How We Communicate Is Important
When two people, friends, use different methods of communicating we really never communicate. For example today almost everybody has a cell phone but a lot people prefer texting and others never text. If you and I are friends and I text but you don’t then we may miss a very important occasion or message. If you have a cell phone and never answer it or check your voicemail you may miss a very important occasion or message. If I use email and you never check your email then you may miss a very important occasion or message. We may be communicating but the other person is not hearing you. So for us to stay in contact with each other and develop our relationship we have to be aware of the different ways that we communicate. It is the same thing between God and us. If we want to communicate with God we not only have to do our part by talking to Him in prayer but we have to become aware of the different ways that He speaks and we have to learn to discern His voice. Discern means to perceive or recognize (something).
How Does God Communicate?
In order to learn of how God communicates we need to look at the Bible. There is a lot of scripture that says that God communicated but the don’t really tell us the method that He used. For example the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he’s seen the Messiah but we don’t know how Simeon got that revelation. Luke 2:26 (NKJV) And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
There are other places where it just says that “God said” or “the word of the Lord came.” However there are passages that do indicate the methods that God uses to communicate with us. Let’s look at some and see if we can see which method God used to communicate.
Genesis 1:3 (NKJV)3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
Luke 3:21-22 (NKJV)21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."
Dreams and Visions
Joel 2:28 (NKJV)28 "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
Matthew 2:12 (NKJV)12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Acts 2:17 (NKJV)17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
Vision and voice
Acts 10:9-16 (NKJV)9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.13 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
Luke 1:26-28 (NKJV)26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
Acts 8:26 (NKJV)26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert.
Psalm 19:1-4 (NKJV)1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Romans 1:20-21 (NKJV)20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Holy Spirit led men to speak or prophecy.
Numbers 11:25-26 (NKJV)25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp.
Luke 1:67 (NKJV)67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
Acts 19:6 (NKJV)6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
The Bible The Word of God
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. His Spirit agreeing with your spirit (still small voice) Romans 8:16 (NKJV)16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
How Can I Hear From God?
Editor’s Note: This section was written by Adam Weber, and was published on Crosswalk.com on March 5, 2019. To read the post click this Link
My wife says sometimes I talk too much.
It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I know it’s true. If you have a pulse, I can and will talk with you. A lot.
“You need to give others a chance to talk and just listen,” she’ll tell me.
This is good advice for having a conversation with a friend, coworker, or stranger. I mean, it’s a basic social norm and a common courtesy that one acquires by the age of 5. It’s important to listen to others. To give others a chance to speak and share. To give each other a turn to talk.
But it’s also good advice when it comes to prayer and talking with God.
To give Him a turn.
To give God a chance to speak.
To listen to Him.
While many of us, especially us extroverts, are good at talking with people, we often struggle when it comes to speaking with God. Prayer can be overwhelming for many because we don’t know the words to speak. That said, when it comes to prayer, the most important part isn’t speaking. It’s listening!
Listening and giving God a chance to speak isn’t just good advice, it’s necessary and vital to having a true conversation with God.
Now, we can hear from and listen to God at any place and at any time, but we must know what the voice of God sounds like.
The best place to start knowing His voice is by opening up the B-i-b-l-e. By seeing His words come alive. As we read, we come to understand the character and heart of God. We come to know His promises and truths. His ways. We see what God has said in the past, which gives us a good idea of what He’ll say to us today. And what He won’t say to us. We come to know what His voice sounds like.
Unlike we naturally assume, when God speaks in the Bible, it’s often not in a loud booming voice from heaven that stops traffic. Instead when God speaks, He does so using a still small voice.
Instead of brashly breaking into our lives, He stands at our front door and gently knocks.
Instead of shouting when we don’t listen, we’re told that He draws us to Himself with His kindness, not His anger.
When it comes to hearing from God, often the main question that we need to answer is the most basic one: Do we want to hear from Him?
If we do, we need to give God the space and room to speak.
More practically, invite God to speak and then be quiet.
Turn off the noise. Instead of checking Twitter between meetings, be still for three minutes and listen.
Get into the Bible. Again, we have to be able to recognize God’s voice if we want to hear it.
Declutter your life. Is every ounce of your day full (including every evening and weekend)? Good luck hearing from a God who whispers and quietly knocks.
If we want to hear from God, we need to give Him time.
Time to share.
Time and availability to speak into our lives.
We need to.
We need to identify hindrances to hearing God.
- Not taking time to listen
- Doubting that He will really speak
- Unconfessed sin
- Self-reliance, independence
- Fear of what He might say
- Being afraid of hearing the wrong voice
How do we break down these barriers? You guessed it by prayer and practice. Once you identify the thing that you think might be hindering your hearing from God, confess it and talk to Him about it, and trust that He will answer. The risk of not addressing the hindrances is not hearing at all. I wrote talked about how God communicates but we also need to learn how to discern when He’s speaking to us.
Learning to recognize God’s voice is a skill that takes time, practice, and intentionality. Don’t be discouraged if sometimes you think you’re hearing anything or you might be hearing wrong’ That’s normal for most of us when we’re getting started. Discerning God’s voice from all of the other voices in and around us (our own thoughts, the philosophy of the world, the desires of our flesh, the temptations of the Evil One) is a skill that God is eager ot develop in us. He wants to talk to you. He wants you to hear His voice and receive His love, affirmation, guidance, instruction, perspectives, and companionship. He is invested in the process of helping you to know His voice. Here are three things to keep in mind:
1.God wants you to hear His voice. He will protect you from hearing the wrong thing.
John 10:27 (NLT) My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 16:13 (NLT) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. Make it a practice to let Him know you want to hear Him only. If you ask Him to protect you from hearing other input, including your own logic and understanding.
2. Scripture is always the measure for what we hear. Hod may tell us things not specifically discussed in Scripture, but He will not contradict Scripture. God’s voice is always consistent whether through the written pages of Scripture or His Spirit speaking in our hearts. He will always confirm what He says.
3. God will speak to us in a way that is consistent with His character. He is never condemning or harsh. He invites, leads, and woos. He doesn’t force, drive, or push. Conversations with God should leave you feeling hopeful rather than defeated, accepted rather than judged.
It is important to be aware of the necessity to practice our listening skills, but it won't happen automatically for most of us. Until we learn to discern His voice, we often miss what He’s saying. Remember, be intentional ask God questions, then stop be still, listen, then pay attention to what’s happening in your heart and mind. Remember the difference between you head and heart beliefs.
Give God the space and room to speak to you today. Put away the distractions and open up His Word — because He has things He wants to say to you.