I spent over 25 years working in various Corporate and non-profit entities doing marketing/public relations, and executing internal and external communications. So, suffice it to say that communicating is very, very important to me. And, when you think about it, communications are important to you also. How can you know what someone else thinks, needs, or wants, unless they communicate that information to you? Normally when a person thinks about someone communicating with them, they tend to think in terms of someone speaking with/to them. But, speaking is only one way to communicate.
We can communicate with gestures, like the ones that I use with my hands, or a gentle nudge to my husband, when we need to leave for somewhere and another party with us is rather long-winded. There’s the rolling of the eyes that I did when I was a teenager and I thought that my parents were going overboard during a lecture. There’s the stiffening of my face, clenching of my teeth, or defiant crossing of my arms when I’m feeling tense.
We can communicate with sound, such as when we use an inflection in our voice that might indicate sarcasm. It might happen when we get extremely frustrated with something and we say something out loud such as “Well, isn’t that just great?” Or, think about a baby that cannot voice words, they communicate with us by crying, fussing, smiling, or laughing.
Of course, we can communicate in writing, as I am doing here. We can communicate in drawings, that is if you have artistic abilities (a gene that was not imparted to me – however, I can at least draw a stick figure!)
How about God? Just how does God speak to us? God speaks in a variety of ways, and just as He’s done in the past, He still does today.
God’s Word – God speaks to us through the Bible – the best selling book of all time, with over five billion copies sold and distributed (source: Guinness World Records, March 2015). The Bible was written by God, through the hands of 40 different authors, over a span of 1,500 years (source: GotQuestions.com). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, ESV) “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)
Jesus – God speaks to us through Jesus. And, we have the words of Jesus preserved for us in the Bible. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3a, ESV)
Nature – My husband and I travel all over the USA, and we see some of the most beautiful scenery there is to see. Having grown up as a “flat lander,” I especially marvel over the many majestic mountain ranges that we drive through. Even some of the things that we take for granted as being simple, are very complex, for example, did you ever look at a cross section of a blade of grass through a microscope? Everything in nature was made by God, from the simplest blade of grass to the complex system within each of our bodies. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalms 19:1, ESV)
Holy Spirit – When we become believers, God gives us the Holy Spirit. We hear through the spirit when we sense God speaking to us. Sometimes it sounds like a still small voice, while other times it sounds like God speaking to your mind. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26, ESV)
Other Believers – Trusted, godly, Christian friends or leaders will give you advice, or reveal one of God’s truths to us. “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1, ESV)
Circumstances – God is concerned with every detail of our lives, so much so, that He constructs elaborate plans with greater expertise than a master chess player, over long periods of time to get us to the place where we were meant to go. Most of the time I don’t recognize just how complex God’s plan is until I’m on the other side of a wilderness experience. “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9, ESV)
Music – If you listen to music and analyze lyrics of songs, you’ll realize that the lyrics to every song ever written conveys some sort of message. Some of the most uplifting truths that I’ve learned about God are reiterated through contemporary Christian music, praise & worship music, and good old fashioned hymns. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17, ESV)
Dreams and Visions – In the Old Testament, the Israelites depended upon signs and wonders. Many times God also spoke to His people through dreams. God spoke to Jacob, Joseph, and Daniel through dreams. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28, ESV)
Prayer – Often times, if I calm my mind down and enter into a time of prayer with God, I can sit during those prayer times and also hear what God has to say to me. I’ve reviewed times that I have journaled prayers to God, and what God reveals to me, and it’s quite amazing. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3, ESV)
However God communicates with you, there’s one rule to remember. I can only hear what my husband is saying to me if I am listening. If words are coming out of my mouth, well then I can’t hear what Jim is saying to me. If my mind is whirling around with thoughts all over the place while Jim is speaking to me, then again, I can’t really hear what he’s saying to me. I can only hear my dear husband speaking to me if I am quiet. That goes the same for hearing God. You can’t hear God if you aren’t listening.