It saddens me when I hear Christians say that God only speaks to preachers or “spiritual” people and not to them. I believe that God speaks to all His children – but are you expecting Him too?
God longs for us to know his will and his words to us. Though a Christian might walk through a season of silence or quietness, they shouldn’t confuse that with God’s absence. And God never leaves us without a way to hear from him.
So how does God speak? Here are 7 ways that I have found…
1. Through His Word
The Word of God is at the top of the list. God’s words are powerful. They can create something out of nothing – take Genesis chapter 1, which describes how God spoke and things were created. The unseen was brought into the seen world.
We have an abundance of written material available to us – the most that there has been in history. From printed books, magazines, blogs and digital books. We are inundated with the written word. With so many words available, it is easy to treat The Word as one of the many options for our soul food. We need to continually remind ourselves that The Word of God (The Bible) is not just a collection of 66 books but an “integrated message system…which is outside our dimensions of space and time.” (Chuck Missler)
Reading, meditating and praying the Word has the power to change our mindsets, emotions and circumstances. It is truly our soul food. If we don’t fill ourselves up with God’s Word/food we will instinctively look for soul food elsewhere. This could be emotional eating, drugs, materialism, worldly “feel good” opinions etc.
Believe that every morning when you open up your Bible App or your physical Bible, the words that you read and digest hold power – they are seed that if planted in a heart that is expecting God to speak and act will produce a powerful effect on your life.
2. Through Conversations with Other Believers
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. – Romans 1:11-12 ESV
We are created to communicate – a spirit that speaks. God created us that way. When believers get together and share their personal experiences with God – how He speaks to them and answers to prayer – something happens in our spirits. We become strengthened in our inner selves. As Paul wrote in Romans, we are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I don’t think this happens enough. We expect a church program to fill this gap but we miss the opportunity for regular encouragement.
I am so grateful that I have people in my life who are open to having these types of conversations. If you don’t, pray about it. Ask God to bring along someone who you can share your faith experiences with and listen to theirs. It may be that there is someone in your life already but you both have been talking about everything else and God hasn’t featured. Why do we not talk about God? I find myself falling into this trap also.
3. Through Nature
For his (God’s) invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made… – Romans 1:20
God speaks of His character in the things that He has made – without a doubt. Every time I go for a walk and see or hear a bird – I am always reminded of Matthew 6 where Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” I feel God gently saying to me, every time – Rachel, I have your back just like I provide for the birds, which I have made, I also have provided and will continue to provide for you.
When I see a rainbow, I remember His promise to mankind – never again will I flood the earth and kill everybody. I remember His promises to me – to never, ever leave me or forsake me.
Every time I walk near my parents home where the mountains are the backdrop, I remember the verse “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1
God’s creation reminds us of His character and promises. Ask God to reveal more of Himself to you personally through what He has made.
4. Through Good Books
I love books. God speaks to me through reading other people’s experiences of God. It is sort of like going to lunch with the author and downloading everything that they have learned.
If I was forced to choose just one Christian book it would be Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry & Richard Blackaby. Experiencing God helps you to listen to God’s voice and it frees you to live God’s plan with boldness and freedom. When I look back over my life I can pinpoint times when I moved up a level in my Christian walk and reading this book was one of those times.
5. Through Restful Times
“Be still, and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10
It seems to be that in the restful times, when we pause from life, that we hear God speak more often. God is wanting us to come away from the hustle of life, pause and just sit with Him. Once we are in that position of stillness then we can know God in a clearer way.
I spent a year thinking and acting on the word PAUSE – here is a 31 days series on being still and seeing God more clearly. If you are having trouble hearing from God – maybe pull away for a time period from the noise of media, people and distractions and just become still. Turn off the radio or podcasts on the drive to work and just ponder God. Take 10 minutes daily to just sit and ask God to reveal more of Himself to you.
6. Through Simple Actions
Faith without works/actions is dead. Sometimes God’s voice becomes clearer when we act on what we already know or have been shown by the Spirit. If you haven’t heard from God in a while – go back to the last time that you did. Was there something that God told you to do or was there a verse of Scripture that challenged you? Have you put that into action? God is into moving us one step at a time. We can’t move forward until we have acted on what God has shown us.
7. Through Dreams/Visions
“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven” – Daniel 2:19
God also uses our sleep to reveal His thoughts to us. The Scriptures record many occasions where this has happened. God has given me many articles and inspiration for books and sermons during the night. I guess it’s a time when we are still and open to hearing Him speak. There was an occasion when I wasn’t sure on how to pray for my family. I asked God to show me how I should pray for them at that time.
God showed me a picture image of a house with different rooms. No lights were on. Then the light switch in the kitchen was turned on and scrumptious food was being prepared. Through that simple image God showed me the importance of good soul food (God’s Word) and to pray for the “kitchen light” to be turned on in my family’s life so that they can be truly nourished.
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