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How Does God Speak to Us?

Perhaps you know someone who seems super in-tune with God, and they constantly talk about things He said to them, showed them, impressed upon them, etc.

Maybe you sit there silently thinking, "Well...I've never heard from God like that," leaving you questioning your relationship with Him.

So what gives? How does God speak to us? Do you and I have to be super spiritual to hear? Does He only talk to certain individuals? Does He speak out loud or how do we know it is Him speaking?

Great questions! Let's dig in and see what scripture says about how God speaks to you and me.

First, God is always speaking to us through His Word. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

God's Word is just as relevant to us today as it was 2,000 years ago. It is a deep well of knowledge, wisdom, warning, and insight we can get from nowhere else. Even the writer of Hebrews recognized this by saying that it is alive and active and penetrates all the way down to the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Therefore, we must be proactive in spending time in our Bibles daily so we can understand what God has to say to us.

Second, God can speak to us through a still, small voice within our thoughts. In 1 Kings 19:11-13, God told the prophet Elijah to go and stand on the mountain before the Lord. As God passed by, there was a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but God was not in those. He was in a still, small voice or gentle whisper. This proved to be more powerful to Elijah than the visible outward acts.

God also uses our conscience to bring His words to our mind. Paul writes in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

When we pattern our heart and mind after God and His will, then we will sense His presence and direction upon our thoughts. Our conscience will let us know when we have stepped out of bounds or will warn us when a situation does not seem right. Those are times we need to absolutely heed what we hear.

Third, God can speak to us through others. These words from God can come through a text or email from a friend offering an encouraging Bible verse or an uplifting music video. It can come through a pastor's sermon or a teacher's lesson.

I have on occasion received a random message from someone simply saying, "I'm praying for you today." These often come when I am at my lowest, and this shows me God knows and is reaching out through someone to demonstrate His love.

Fourth, God can speak to us through dreams, visions, and prophetic words. There are a number of biblical examples where God spoke to His people through dreams and visions. Joseph was given dreams of grain sheaves encircling his sheaf and bowing down to it; the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to him (Genesis 37).

Jacob had a dream of a stairway or ladder reaching from earth to heaven and angels ascending and descending upon it (Genesis 28:10-17).

Paul had a vision of a man beckoning him to come to Macedonia (Acts 16:9). And Mary and Joseph encountered the old man Simeon who spoke prophetic words over the baby Jesus (Luke 2:25-35).

Though we have to be careful and use discernment when it comes to avenues such as these, God can and does use them to draw, guide, warn, or prepare us. For instance, a number of Muslims have had dreams of Jesus calling out to them. Because of these dreams, many have surrendered their lives to Christ. Likewise, I have had dreams of warning about a particular situation that did indeed come to pass.

Fifth, God speaks to us through prayer. When we pray, we are talking directly to God, therefore, it is safe to say if we can sit still and listen instead of constantly talking, He will often speak to us through our thoughts. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."


God is certainly not limited to just these five or so ways in which to speak. For some in history, He has audibly spoken, and though this is not a common occurrence, it is not out of the realm of possibility. He has also communicated through (or used) a sign, a child's handwritten word, a guy in the check out at Walmart, a random phone call, a sunset, a bumper sticker, etc. God can use (and will use) any means He deems appropriate to get our attention or to encourage us, but the key is making ourselves available; learning to be still and listen; being prayed up with a clean heart and hands.

If you are a believer, God will speak to you. You just have to be ready to hear.




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