This is the final installment on the subject of hearing God. Up to this point, we’ve discussed five ways in which God may communicate with us. They are: His voice, Holy Spirit’s guidance, dreams and visions, angelic visitations, and through a trance (similar to a vision). Today, I want to examine two more ways that God speaks. Before I do, let me say that God speaks in many different ways with many different people. We are all different and therefore, there is no one specific manner in which God talks to His people. But this much is for sure: He desires to communicate with you. As His friend, you are privileged to know that master’s business (see John 15:15), so let’s continue.
The sixth way that God speaks is through our natural senses. This method of communication is not discussed much but can be a valid manner. It’s interesting to note passages that refer to the natural senses. The Bible says, “O tasted and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), and in Psalm 119:103 it says, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! [Yes, sweeter] than honey to my mouth.” We read in Ezekiel 3:3, “He said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.’ Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.’” Are these verses metaphors or did God actually use the natural sense of taste to communicate a message? According to the Bible, God is unlike idols of silver and gold. “They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat” (Psalm 115:3-8). The implication is that God can see, hear, smell, feel, walk, and speak.
It would stand to reason then, that God may use our senses to communicate a message. Pay attention to your natural senses. You might feel heat, smell a particular fragrance, or suddenly sense a tingling in your body. Sometimes people will sense weightiness on their own body when the presence of God moves into a room. Any of these methods can be ways in which God is communicating to you. My friend, Dan Bohi, told me about an instance when His hand became hot. He sensed that it was the Holy Spirit wanting to use him to lay hands on people for healing. He followed that prompting and many people were physically healed.
Lastly, God can communicate through the Bible. Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Note that the Word of God is inspired. That means the breath of God is in the words that have been written. The Word is “living and active,” so when you get into the Word it gets into you (see Heb. 4:12).
The Bible equips us for every good work that we’re being led into. If you want to hear the Lord speak to you, store up the Word in your heart. I believe that if we have the Word in our heart, then the Holy Spirit has an access point within us. You‘ll be amazed at how the scriptures will begin to pour out of you when they are stored up in you like a reservoir.
So, read your Bible again and again. Study it, memorize it, declare it, and use it. I would suggest “camping out” on a particular passage of scripture, too. Remain there for days, weeks, or even months, and as you read the Bible ask the Holy Spirit to speak directly to you. I often seek the Holy Spirit’s leadership on a passage long before I turn to a commentator. Since God inspired the scriptures you can actually expect to encounter His presence when reading it. On this point, Jack Deere wrote:
“Some Christians live all their lives without ever consciously experiencing a direct communication from the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, or one of the heavenly angels. They are so used to reading the Bible in terms of their own experience that it is easy for them to miss one of the book of Acts’ most astonishing characteristics. When they read it, their ‘lack of experience’ with God’s voice selectively filters out Luke’s [the writer of Acts] emphasis on divine supernatural communication between God and His servants. They either miss or refuse to consider the implication of Acts’ startling repetition of supernatural revelation.”
Deere continued to note that with the exception of chapter 17, every chapter of Acts contains an example of or a reference to, supernatural revelatory communication from God to His people. The point is God does speak to His people and He desires to communicate to you. So the next time that you open the Bible, open your spiritual ears also, because I truly believe God will speak to you through the inspired scriptures.
In what manner is God speaking to you today?
Jesus, I thank you for the many ways that you speak to us. Increase our fellowship and intimacy with your Holy Spirit, and speak to us in many different ways for we are listening, amen.