Here are four ways that God speaks to us:
1. Peace or unease in your spirit
Colossians 3:15 says, “let the peace of God rule in your hearts”. The Greek word translated “rule” means to direct, to decide, and to be an umpire. In other words, God’s peace in our spirits is to be the decision maker in our lives. When faced with a decision, if God is saying “yes”, there will be a sense of peace / a green light in our spirits. If God is saying “no” there will be unease in our spirits. This is one of the number one ways that God will lead you.
2. Impressions in your spirit
Imagine that your eyes are closed and that someone is leading you by the hand. How will know where to go? You feel a tug! Even so, sometimes you will sense the Holy Spirit tugging / leading your spirit in a particular direction. You won’t necessary hear a voice. You will just feel impressed in your spirit that you are to do a particular thing. Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure”. God is working inside us, tugging our spirits in the direction He wants us to go.
3. Words in your spirit
God can also put an actual word or sentence(s) in your spirit. For example, the Holy Spirit said to Phillip: "Go near and overtake this chariot" (Acts 8:29). However, it is important to note that God’s voice will always come from your spirit, not your mind / head. This is because the Holy Spirit lives in your spirit. A simple way to distinguish between your mind and spirit is to realize that the voice of God from your spirit is not the product of your own thought process. You can’t “think up” the authentic voice of God. It will always be spontaneous, coming up from your spirit. In fact, the Hebrew word for "prophesy" is naba, which means to “bubble up”. God’s voice will bubble up from your spirit. It is also important that you train yourself to be sensitive to your spirit so that you can recognize when God is speaking to you from it. You can develop greater sensitivity to your spirit by praying in tongues often in your private time of prayer. The Bible teaches that when we pray in tongues, it is our spirit, and not our mind that is praying (1 Corinthians 14:14). Therefore, as we pray in tongues for prolonged periods, we are becoming more and more sensitive to our spirits. Also, as we spend time worshipping God, we become much more aware of His manifest presence. Therefore, spending time in worship helps us to become more sensitive to our spirit, as it communes with God in a special way as we worship.
On one occasion, Jeremiah saw in his minds eye a picture of a boiling pot, tilting away from the north (Jeremiah 1:13-14). This was a prophetic image which signified that disaster was going to come from the north to the inhabitants of Judah. It is important that you do not ignore pictures that appear in your minds eye when you are praying / worshipping. You will know that it is from the Lord, because there will be a clarity about the image that there isn’t with random images the mind produces. This is because this image is being displayed on the screen of your mind by the Holy Spirit. When you see such images, ask the Lord what it means. When you have the correct meaning, there will be a peace in your spirit that your understanding is correct.
God will never tell you something that is contrary to the plain teachings of the Bible. Always check that what you hear is consistent with the Word of God.
So, four ways that God speaks to us are:
1) peace / unease in our spirit
2) impressions in our spirit
3) words in our spirit
Dr. Stuart Pattico
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