I remember at the end of 2019, I was in the process of purchasing a Co-op. It was everything that I wanted – 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, with a balcony, and it was in a prime location. The only problem was what I saw in the photo online was nothing like what I saw in person. The place was falling apart. The balcony was trashed, there were cracks in the walls, and plaster and debris all over the floor. There were water damage and mice droppings everywhere. The realtor, showing me the place, tried to talk me into purchasing the overpriced disaster and fixing it up myself. In my heart I knew this was not the place for me, but I couldn’t help but ask God His thoughts.
That night I had a dream that I was getting married to a tall, handsome, white guy from Austria. He was everything I desired, but the only thing is he was mean. His jokes hurt people and he had this very annoying laugh. I kept asking myself could I really live with this laugh for the rest of my life. It was the morning of our wedding and I realized that I couldn’t marry him, but I felt so bad because we were having a destination wedding and everyone already arrived. Calling off the wedding meant wasting money, wasting time, breaking his heart, and waiting longer to get married. Did I really want to take that chance? No! But I couldn’t chance being unhappy for the rest of my life. Suddenly I had a vision of a man, that God had shown me was my true husband, from a previous dream. You can read about that in my blog, Last Night I Met My Husband in a Dream. I knew that I was making a terrible mistake. I wasn’t marrying God’s Promise. I was settling for less. I left my dressing room and ran to call off the wedding.
When I woke up from that dream I knew instantly that it was God answering my question. God was telling me that I could purchase the Co-op and put in all my time and money to fix it up or I could trust Him and hold out for the promise. Needless to say I’m still holding out for God’s Promise.
God is always speaking and He speaks in many different ways. The unique ways that God speaks to us is how we are able to recognize His voice. Recognizing God’s voice is a major key to building a relationship with Him and feeling confident that He has spoken. Below I outline six ways that God speaks, but of course there are way more; However, I’m only going to focus on the ways that God has spoken to me to help you recognize how He is speaking to you.
God Speaks Through Our Dreams
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
As mentioned previously God speaks through our dreams. Some people are Prophetic dreamers, so this is how God gives you messages. For others, you’re not a prophetic dreamer, but every now and then God will send you a message. The important thing to note about our dreams is that each symbol in the dream is unique to the dreamer. For instance, whenever I dream of twins that means someone is pregnant. If the Twins are outside the body that means the baby will live. If the person is still pregnant with the twins that means the baby will not live. Twins are a symbol that God uses to communicate pregnancy to me. I’m not sure why, I should probably ask, but this is how He has been communicating with me since I was a child. For others, if they dream of fishes that means someone is pregnant. Your dream is unique to you. God uses symbols that are personal to you because He wants you to go to Him for the interpretation.
If you have a dream about someone chances are God is giving you insight into that person’s life. It’s important to use discernment. Ask God what is the purpose of the dream? Are you to deliver a message or does He want you to pray for the person? You are responsible for what you see, so make sure you don’t abuse your power. I’ve had many dreams about people and sometimes God only wanted me to pray for the person. He didn’t require me to deliver the message. Let God show you how to use this gift.
God Speaks Through Visions
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.
A vision is a glimpse from heaven. You have it while you are awake and you see it in your mind. It could be long or short, but the most important thing is it is sight beyond sight. So God is giving you insight into something that’s in the future. It could be a message or a lot of times, for me, it’s Him reminding me why I’m trusting Him. Last March, God told me to pack my boxes because He was getting ready to move me. So I obeyed. However, almost a year later I still didn’t move. Trust me, I’ve gone through an array of emotions and one of them being, “Did I really hear God?” I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Anyways just recently as I was pulling the curtain in my living room, God gave me a vision of me pulling the curtains in my new place. I had floor to ceiling windows overlooking a skyline (not sure which one) and it was everything I dreamed of. God was reminding me that He had not forgotten me and because of my patience He will not disappoint. God never puts us to shame when we trust in Him – Romans 10:11
God Speaks Through People
While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him [Young Prophet] back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you.
