Four Ways God Communicates with Us
I was once told by a close friend that God had stopped speaking to him. You see, my friend was struggling through some rather difficult decisions in his life and desperately needed to seek the guidance, counsel and wisdom of the Lord. However, after months of consistent, persistent prayer, he became convinced that God’s voice was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, this is rarely, if ever, the case.
All too often in our Christian walks, we become fixated on how we talk to God. We pray, we worship and we sit through long church service sermons. But when was the last time you paused to consider the reverse? How does God speak to you? What would He do if He really needed to get your attention? Would you know what to look for? No doubt the vast majority of Christian men and women would prefer to hear a booming, thunderous voice from the Heavens spewing out all manner of grand insight and infinite wisdom. However, a little Biblical clarity may help to shine some light on this oft-debated issue.
1. God Speaks to Us through the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
If you’ve been in church circles long enough, you’ve likely had these two truths preached at you until you could no longer stand it. However, their importance and reliability must not be overlooked. The accuracy and dependability of Scriptural truths in your life is crucial to your ability to hear the voice of God and, subsequently, His will and direction for your life.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (1 Timothy 3:16, NASU, emphasis added). You can be certain the Bible is the literal, inerrant Word and voice of God. In fact, the Greek here literally refers to Scripture as having been “breathed out” by God. Trust it, listen to it.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” (John 14:26, Jesus speaking to His disciples). The Holy Spirit is our literal guide to understanding Scriptural truths, principles and perplexing life circumstances.
2. God Communicates to us through the Person of Jesus Christ: see John 1
John often refers to Jesus as “the Word made flesh” who “dwelt among us.” You see, Jesus was literally Scripture with skin on, walking around in the flesh among ordinary human beings. His life and sacrificial death bridged the gap between us and a just, holy God. Because of Jesus, we now have access to the very throne of God and can communicate with Him at any time and Him with us.
3. God Communicates to us through our Christian Brothers & Sisters
This may be one of the most difficult to grapple with. However, it is one of the most important reasons for regular church attendance and strong accountability. No one is meant to walk the Christian life alone. God wired us for relationships and human connection.
Remember the words of the writer of Hebrews: “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another all the more…” (Hebrews 10:23-25, NASU, emphases added).
Oftentimes God will speak to you through a fellow believer or close friend. It may not always be what you want to hear. But if it is from God, it will always be the truth. You may be more inclined to listen to the wisdom of a close friend than to sit down and dig into your Bible.
4. God Communicates to us through our Circumstances
This one comes with a warning. Although it is true that God can and does allow us to endure specific circumstances to communicate His will and plan for our lives, we must simultaneously be wary not to judge the nature, character or voice of God based solely on our surroundings. Remember that we endure trials and tribulations for a reason. For more on this see my article “Four Reasons We Endure Suffering.”
If you’re struggling to hear the voice of God today, take heart! You are not alone. Even the strongest of Christian men and women often find it difficult to discern what God may or may not being saying to them. Take hold of your Bible, listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and rely on the strong Christian brothers and sisters God has surrounded you with. Don’t give up on hearing from Him just yet. He may be waiting to tell you the best news of your life!