God Speaks – Job 33 -12:33
Someone asked me recently: ” how does one know if it is God that is speaking to you or if it is your mind making suggestions?”
As a modern “doubting Thomas” who usually requires evidence to believe what is usually staring me right in the face, I have many times struggled with that same question. A major factor to me having that struggle is that as a human I am a creature of habit and for many years I have learnt how to do things in my own effort without seeking and waiting on confirmation from God one way or the other.
Being raised in the church, I always asked God for help however, I never really listened
for an answer from him as in matters which requires serious decision making I would often go to a trusted advisor or my parents for guidance and their opinion before making a decision.
On the other hand, when it came to some decisions such as whether I should leave a job, stay or accept an employment offer, I never took a decision until I was at peace with the solution. Until the year 2014 when I was faced with quite a few challenges and although the answer to my question was staring me straight in the face I thought that God did not answer me because I was looking for a response from him in the usual manner.
God however did speak to me. Several times and in several ways.
He sent a prophet, a colleague, he spoke through the scriptures, through sermons on the internet, through poems and songs, through the actions of others and the tests I was facing; however, I did not realize what was happening as I felt had no peace not realizing that God just wanted me to wait a bit for him to work the situation his way in his own time.
I was also reasoning out my situation in my mind and because my “spiritual eyes” were not yet opened I was unable to discern some things. I knew within that I was facing a struggle with the enemy, but because I was at the time I was a worrier, fearful, doubtful yet had “blind faith” that things would work out, I stayed in a very uncomfortable, demoralizing, stressful environment while “praying” for the day that God would “rescue” me, not realizing that God was using the situation to teach, strengthen and empower me.
Fortunately I had heard God’s voice deep within (as clear as if someone spoke to me audibly) several times before. (This is a benefit of being a Child of God) Therefore, when he eventually spoke to me about the situation it was during a very teachable moment when I became humbled and had to keep my mouth shut (as the Word that was given to me at the time was a very powerful scripture that involved warfare and I had to use wisdom and shut my mouth at the time or risk being in a worse off situation or persons thinking I was crazy by saying God told me …….)
You see, the mind tries to reason all situations in a logical manner and we all want to be “realists” however, often times when it comes to spiritual matters, some things just cannot be understood by the natural mind as “his ways and thoughts are not the same as man” Isaiah 55 vs 8-9. God also reveals things in his own time.
Man also because of how he performs or functions, naturally expects to hear God speak to him in an audible voice or rather in a manner in which he usually communicates. However, throughout the years I have come to realise based on my experiences that God will speak to us in a variety of ways or in whichever manner he chooses, what we need to do is to be open to hearing him. We have to be still and listen with our spirit man not with our minds as our minds are usually cluttered with all sorts of traffic or distractions including doubt, external noise, the voice of the enemy, logical thoughts or even the opinion of others!
Living in the Spirit Romans 8:5-7
…5 Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s Law, nor can it do so.… We are therefore reminded as Christians to be led by the Holy Spirit who lives within us and not be led by our minds and to do this we must partake in frequent communication with God.
The Communication Process
When it comes to communication the there are various elements involved: the sender, the receiver, the message, noise and sometimes feedback.
The sender of the message encodes or rather puts the message in a form that the receiver can understand (picture, sign language, audio, words) and sends it through a channel that the receiver has access to eg (the telephone, post, speaking, action such sign language, a visual display or an electronic medium eg. computer, the radio , television etc) the receiver then in order to receive the message has to receive it through a working medium or appropriate channel to facilitate the decoding (being able to understand the message) so that it can be received clearly by the receiver.
If there is noise or interference the message will not be accurately interpreted and this can cause miscommunication which does affect feedback that is sent to the sender by the receiver. Have you ever played a game of Chinese Telephone or seen the effect of gossip where a story is distorted when it passes from several individuals?
In the game or through gossip, a message becomes distorted because of several factors. These include how the message is sent, if there is any blockage to receiving the message eg (speaking to someone who is deaf the deaf won’t hear), is the message being blocked by interference/noise or can the receiver decode the message.
Hearing from God requires communication just as explained in the process above. We speak to God through prayer or through our minds/hearts, through speech, our tears etc. God responds in his own timing through a variety of direct and indirect channels some are audible and some are not.
Many persons expect to receive a response from God in a verbal/audible manner such as Saul on the Damascus road where he shines a bright light and a voice is heard from heaven or like Moses and the burning bush. However ,we have read of stories in the bible that shows that to get our attention God communicates in both traditional and quite unusual ways such as the Lord using a donkey to communicate with an person such as in Numbers 22:23. We therefore need to be open to hearing God through some non traditional means as 1 Corinthians 1:27,28 says ” God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise”…
We also have to ensure that there is nothing interfering with the message God is giving us for example: disbelief/ doubt (lack of faith), stubbornness, being busy with life (no quiet time or not meditating), our relationship with God (remember he knows our hearts/ if we are genuine, also many Christians rely on a pastor for a response for them) us being lazy (not reading the Word).
We may also get a response from the Holy Spirit in a language we do not understand in this case interpretation is needed especially when God speaks through the gift of tongues. As well as the fact that we may not be praying for the right things therefore we are not getting the response we expect .
Then there are those of us who are spiritually deaf. This happens as outlined in the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8: 5-15. Persons hear when the seed “The Word” is sown, but some lose their seeds or the seed die while few grow and bear fruit. Also in Matthew 13:15 the bible refers to people not hearing in that “The heart of this people is callous and dull. Their ears are plugged. They cannot hear. They closed their eyes and cannot see. They cannot see nor hear nor understand with their heart. They should turn around and I would heal them.’
We see where many times persons are warned of calamities for examples prophets may predict a natural disaster or plead with persons to change their ways or repent as there will be consequences such as death and the prophets are often ignored.
2 Chronicles 7:13-15
13“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14and My people whoare called by My name humble themselves and prayand seek My face and turn from their wicked ways,then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.…
Lets now look at the direct and indirect channels and some means of communication that God uses to communicate with us:
- The Holy Spirit/God Speaks
- Via his presence through a knowing
- Through Dreams , Visions,
- Through the word (the bible)
- Through others (humans, angels, electronic medium)
As a child of God we become God’s Sheep. God also communicates with us through the Holy Spirit as when we accepts Christ :
- The Holy Spirit lives within us 1 John 2:27, James 4:5, 1 Cor 6:19 .
- The holy spirit acts as our guide, he connects with us Galatians 5:16, Acts 2 v 28
- The Holy Spirits Gives us power and great gifts 2 Timothy 1:7
- “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind”.
- Isaiah 11:2
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
- We can pray to receive the Holy Spirit Acts 8 v 15-16, Luke 11:9-11
- All can receive God’s Grace and favor because of his love not because of works Romans 11:6 & Romans 23: 28-39
On July 30, 2017 while I was sitting in church I heard a voice within instruct me to go over to a particular person who was attending service and to tell the person that God was with her , that she was not alone. As usual I pondered God is that you or is my mind playing tricks on me? A few seconds later the verse “my sheep will know my voice” from the story of The Good Shepherd John 10 25-30 came to mind. I therefore decided that I didn’t want to risk being disobedient to God. Also what was required of me was not something beyond I could manage so I slipped outside and discretely called the person aside. As we walked towards the back of the church ,sharing the words of encouragement instinctively I looked at her and made the command “get out of her”! What transpired after that command was beyond my expectations as the sister started to speak in tongues (an unknown language/not her natural language), my language also changed from my usual language and started to perform a series of movements after which she was so filled with the anointing that she was unable to sit. The young lady was placed in the grass and was prayed over by several members of the church. I later thought “God is so smart. He did not want to scare me. He probably knew that if he had instructed me to declare healing or deliverance or whatever other action he needed that may seem strange or call attention to myself that maybe I would try to avoid such a situation so he used wisdom in getting me to do his will. Isn’t he awesome?
The Holy Spirit has directed me on many occasions including situations on where I was to get money, when to speak, who I was to speak to, what to say, how to help, cautioned me, motivated me including to remind me that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ – Romans 8:1), he has assured me that “he would be with me always”
I also find that when I speak to him especially in tongues he responds. Sometimes its with very few words, through interpretation of tongues or even by giving words and tune for a song in a language that I do not know.
After writing the two previous paragraphs (above) I so happen to hear on God TV Station – John Bevere speaking about how God communicates to him and his wife differently and that he wants us to know how he communicates. I thought isn’t it great that even while writing this article he is communicating through confirmation in the message being shared on air.
Via his presence through a knowing
Some time ago I read an article about a lady who was not a christian who had a near death experience. In her story she explained that during her near death experience she had an encounter with God, said that he was an awesome presence of love and that he didn’t communicate in an audible manner but in a spirit to spirit method where she had “a knowing” within. God imparted his knowledge to her without using a “body” . She somehow knew what he said without hearing a sound.
My first physical experience was in 2016 when I went to a crusade and the minister was on the stage saying that the presence of the Lord was there and that there were angels flying around. After saying “receive the Holy Spirit” it was as if a gently wind came through the auditorium. I was swept off my feet and I felt an overwhelming feeling of love. He touched my heart and I was ecstatic. Within me I was saying yes, yes, yes Lord. I was so happy to have that spiritual/physical connection to which my hands responded with a trembling motion. The fear of the Lord grew within. When I looked around persons were being delivered and spitting up without the laying on of hands. It was an amazing experience that happened after an extraordinary praise and worship session.
On July 29, 2017 he communicated with me where I had a knowing of my divine purpose after the anointing was imparted. As I lay on the ground “under his glory” knowledge was imparted to me. I never heard an audible voice. I just knew that a message was imparted to me and I became estatic.
Through Dreams & Visions
- God Speaks through dreams Acts 2:17, Job 33:15-17
There are some nights when I am asleep that I hear within to get up and do something eg. read my bible, or write something. Recently it is when I am asleep when I am most quiet that I tend to get instructions or knowledge is imparted it is like I am receiving an outpouring into my spirit as a rest.
A week ago I received a dream about someone who had died. In the dream I was happy to see the person and his children however I was alerted in the dream to be cautious as there are “familiar spirits”. In the dream although the persons spoke and resembled the person who died, my spirit within was alerted that something was wrong based on what was said so I decided to test the spirit. It was then I remembered that the enemy (satan & demons) can masquerade/impersonate others so I was to be cautious. The dream also put me on guard and made me wonder If I didn’t have the spirit of discernment what would have happened. What I do know is that God forbids us from connecting with dead spirits through divination or mediums. This is being advertised frequently in Jamaica these days and innocent persons who genuinely wants to be given some hope of success or good fortune may draw curses unto themselves unknowingly (Leviticus 19:31) (Deuteronomy 18:9-14 )(Malachi 3:5) (Acts 16:16)
Its good if have a book to write the dreams or visions into for reference so that you wont forget your experiences. Always remember he speaks through dreams (job 33 vs 12-33)Many prophets and Christians get visions or get into trances during their moments with GOD. I was once in a trance where God poured into my spirit the emotion of deep grief. God poured within my spirit Why, Why, Why -I was a bit terrified when I came out of the trance and was quite afraid that God was going to do something big.
Ten years ago I also decided on the name for my son based on what I had heard while I was sleeping. I had decided on the name Adrian for my son however in a dream I was told to call him Jayden. I wrote the name down when I woke up then researched the name. The meaning was “gift from God” which I really liked therefore I changed his name from Adrian to Jayden.
Through the Word (the bible), Angels, Prophets/People, the Media
Many times God may communicate to us through the scriptures. The scripture is the living Word of God and it helps to direct our lives and increase our faith (Romans 10:17)
According to John 1:1New International Version (NIV) The Word Became Flesh: “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
God’s Final Word: His Son – Hebrews 1:1-4New International Version (NIV) . In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. The bible acts as our guide Deuteronomy 8:3, John 16:13 , .
There are many stories in the bible of Angels speaking to humans for example angels spoke to Mary and Joseph . There are also times when persons in a conversation may give you a word of encouragement that lines up with a desire that you may have or may share with you something that only you and God discussed which acts as confirmation for you regarding a particular message.
God may also communicate with us through modern means . For example, there have been times that I might be thinking of a particular issue and I may receive a prompting to turn the television channel to a particular station. Upon listening to the program the message so happens to be on the same topic I was thinking about. This even happened last night while on my way home I wondered what topic I was to write on my next blog post. I chose the above topic and god gave his confirmation while writing the article as two programs came on with messages on “hearing from God”.
I have even experienced the gift of knowledge during one such programs where the speaker mentioned the name of the scripture and the Holy Spirit brought the scripture itself to my mind (now I know I did not know the scripture by heart at that time, however within seconds after that response the speaker spoke the same words that was brought to my spirit I heard the words as clearly as if someone was speaking directly to me).
Below is a link to a webpage that has 10 ways in which God communicates to us. I will also post another article sharing some of my personal experiences in hearing from God.
I will now share with you an article I wrote in 2016 titled “The Voice” I do hope the situations shared in the story will help to encourage you or increase your confidence in knowing that God does speak to us. All situations We just need to be ready to receive him when he does.
Please click on the blue link to read about The Voice