1 Kings 13:20-21
Last year, was very challenging for me. There were a lot of things that I believed God for that didn’t happen. For instance, I thought God had told me that 2020 was the year of Double Portion. However, that’s not what He told me. He actually told me that I was going to live by Bold Faith and that I did. But the Double Portion prophecy did not come true. So as 2020 was coming to an end I heard God telling me that 2021 was going to be a year of Restoration. I told God that I would reserve my excitement because last year I got the prophecy wrong. I also asked for confirmation. 2 weeks went by and I heard nothing so I figured the prophecy I received was incorrect. But on the last day of the year, early in the morning, God sent a friend to confirm His word to me. My mind was blown cause this is a friend who had no idea what was going on in my life, so the fact that God used her I knew that her message was pure. She didn’t even know why she was delivering the message until I told her that this was the confirmation I asked for. When God speaks through people it is so important to test the spirit – 1 John 4:1. Each prophecy or word given by someone else should ALWAYS reveal God’s character and point back to Him. You could read more about this in my blog, “Look Who’s Talking: Navigating the Voices In Your Head.” You should also bring the word back to God so that He can confirm that He did send the person to speak because the devil also uses our friends and family to deliver false messages. Jesus rebuked Peter when he tried to prevent Him from going to the cross – Matthew 16:23.
God Speaks Through His Word
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Some people do not like reading God’s word because it is difficult to understand. Sometimes, depending on the interpretation you’re reading, every scripture goes over your head. This is because Jesus says the secrets of the Kingdom have not been revealed to everyone only to those who seek. So it’s hard to imagine that God would speak through His word. That’s why it’s important that BEFORE we open the word we ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts and make the words come alive to us. When the word comes alive it takes on a deeper meaning and resonates in our hearts. For example there’s a scripture that everyone loves and for a long time I hated it. Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I understood that God knows the plans He has for us, but I didn’t understand why His plans consisted of pain and disappointment. My distaste for this scripture went on for years until Dec 31, 2020 while I was at my brother’s church and the Pastor said, “God’s plans aren’t to harm you.” In that moment the scripture came alive. It hit my heart so hard and I know the Holy Spirit was leading me into Truth. Truth destroys every single lie the enemy has planted in our hearts. The lie I held on to about God’s plans harming us deepened 2 years ago when I lost my nephew. I prayed and declared that God would save Him and He didn’t. He died before He could live and that broke my heart. One year later, God ensured that I knew the truth. Though I may not understand why my nephew had to die, I can trust that God’s plan isn’t to harm me, but to prosper me.
God Speaks Through Our Spirit
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
God is Spirit and so are we. So every times He speaks He appeals to our Spirit. It is so important that we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior because this is the only way to receive the Holy Spirit, who speaks on behalf of Jesus. He’s the one that ministers to our spirit. For me, when there is a witness in my spirit, my heart jumps and there’s a knowing that comes all over me. For example, years ago when I was in Bible Study my teacher was teaching on the Five Fold Ministry gifts. These are the gifts that Jesus gave to us in order to build up the church – Eph 4:11-13. When my teacher got to the Pastor he said, “The Pastor has the heart of the people,” and my heart leapt. That was Jesus telling me that He called me to be a pastor. That was the witness in my spirit. Everyone’s witness in the spirit is different. You should spend some time with yourself so that you can learn what yours is.
God Speaks through Nature
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.“
Last August I went on a solo retreat. It was just God and I. On Day 2 of the Retreat I went on a Prayer walk in the Park close by. I allowed God to direct my feet. God got my attention by illuminating the path He wanted me to walk. The trees became sharper and I knew that’s where God wanted me to go. Each path I walked, God had a hidden message that was revealed because I was listening for His voice. You can check out my journey here: Whisper: Hearing God Retreat Day 2. There are many times that God has spoken to me through the trees and the wind. Last year at the height of Covid, God used the direction of the wind to reveal to me that healing was coming.
This is the meaning of the 4 Wind direction:
North Wind – Deliverance (Songs of Solomon 4:16)
South Wind – God’s peace + Spiritual Truth (Job 37:17)
East Wind – Destruction (Exodus 10:13)
West Wind – Restoration (Exodus 10:19)
The wind blew east as Covid came in and it blew west as the numbers began to drop. It gave me hope. Listening for God in nature is amazing because He is literally speaking through His creation.
Here are some other ways that God speaks to us:
Angels – Then a hand touched me and made my hands and knees shake. The man [angel] said to me, “Daniel, you are highly respected. Pay attention to my words. Stand up, because I’ve been sent to you.” ~ Daniel 10:10-11
Audible – The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. ~ 1 Samuel 3:10-11
Signs – Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. ~ Judges 6:36-38
Trance – About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. ~ Acts 10:9-11
Animals – When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” ~ Numbers 22:27-28
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