Monday, October 10, 2011

Ways God Speaks to us - Part 3

In the past two posts, I mentioned 4 ways that I've noticed God speaks to us and I gave you examples of the first three. If you missed them, please check the archives.  My hope is that many of you have begun to realize that God has been speaking to you for years and perhaps you didn't know it. If you did know it, I hope I've given you affirmation of God's constant presence and involvement in your life.

Here are the four ways. (Not an exhaustive list. Just my experience)


  • Gently guiding us / Revealing
  • Discerning/Perceiving
  • Direct speech by Angels
  • Direct speech by Holy Spirit
Today we will deal with the fourth way God speaks to us and the most rare. Directly. I'm including dreams and visions in this category because through them God is speaking to us one on one.  Here are some examples from Scripture. Notice how specific the communication is:
Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 where Jesus Himself calls to Saul saying "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul answers and he and Jesus tells him to go into the city and wait.
Ananias, the same chapter, received specific communication from Jesus in a vision telling him to go to a certain house and lay hands on Saul to receive his sight.
Peter sees a vision while on the housetop in which Jesus tells him specifically that "What God has cleansed, you must not call common." Jesus was instructing Peter to accept Gentile believers into the fold.
Philip was instructed by an angel to travel down a certain road where he saw a chariot and a eunuch in it who was reading Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”  So he did and was able to explain the Scriptures to this man and he believed!
Acts 18: Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Acts 23: But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
So, you see that when the Lord speaks to us directly, it's normally to give us specific directions or tell us specifically what to do or what will happen.  Isn't that amazing? Some people would say.. yea, that was in Acts. Things like that don't happen today? Really?

I'll give you an example from my own experience. Years ago, I was stuck in a dead-end job that I absolutely hated. I had been a Christian for a few years and I was begging God to deliver me. I was sure He had something else for me to do with my life. I had spent years searching different job opportunities.. school options.. and came up empty. Finally at the end of my prayer walk one morning before work, I simply lifted my hands and gave it all up. I completely surrendered to God and told Him that I'd stay where I was.. that I'd scrub toilets for a living if that's what He wanted. I felt such peace after that and a couple yards later as I was nearly home I heard this voice. It wasn't audible. It came from deep within me. And it spoke with authority and yet it was full of joy. The voice said. "I've got something for you to do that will blow your socks off!"  It literally said that. I laughed at first. But then I wondered where it came from because I wasn't thinking about jobs or my future anymore, I was just praying. So, I told God that if that was Him, Thank-you and I went on my way. At the time I wasn't writing anything. I hadn't written in years.. but two years later, I got my first publishing contract and they've been coming ever since.  I now know that was God's voice I heard.

Since then I've heard Him speak directly to me several times. Usually in instruction or answering a question or just telling me He loves me. Sometimes it's a warning. People tell me it's just my imagination. Satan tries to tell me I'm crazy, but I know the Lord's voice. 

 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:4

How do you know it's the Lord and not you or Satan?  Here's some criteria that may help you.

It's clear and specific.
It's directed at you
It brings peace
It is authoritative
It seems to come out of nowhere when you least expect it.
It never defies anything in Scripture.
So, what about you? I'd love to hear your stories!!  Have you heard from God?


  1. Awesome post, MaryLu. I think it is great how you can put in your own personal experiences with your posts. It brings it all down to our level. A lot of the Bible examples can be quite intimidating, but when someone that you know gives you an example, it helps you to know that God still speaks to His children. God has guided me my whole life, quietly. I can't think of any time where I heard His voice, but there are a couple of times when He has opened my mouth for me. I don't remember the circumstances, but I do remember how blown away I was when it did happen. Thanks again for an uplifting, thought provoking post. :)

