It is bad enough that those with alleged direct revelations from God are usually saying something that is the opposite of the Bible (à la the United Church of Christ’s “God is still speaking;” campaign, as if God gives new revelations with Swiss watch clarity to those who mock what He said the first time!). But it is also bad because it makes those not “receiving” the revelations feel like they aren’t real Christians, or at least not special Christians like Beth. Via Do Not Be Surprised…: Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation:
When God speaks, He does so with authority. He issues no ‘lesser’ revelation. His words are full and final and they stand for eternity. This is why His Word is so precious. It is unchanging, and it is the sole authority for the Christian. In the Bible, God has revealed all that the Christian needs to know in matters pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). In this Word, He has revealed to us His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Living Word (John 1:1) and He is the final Word (Heb 1:1–2).
Any claim that is made, then, that God continues to speak outside of His Word and deliver direct, personal revelation is one that must be considered with great seriousness. After all, if God always speaks with authority, then such revelations must be perceived to be as inspired as Scripture. Any private prophecy, voice, dream or vision that is claimed to be from God must find a place in the back of our Bibles and our Bible ‘reading plans’ must be extended to include these words. Mustn’t they?
For some, the Word of God as revealed in the 66 books of the Bible is not enough. These are those who find themselves on a constant quest for ‘more’. A deeper, more meaningful emotional experience coupled with an alleged ‘word from the Lord’ often offers precisely what the dissatisfied seeker desires. But what of the one who longs for such an experience, but does so in vain? What of the woman who finds herself in despair because ‘God’ is ‘speaking’ to her friend or favorite Bible teacher through divine nudges and dreams but is seemingly silent in her own situation? What are the dangers of claiming to be the recipient of direct, personal revelation from God?
Popular SBC Bible teacher Beth Moore is no novice when it comes to ‘hearing’ from God. In her book, The Beloved Disciple, she makes the following claim:
Beloved, I am convinced one of our severest needs is pure rest. Not only sleep, but refreshment and recreation. Recently God spoke to me about capturing what He and I are calling “Sabbath moments.” Like many of yours, my schedule right now is particularly tough, and I see no time in the near future for a number of days off. God spoke to my heart one Saturday morning while I was preparing for Sunday school: “My child, in between more intense rests, I want to teach you to take Sabbath moments.” I wasn’t certain what He meant. Just that morning God confirmed His desire for me to drive all the way to the other side of Houston to the medical center to visit a patient with brain cancer. I was very thankful for the privilege of visiting this patient, but I knew in advance it would be tough emotionally and far from restful.
Beth Moore, The Beloved Disciple, (B&H Publishing: 2003), 220.
In other places, Moore has claimed to have received a vision of the “church as Jesus sees it.” And when God once said to her, “I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth, and boy you write this one down, and you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it . . .” well, all Christians should have added those words to the back of their Bible.
It seems that people like Moore get a legitimate following, then start to imagine that they are getting special communications from God. While that is possible, the burden of proof is on them. And these “revelations” usually end up sounding Satanic, such as the Jesus Calling book by Sarah Young.
Read it all. This comment from the post summed it up well:
We know the issues with direct revelation, but here is the part that made me saddest. After this interminable story ended, the ladies who were at the DVD study with me, sighed and glowed in appreciation for this unique relationship Moore has with God. One lady said sadly and wistfully, “I wish I had what she has.”
Properly understanding how God speaks to us is one of the most crucial lessons there is for wise and effective living. And it isn’t that hard. See Decision making and the will of God for an overview.