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12 Ways God Speaks
Learn to recognize it when it happens

By guest writer, Ben Godwin

Skeptics say God doesn’t speak anymore. Even some Christians claim God only speaks through the Bible. Really? Did He get laryngitis and lose His voice? Did He change? Did He cease being God? Malachi 3:6 affirms, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” That means if God saved in Bible times, He still saves today. If He healed then, He still heals now. If He spoke to people in the past, He still does. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The question is not, “Is God still speaking?” The question is, “Are we listening?” Jesus implored all seven churches of Asia, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).

Of course, step one is to surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and invite Him into your heart. When you are “born again” (John 3:1-7), you are given a “new spirit” that is far more capable of sensing the voice of God (Ezekiel 36:26). Jesus is called the Good Shepherd; so once you are aligned with His will and following His guidance, He promises, ““My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27).

Consider twelve ways God still speaks today:

1. Audible Voice: Though seemingly rare, God has and still can speak audibly. Adam and Eve heard God’s voice in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8). God spoke audibly to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:4-6) and to all Israel from Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:1-22). In the New Testament, the Father endorsed Jesus at His baptism and His transfiguration with a literal voice. Saul and his posse saw Christ in a blinding light and Saul, who became Paul the apostle, heard His voice (Acts 9:3-7). God is sovereign, and He can speak however and whenever He wants. He even spoke to Cain, the first murderer, announcing the recompense for his grievous sin (Genesis 4:8-13).

2. Angelic Visitation: Angels are agents on assignment—God’s messengers sent to minister to heirs of salvation. There are numerous instances in Scripture where angels informed, warned, or conveyed divine messages to individuals. They are still on the job. We are clearly commanded not to seek interaction with angels in Scripture. That opens the door to great deception and even demonic infiltration into a person’s life. However, when God wills that angels communicate with His people, it is still a means of Him speaking.  (See Psalms 91:11, Luke 2:8-19, Hebrews 1:13-14)

3. Visions and Dreams: I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh . . . your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:17). A vision is an inspired appearance (something you see literally with your eyes or in your mind or spirit). A dream is something seen in your sleep or something you imagine doing—a goal or an aspiration. God can insert images and ideas into our minds whether we are conscious or not. There are several major incidences in the Bible when God spoke to people in their dreams even though they were probably not in a relationship with Him, submitted to Him, or knowledgeable of His ways (some examples are: the butler and the baker in Pharaoh’s dungeon = Genesis 40:5-8 / Pharaoh = Genesis 41:17-32 / a soldier in the Midianite army = Judges 7:13-15 / Nebuchadnezzar = Daniel 2 / Pilate’s wife = Matthew 27:19).

4. Signs and Wonders: Is it wrong to ask God for a sign? It depends on our motive. People who asked Jesus for a miracle just for show or to prove His divinity were denied, but those who asked God for a sign to ascertain or confirm His will were often rewarded. Gideon put a fleece out sincerely seeking confirmation of God’s will and was obliged (Judges 6:36-40). We serve a supernatural God of signs and wonders. (Deuteronomy 6:22) He still does wondrous and miraculous things that fill us with awe.

5. Coincidences: Albert Einstein noted, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” When I was praying about printing my first book, the estimated cost was $3,000 in the late 1980s. I was in a meeting when a woman I had never met before nor seen since gave me an envelope and said, “God told me to give this to you.” It contained a diamond ring which appraised for . . . you guessed it, $3,000. You can call that a coincidence; I call it providence—God confirming and providing for His will.

6. The Written Word: The logos (the Bible) is a main way God speaks today but it is not the only way. The logos is God’s general, written Word for everyone. God speaks to us when we read the Bible on nearly every issue that applies to modern living. Jesus, the Bread of Life, taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God has fresh spiritual manna to share with us every day if we’ll take the time to read His Word.

7. The Living Word: Jesus said, “The words [Greek: rhema] that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). The rhema Word is a specific message the Holy Spirit inspires to you personally. It’s a specific word for a specific time and for a specific need. It occurs when the written or spoken Word comes alive with special meaning in your situation. Quite often this is not an audible voice, but a softly spoken “knowing” that resonates deep within your heart.

8. Through People: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11). An “oracle” is an “utterance, a spokesman, or a mouthpiece.” Usually this injunction is fulfilled when God speaks through teachers of His Word who consciously seek to represent Him, but He can also speak through a spouse, kids, friends, and even enemies. God uses human channels to speak prophetic words and words of wisdom and knowledge–sometimes without their conscious involvement (1 Cor. 12:8-10). God also expresses Himself through human vessels to distribute His message in sermons, songs, and writings that are anointed by the Holy Spirit.

9. Mass Media: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations” (Matthew 24:14). Due to technology, this Scripture is literally being fulfilled as the Gospel proliferates the globe. While Satan manipulates the media to spread his vile message like a virus, God also utilizes the media to disseminate His truth via satellite TV, radio, internet, websites, social media, books, podcasts, movies, and music.

10. Through Creation and Nature: Psalms 19:1 proclaims, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” The vastness of space and the complexity of nature testify to God’s intelligent design. In a subtle and poetical sense, you can hear the Creator’s voice in a bubbling brook, in the song of a bird, in the wind whistling through the trees, and in a baby’s cry. Through these things and much more God testifies of His reality and character. Though God is not one with the creation and the life that flows through the creation comes from Him, but is not His personal presence, He still uses the magnificence of the creation to speak many things to our hearts. (See Romans 1:19-20.)

11. Through Our Conscience: God hardwired us with an inner awareness of what is right and wrong along with an inclination to do right. George Washington said, “Labor to keep alive within your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.” God speaks to all people this way, even those who have never been exposed to the revelation of the Gospel. That’s why adherents of many religions strive for higher ideals and moral boundaries in their lives. This scripture out of Romans clearly indicates that:

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. (Romans 2:14-16)

12. His Still Small Voice: Elijah was camping in a cave on Mount Sinai when God manifested Himself. Elijah saw a powerful wind, a mighty earthquake, and a fierce fire, but God wasn’t in any of them. Instead, God spoke to him in a “still small voice,” also translated “a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:9-12). God often speaks to us by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit to our spirit (Romans 8:14-16).

God will speak to us more often if we seek Him passionately. We will become more aware of it as we learn to recognize His voice. As I said in the beginning, Jesus clearly indicated, “My sheep hear My voice,” so if He is your Shepherd, this is His commitment to you (John 10:27). God is still speaking; the question is, “Are we listening?”

Ben Godwin is the author of five books and pastors Goodsprings Full Gospel Church in Goodsprings, Alabama. When he was seven years old he received an amazing creative miracle from God. While riding a bicycle, he was hit by a car, and the impact dislodged three inches of bone from his leg. He was supposed to be crippled for the rest of his life, according to the doctors. However, the gap in his tibia bone was instantly restored by a creative miracle from God when a Christian prayer group laid hands on him and prayed in the name of Jesus. Proof of this divine intervention is found in his powerful book, God’s Strategy for Tragedy.

You can read more articles or order Ben Godwin’s books @ bengodwin.org. You may contact him at ben@bengodwin.org.

 

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Written by Mike Shreve