Excerpts from an email to a friend discussing the ways in which the Father speaks to us and the reality of His voice in our lives:
I believe your most pressing question relates to my view on the final authority in our lives as believers, especially in matters related to doctrine and practice. Who or what is MY final authority? The Lord Himself and the Word He speaks - whether it be through the Scriptures, an angel (Acts 10:3), prayer (Acts 10:9), a trance/dream (Acts 10:10), a voice (Acts 10:13), a vision (Acts 10:17), the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19), divine direction (Acts 10:22), a revelation (Acts 10:28), a command (Acts 10:33), or a message spoken by a fellow believer (Acts 10:34).
Ironically, in the 10th chapter of Acts, the Lord uses all of the aforementioned means EXCEPT the Scriptures to communicate His authoritative Word to man. Each of the Lord's different means of revealing His Word is seemingly given equal weight and authority. At no point, does anyone make the suggestion to check with the Scriptures to see if what is being communicated (through angel, trance, voice, vision, Spirit speaking, etc.) "lines up with" the Scriptures. I believe the primary reason why they didn't appeal to the Scriptures to validate what was being communicated was because the Holy Spirit within them confirmed that what was being communicated was indeed the Word of the Lord.
Can we err in interpreting what we believe the Lord is speaking to us in our inner man? Absolutely! Can we err in interpreting what we believe the Lord is speaking to us through our open-minded study of the Bible? Absolutely! What's a believer to do? I believe that the New Testament teaches that the Father sent a Teacher to live within us - the precious Holy Spirit. Will the Holy Spirit ever contradict the Word of God? Absolutely not. Will the Holy Spirit ever contradict what WE believe the Bible "clearly" teaches? Absolutely, but thankfully, as we grow in grace and the true knowledge of Him, this tends to happen less frequently.
My confidence is fully in the Lord's ability to speak and make His Voice known to me. I can't begin to express the joy I feel in knowing that He is a Living Person, and that He lives in me - speaking to me moment by moment, guiding and directing me by His Voice within - the blessed Holy Spirit. A Living God - A Living Voice - A Living Relationship! Glory!