Last week in my blog, we talked about the different ways that God speaks. If you have not got a chance to read that, it may help you to go back and read it. This week we are going to look at some of what some may call more “supernatural” ways that God communicates with us (although I believe they are all supernatural!).
4. Through Prophecy. Sometimes when we hear the word, “prophecy” our thoughts go toward people predicting when the world will end or when certain catastrophic events will take place. While prophecy is forthtelling in nature, true prophecy reveals the heart of God in a situation so that we see Him, ourselves, and others (and situations) clearly. I Corinthians 14:1-5 explain the nature of prophecy like this, ” Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him;however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied;for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”
From that passage of scripture there is no trace of prophecy instilling fear or negativity into a person or situation. Instead we see that after someone receives a prophetic message they should feel encouraged (this literally means to put courage into!). While there are times that God wants to use prophecy to warn or correct, the vast majority of the times He is longing to tell His children what He is thinking of them and how He sees them and the situations they are facing. Prophecy is God opening up the deepest places of His heart for us to see and hear. When we know how much He loves us, we will never be afraid of His voice.
From this passage we see that God wants to use every one of His children to hear His voice and heart then to share that with those around us. This becomes easier when we believe that God is speaking and wants to use us to do it! He also wants us to receive His love and words for us when someone has something on their heart to share with us.
5. Through Words of Wisdom and Words of Knowledge. How many of us can relate to desire to be fully seen and known and yet to be fully loved? Um….all of our hands should be going up! God speaking through words of wisdom and knowledge seem to be one of the most effective ways at God revealing this truth to us.
A word of knowledge is information received by someone specifically about a situation, a fact, or anything else about you or someone in your life. This information is supernaturally transmitted from the heart and mind of God and could not have otherwise been revealed to a person without supernatural revelation by God. Here is an example: Over twelve years ago I was having severe leg pain that was disabling and God spoke to me to turn on my television. As soon as I did there was a Christian minister who had a word of knowledge about me having an issue in my feet that was affecting my lower legs. They went on to say that God was going to heal that. What touched my heart is that at the very moment I was crying out for an answer about what was going on (I had not been diagnosed yet) my heavenly Father spoke through someone on the other side of the country about me. It is hard to not feel special after God reveals something so near to our hearts to someone just so we know how loved we are. Talk about a loving, attentive God!
A word of wisdom is another beautiful way that God communicates. I have seen our youngest daughter, Emily, walk in this (I mentioned her last week also!). Sometimes she just seems to “know” what to do in a situation. When there is something going on in relationships or another area of life, many times she has the wisdom to know what God would do. This is a gift that is desperately needed today because there are so many decisions and details and trials being thrown at us daily and we need to know the mind and heart of God on matters we are facing. (You can see the list of spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12:8 that describe words of wisdom and words of knowledge.)
6. Through Dreams. At times, this is a difficult area for us to navigate. We cannot always discern between regular dreams, God dreams, or demonic dreams-all of which are a reality. Dreams where Satan is trying to communicate his message of fear, confusion, hate, shame, etc. are a little easier to discern because we often wake up feeling yucky or afraid. We have complete authority over him through Jesus (Luke 10:19). For some of us, it is a new idea that God would want to talk to us through dreams.
There are so many instances of God’s people dreaming in the Bible. God often led them and spoke to them at night. Here are a few verses for you to study yourself: Genesis 37:1-9, Genesis 41, and Matthew 2:13-15. God seems to often communicate through dreams to cut straight through our human emotions so that we clearly hear what He is wanting to say to us. This is brilliant because as you and I both know, our emotions and thoughts have a way of getting in the way of hearing what God says. He is a tender Father who wants us to hear what He has to say to us and loves to continuously communicate with us-both day and night. Psalm 139:12 says that to God the night shines as the day so He just keeps on talking!
Personally, dreams have been one of the primary ways that God has been communicating to my family and I recently. Because of this I have been taking some dream interpretation classes and learning all I can about the way that God speaks through dreams so I can hear Him as clear as possible. I would encourage you to do the same. (Bethel Church in Redding, Cindy Jacobs, and Kris Vallotton have some great conferences and resources to help you do this.)
Again, this list is not exhaustive but hopefully give you some insight and broaden the ways in which we believe that God speaks. God is so infinite and awesome and will not be placed in any of our boxes. He is wild and free and passionate about His creation and pouring forth His heart to us. All He needs is an open heart and ears that are willing to listen. May we be found as those people!