I think that we’ve all, at some point or another, wondered whether God truly exists. And we’ve all wondered, if He does exist, does He care about me?
I know that for a long time, I believed He existed, but I believed that He only wanted to punish me for the wrongs I knew that I had done. After finally letting go of my fear, and embracing my search for Him, I begun to see that He had been present all the time. The truth is God is with you, whether you think He is there or not. I also began to see that He is always speaking to us, but we tend to get in our own way.
The truth is God is with you, whether you think He is there or not.Click To Tweet
I, for one, was always looking for a grand gesture. However, I’ve discovered that He tends to speak in a quiet voice. For me especially, He leaves impressions in my mind. God speaks to us in the ways that we will best recognize Him because He knows us all personally.
We either overestimate the voice of God or miss it from all the noise in our minds and our lives.
Let’s look at these 7 ways that God speaks to us.
7 Ways to Hear from God:
I. The first place to start is His word.
The Holy Bible is a living Word. I did not understand that statement, but I heard it all while growing up. When I compare my relationship to the Bible now versus childhood continuing into my 20s, the Bible was a book of mismatched, contradictory stories about a people that I did not care about. (It’s okay, God can take the truth, He knew how I truly felt). I read the Bible out of habit and fear.
However, when I opened my heart to God and finally began to submit to His will, the stories began to get clearer. As I became more intentional about digging into the stories and asking Him for clarity on what I did not understand, the stories began to shift, and I began to see value and a relationship between the lessons and my life.
The Bible takes on more relevance and truth as your relationship with God deepens. Therefore, there are still stories in the Bible that do not make sense to me. But I no longer fear or worry about those. I understand now that as my trust in Him deepens and my relationship deepens with Him, the stories will take on more relevance. The more you begin to open your heart to God and the truth contained in the Bible, the words take on new meaning.
II. There is no replacement for praying to God.
As a child, prayer to God was always portrayed as either being on your knees or standing, hair covered, and eyes closed. As I began to learn about God and His ways over the last couple of years, I began to see that prayer is simply speaking to God. Yes, there are times when being on your knees or standing in reverence is important.
But I’ve learnt that God wants us to talk to Him all the time. He wants us to talk with Him about the smallest thing and the biggest thing in our lives. We can still speak to Him in any given moment, thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice. We no longer need a prophet, priest or pastor, or anyone else to go to God on our behalf. Why would we not take advantage of this opportunity?
III. God speaks to us in a quiet voice in our heads through His Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a whisper. He does not yell. He does not scream for our attention. Therefore, we must create space in our lives to hear Him. That means that we must allow quiet times in our lives to commune with God. He will not compete with all the noise that we allow into our lives. I believe the small whisper is the most common way that He speaks audibly.
The Holy Spirit is our guide. He gives us directions. I believe that when we allow Him, He takes over our conscience. The more we give His presence space in our lives, and the more we listen to Him, we begin to recognize His voice more easily. He is not your inner voice.
IV. God speaks in an audible voice in our heads.
Personally, I’ve only experienced this a couple of times and only when I was trying come back to Him. I have heard testimonies from others who have said they have heard this voice when they were hurting or at their worst.
He speaks clearly and with authority. He does not sound like anyone else. I believe, if and when, you hear this voice, you will know that it is God. He does not cause confusion.
V. He speaks to us through our thoughts.
He may show you a picture, scripture, words, songs, or even place thoughts in your mind. You will recognize the thought as separate because you probably weren’t thinking about what He told you, or what He told you may not look exactly like how you thought about that particular thing.
VI. He also speaks through our dreams.
I feel that sometimes the dreams can appear as visions. When I was 19 years old, I experienced the only dream that I’ve ever had from God. But the intensity of it was so strong, it felt like it had truly occurred. I know a few close people who have had similar experiences.
If God gives you a dream, then it has a message. His dreams always communicate a message. Even if the message is simply that you are not alone and that He is with you.
VII. God speaks through others.
God speaks through spiritual leaders, friends, family, and partners. I believe that God will use whatever means that He needs to when He wants to get our attention. This method can sometimes be hard to decipher, especially if it comes from someone that we do not want to listen to.
If you’ve ever been at church and the pastor preached a sermon that felt like he was sitting across from you and speaking directly to you after you laid your soul bare to him, then you know that what this method is like. And since He always confirms His message to us, you do not have to worry if you felt unsure if the initial message was for you.
A few things to consider…
If you are trying to discover God’s voice, my suggestion is to pray to Him for clarity and confirmation. I’ve learnt that God always gives confirmation for things He says to me. They may not always happen at the same time, but whenever He shares something with me, it always gets confirmed through scripture, sermon, prayer, or a friend.
For example, I may be praying to Him about something that I have told no one about. I may ask Him to help me make a decision. Sometimes, immediately, sometimes the next day, somethings a long time after, (He responds in His time), and oftentimes when I least expect it, something will show up about the topic I prayed to Him about that will help me make the decision that I need to.You cannot force a relationship with God. This is a process. God is a God of order, discipline, and process. Click To Tweet
You cannot force a relationship with God. This is a process. God is a God of order, discipline, and process. He will know if you are honestly seeking Him or just feel that it is something you should do. He knows what’s in your heart. Please take the time to explore yourself and find out why you want to seek God.
Confess whatever it is you are feeling. If it’s unbelief, then ask Him for help to have faith. I implore you to be honest about your feelings. I used to believe that I could not express anger to Him or question His decisions, but I have come to see that I can. I just try to be respectful to Him during this process, as you would with any of your parents.
If you are unsure about some of the methods used here, I ask you to ask God to show you relevant scriptures of these various methods that may help you understand more clearly.
If you want to learn more about your relationship with God, I suggest that you download the Getting Closer to God Checklist and spend time in prayer with God as you work through the Checklist.