If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that God is a God of surprises. We can never limit God in any way, including the way He will speak to us. He created us to communicate with Him and He longs for those times when we do. What we’ll explore in this series of blogs is that we can expect God to speak, but He may speak in unexpected ways.
It would be easier if we could just dial a number on a spiritual cell phone and hear the reassuring voice of God answering, “Hello, this is God speaking!” Yet, in reality, He is speaking to us every day in ways we may often miss. The Bible says, “For God does speak — now one way, now another — though man may not perceive it” (Job 33:14).
The Bible gives us many clues to hearing God’s voice. We’ll discover that are our ears must be tuned to hear Him. The Lord has an enormous range of options for speaking to us. He may use the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, His Word, prayer, circumstances, or other people. The Lord may speak to us in dreams, visions, or even by His audible voice; however, don’t expect God’s audible voice to be the common way He will speak! God’s voice often blends into a melodic harmony to which we have to tune in.
Jesus promised that if we listen to Him closely we will receive more and more from Him. He said, “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure you give will be the measure that comes back to you, and more will be given to you who hear” (Mark 4:24 Amplified Version)
When we take the time to listen carefully, we can know the difference between His voice and other voices that do not match the character of God, His nature and the history of how He has led others before us. Jesus urges us to learn to listen like sheep, “They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call” (John 10:5 Amplified Version).
As His children, His voice becomes familiar to us as we develop a relationship with Him. The Bible says that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are given a deposit of the Holy Spirit as a promise of what is to come (2 Corinthians 5:5). With the presence of the Holy Spirit within, we receive the help we need to pray and discern what our heavenly Father is saying to us (1 Corinthians 2:11).
Although we will consider 32 ways the Lord speaks to us in this series of blogs, it is not the final word on how He will choose to communicate. God is sovereign. He speaks in different ways at different times. Our faith must always be in God and not in a certain method.
Among the myriad of ways God speaks, we may not consider some to be particularly spiritual. For example, in the list below you will see that one of the ways God speaks is through common sense. If you want to buy a new house and cannot afford it, God is probably telling you to wait until you can afford to make the down payment as well as the monthly mortgage payments. . That would be common sense.
I believe even those who have experienced divine intervention or amazing angelic visitation will tell you that most often the Lord speaks through the Word of God (Bible), the peace of God (see Colossians 3:15), circumstances, His still small voice, other Christians, and through common sense wisdom.
Even with that said, our God is infinitely amazing and wise and creative that He does not limit Himself to speaking in the same way all of the time. God thinks outside the box! He is a little unpredictable.
If you want to hear from God, you must trust Him even if you can’t use one safe method or formula to hear from Him. Allow God to surprise you! Trust Him to speak to you. Cultivate your friendship with God. You are in a lifetime walk with the Creator of the universe, and hearing His voice is a skill to be learned over time.
Thirty-two of the many ways God speaks today…
1> The Bible ….. John 6:63
2> His peace ….. Colossians 3:15
3> Circumstances ….. 1 Corinthians 16:9
4> His Still Small Voice ….. 1 Kings 19:12
5> People ….. Proverbs 24:6
6> Common Sense Wisdom ….. Proverbs 16:21
7> Conviction ….. John 16:8
8> Worship ….. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
9> Authorities ….. Romans 13:1
10> Natural Things ….. Psalm 19:1
11> The Church ….. Hebrews 13:17
12> His Character ….. 1 John 1:9; 4:8
13> Visions ….. Acts 2:17
14> Dreams ….. Acts 2:17
15> A Word of Wisdom ….. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
16> A Word of Knowledge ….. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
17> Discerning of Spirits ….. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
18> Speaking in (Public) Tongues ….. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
19> Prophecy ….. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21
20> A Daily Encounter ….. Proverbs 8:34
21> Journaling ….. Habakkuk 2:2-3
22> Prayer ….. Daniel 10:2-3, 10-14
23> Fasting ….. Matthew 6:16-18
24> Angels …. Hebrews 1:14
25> Surprises ….. Numbers 22:28-30
26> The Unique Way He Made Us ….. Proverbs 22:6
27> Signs ….. Judges 6:36-40
28> Practicing His Presence ….. Genesis 5:24
29> His Silence ….. Psalm 139:7-8
30> Partial Revelation ….. 1 Corinthians 13:9
31> Audible …. Mark 1:9-10; Exodus 33:12-14
32> Whisper …. 1 Kings 19:12