How to Know if God is Speaking to You
How to Know if God is Speaking to You
Many believers and followers regularly participate in talking to God through prayer. Whether it’s seeking protection, health, or asking Him to weigh in on important decisions in our lives, the Bible tells us that we can come to God with any request. But how do we know when He is responding? How do we know when God is talking to us?
I’ve been asked some form of this question numerous times, mainly because, in my normal everyday conversation, I tend to use phrases such as, “I feel like God is saying,” “Gold told me,” “God is revealing to me,” and other phrases like these.
God does speak to me, but He doesn’t speak in some loud booming voice or even in an audible voice at all. There is no thunder, no flash of lightning, no mystical sign. No, it is a completely different thing altogether. But it is awesome!
God uses different ways to speak to each of us based on what He knows will get our attention. Sometimes, He uses numbers, sometimes billboards or street signs. He uses songs, the words of another person, a perfectly placed piece of text, and even our own thoughts and mind. God is always speaking, but we are not always listening. And while I hear God speak fairly often, there are plenty of times when I am not listening, and I wonder just how much I’ve missed.
I’ll say this, it’s a rare thing for me to be 100% certain that what I’ve heard is from God. More often than not, I’m not sure at all, but I act on what I hear because it is in alignment with the character of Jesus.
Here’s how I describe the process. Setting aside the fact that most phones have caller ID, when my husband calls, I recognize his voice immediately. Why? Because I know him! I’ve spent enough time on the phone with my husband that I can recognize his voice from the first word he speaks. This is what it’s like with God.
The more often we “answer the phone” when God calls, the more we begin to recognize His voice. He becomes familiar, and we start to understand the ways in which He speaks. Most times, it’s not until I’ve already acted on what I think God said that He later confirms it. And sometimes it takes a while.
A little over a year ago, God spoke to me at a stoplight. He used the vehicle in front of me to speak one very important word: escape. If you’d like to read about it, I blogged about the experience here. At the time, I had no idea what the word “escape” meant, but I felt fairly confident that it was from God. Over the next year, God began to unpack the meaning of this word, and at the beginning of 2015, I realized that “Escape” was to be the title of my next book.
After a month of working on the book, I was pulled away to work on another project. When I finally came back to it, I was stuck. I hadn’t touched the book or written a single word for two solid months. I knew it was time to start writing again, but I couldn’t remember where I left off, and I had no idea where to start.
God must have seen my plight because, as He’s done time and time again, He gave me an answer. Not so unlike the times before, the answer came in the form of one, simple word.
I met a friend for brunch that week. Little did I know, God would use her words to give me my answer. Our conversation that morning would ultimately become the turning point and transformational moment for the message of the book.
As soon as we arrived at the restaurant and sat down at our table, my friend said to me, “Hey, I think God gave me a word for you.”
Now to some, this conversation might seem strange, but I’ve learned, no matter how strange it might feel, it’s always good to listen when you think God is speaking.
Not sure what to expect, I replied, “Really? Alright, well let’s hear it.”
“The word,” she said, “is ‘escape.'”
I stared at her blankly, knowing she had no idea what significance that word held for me. She was completely oblivious to the fact that I was writing another book, and she certainly had no idea that the word ‘escape’ was the title.
I paused as I let her words sink in. Then without any other explanation I said, “The title of the book I’m writing is Escape.”
“You’re kidding?!” she asked incredulously.
I shook my head.
She was floored. “Wow, that’s incredible! Here’s the thing, though.” She continued, “The strange part is the way God gave me the word.”
“How did it happen?” I asked her.
“You’re going to think this is so weird.”
I chuckled, “Trust me, it can’t be too weird. I’ve seen plenty of crazy things when it comes to God. Nothing is too strange anymore.” (Famous last words.)
“Well, okay,” she continued. “On my way here to brunch, I was stopped at a stop sign…”
I held up my hand, signaling her to pause, “Wait.” (The beginning of her story was sounding a little too familiar.) “I already know what you’re going to say,” I interjected.
I nodded. “Yes, but go on.”
“Well, I was stopped at a stop sign,” she continued, “and the car in front of me was a Ford Escape. The word ‘escape’ leapt out at me. I don’t know why, but I felt like it was a message from God for you.”
I proceeded to tell my friend how, just the year before, God gave me the exact same word using the exact same delivery method. We were both completely blown away.
God still speaks. We just need to listen. Take Him at His word when you hear it, and trust that He will confirm it when the time is right.