- How does God speak to me?
- How can I know when God is speaking?
- How can God be more real and personal to me?”
Jesus compared the relationship He has with His followers to the relationship a shepherd has with his sheep. He said, “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep...The sheep listen to his voice...His sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:2-4). In this way, when God speaks to you, you will recognize His voice and follow Him.
God speaks through a variety of means. In the present God primarily speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church. These four means are difficult to separate. God uses prayer and the Bible together. Often circumstances and the church, or other believers, will help confirm what God is saying to you. Frequently, God uses circumstances and the church to help you know His timing.
God is sovereign. He can do whatever He chooses to do. With the Scripture as our guide, we know God can speak in unique ways to individuals. His people will hear and recognize His voice. In the present time, He primarily speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.
The Bible is God’s Word. It describes God’s complete revelation of Himself to humanity. God speaks to you through the Bible. A person cannot understand spiritual truth unless the Spirit of God reveals it. The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17). When the Holy Spirit reveals a spiritual truth from the Word of God, He is personally relating to your life. That is an encounter with God. The sequence is this:
- You read the Word of God-the Bible
- The Spirit of Truth takes the Word of God and reveals truth
- You adjust your life to the truth of God
- You obey Him
- God works in and through you to accomplish His purposes
The Spirit uses the Word of God to reveal God and His purposes. The Spirit uses the Word of God to instruct us in the ways of God. On our own we cannot understand the truths of God. Unaided by the Spirit of God, it will be foolishness to us. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand then, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things” (I Corinthians 2:14-15). Aided by the Spirit, we can understand all things.
Understanding spiritual truth does not lead you to an encounter with God, it is the encounter with God. You cannot understand the purposes and ways of God, unless the Spirit of God teaches you.
Remember that God speaks uniquely to individuals, and He can do it in any way He pleases; second, when God speaks to you, recognize His voice and follow Him; third, you cannot understand spiritual truth unless the Spirit of God reveals it; and lastly, He is more interested in what you become than what you do.