God is always speaking. He always has something to say. And God wanted everyone to hear His voice. That is exactly why He sent His son to become the sacrifice so that we can get into a right-standing relationship with Him and hear Him. Communication is the most important part of a relationship. He doesn’t just want to hear our prayers, He wants to answer them.
I wonder how many people are taking the time to listen? Or are we just unloading our worries on Him, crying out and asking Him for what we need without actually pausing to listen to what He has to say? Some people have trouble believing that God does want to speak to us all. Maybe that’s because they have never heard them personally. Or they just don’t understand His nature as a Good Father, Jesus as a Friend, and TheHoly Spirit as a Comforter. They work together, but do we do our part in being quiet long enough to hear His still small voice?
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice…” (John 10:27). Prophecy, in its simplest form, is merely hearing from the Holy Spirit and repeating what He said. Paul said it this way, “For you can all prophesy one by one…” (1 Corinthians 14:31).
God speaks to the hungry and humble. He hides wisdom, and revelation in those that seek it with a heart for Him. With a heart for Him, only then can we have access to His voice. In other words, God’s voice is hidden from the arrogant and the proud. Many that cannot hear the voice struggle in this area. Knowledge is power and He certainly does not want the proud to be puffed up with any more than they already are. How much more would they take the secrets of God to benefit in ungodly ways?
Luke 10:21 says, “At that very time He (Jesus) rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.”

God is always speaking, but are we in tune with His voice?

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:6

Matthew 13:10-13 says, “And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ Jesus answered them, ‘To you, it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it h, as not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.’”
If you haven’t heard God in the past 24 hours, you likely missed it. Remember, it is the glory of God to hide things, but it is the glory of His royal sons and daughters to search out the mysteries of the Kingdom (Proverbs 25:2). God does not hide things from us; He hides them for us.
Are there seasons of God being quiet – still, sure, maybe? But those are so few and He is STILL teaching. He is never gone from us. His presence just looks different. We may have to look harder. I digress, that’s not today’s topic.
The challenge comes when we don’t recognize the different ways God communicates with His people. So then, how does God speak?

7 Ways God Speaks

These are seven of the most common ways God speaks, but this is not an exhaustive list. This is simply a starting point for those that may be seeking His voice but don’t know what they are listening for, or from. You may already be hearing God and simply don’t realize it. Many overthink it as if the deep audible voice of God will come from Heaven to wake you from your sleep. As you read, I pray that you would be awakened to recognize the distinct personal and powerful ways that God speaks to you!

#1 God’s Still Small Voice

At times, the Lord speaks to us in a still small voice from within our spirit. The only way to know it’s His voice is to exercise it. Many, even those in the church would call this phenomenon our intuition or conscience.  We can easily underrate the power of God’s whisper and even ignore these notions when we expect and desire to hear an audible voice we are certain of. This still small voice may come as a passing thought, an impression, a bible verse that comes to mind, or an internal “sense” of something that God is saying. We read in 1 Kings 19:11-13 that he is not in the strong wind or the earthquake, but rather He is in the gentle blowing (1 Kings 19:11-13).

#2 The Living Word of God

We know that the Bible itself is the living breathing Word of God. He can speak to us in our reading of Scripture by highlighting a verse or story that speaks directly to us or our current circumstances. Have you ever had a single word or specific verse feel bolded, highlighted, or it jumps off of the page at you? Have you ever felt like a light went off and the words on the page came to life clearer than you ever understood before? The more you reflect, the more clarity, revelation, or comfort you feel.

Sometimes, it may feel like you are taking a verse out of context, so we need to have a basic knowledge of the context of the Scriptures so we understand the full counsel of God. God will never violate His Word, but He will change our understanding of His Word. The Holy Spirit may grant us a fresh revelation and application as we read the Bible. Nothing He says will stand in disagreement with the foundation of God’s revealed nature and character (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

#3 Visions and Dreams

Visions and dreams are a way of the Lord projecting images and pictures onto the “screen of our imagination”. Most often, this is how the Holy Spirit speaks to me personally. They often require interpretation, so it is important to know the Word of God and seek out the answers biblically as to what significant details of the dream mean Biblically. As the Holy Spirit speaks to us through pictures and images of the mind, we must turn back to Him and ask for the interpretation (Acts 2:17-18).

#4 Impressions

Many discern the voice of God through impressions and don’t even realize it. Oftentimes, we can sense darkness or an unclean spirit on someone joining by sitting next to an oppressed person. The evil spirit that is tormenting them will begin to harass us in the same way. For example, A spirit of fear may be overwhelming a person, and if you are in the room with them, you can sense anxiety build up. Many “feelers” don’t even recognize that the panic they are feeling is not even theirs. If we do not realize our spiritual discernment in this area, it’s easy to feel very confused or feel like we are losing our mind (1 Corinthians 12:10). It’s imperative to treat these impressions as gifts, nuggets of information that the Lord is sharing with us instead of a burden. A healthy way to deal with these impressions is to say, “Message received” and then ask God if He has any further instruction, intercede, speak, or act. Unless He gives you further instruction, let go, release it to Him, and move on.

#5 His Creation

All of creation speaks to us the truth about who God is and what He is capable of doing. The mountains show us His strength and the rivers

demonstrate the flow of His provision and the flowers represent His beauty
(Psalm 19:1-2). Another way creation speaks to us is when God causes nature to do things that are actually prophetic acts. It may relate to the weather, natural disaster, or seeing the same animal, or insect over and over. I remember once, I kept seeing butterflies. Everywhere I looked there were butterflies. In pictures, books, commercials, and billboards, and one even landed on me one day, and later the same day the kids were watching something on TV and it was talking about how butterflies emerge after being hidden for some time. In that season, I felt so invisible. I was between churches, taking a pause on ministry and God was doing some work in my home and in my personally and I heard the Lord say to me, “You will emerge like a butterfly in due time. Just be patient as I have hidden and concealed you purposefully.” From that moment on, I learned to embrace the season I was in.

#6 The Circumstances

God can speak to us and guide us through the circumstances of our lives. It happens as He opens and closes the doors of opportunity. Those that don’t understand this way of communicating, may misunderstand the principle and think that any time we come up against an obstacle in our lives that we are out of the will of God. But, it is important to remember that the enemy can also manipulate circumstances to derail us when we are doing exactly what God calls us to do. Even in times of intense opposition, we must remember that Revelation 3:8 says, “I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” When doors open, and when they shut, we need to return to Him and ask, Lord, what is my next move? Where do I do from here?

#7 Divine Encounters and Experiences

These are supernatural incidents that correlate with natural events. Notice that in the Book of Numbers, Aaron’s rod came alive after being dead, and bore blossoms and ripe almonds as a sign from God that he was anointed to be a leader of Israel (Numbers 17:2-8).
Recently, I purchased a wall clock online. The first one came with no hands… I reported it to the company and they sent me a second one and didn’t ask me to return the first. When the replacement came the hands didn’t move… I heard the motor running, but the hands stood still. Finally, I called the company again and I told them there was still something wrong and it was not working. The third clock came and the hands on the clock were slow, it kept falling further and further behind. I ended up with a refund, but I asked God, what are you trying to tell me? He said I am about to redeem your time. You will accomplish a lot in a little time. I will make time non-existent to you, make it stand still, and slow it down. Don’t worry about not having enough hours in the day, I will grace you with the time to do all I am calling you to do. We were going into this current season of having full-time jobs, building our own ministry, and attending college for doctoral and master’s programs while raising our 3 children. It seemed impossible at that time, but thanks to his reassurance through this experience we could trust him, and here we are doing it!

What’s God Saying To You?

Today I want to encourage you to think back on your life and consider the times when God may have spoken to you in these ways.  Oftentimes, we miss the profound power of His voice because we simply don’t know or are unconscious of His attempts to get our attention in the busyness of our lives.
How do you hear God’s voice?
In what ways would you like to grow in learning to hear from the Lord?