3 Ways God Speaks
September 24, 2019 | Megan Schemenauer
Growing up as the oldest child in a single-parent household, I often found myself left in charge of my younger sister and brothers. Some kids might have enjoyed the power. For me? Worst job ever.
They didn’t listen. They didn’t do their chores. Even worse, they would hum the theme song to the Wicked Witch of the West whenever I would enter the room. To top it all off, when Mom would come home, I would be the one who got in trouble because the housework had not gotten done.
It’s been years since those days, but my early experiences as a babysitter are most certainly not the only times that I have felt ignored. I experienced the sensation again as a mother of toddlers. My children are older now, but the fear of being ignored has never really gone away. Even after a number of years as a teacher, I still have nightmares in which I am giving instructions to a class full of students who act completely oblivious to my presence.
Basic fact: Nobody likes to be ignored. Your face flames, your throat catches, you feel almost as if you don’t exist. As if you don’t matter. Sometimes I wonder if God doesn’t feel the same way when we ignore Him.
But wait … we would never ignore God, right? I mean, if we could actually hear His voice. But what if God is speaking to us and we don’t hear Him? Why wouldn’t we hear Him? Well, what if we don’t know what to listen for?
To make sure you’re not missing out on the voice of God, here are 3 Ways God Speaks (and How to Make Sure You’re Listening!):
- God speaks to us through His Word.
One of the most basic tenets of Christianity is that God continues to speak to us through His Word, the Bible. Even though it was first written thousands of years ago, God still uses those same words to speak His message into our hearts today on a regular basis. What’s even more amazing is that God uses this same book to continue to speak to us throughout our entire lives! As we read, the Holy Spirit often pulls different pieces out of even the most familiar passages and uses them to work on the areas of our hearts most in need of growth. This is exactly what the author of Hebrews meant when he says, “The word of God is alive and active.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Whether you are encountering the Bible in your own personal reading time, during Saturday or Sunday service at the Vineyard, or even through the lyrics of a worship song, God's Word is powerful. It’s alive. And it can change us on a daily basis if we recognize that the voice of God is in it.
- God speaks to us through other Christians.
God is by no means limited to just one method of communication with us. After all, He is God. He controls everything. Proverbs 21:1 says, “In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that He channels toward all who please Him.” If God can control even the most powerful leader in any land, (some of whom may not even know Him!), He most certainly can speak through other Christians.
But why should we listen to what other Christians have to say? They are no better than us. They are flawed humans just as we are. True, no person will ever be perfect and that includes Christians. But God could still be using them to speak to you.
Believe it or not, God delights in using imperfect, even often broken vessels (aka humans), to communicate with us. Why use someone or something that’s flawed? Because in human weakness His strength is made most obvious. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) When we can’t point back to an individual’s intelligence or abilities, God’s voice is that much more evident. So what are we doing with the messages that God is giving to us through other Christians like our pastors, teachers, spouses, parents, friends? Are we arguing, ignoring or accepting His Voice?
- God speaks to us through inexplicable circumstances.
Years ago I chose a life verse for myself: Romans 8:28. This verse assures us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” With all the disappointments that life can hold, I found I needed the constant reminder that everything — and I mean everything — happens for a reason and God has a purpose in it.
But sometimes it sure doesn’t seem like it. That job you wanted but didn’t get. Your inability to sleep in the middle of the night. That friend you thought you would never lose. Your never-ending stack of bills. That injury you don’t think you deserved. The death of a loved one you can’t seem to get over. Even in the most heartbreaking or inexplicable moments of our lives, God is not only present; He is actively trying to speak to us!
For some of us, this truth may require a level of faith that we have yet to grow into. But when we begin to truly operate under this belief — that God speaks to us through every event in our lives, good and bad — it will change your entire perspective of life. It is at this point that we level up beyond just head knowledge; we can finally begin seeing our lives as God sees them.
No one said following God would be easy. But we will never be alone. Regardless of the situation, He is there and He is trying to speak to us. But do we believe it? Do we trust Him? Are we willing to seek His answers and not just try to figure out life on our own? Sometimes it’s not until after we go through the trials that we can look back and see what God was doing. And that’s when we realize God was speaking to us all along.
No one likes to be ignored. God wants to communicate with us. Have you been paying attention?