“Speak Lord for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3)
The above verse is from the story of Samuel learning to listen to God’s voice. God was speaking to him but he didn’t know it was God.
In some ways we are like Samuel. God is speaking to us and we don’t recognize His voice. Our culture has so influenced our thinking that we often have a hard time interpreting when God is speaking to us.
When we read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, we read of God occasionally speaking in an audible voice. While these incidences are not the norm, many believers somehow develop a mindset that the only way God can speak to us is in an audible voice.
God could speak in an audible voice, if He so desired. But most often he uses other means that are more fitting to how we normally process information. Listed below are a few ways God is known to speak to His children.
God speaks through the Bible
I have been reading the Bible all my life. I have even read it through from cover to cover several times. I am not bragging. It’s hard to get puffed up about knowing the Scripture when every time you read it you get something new. I am constantly amazed at how God can show me a new truth from a passage that I have read hundreds of times. It truly is a supernatural book. It’s like a artisan well that keeps springing forth fresh water. Please don’t make the mistake of not regularly reading the Bible, because God desires to speak to you through His Word.
God speaks through other people
I am finally realizing that God can and will use the most unlikely people to speak to you. Sometimes it will be people you know. Sometimes is might be a total stranger that you will never encounter again. And sometimes it might even be a child.
When I was in Bible College I had three small, pre-school children. I was attending school full-time and working a full-time job. I lost my job and began to worry and doubt myself. Did I make a mistake to quit my job, sell my house and move 400 miles away from home to go to school?
I was in the living room early one morning praying and begging God to speak to me and show me what to do. I think I was doing more whining to God than I was praying. But right in the middle of my pity party my three year old daughter started singing from her bed, “My God is so big so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing that my God can’t do”.
I immediately stopped praying because I knew the song was for me. It was the answer to my prayer. I will always believe that it was God speaking to me that morning through a three year old who was prompted by God to sing about His promise to take care of us.
God Speaks through our circumstances
More often than not, our present circumstances is God’s way of speaking to us. God might be saying, “Are you going to trust Me through this crisis or will you choose to worry?”
Uncomfortable and difficult circumstances have a way of drawing us closer to the Lord. It’s His way of getting our attention to be more God-aware in all our life. God wants us to be so God-conscious that we will develop a tendency to listen for His voice in all of our circumstances.
God speaks through spiritual music
The Scripture teaches that “God inhabits the praises of His people.” Music sets the stage for hearing from God. It can transform a dead, lifeless meeting to one of anticipation of hearing from God.
I was raised among lots of singing. My dad was a gospel quartet singer. So early in life I discovered the joy and power of music. There is nothing that better sets the stage to hear God’s voice than good worshipful music. Many times God has poured out His love and comfort to me in music. I have been depressed and discouraged and then I listened to worshipful music and my discouragement lifted.
God is constantly speaking to His children, but we must be listening for Him. We are to listen during every event and every encounter of life. I assure you, God is intentionally speaking to you. But are you intentionally listening for Him?
“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.” (Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision)