Much of the excerpt below is taken from my training manual: Releasing God’s Heart: Through Hearing His Voice
I have been a church attender since I was 5 years old. My family attended a very conservative church, that believed the Fruits of the Spirit were very much in use today. However, they didn’t feel the same way about the Gifts of the Spirit. So I grew up not know that God still speaks today. When I first began to understand that He still speaks today and that He was speaking to me, I wanted a formula, a step-by-step: Do this, then that, and ta-da! Now you’ve heard from God.
The problem at least for me was that I didn’t hear or see things like everyone else. It always seemed like God would speak to me in very unconventional ways. Or when I did hear from God, I had a hard time believing in faith that I just wasn’t making it up in my own mind. I have to say that this struggle continues today. I work hard to push through the doubt and respond in faith. I often see the truth after I have already stepped out.
Some of the Ways
For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it (Job 33:14).
You can do a search on any of the internet search engines on the ways God speaks or how to hear God and come up with many listings, such as: “101 Ways to Hear God,” “The Three Main Ways God Speaks,” “Four Keys to Hearing God,” and the list goes on.
The truth is God longs for relationship with us, and He chooses to communicates to us any way He can. Scriptures are full of conventional and non-conventional examples. One of my favorites is found in Numbers 22. Have you ever heard a donkey speak to you?
I have compiled a list of some of the ways God has communicated to me and others who have shared their experiences with me: Word of God/scriptures; a word, either one word or a sentence; pictures, either still or moving; impressions; sounds; audible voices; dreams; visions; angels; nature; music; songs; movies; thoughts; circumstances; books; other people; sermons; and journaling…and the list goes on.
What are some of the ways God speaks to you?
You Are Unique
I have learned God didn’t make us all the same. He created us uniquely different with different personalities, gifts, talents, and abilities. So it would make sense that God will speak to His people in a way that He knows will fit their personality and God-given design.
I have learned to not look for Him to speak using the same avenue time after time. Where is the fun or growth in that?
When I first started to recognize God was speaking, I would get one word and usually a scripture that went with the word. Then as I developed trust and confidence and my faith grew, I began to see pictures. Then I would get impressions to go with the word or picture. God often did and still does give me lyrics and phrases to a song or song titles which would minister to a person or their situation.
This week on the V-log I shared how God speaks to me through movies. If you missed it, please check it out here: Ways God Speaks. I learned early on that when I prayed for someone, I should never expect God to speak in a certain way. I must always be ready to listen when He does speak and trust what I am hearing and step out in obedience and respond. God is in control, and I can’t figure Him out. When I realized that, things got easier.
Moses vs. the Israelites
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel (Psalm 103:7 ESV).
I think there is a valuable lesson for us to learn and keep in mind as we journey in hearing God. Scripture says David was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) and Moses spoke face to face with God. (Psalm 103:7) In doing these things, Moses developed and maintained a real relationship with God. To this day, people read about and long for the same kind of relationship with God. Moses took time to understand God’s ways and His heart for the people and situations. He sought to be in God’s presence above all else. At one point he even told God, “If You’re not going, then neither am I.”(Numbers 27:15-17)
The children of Israel, however, were the exact opposite. They saw miracle after miracle, and yet they didn’t have faith or trust that God would bring them to the Promised Land. One would think walking through the Red Sea on dry ground and watching your enemy be destroyed right before your eyes would be enough to believe God would do what He said, every single time. They didn’t understand and were afraid of a direct relationship with God. So instead, they wanted Moses to be their ambassador.
Testimony in Hearing God
Years ago, I received my first training on the prophetic and how to hear God. When the class concluded, I was asked to join the leadership team of a particular ministry from our church that would get together once a month and minister to pastors and others in leadership. It was during one of these meetings that a couple came for prayer who were about to plant a new church. As I was ministering to this new pastor, I heard the Lord say, “My house shall be a house of prayer.”
“Duh!” was my response. The Lord then took me to Scripture and, sure enough, there in the passage of Scripture He gave me to read over this couple was, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17, 19:46) As I was obedient in delivering what I believed to be a silly excuse of a word, I was thinking all the while, “How can this be God?”
Both the word and the Scripture aligned, that prayer was to be a firm foundation in all the things pertaining to the church, the people, and the activities in which they were involved. Praise God, He knew what He was doing.
Please feel free to share your experience in hearing God Or one of the ways God speaks to you by commenting below.
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in my early years I had trouble understanding this. It was only after talking to a good friend that I understood that while God talks to some in one way he talks to me in another.
Angie – yes, it is most revelatory isn’t it when we realize that God speaks to each of us differently? And so freeing as well. I am so glad that you have discovered that He is speaking to you.
I came from one of those churches also, so it has been a long road discovering that God still speaks today through more than just His word (though never contrary to His Word) and learning to listen and obey right away.
In the years since I started this discovery, He has graciously spoken to me through all the ways on your list except audible voices and angels. I often discern His literal direction when driving, whether I should literally go to the left or to the right or continue straight ahead.
I’m so glad He still speaks today to ALL of His children!
Ruth – You are so right – never contrary – it ALWAYS lines up with His WORD! I like how He is navigating you even as you drive and you are discerning His voice and direction – that is so awesome and just the way it should be. Thanks for sharing the way God speaks to you and sharing your thoughts with me as well. I enjoyed have you stop in. Oh and I am also really glad He still speaks today to ALL His children. 🙂
Really thought provoking post! Thanks so much for sharing over at #FridayFrivolity! 🙂
Jess – thank you for stopping in to say Hi — I am glad I gave you some things to think on 🙂
Thorough description here, thank you, this is very helpful! God absolutely speaks to His children. I love that He surprises us with His methods. I’ve heard a reply in my head that I know didn’t come from me! Recognized changes in my heart or desires that I didn’t choose, promptings that are then confirmed in far too “coincidental” of ways. The Lord has at times sweetly replied to me in lyrics to songs I didn’t choose that played at just the right time! Then there’s His Word!! Yes 🙂 God speaks. For that, I am so grateful. Thanks for testifying to this today!
Bethany – thank you so much for stopping in and sharing your thoughts and experiences – I love to hear how God speaks and moves in the lives of others… so thank you – I too have found that God is really good at the “coincidental” confirmation 🙂 I am very grateful He speaks today – Blessings to you
Thank you for sharing these encouragements to be open to hearing God speak! Just today, I posted in my blog about how the Lord spoke to me through Nature, through art-journaling, and through a song. What a great confirmation to come here then, and read your words. May God bring you Blessing!
BettieG – you are so welcome – I will hop on over to your blog and check out what you shared too. – that is so exciting to me, to hear others share their experiences. Thank you for stopping in today
I have been attending church since before I could remember. But talking to God is not one of the messages that I remember. I have learned more about getting closer to God as I walk through the valley. Grief and mourning have a way of bringing you so close to God you can feel Him sitting beside you. I have learned to watch for signs or sequences of events to know He is here. I don’t believe in coincidence, and I know I am seeing and hearing God when people, places and things become connected, even years later, in a way that can not be explained by any other reason. I call it a “God thing” and it helps me know that He is with me, and has been throughout my entire life. How comforting that is!
Nikki – I believe as you do that as we walk through the valleys of life, it has a tendency to draw us closer to God. I like your phrase God thing” that is such a great way to put it and I too believe that there are no coincidences, only God moments where He is trying to get my attention or show me something I haven’t been paying attention too previously… and YES it is so very comforting to know He is with me and cares enough to guide me.