How do you know God is speaking to you? Is there a bright figure that comes into your bedroom at night? Is there a booming voice that interrupts your private time? Does he introduce himself “I AM GOD!”? Does he whisper your name in the dark?
Although silly, God has been known to do most of these. My grandma (who is basically Jesus’ younger sister) told me that God speaks depending on how you listen. If you need a burning bush to pay attention he’ll do it. If he needs to speak to you in your dreams he will.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I first experienced God Himself speaking to me directly. Now Ive been a Christ follower for quite some time so I know some of you are like “Janae, don’t Christians talk to God all the time? Like isn’t that why ya’ll pray and go to church all the time cuz you know…God talks” and there’s others of you saying, “There’s no way you’re a REAL Christian if you JUST heard God speak to you for the first time at age 26. REAL Christians hear God every single day, all day!”
Guys, if you’re saying either of those things, you’re as accurate as Shaq at the freethrow line.
As I’ve gone through the cycle of maturing, I’ve walked with God, walked away from Him, came back, kinda walked with Him kinda sorta didn’t walk with Him, then came back begging. It is for this reason that He has spoken to me in different ways because during some of those seasons, my ears were closed to what God was saying to me so I felt like He wasn’t speaking to me. He had to put up road signs sometimes or use someone I was close to to get a message to me. God is a gentleman, He never forces us to listen to Him. He does not leave us even when we leave Him. Instead, He takes the passenger seat and waits for us to crash and dial 911. The thing is, He IS 911 and the ambulance that comes, the police officers that come to the scene of the crime, and the doctor that fixes your injuries.
I was taught growing up that once you get baptized, boom, you’re saved and now you will hear God’s voice all the time. But that’s not what happened for me and for a lot of people my age that are saved. I later learned that baptism is for repentance and acknowledgement and it isn’t until you invite The Holy Spirit in that He comes. It’s like when a celebrity gets ready for an award show. Usually they have a team of people to help them put on their clothes, do their make up and hair. Before the glam team can do all that for them, they need to take a shower. If they allow the glam team to prep them for the event without taking a shower, the clothes they wear will stink and become dirty. The shower is baptism, the clothes are the second coming of God and the glam team is the Holy Spirit. Even thought the clothes were clean when you put them on, if you did not prepare you own self before hand you won’t get the most favorable results. That is why we NEED to hear, listen to, & follow God’s voice.
So how do I know God is speaking to me? How do I know it’s Him?
|Step 1: Ask & You Shall Receive (Matthew 7:7)|
|God clearly states in the Bible that if we ask for something God will provide it. This includes hearing His voice.|
|If you are looking for more of God’s direction & voice in your life ask Him for clear direction.|
It seems elementary but any good father knows that kids ask for some crazy things. Sometimes they ask for more candy when they are hungry when they are already jumping off walls. A good father sees this and will give the child something to eat because they are hungry but I can guarantee you it’s not candy. He probably gave them veggies or a salad. Sam thing God does with us. We think we know what’s best for us so we ask for something to fill a need and God will fill that need but it will be with something that is actually good for us not just temporary junk. Pray everyday to hear His voice is all you do.
|Step 2: Send Holy Spirit (Acts 19:4-6)|
|Once you ask for more of God’s voice, He sends the Holy Spirit to be the bridge|
|Holy Spirit is the communicator, comforter, discernment, divine helper, & guidance|
I love this passage because it is Paul talking to a group of people about the Holy Spirit. Paul asks them if they received the Holy Spirit when they got baptized by John the Baptist. They all tell him no. Paul tells them that basically have been walking around without hearing God’s voice and carrying Him in their heart. And their response is, “Wait, you can do that? God can live inside of us?” Paul tells them that the baptism they had was the preparation to receive God inside of them. In the Message translation it says after the baptism, you’re ready for the REAL thing. I like to think of the Holy Spirit as my gut feeling. The tingle in my stomach when a situation doesn’t feel right and I want to leave or when someone says something that feels like a lie. A lot of people do not realize that THIS is the voice of God. God is a spirit and he places positive and negative ‘feelings’ in our spirit that we are to discern.
|Step 3: Learn God’s Love Language (Job 33:14-16)|
|Just like in the popular book, God speaks to us in several ways|
|It is specific to how each individual hears and can change based on our spiritual maturity.|
If you’ve read the book ‘The Five Love Languages’ you know that people receive and give love differently and understanding how your partner gives and receives love is a form of non-verbal communication that can make or break your relationship. The same is with our relationship with God. He already knows your love language but you have to learn His. To some people, he speaks in visions or dreams. To others he sends signs. The most common way He communicates to all of us is through the holy Spirit like we talked about in step 2. But have you ever had Deja Vu and you know you’ve never been in that particular place or situation before but it looks or feels familiar. For some people this is because God showed you this vision before. He may be trying to communicate with you. God talks to me using the Holy Spirit & visions. But I want more, so recently, He spoke directly to me. The best way to describe the experience is that it came like a thought/idea that popped in my head that was definitely not mine, about a subject I wasn’t even thinking of at the time and I’m not smart enough to even think of on my own.
|Step 4: Confirmation (Hebrews 6:13-14)|
|God rarely repeats Himself but He will confirm what He said|
|Confirmation= The Bible, your pastor, & your circumstances|
The ultimate confirmation is something we all have access to, The Bible. If you hear something you think may be God but it goes against what is in your Word….that ain’t God talking. God cannot lie. He cannot lie to you or himself. In this verse in Hebrews, God literally says that since there is no being higher than Him that He swears to himself (lol). I love that because not only is He declaring that He is almighty. He is telling us that when He says something, He means it and there’s no back tracking or going back. Another way to get confirmation is to be in constant communication with your spiritual covering on earth. For most of us this is our pastor or spiritual counselor. They are put there specifically by God so you can have someone to touch and agree with your needs and struggles. So when you hear something that you think may be God, you can bring it to your covering and ask them to pray with you about it or you may hear a word from God through them. They may say, “God told me the same thing when I was praying about your situation the other day.” Another confirmation may come from your circumstances. In the season I am currently in, God has been flooding everything I come across with the story of David’s rise to the thrown. Literally, every sermon I hear (accidental and on purpose) mentions David. Even song’s I listen to have the story in them. The people I talk to have mentioned David. God keeps finding ways to remind me of this story in some way or fashion.
Practice makes perfect so just like your Faith Walk, this is a marathon not a sprint. It will get easier to hear God’s voice as you continue your walk in faith. It will take leveling up in your faith, consistency, & devotion to reach a level of relationship with God that makes it easy to hear His voice in all things. Do not think He isn’t speaking though. Just like a romantic relationship, you don’t pour your deepest secrets on the first date and neither will God. To keep us dependent on Him, He reveals himself little by little.
k, good talk