God is almost always speaking to us. If we aren’t hearing His voice it’s usually either because we haven’t obeyed His last instruction and He’s waiting patiently for us to get in line with His prophetic prompting or because we haven’t done the four things I discussed in the first article of this series.
If you’ve positioned your heart to hear from God and you still aren’t hearing—and you are walking in obedience—it’s possible that you just don’t recognize His mode of communication. There are many, many ways God communicates with His people. In Part 1 of this series, we’ll look at five common ways God speaks. (Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can get Part 2 in your email inbox.)
- The Holy Spirit speaks through supernatural wisdom.
In Ephesians Paul prayed that the Father of glory would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus (see Eph. 1:17). Jesus is our wisdom (see 1 Cor. 1:24, 30). I believe sometimes God speaks prophetic wisdom to our hearts, but we reason ourselves out of it. We block the supernatural wisdom of God by letting our mind rule over our heart. That’s why I take a hint from Solomon and pray for wisdom.
I believe that if we pray more for spiritual wisdom—even if it means praying less for natural needs—we’ll receive more wisdom and our natural needs will be more than met. I also believe that as we pray in faith for wisdom, we’ll have the faith to receive it however it comes, whether through a flash of inspiration; a still, small voice; a dream or vision; or some other mode of heavenly communication.
- The Holy Spirit speaks to dreams by night and visions by day.
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Dreams and visions weren’t just an Old Testament phenomenon. We know that Peter fell into a trance (see Acts 10:10). Paul had supernatural encounters—whether in the body or out of the body, he did not know (see 2 Cor. 12:13). And John wrote the entire book of Revelation based on a supernatural vision. God is still speaking through dreams and visions today. I am a dreamer myself and have had a number of visions that I discuss in my YouTube series on the topic.
Of course, we can’t assume every dream we get is a godly dream. The enemy can invade your dream life with troubling dreams or even full-blown nightmares. Our subconscious mind processes life events while we are asleep and can offer some vivid scenarios. There are also what I call “pizza dreams.” If you eat a heavy meal or something spicy before bedtime, it can give you some pretty strange dreams. (I speak from experience!)
How do you know if a dream is from God? Briefly stated, there are three general guidelines: (1) It won’t contradict the Word; (2) God will give you an immediate interpretation; (3) You just can’t shake it. It stays with you to the point that you are compelled to pray it out, seek God for an interpretation or submit it to elders for review.
- The Holy Spirit speaks through practical surroundings.
Although you have to be careful not to tie a prophetic implication to anything and everything, God can and does speak to us through nature, through practical situations and through our every day surroundings. I always point to Proverbs 24:30-34 as an example:
“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles covered its surface, and the stone wall was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it; I looked on it and received instruction: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep, so your poverty will come like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.”
God spoke to Solomon through this practical experience. It wasn’t a still, small voice or a supernatural encounter. He was just passing by the field of a lazy man and he prophetically received a powerful bit if wisdom from God. If you keep a listening ear, you’ll discover that God will speak to you through and about many things just as you go about your everyday life.
- The Holy Spirit speaks through peace.
The Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us into all truth (see John 16:13). One of the ways He leads us into that truth—or prophetically speaks to our heart about a decision we have to make—is through peace. Your soul may still be wrestling with a situation, but you’ll have peace in your spirit. This takes some maturity to discern, but as you continue walking with Him you’ll recognize His peace.
The Amplified translation of Col. 3:15 says, “Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] … .”
Also, when we are facing a difficult situation or need to make an important decision, we can put Philippians 4:6-7 into play and receive peace of mind that positions our hearts to receive His wisdom: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (MEV).
- The Holy Spirit speaks through the Bible.
And this might be the best place for you to start. God is always speaking through His Word. Apply what you read to your life and you’ll position yourself for additional truth and wisdom—no matter how God communicates it to you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Amen.
I produced a YouTube video series on how to hear God’s voice in times of crisis that you can watch if you want to go in-depth on this topic, and I’d recommend checking out my new prophetic devotional, Mornings With the Holy Spirit: Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God, if you want practical examples of how God speaks in the every day life of a believer.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.