4 Ways God Communicates
1. Through Scripture.
We already covered this one above but, it’s worth noting that this one is the most important. For most of the world, it’s the most accessible and direct form of communication from God we can access at any time and anywhere. Scripture is the primary way God has communicated to us and still does. The Spirit inspired the writers to capture the works, words, will, warnings, and wonders of God in history. If you’re a Christian, every time you open scripture and read it with the willingness to live your life by the ways of Christ, God is communicating to you.
2. Through prayer.
Prayer is one of the places that we can absolutely “hear” from God. This doesn’t mean God will speak audibly to us or even say words in some other way, but we are encouraged to spend intentional time in God’s presence through prayer. Jesus often went alone to be with God, and many of the OT heroes heard from and benefitted from getting to be alone with God. In your prayer time, God could bring a scripture to mind, put someone’s name on your heart to pray for, give you profound peace, or direct you in prayer through “wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26) While prayer is certainly a time to “talk to God,” it can and is absolutely a time to hear from Him in some way as well.
3. Through visions, and audible or internal words and ideas.
Admittedly, this form of communication is rare, especially in the New Testament, and especially in the book of Acts, but it does happen: Jesus appears to Saul, and Ananias in a vision to set Paul on His missionary path (Acts 9). The Spirit speaks to the church in Antioch to set apart Paul and Barnabas. (Acts 13:1-3). And the Spirit directed Philip to minister to an Ethiopian official (Acts 8:26-29), just to name a few.
Today, people may be communicated to in this way in order to confirm something from God, go in a new direction they wouldn’t choose themselves, introduce us to God for the first time, keep us from something we shouldn’t do, or confirm an action we were thinking about taking. A modern-day example of visions are Muslims in the Middle East claiming to see someone resembling Jesus speaking to them in a dream or vision. It’s a dramatic way of communication for sure, but for some places without scripture, a church, or a way to learn about God, God may use this form of communication.
4. Through other people.
We already highlighted a few of these above, but God confirmed the calling of Paul through Ananias; and Barnabas convinces the church in Jerusalem to accept Paul despite His former past of persecution and death Paul even opposes Peter to his face about his wrongful treatment of the Gentiles.
God can and does use other people to help us if we have lost our way, to confront us of sin, to bring us back to Christ, to help us understand scripture, or simply to be a guide when we are inexperienced or new in our relationship with Christ. The Spirit working in other people can work on us as it works through them.
Ok, so those are just a few of the ways God may communicate to us. What do we do if we think He might be communicating to us? To help with that, here are a few key questions and what to do.