HEARING FROM GOD Part 2
Dr Wole Gbogboade
WAYS BY WHICH GOD SPEAKS
Text: John 10:27
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” HCSB
The epitome of our relationship with God is to hear Him. John 10: 3-5.
The sheep is known by the shepherd; the sheep follow Him and will not follow any stranger. Therefore, if you have been hearing God in a particular way, you need to know God speaks in many ways. May we open our hearing ear, seeing eyes and understanding heart to whatever He’s saying to us.
If we don’t hear God, we are as sheep without shepherd. Hearing God gives you understanding of His ways and His things. John 15:15. These make us friends of God. The Lord said Abraham was his friend because: 1- I know him. Gen. 18:19 (KJV). Does God know you? Also, God has chosen him. Gen. 18:19 (NIV). 2- So that Abraham may direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord. You’ll find it quite difficult to direct anybody right if you don’t hear God.
Let me highlight some here as illustration;
1. Word: Bible is the written word of God or logos that a believer must read always and do what is written therein. Joshua 1:8 while Rhema is the spoken word of God that the true believer must be sensitive to hear. Heb.1: 1-3. Though, there are many ways through God speaks, the word of God (logos) is the authentic barrow meter by which one can know if it’s the Lord that has spoken. He will never contradict nor violate his word for any reason. Jesus told the Pharisees, you do err because you do not search the scripture….Mat. 22:29, John 5:39-40, 46-47
2. Inner Witness: The Holy Spirit in a believer witnesses to his/her spirit what the Lord is saying momentarily. 1 John 2:27, 7:38. God speaks more through inner witness these New Testament days because the Holy Spirit dwells in the believers. When you begin to hear within your spirit something you are not thinking about or a scripture, you need to pay attention because, the Holy Spirit might be prompting you to do something or give you direction, instruct, or answer some question in your heart. I Cor. 3: 16; 6:19
3. Prophets: God speaks through prophets to the nation, people group, king or an individual. Such prophet like Isaiah in the Old Testament or Agabus in New Testament and other prophets even now. Heb.1:1. However, the office of the Prophet like others in the five-fold ministry, is a governmental gift saddled with teaching and mentoring believers who are called into that office. Eph. 4: 11-14. Even, in the Old Testament, there was School of prophets where young prophets were mentored.
4. Word Of Wisdom: comes by the Spirit to tell you what to do or how to go about certain issue. It helps you to appropriate knowledge to solve problem or gives you clue to handle situations. I Cor. 12: 8
5. Word Of Knowledge: The Holy Spirit tells you something about somebody without your prior knowledge. Divine information on what the person is going through with a view to bring solution. I Cor. 12:8
6. Prophesy/Prophesying: You receive utterance by the Spirit to prophesy, to foretell things to come to the Church, the nation or an individual. I Cor. 12:10
7. Circumstances/signs: God uses signs or circumstances to talk to his people in many instances. For example, Jacob at the well in Padan-aram. As he entered, he saw some shepherds near a well. Soon after, Racheal approach the well to fetch water! Remember, he was going to his uncle to marry one of his daughters. He fell in love with Racheal immediately but, little did he know that that he was going to be a shepherd under his uncle for twenty years. Gen. 27:1-6. Same goes with Moses at Midian. Exo. 2:15-17
8. Face-To-Face or Mouth-To-Mouth: God spoke with Moses in this manner. Num.12:7-8
9. Godly Counsel: Nathan in the life of David. Ever since Nathan came into the life of David after the Bathsheba episode, God used Nathan the prophet and Gad the seer mightily in the life of David for godly counsel and direction throughout his life. The installation of Solomon as king after Adonijah’s self-proclamation was made possible through the counsel of Nathan. 1 King 1: 5: 46
10. Vision: Vision is what the Lord shows you by His Spirit when you are not asleep. The picture just comes to you. Num.12: 6. Peter saw vision that prepared him to go minister to a Gentile and a Centurion named Cornelius who had earlier seen a vision too. Acts 10: 1-6, 9-17
11. Dream: God spoke to Joseph, Jacob etc through dream.
12. Angels: God spoke through an angel to Manoah. Judges 13:1-20. Some angels announce to the shepherds the birth of our Lord Jesus and where He was kept in a manger. Luke 2:8-15.
He spoke to Paul about shipwreck without loss of life Acts 27:23-24.
He spoke to Zechariah on the birth of John the Baptist, his son. Luke 1: 11-17
These are some ways by which God speaks to His people. We are serving The Living God and because He is Alive, He speaks to His own. In view of these points, you need to pray not just to hear God but, to understand whatever He says. Secondly, it is clear that since God speaks in diverse ways, you can’t just limit yourself by asking God to speak to you just in dream instead, you need to discern when He is speaking.
It takes intimate relationship with God to understand the things of God: word of God, Rhema word (spoken word), revelations, dreams, visions etc. 1 Cor. 2: 10-11. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit after receiving His baptism and continue in prayer and the word, will help us to understand what He is saying. It is one thing to hear God, understanding is so crucial.
May the Lord give us hearing hear, understanding heart and grace to obey promptly. Amen
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