God speaks in six great ways: in nature and creation; in the moral law; in
the Scriptures; in Jesus Christ; in human conscience; and in history. All
these things are, of course, forever imperishably true. And all of us know
them to be true, and have known it for years; yet many of us believe no more
now in the practical Voice of God than when we first heard them.
We cannot carry on a conversation with God through nature, or the moral law.
We find God’s general will in the Scriptures. We find God still more
directly in Jesus Christ. But human conscience is no perfect reflector of
God, and history only points to His existence and His general will. We want
something much more direct.
We want to know that God can and does speak directly to the human heart. The
reason why some of us believe in guidance, at least in theory, is that the
Old and New Testaments are full of instances of it, as specific as you
please. Men said clearly that they were guided of God in this and that act
and decision. You may try to psychologize all this away if you want; but I
prefer to see whether this sort of thing is not now possible to those who
put their trust in God entirely.
~ Samuel M. Shoemaker, From the book:
Conversion of the Church: The Genius of Fellowship