I was stunned.
I was told over and over and over again, that Jesus Christ died for me in order to have a personal relationship with me. That was his entire reason for the incarnation- to win my heart and become my God, my Shepherd, my Lord.
Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd, and then he went on to say, "I know my sheep and my sheep know me...They..will listen to my voice". It's all there in John 10:1-16. I recommend reading it over and over again in all the translations found on Bible Gateway.
Move on up to John 14 and read and reread that chapter as well. Jesus says there:
John 14:16-26 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you...But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.Luke 12:12 also declares that the Holy Spirit himself will teach disciples: "for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."
John repeats the truth that even little children hear from God in his first letter:
I John 2:27-28 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
The Old Testament also shows time after time that individual people (not just male leaders) heard from God. There was Hagar in the desert (Genesis 21:16-17); the child Samuel (I Samuel 3); the prophetess Miriam (Exodus 15, Numbers 12) and Deborah (Judges 4) and Huldah (2 Kings 22:13-15; 2 Chronicles 24:22-23). And those are just the references that clearly say God spoke to them.
What about Naaman's handmaiden? Where did she get the idea that God would use an Isreali prophet to heal her master? Isn't it likely God put the idea in her heart? It's not like prophets had a habit of curing leprosy in Israel. Naaman's experience was unique and highly personal.
What about the angel who appeared to Samson's parents (and to his mother first! Judges 13)? If any of my dear readers want to post of more such incidents, please do so.
Bottom line: God speaks to people! All kinds of people. He so loved the whole world that he came in the flesh to let us know. You are part of that world. You as an individual are precious to God, and He will (probably already does) speak to you personally.
Wow. I would never dare to try to step in between the Good Shepherd and one of His sheep. Not. Wise. *cringes*