself and His will to mankind. If you want to know God’s will, they say, you must go to the Bible to find it. Although this philosophy is unscriptural inasmuch as it relegates God to silence, this view has gained widespread acceptance. So, if your preacher does not teach you about God’s still small voice or about God’s personal and intimate interactions with you from inside your heart, it’s probably because he agrees with John MacArthur that God no longer is speaking.