A quick overview of the Bible will affirm that God spoke to countless people through numerous signs: a burning bush (Exodus 3), a donkey (Numbers 22), a parted sea (Exodus 14), a whale (Jonah 2), and many angels (Luke 1). But does God still speak to humans through miraculous signs today? Do signs from God still happen or is that just something that happened during Bible times?
Even in the today’s scientific world, there continues to be a fascination with the supernatural and communication with God. There’s an innate desire to know the One who made us, something that inexorably draws us from the daily to the divine, from the mediocre to the majestic, from the grind to God Himself. But will He speak back? Does God still speak through signs and more importantly, how do you know if you’ve seen one?
God absolutely still speaks to humans today through signs. Signs don’t have to be bush on fire or an angelic messenger. Signs are simply the supernatural breaking through to the natural world, the metaphysical made real in the physical. Signs from God are unexplainable yet undeniable. There is no indication from the Bible that miraculous signs stopped when the Bible was finished. In fact, what we see from Scripture is the timelessness and unchanging nature of God: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). So if God remains the same and God spoke through signs and wonders time and time again, why wouldn’t He continue to do so today?
If God still speaks through signs and wonders today, why aren’t we seeing them? Just because we see them repeatedly in the pages of Scripture doesn’t mean that they are commonplace. We can notate hundreds of signs in Scripture, but the timeline of those signs happened within a span of 1500 years where hundreds of millions of people lived and died, the vast majority of them never seeing a sign from God.
But just because signs from God are rare doesn’t mean they’re impossible to see, if you have eyes to see them. Don’t be surprised when God doesn’t get your attention through a burning bush or a hungry whale. When God spoke to Elijah in 1 Kings 19, it wasn’t through the fire, the wind or an earthquake, but through a “gentle whisper.” If your life is too fast, too loud or too distracted, you’ll most likely zoom right past a sign from God, wondering why God isn’t speaking to you. When God invites us to know Him in Psalm 46:10, what does He give as the pathway? “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Receiving direct communication from heaven, a sign from God, requires faith, devotion, stillness, and a humble and listening spirit.
Many times God will speak to you through prayer. As you develop the discipline of prayer, you’ll discover that prayer is 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. 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. That’s a sign from God.
A common sign from God is supernatural circumstances (like a burning bush or a hungry whale). Perhaps you’re praying about a job position and you know there would have to be several things that work out, and in the end 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.
A common sign from God 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. It may be God trying to get your attention through circumstances. It’s a sign from God that hurts, but it’s still a sign.
The amazing thing about God is that His Holy Spirit 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. I think I’m receiving a sign from God. 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 determine whether they’ve received a sign from God. God speaks through them! Take advantage of it!
Above it all, the overriding rule to make sure that the sign from God you received is actually a sign from God and not a deception from the enemy is to make sure that it lines up with God’s Word. The Bible is God’s written revelation to mankind, a tangible sign from God that has stood throughout the ages. In this incredible book we can see the nature and character of God, as well as read God’s commandments to his people. If a sign from God you’ve received goes against the teachings of Scripture, then it’s a false and deceptive sign. God will not contradict himself. He will not tell you to do something that is contrary to what He has already established through His word.
So go out there and seek a sign from God. Why wouldn’t God want to speak to His children? Make sure your eyes are open, your heart is humble and your ears are listening. Dig into Scripture, lean into prayer, watch the circumstances around you and seek the wise counsel of other believers. And be ready to follow the sign you receive, because signs from God are divine directives to be obeyed, not optional opinions for your amusement.