- God communicates through His Word. He sometimes communicates to you when you meditate on His Word - gradually breaking a thought down, working it over and over in your mind. His word has basic principles you can follow for guidance and direction in determining His will for you. If you receive a message that does not agree with the Word of God, disregard it because God never contradicts His Word (Ps. 119:4-5, 24).
- God communicates through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will tell you whatever He hears from the Father and He will glorify Jesus (John 16:13-14). In the Old Testament, the presence of the Holy Spirit was selective and temporary. The anointing was given as a temporary gift to provide God's powers and direction in some area of service. After Pentecost, however, the Holy Spirit became a universal and permanent dwelling in believers.
- God communicates by engineering your circumstances. He often speaks to you in the language of your circumstances, but it takes discernment and wisdom to determine if these circumstances are intended to give godly direction. Prayer, Scripture, circumstances, and the counsel of other believers must agree in the direction you sense God leading you.
- God communicates through godly men and women. Counsel from those you know to have a pure and trustworthy walk with God is invaluable when you're moving toward a major decision (Prov. 12:15, 15:22). Advice from mature Christians should confirm a message God has already given you, not send you off in a new direction.
- God communicates through His servants in the ministry. He has called certain people today to speak for Him. Sometimes He will use a message or sermon to bring needed light when you are facing a difficult decision (Is. 6:8-10) These messages should confirm what you already think the Lord is saying to you.
- God communicates audibly. Just as He spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus, God's voice can come as an audible sound, not just a mental impression. Peter Marshall, the Scottish preacher who later became chaplain of the U.S. Senate, said he heard God's audible voice call out his name twice on a dark night.
- God communicates through visions and dreams. If you believe that God may be trying to speak to you in one of these ways, prayerfully consider the details of your dreams or vision and remember they may represent symbols or principles, not necessarily absolutes.
Note: Remember that God's communication will leave you with a sense of spiritual uplift, as it stills you, leads you, reassures you, enlightens you, encourages you, comforts you and convicts you to His truth.
Taken from Choosing God's Best by Don Raunikar. Copyright (c) 1998. Used by permission of Multnomah (r) Publishers, Inc., Sisters, Ore. Contact your local bookstore to order.
Dr. Dan Raunikar is director of New Life Clinics in Houston, Texas, where he works as a psychotherapist specializing in singles issues. He leads Christian singles seminars nationwide and oversees Lifehouse, a home for young women experiencing crisis pregnancies. He and his wife, Kimberley, live in Houston.