  2. I have one specific example of when God spoke to me very clearly. I don’t like telling this story much because it makes me feel like an idiot, but here it goes. There was this guy that I truly thought was the one God had for me. He was everything I was looking for, and I was highly attracted to him. I had told him of my interest, but it turns out that was in a relationship. Soon after I found this out, he proposed to her. This whole time I was praying that he still was the one. About a month after they made the announcement, she broke off the engagement. I reminded him again that I was still interested, but he said it was too soon to think about a relationship. Soon after that they got back together only to break up again. It was the same process that went on for about another year. I finally just gave up, and while I still was interested in him, I stopped praying and I just left it alone. One day I decided that if I really thought he was the one, I needed to keep it in prayer and ask God to work in his heart. Prayer is not something I was really consistent with at the time, and even though Scripture warns against it, I would tend to just say a bunch of words over and over, thinking God would hear me if I talked more. All of a sudden I heard deep within me a voice that said I needed to go read a section on prayer from a book that I read a really long time ago. I went and got the book and I found the section on prayer right away (it was hidden in a middle of a chapter, and the chapter wasn’t even on prayer). I read through it and the author spoke of praying consistently and praying specifically for what we wanted. I knew that was what God wanted me to do. This was a Thursday night, so I prayed that this guy would contact me on Monday. I prayed every chance I had. Monday came and went, and he did not contact me. I did not give up and I continued to pray, only I changed it to a Tuesday that he would contact me. Tuesday night I logged into Facebook and I had a message from this guy asking if I wanted to chat on the phone. To make a long story short, It was a fun couple months getting to know him. Then out of the blue, he just disappeared off the face of the earth and later told me to stop contacting him because we would never be together. I was shocked, because he made it seem like we were getting to know each other for more than just friends (haha, when someone tells me that he is really in need of a wife, and he was afraid to say anything at first because it tends to scare people off….forgive me for thinking that he wanted more). This was an answer to a prayer and then he just ditches me?! That was over a year ago, and I have now realized why God did what He did. Sometimes God gives us what we ask for in prayer, to show us that He knows what is best for us, even though we think we know what is best. I doubt I would have given him up unless God showed me what sort of man he really was. Otherwise, I would have still looked at him as “the one” and I would have wasted so much time pining over him. It also taught me to trust in Him and His timing. And it taught me the true power of prayer and that God truly does hear us! Funny enough, that guy recently got engaged again (to a different girl), only to have the girl break the engagement again. God really does know what He is doing!!!

    Wow, that was long! I hope you all don’t think of me a weirdo now, hehe! Like I said, I don’t like telling that story because it makes me feel like dumb, sappy, female! My life has much improved since then. I have learned to guard my heart, and trust in Him far more than I was doing! I still am praying that God would bless me with marriage and children soon, but I only want the one He has for me and I want it to be on His timing. That is my one, clear experience! Thanks for posting this, MaryLu! =D

  3. Thanks Debbie! I know.. it's pretty awesome when God speaks to us.
    Emma. Loved your story! God is so faithful and loves you so much, He couldn't let you get entangled with a man who would end up hurting you. Just goes to show we really don't know what's good for us most of the time! Sometimes God does give us what we want to teach us a lesson. Thankfully, in your case, it was a short lesson! And not too painful. And it seemes to have taught you SO MUCH! Yes, you can trust God in all things. He will bring that special guy into your life at the right time!
    Thanks for sharing.. and no, I don't think you are a weirdo. I think you are a special lady who is humble and honest and kind.

  4. Thanks, MaryLu! I appreciate your kind words!

  5. Emma, to be honest, I was worried as I was reading your story and got to the part about he and the first girl breaking up multiple times. I was thinking that you were going to say you ended up with him, and I just was thinking, he doesn't sound like a commitment kind of guy. I was so glad to read that you and he are not together! I don't want that to sound mean, I just hate it when I see girls going out with guys that are bad for them. Or vice versa.
    Anyway, I'm glad you came away from that trusting more in God and not being mad at Him like some would certainly have done. Thanks so much for sharing!! : )

  6. Hi Sarah! When you read it, I can totally see how you would think that at first! Praise God, I did not go down that path. I think my biggest issue was that one, I have an issue with wanting something so much that I tend to make myself think it is God’s will for me, when it never was. And then two, I had such a desire to get married and have children that I would throw myself at any man who showed even a slight interest in me. I am happy the Lord made everything work out the way it did, because it taught me so much. If it never happened, I am sure I would still be pining away for him. Your comment did not sound mean at all! =D

  7. I'm glad to hear that! : )
    And I bet God will spring the perfect guy on you when you least expect it. Lol! That's how it usually seems to happen.