We should seek Gods will in everything we do but why do we make it so complicated?
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct your paths.
Its all a matter of trust.
I know people with very good hearts really want to do Gods perfect will and honor Him with their lives.
I think this is a worthy endeavor for sure but should we be listening to voices in our heads or voices in someone elses head?
Some would set themselves up as spiritually elite and they have just a little more Holy Spirit than the rest. This is to have power (not ordained by God) over other people.
So again should we be listening to voices in our heads?
John MacArthur states..
The charismatic movement began barely a hundred years ago, but its influence on evangelicalism can hardly be overstated. Its chief legacy has been an unprecedented interest in extrabiblical revelation. Millions influenced by charismatic doctrine are convinced that God speaks to them directly. “The Lord told me …” has become the favorite cliché among these Christians.
Not all who believe that God speaks to them make prophetic pronouncements as outlandish as those broadcast by charismatic televangelists, of course. But they still believe God gives them extrabiblical messages—either through an audible voice, a vision, a voice in their heads, or simply an internal impression. In most cases, their “prophecies” are comparatively trivial. But the difference between them and Hinn’s predictions is merely one of scale, not of substance.
Similar ideas have found sweeping acceptance even among noncharismatic Christians. Evangelicals have eagerly devoured Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby and Claude King, which suggests that the main way the Holy Spirit leads believers is by speaking to them directly.According to Blackaby, when God gives an individual a message that pertains to the church, it should be shared with the whole body. As a result, extrabiblical “words from the Lord” are now commonplace even among noncharismatic evangelicals.
That is precisely why modern evangelicalism’s infatuation with extrabiblical revelation is so dangerous. It is a return to medieval superstition and a departure from our fundamental conviction that the Bible is our sole, supreme, and sufficient authority for all of life. In other words, it represents a wholesale abandonment of the principle of sola Scriptura. Historic Protestantism is grounded in the conviction that the canon is closed. No “new” revelation is necessary because Scripture is complete and absolutely sufficient.
Scripture itself is clear that the day of God’s speaking directly to his people through various prophetic words and visions is past. The truth God has revealed in Christ—including the complete New Testament canon—is his final word (Heb. 1:1-2; cf. Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19).
Scripture—the written Word of God—is perfectly sufficient, containing all the revelation we need. Paul tells Timothy: “From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
That passage makes two very important statements. First, “all Scripture is God-breathed.” Scripture speaks with the authority of God himself! It is certain, reliable, and true. Jesus himself prayed in John 17:17, “Your word is truth.” Psalm 119:160 says, “All your words are true.” These statements set Scripture above every human opinion, every speculation, and every emotional sensation. Scripture alone stands as definitive truth. It speaks with an authority that transcends every other voice.
Second, the passage teaches that Scripture is utterly sufficient, “able to make you wise for salvation” and able to make you “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” What clearer affirmation of the absolute sufficiency of Scripture could anyone ask for? Those who seek fresh messages from God have, in effect, scorned the absolute certainty and absolute sufficiency of the written Word of God. And they have set in its place their own fallen and fallible imaginations.
Does this mean God has stopped speaking? Certainly not, but he speaks today through his Word. Does the Spirit of God move our hearts and impress us with specific duties or callings? Certainly, but he works through the Word of God to do that. Such experiences are in no sense prophetic or authoritative. They are not revelation, but the effect of illumination, when the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to our hearts and opens our spiritual eyes to its truth.
We must guard carefully against allowing our experience and our own subjective thoughts and imaginations to eclipse the authority and the certainty of the more sure Word.
The signs and wonders camp as well as the Emergent church camp also buy into visualization or imaginative prayer.
Richard Foster recommends visualizing prayer in his popular book Celebration of Discipline:
“Imagination opens the door to faith. If we can ‘see’ in our mind’s eye a shattered marriage whole or a sick person well, it is only a short step to believing that it will be so. … I was once called to a home to pray for a seriously ill baby girl. Her four-year-old brother was in the room and so I told him I needed his help to pray for his baby sister. … He climbed up into the chair beside me. ‘Let’s play a little game,’ I said. ‘Since we know that Jesus is always with us, let’s imagine that He is sitting over in the chair across from us. He is waiting patiently for us to center our attention on Him. When we see Him, we start thinking more about His love than how sick Julie is. He smiles, gets up, and comes over to us. Then let’s both put our hands on Julie and when we do, Jesus will put His hands on top of ours. We’ll watch and imagine that the light from Jesus is flowing right into your little sister and making her well. Let’s pretend that the light of Christ fights with the bad germs until they are all gone. Okay!’ Seriously the little one nodded. Together we prayed in this childlike way and then thanked the Lord that what we ‘saw’ was the way it was going to be” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 37).
This is not biblical prayer; it is occultism.
