There are various ways God speak to His children and we will choose a few to discuss in this book.
No one can dictate to God how He should speak to us. God decides the best means to communicate with each of us, just be willing to submit to His authority and obey what He tells you. The surest way to keep hearing God’s voice is to do what He says. Once you start disobeying Him and refuse to listen to what He tells you, maybe because it’s not palatable to you, then He will stop speaking. God deals with serious minded people.
- A still small voice: The Holy Spirit resides in us, so if we allow God to purge us and spend time with Him, you will begin to hear a voice within you speak. This usually happens after you have prayed that His will be done concerning a particular issue or matter. Of course, He can always speak to you at other times too, so be conscious of that still small voice and practice the habit of listening. Remember, whatever you hear must align with God’s word. God is not the author of confusion. He cannot ask you to do what the Bible has forbidden us from doing. So what you hear in your spirit must tally with the word of God. Also, remember to ask Him for another confirmation if you are not sure you heard Him right. Sometimes, this confirmation may come through other means like a book you are reading, a phone call from someone you know and the person will say almost the same thing you heard in your spirit, sometimes you turn on your TV and the next thing you hear corresponds with what you earlier heard. So these are just a few ways He may choose to confirm what you heard earlier but definitely not limited to these.
- The Bible: Anytime you read your bible, God is speaking. Unfortunately, over familiarity with the bible has made us not to realize that God is actually speaking to us when we read His word. Most times, people read the bible just because we are in church and the preacher has requested that the congregation should open to a place in the bible and read, after that the Bible is back on the shelf. Or, maybe you have a prayer request to present to the Lord, once again you dash for the bible for a quick reference verse to back up your request and then off you go again, no more bible till the next prayer request surfaces.
This is certainly not how God designed for us to use the bible. The bible is such a powerful tool in our hands, given to us to enable us communicate with our Father in Heaven and also to live a victorious life on earth.
When you are in trouble or a crossroad, the word of God says in Jeremiah 33.3 “call unto me and I will answer you, and I will show you great and mighty things that you know not”
How do you call unto God? By prayer, and also by meditating on His words.
Next time something bothers you, or you need to know God’s mind concerning that issue, pick up your Bible and open to anywhere God lays in your heart, read it and ponder on it. Was that bible portion talking about discipline? Then search yourself and see where it’s applicable in your life. That bible verse may be speaking about idol, then perhaps what you have in mind has gradually become an idol to you. You are placing far more importance on it, than God. Even your phone, friends, project, etc can become an idol once it begins to interfere with your relationship with God.
So next time you read your bible, pay great attention to what it says, and then see which area of your life it is addressing.
- Prayer: When we pray to God, we have already kick-started a communication process with God. However, the problem here is that most of us engage in a one way prayer. That’s to say, after praying, we don’t wait to hear what God has to say in return. We do all the talking, then stand up and leave His presence without waiting for a feedback. Have you ever experienced a situation whereby, while you were praying you had a strong impression in your heart concerning the matter you were presenting to God? What did you do about the impression after prayer? You forgot about it or you brushed it aside? That may have been the answer to your prayer or a key to the solution of that problem. Next time, don’t brush it off, store it in your heart and act on it after prayer. It could be an idea you need to develop on, a call to someone who may have the answer to that prayer request, a duty to fulfill or something you are yet to complete, etc.
- Be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit: we have been bought with a price and we belong to God, therefore His Spirit dwells in us to lead and direct our paths daily. It’s our responsibility to pay attention to what He is saying and to make a conscious effort to walk in the way He lays out before us whether it’s conducive or not.
The Holy Spirit prompts us daily in various ways like, losing your peace after a conversation. What were you discussing? Did it glorify God or was it filled with profanity? Have you decided to go visit someone or some place, and all of a sudden you can’t find your car keys? Your keys haven’t disappeared, it’s just a little way of God trying to get your attention and make you reconsider your mission. Did someone just say something you didn’t like and when you were about to respond, you bit your lips? It sounds dramatic right? But it does happen to people but they fail to realize God was trying to pass a message to them to keep silent and not respond. What about that phone call that won’t go through? There seems to be no network or poor connection whenever you desire to speak to that person, please pause and pray about it, God may be saying something. What about that admission you have been seeking and yet nothing is forthcoming? Go back to prayer and ask God if that’s the institution He would want you to attend or if that’s the course He has purposed for you to study. Most people have missed it in life because they never paused to ask God which career path He has laid out for them. They just followed what was trending, or their parents took the decision on their behalf, etc. No wonder, upon completion of their studies, there seems to be no head way for them in life. Why? Because God was never the foundation of their studies. They simply did what they felt was right. The bible says in Proverbs 14:12 “there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death”. How about people who go into marriage without hearing from God? Today, many marriages have hit the rocks due to lack of spiritual due diligence before marriage. We cannot keep living life like gamblers, gambling away our precious time and life on the table of canal mindedness and spiritual insensitivity.
That notwithstanding, we have a merciful Father who is ever willing to change our circumstances for good, if only we will yield our lives to Him and depart from our old way of life.
There are numerous instances God speaks to us through His prompting but it’s impossible to list them all here. The most important thing is to wake each day with the intention to allow His Spirit lead and then be sensitive and obey. Disobedience disconnects us from God. If you desire Him to keep speaking, then be willing to obey. Also, pray daily to be filled with His Spirit, so you can easily discern His voice.
- God speaks to us through people: God may choose to speak to us through men and women we come across as we journey through life with Him. It could be a clergy, group leaders in church, our parents, our children (yes, you heard me right, children, I believe it’s because they are innocent and more willing to say what God lays in their heart). God can speak to you through your friends too, that’s why it’s imperative to surround yourself with godly people. The bible has this to say;
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (NLT).
- God speaks to us through dreams; this is one of the easiest ways we can hear God speak concerning any area of our lives. I believe God uses this method most times to communicate to His children who are not yet spiritually matured to discern His voice when He speaks as a still small voice. Dreams and revelations have been a common means of hearing God speak, even right in the bible there are so many instances God spoke to His people using this way. People like Joseph, the dreamer is a popular example that we all know about.
I strongly encourage people to cultivate the habit of taking their dream life seriously. A Lot of information is being passed through this channel and no one is making good use of it. Job 33:15 says “He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds”.
God created us in His image and likeness, there are three persons in one God, we also are three in one. We have a body, soul and spirit. So while you sleep, your spirit man is the one you see in dreams. Sadly, this is the time the enemy also targets, in order to sow tares in our dreams. You will agree with me that not all dreams come from God, so we need to watch and pray. Please don’t just lay down and sleep without praying, no matter how worn out you may be. Purge yourself of every impurities that may affect the free flow of information from God to you and then commit your sleep into God’s hands.
To fully understand what God is saying in your dreams, you need the help of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who will grant you the insight and interpretation to those dreams. So next time you have a dream and seem not to understand the message embedded in it, call on the Holy Spirit. Even the ones you can’t remember after waking up, invite Him to help you sort them out and He will lead you through.
- Trance: “On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he *saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground” (Acts 10:9-11).
From the above Bible passage, you will agree with me that God can speak to you through a trance. In this case, you are not totally asleep, you are a bit conscious of your surroundings, and this usually happens when you are in intense prayer, worship, meditating on His word, etc. Trance is usually short and precise, like a vision. I believe God uses this means to speak when He has urgent information to pass. As earlier stated, whatever dreams, revelations or trance you have, check that it doesn’t go contrary to the scriptures. It must always align with God’s word.