First things first. God wants to speak with you.
Just like in any relationship, God wants to speak to you and he wants you to speak to him. No matter who you are or what you have done in your life it doesn’t matter, God wants that close relationship with you. You don’t have to be ashamed when you come into God’s presence because Jesus died to set you free from all of that. You can come to God with your problems, worries, anxiety, whatever you’re dealing with because he loves you. So now the question remains, how do you know God’s speaking to you?
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”John 10:27
How does God speak to you?
Before we can answer how do you know God’s speaking to you, we have to ask the question, “How does God speak to you?”
1. God will speak to you through His word
God’s word never returns void. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Reading the Bible is one of the primary ways to hear God speak. The bible isn’t some dead ancient history book that was only relevant thousands of years ago, the bible is living and active sharper than any two edged sword. What do you do when you’re hungry? You get some food to eat! That sounds pretty obvious but we forget that spiritually is that simple as well. Your spirit needs spiritual food and the only way you can get that is through spending time with God in his scripture. Many of us aren’t hearing from God because we aren’t spending time in his word. If you want to hear your friends voice you give them a call on the phone, if you want to hear God pick up your Bible. The Bible states that all Scripture is breathed out by God, they are his words.
2. God will speak to you with his voice
A lot of Christians may go through life never audibly hearing God’s voice. We don’t know why God chooses to speak audibly to some people and not to others. All I can tell you about this avenue is my experience. I actually have audibly heard God speak to me. I never thought I would be one to say that, but it actually happened to me recently. It was the craziest, most amazing thing ever.
One morning during worship at church, I heard God say, “I’m here, Samantha.” It sounds so weird even to be saying this, but I’m telling you because I am honestly SO certain that it was God. Immediately I started crying when I heard it. I wasn’t even in a tough place in life, I was just earnestly seeking Him every day. I still don’t know why God chose to speak to me that way that day. Maybe He knew I needed the reassurance to keep going. I don’t know, He knows ALL and I know LITTLE.
3. God will speak to you inwardly through the Holy Spirit
John 14:26 states, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Inward thoughts is probably the most common way that God speaks to people. At least it is the most common for me. I think for a lot of people this becomes easier to discern the longer you are a Christian and walking with God. These things can be as simple as the Holy Spirit telling you to ask for forgiveness from someone or to do a certain thing. Typically, it feels like a thought that you can’t shake.
4. God will speak to you through other people
Sometimes God will be telling you something and you aren’t listening, so He uses other people to confirm it. This happens a lot with Tommy and I. That’s why it is so important for us to be seeking God independently, as well as together.
This is also why you need a community around you and a good church. We weren’t meant to do life alone. 1 Corinthians 12 says we are “many members coming together as the body of Christ.” God will speak to you through your pastor, through your friends and acquaintances at church, and through the community that you build there. Tommy and I hear things all the time from our pastor or other pastors that apply directly to the situations we are facing.
5. God will speak to you through visions and dreams
Again, just like hearing God’s voice, some people will never have visions and dreams. It’s something that you can pray to receive from God because he did give it to us as a form of intimate communication with Him once the Holy Spirit was poured out upon believers.
There have been a lot more recorded instances of dreams and visions in countries where the gospel message is restricted. God will come to people in their dreams revealing himself to people so they can come into a relationship with God. Other times God will give people visions and those visions help further the kingdom of God on Earth; bringing more people into a saving relationship with God.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.Joel 2:28
How do you know God’s speaking to you and it’s not just yourself?
The #1 thing to remember is that God won’t tell you anything that would contradict scripture.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The Bible is our authority and when we hear something that we think is from God we must make sure that it aligns with his Scriptures. God is immutable; meaning He is “unchanging over time or unable to be changed.” His truth doesn’t change and remains the same forever for eternity.
From my personal experience, I always know when God is speaking to me because the things he tells me to do or the things he puts on my heart are SO opposite of what my flesh wants to do.
For example, the other day I had to make some phone calls and I was getting frustrated with the receptionist at the dentist office. I wasn’t crazy rude or anything, but to be honest I wasn’t very nice. After I finished the phone call, I felt bad. Later that day I was reading my Bible and trying to pray and that phone call kept coming to my mind. I couldn’t shake it. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me I needed to call the receptionist and apologize to her. So after a few minutes of wrestling with my flesh, I called. I DID NOT want to do it. Who wants to apologize to anyone? Not me! Haha. The point is that I knew it was God speaking to me because it was so opposite from what my flesh was telling me to do.
The most important thing if you want God to speak to you is to have a heart that is surrendered to God. You have to want His will to be done in your life. This is a lot easier said than done. We struggle with this all the time. The Bible has a great verse on the pure of heart and seeing God.
Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It makes it a lot easier to hear from God on a daily basis when you don’t have unforgiven sins and you’re not holding anything back from God in your life. Now of course God is God so he doesn’t fit inside any box. He came to Paul who was once called Saul on the road to Damascus. If you don’t know Paul, Paul was persecuting Christians and actually putting them to death. He was a Pharisee, part of the religious Jewish elite in Jerusalem. God blinded him and then eventually healed him.
The important aspect of his healing wasn’t the physical aspect of his eyesight but his spiritual eyesight. It allowed him to see that Jesus truly is the Son of God. No one is too far out of God’s reach because of course He is God, but if you want to hear from him you need to be seeking him and earnestly giving Him your all. Christianity isn’t about works, it’s about a relationship with Jesus.
I hope you learned something new from this. It’s hard to know when God’s speaking to you, but as you grow closer to Him it gets easier. If you want to know more about how I came to know God, read my testimony here. I am praying for you all, thank you so much for reading!