Prayer is a spiritual discipline that most Christians are familiar with but most of us are frustrated with at times. Why don’t Christians pray more? We don’t know how. If you didn’t grow up in church, or even if you did, praying can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you grew up in a formal church where the pastor […]
When it comes to knowing the will of God and hearing God’s voice, there are four primary ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us today. These aren’t the only four. God can speak to us however He wants. But these are the four primary ways he speaks to us today through his Holy Spirit.And the key is, when there’s a big decision or a big step of faith, God will speak to you in multiple ways, so that if God’s asking you to take a step of faith, you can know it’s God telling you to do it and not just the bad burrito you ate last night.
1. The first primary way that God speaks to you is through His Word, which is why getting into God’s Word is so important. One of the great things about God’s Word is that he clears up a lot of things we might wonder about. For instance, if you wonder whether or not it’s God’s will that you tithe and trust him with the first 10% of your income, you don’t have to wonder. It’s in God’s word. That question has already been answered.
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s okay to seek revenge on someone who hurt you, the answer is no. You don’t have to wonder that. It’s already in Scripture. God’s already told you. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s okay to do something that will harm you or hurt other people, you don’t have to wonder. Your body is a temple and you’re supposed to love your neighbor as yourself. One of the many reasons we have the Bible is so that we can know what God’s will is. And God will never ask you to do something contrary to his Word. God doesn’t contradict himself. So, get in the Word.
2. The second primary way God speaks to us is through prayer. When we pray, it’s designed to be a dialogue, not a monologue. When you practice the discipline of not just asking God for a bunch of stuff, but listening, interceding for others, the Holy Spirit will lay on your heart and bring to mind his will for you. It will always line up with what his Word says, it will never contradict it. But for instance, you might be praying that God would forgive you as you forgive others, which is part of the Lord’s Prayer, and God may bring to your mind a situation where you haven’t forgiven something. That’s God telling you: you need to make things right. You need to forgive.
3. The third primary way God speaks to you is through circumstances. Gideon is an example of this in the Old Testament, and the Bible mentions several times in the book of Acts where the Holy Spirit used circumstances to speak to the believers. Many Christians have experienced this. You’re praying about a job position perhaps, and you know there would have to be several things that worked out, and one thing lined up one after another in such a way where you thought, “Hey, there’s something bigger going on here, God may be speaking to me.” Or maybe there’s an opportunity that you really want to pursue, but it seems like one thing after another keeps getting in the way. God may be warning you.
Another way is when you go through a season where everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Where it seems like the world is out to get you. We’ve all gone through that. It may be God trying to get your attention through circumstances. Again, when God speaks he usually does so in multiple ways and they’ll all line up, so be sure what you’re reading in the Word and what you’re hearing in prayer lines up with the circumstances around you.
4. The fourth primary way that God speaks to you is through other believers. The amazing thing about the Holy Spirit is that He doesn’t just live in you, he lives in all believers. Wisdom isn’t just available to you, it’s available to all believers. So, if you’ve got a big decision, and you think God may be telling you to take a step of faith but you’re not sure, find a Christian mentor that you respect, someone that you know talks to God, and ask them. “I think God may be telling me to do this, am I crazy?”
Did you know that God gives some Christians the spiritual gift of wisdom and others the spiritual gift of discernment? Some Christians have a supernatural ability to help others make wise decisions. God speaks through them! Take advantage of it!
So, if you want to know what the will of God is, or if you’ve got a really big decision and you’re just not sure, get in the Word. Pray continually and listen to God. Watch for God in your circumstances and seek wisdom from the mature Christians around you. And before you know it, you’ll know what the will of God is. And the amazing this is, when you do, you’ll discover the courage needed to take that step of faith and change your world.