You’ve heard it, I’m sure. You may have even said it to someone. “God told me…”
Does that mean that God spoke to you in an audible voice? Probably not.
Don’t get me wrong. If you asked me how God speaks to people, my answer would be any way He chooses. He’s God.
In the Bible, God communicated with people in numerous ways:
- Audibly (Noah Gen 8:15, Moses Exo 6:2, Job 38 and others)
- Through His priests, judges, and prophets (the Old Testament)
- Through His messengers (the angels)
- Through visions (Jacob Gen 46:2, Daniel 10:7 and others)
- Through the Holy Spirit (Luk 1:67, 2 Pe 1:21, Act 4:31)
- And let’s not forget God the Son who put on flesh and walked, talked, ate, and prayed with people (the Gospels)
- Through His Word, the Bible (2 Tim 3:16)
So why am I writing about this today?
So glad you asked!
I recently read a delightful book, The God Cookie by Geoffrey Wood. The God Cookie is about a young man who has grown up in church but has never really gone full-out for God. After a quirky conversation with his two best friends, he decides to go all in—whatever God wants. So what does God do in this story? He gives the guy direction through a fortune cookie.
Now, do I think God speaks to people through fortune cookies? No. Could he? Yes, if he wanted to.
I believe the primary way God speaks to us is through Scripture. When we’re in the Word, passages will grab our attention and not let go if we’re open to them. That’s one reason we’re supposed to meditate on Scripture (Psalm 119). That’s the reason why you can read the Bible over and over and always get something new out of it. It’s the living, breathing word of God. But what if you’re not reading your Bible? Does that mean God can’t speak to you? No, of course not.
In my experience, sometimes God “speaks” to me by popping a thought into my head, or compelling me to do something. There’s a passage in The God Cookie that does an amazing job of describing this form of hearing from God. Geoffrey Wood has graciously allowed me to share this passage with you. (So, if you meet him, make sure you say thank you!)
Excerpt from The God Cookie:
Maybe she cried because she lost her gloves?
This was a joke, a poor one, and he merely mumbled it to himself.
But God answered quite seriously.
Take the gloves back.
A strange thing and hard to describe. Whenever he tried to explain it (and he did later, when people asked), it always went something like this:
“So…God talks to you?”
Parrish would nod.
“And when God speaks to you, is it an audible voice?” they’d inevitably ask.
“If I said yes, would it make me sound more crazy?”
“Yes,” they’d say.
“If I just nodded, would you still get the message?”
They usually nodded as well.
“So I nod,” Parris would continue, “and the word yes appears in your mind?”
“Like that. A speaking in the head. The response to a gesture. One you don’t see, but has happened. More than intimation, less than audible. But words appearing, surprising ones, answers to questions I wasn’t asking, hadn’t even thought of yet, but they fit perfectly. And there’s peace.”
Excerpt used with permission. All rights reserved.
This topic isn’t without controversy. People may or may not agree that God works this way. Is this biblical? Well, if you believe this is directed by the Holy Spirit, then it is. But the Bible isn’t clear on the ways in which the Holy Spirit works. Just because you experience something, does it mean it’s from God? Well, that’s between you and God. Or me and God.
So let me hear from you. How has God spoken to you?