Davis Cloud writes and warns..
Visualization prayer is not faith. Faith is not based on imagination; it is based on Scripture. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). God has given us everything we need in Scripture and our part is to believe what God says. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). We have everything we need to know about Christ for the present in the Scripture, and we accept it by faith. “Whom HAVING NOT SEEN, ye love; in whom, THOUGH NOW YE SEE HIM NOT, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
visualization prayer is presumptuous because it goes beyond divine Revelation. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” By going beyond what the Bible says and trying to delve into Bible history through the imagination, I am leaving the revealed things and entering the secret things.
Fifth, visualization prayer is dangerous. It is dangerous because it adds to Scripture. If I get in the habit of visualizing Bible scenes, I can easily think that my visualizations are authoritative. I can fall into Rome’s error of accepting extra-biblical revelations. It is also dangerous because demonic entities can involve themselves in my vain imaginings.
Consider an example given by emerging church leader Tony Jones in his book The Sacred Way. His friend Mike King made John 1:37-39 the focus of contemplative practices at a spiritual retreat. While practicing the Ignatian exercise of imaginative prayer he put himself into the biblical scene. He imagined himself sitting around John’s breakfast fire with the disciples, listening as they carried on an imaginative conversation. He imagined seeing Jesus approach and embrace John. He imagined hearing them tell stores of their childhood. He imagined them laughing. Then he imagined Jesus getting up and leaving, with John’s two disciples following. He imagined them walking into the desert and coming to a clearing, when suddenly the imagined Jesus turned around began interacting with him.
“When Jesus turned around, the two disciples of John whom I was following parted like the Red Sea and Jesus came right up to me, face to face. Jesus looked past my eyes into my heart and soul: ‘Mike, what do you want?’ I fell at the feet of Jesus and wept, pouring my heart out” (The Sacred Way, p. 79).
Notice that the imaginative prayer practitioner feels at liberty to go far beyond the words of Scripture to fantasize about the passage, creating purely fictional scenes. And observe that the Jesus that he imagines (which is certainly not the Jesus of the Bible because we do not know what that Jesus looks like and nowhere are we instructed to imagine seeing him) takes on a life of its own and interacts with him. This is either pure fiction and therefore absolutely meaningless, or it is a demonic visitation akin to a vision of Mary.
King says that he was powerfully affected by this imagined event. “That day changed me profoundly and is something I will have for the rest of my life, for Jesus said, ‘Come, and you will see…”
He thus pretends that Jesus actually said this directly to him, when in fact he only imagined it in a purely fictitious sense.
So be careful of the signs and wonders movement.
Here is what scripture states about those who seek after signs and wonders.
If any man shall say to you, “Lo, here is Christ,” or, “There!,” believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. (Matt. 24:23-25)
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, “Master, we would see a sign from thee.” But He answered and said unto them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. But there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Matt. 12:38-39)
I would like to end this article with some wise words and words of caution from my brother in the Lord and dear friend Mike Oppenheimer.
Paul who was the apostle in which many of the signs and wonders were done through had a very different view than those today. He warns in the last days that the Church in the last days will be removed from the faith, a departure from the word. Over and over Paul teaches about adhering to doctrine and faith in Christ with no mention of signs and wonders. Even in his epistle to Timothy he tells him to stir up the gift within but he does not say anything about miracles but do the work of an evangelist. Today experience is knowledge or what is falsely called knowledge. This is how one gets their input, by a sign and a miracle they have experienced. Faith is trusting what you cannot see, if you can see it its not faith. You don’t get credited for something you can see but what you cannot.
Experiences that we see today are from the outside, the scripture says he has deposited in us the divine nature, he works in us from the inside. This is a completely different way of operation. The miracles in the bible through the apostles hands almost unanimously were to those who did not believe. If you had a miracle happen in your life praise the Lord, lets just be careful in our confidence to think any or every miracle is from God or genuine.
If you are strong in faith you don’t need signs and wonders to know that the Father cares for you. You don’t need to be further convinced of God by the exhibiting of power. We don’t need signs and wonders to prove that He exists or that He hears our prayers. Faith comes by hearing the word about Christ (Romans 10:17) we believe what we read. Without seeing any evidence of supernatural manifestations, we can believe because God has granted us grace to believe based upon the testimony of His Word. Faith is to work from his word. The Lord requires faith, however we are more blessed who believe without seeing (John 20:29). Faith is the foundation upon which rests every thing we receive in our spiritual life. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). But its not presumption nor is it imaginative.
If we look at the people who have had supernatural experiences, we’ll find that, in many cases, when the signs and wonders cease, their faith ceases. It was not true faith, but rather mere belief in what they could deny seeing. They believed because they saw, but they did not have true faith, it was temporary.