The quote reflects the semi-Gnostic perspective the early Quakers found in the Gospel of John. Gnosticism makes a strong distinction between spirit (good) and material (bad). Really, the point here is to say that just because God can speak to us directly doesn’t mean God avoids speaking to us through others.
We talk about experiencing God speaking to us through others. Micah gave an example of the Spirit speaking to him through someone and directly, in the same day. Mackenzie talked about hearing testimonies of generosity. One Friend told her his family gives away 10% of their income, not as a church tithe, but to help others. Shortly after, other friends told her they’d all been helped by a certain other Friend, who gives away about half of what he gets—and he’s not wealthy. She felt conviction about her giving habits and believes that was the Spirit telling her it’s time to level up on that skill.
Micah points to the value of a community in encouraging faithful action.
Barclay included “conveys comfort and consolation” in his list of what Spirit-led Teachers do. Mackenzie points out that if you look at the Letter to Ephesians, shepherd and teaching are separate roles. Mackenzie has all the pastoral care skills of Sheldon Cooper. So, on the rare occasion when she knows the right thing to say to a sad friend, she figures that’s God popping by to help out.
Finally, we talk about times when people give shocking vocal ministry. Micah gives the example of people who normally have difficulty speaking or a developmental delay. Mackenzie talks about traveling ministers who speak to the condition of those present without being informed in advance. A friend of hers has experienced this in other churches, which may call it “word of knowledge.”