How Does God Talk with Us?

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What are the many ways God talks to us? Below are some of the major pathways the Eternal utilizes to communicate his will to humans.

Angels, Angel of the Lord

´╗┐Angels, and the Angel of the Lord in particular, have been actively involved in conveying God's will to humans.

The "angel of the Lord" talked with Hagar and had her return to Abraham after he had her cast away (Genesis 16) and kept Abraham from sacrificing Isaac (Genesis 22). It spoke to Moses through a burning bush and commissioned him to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Exodus 3).

This "angel of the Lord" also blocked Balaam's journey to curse Israel on the command of Balak (Numbers 22). It appeared to Gideon and talked with him in order to strengthen him for battle (Judges 6) and appeared to a barren woman to inform her she would ultimately give birth to Samson (Judges 13). This spirit being also encouraged Elijah the prophet to eat and continue his travels toward the mount of God (1Kings 19).

The "angel of God" appeared to the Apostle Paul to inform him that, although his ship would sink, all lives would be saved (Acts 27:22 - 24).

Dreams

Dreams, which occur during sleep, are one of the primary ways God communicates his will. They are sometimes Biblically referred to as "night visions" (Genesis 46:2, Job 4:13, Daniel 2:19, Isaiah 29:7) or "visions of your head" (Daniel 2:28).

God can use dreams to convey what a person should (or should not) do, or to relay knowledge of future events. He also utilizes them to offer encouragement or to impart spiritual truth. See our article on dreams in Scripture for a list of the manifold purposes of such supernatural events!

The Bible records many individuals contacted by God through their dreams. They include King Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 20:3), Jacob (Genesis 28:12, 31:10), Laban (Jacob's employer, Genesis 31:24) and Joseph (Genesis 37:5, 9).

Others who received dreams from the eternal God include Egypt's Pharaoh (Genesis 41), Gideon (Judges 7), King Solomon (1Kings 3:5), Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2) and Daniel (Daniel 7). In the New Testament, Joseph (Jesus' stepfather), the Persian wise men (Matthew 2) and Pontius Pilate's wife (Matthew 27) all received dreams which talked to them.


Direct (or through Holy Spirit)

"I (God) will speak with him (Moses) mouth to mouth, even clearly, and not in dark speeches. And he shall behold the likeness of the Lord" (Numbers 12:8, see also 7:89).

And after falling to the ground, he heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" And he (Saul) said, "Who are You, Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the pricks" (Acts 9:4 - 5).

A Roman Centurion named Cornelius is told, in a vision, to request that Peter come and baptize him (Acts 10). The entire book of Revelation was revealed to the Apostle John through visions (see Revelation 9:17).

Foreshadow (shadow)

God sometimes communicates to us by providing an outline (template, shadow) of spiritual principles and realities. Many times these shadows point to a future time when God's will and purpose will be fully manifested.

Therefore, do not allow anyone to judge you in eating or in drinking, or with regard to a festival, or new moon, or the Sabbaths, which are a foreshadow of the things that are coming, but the body of Christ (Colossians 2:16 - 17).

Now on the one hand, if He (Jesus Christ) were on earth He would not even be a priest since there are priests who offer gifts according to the priestly law;

Who serve as a representation and shadow of the heavenly things . . . (Hebrews 8:4 - 5, see also 10:1)


Prophecy

We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts;

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2Peter 1:19 - 21, see also 1Peter 1:10 - 12).

Signs (Token) and Wonders

Many times a miraculous sign or wonder is initiated by God to communicate his involvement in the affairs of humans. They can be used to denote something that has been set aside for a special purpose, to confirm a promise he has made or to convey his approval (or disapproval).

Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, 'Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it (the keeping of God's Sabbaths) is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations to know that I am the Lord Who sanctifies you' (Exodus 31:13).

And the Lord said, 'Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years, for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away Egypt's prisoners, and the Ethiopian exiles . . .' (Isaiah 20:3 - 4).

And He (Jesus) answered and said to them, 'A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet . . . (Matthew 12:39 - 40, see also 27:63).


Visions

Visions generally occur during waking hours although the Bible seems to indicate they can take place during a dream. They appear, in a person's mind, as detailed and vivid as anything else they have experienced.

Those who have experienced a vision include Abraham (Genesis 15), Jacob (Genesis 46), the false prophet Balaam (Numbers 24), and a very young Samuel the prophet (1Samuel 3). A vision talked with Nathan the prophet to tell him not only that King David's throne would be established forever but also that David's son (Solomon) would build a temple for God (2Samuel 7).

The prophet Ezekiel had many spiritual truths revealed to him through visions (Ezekiel 1, 8, 11, 37, 43). Daniel saw several visions, including one showing four great world empires (Daniel 7) and the Ancient of Days (God) sitting on his throne (Daniel 7:9 - 10).

Peter, James, and John saw the transfiguration of Jesus in a vision and the appearance of Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1 - 9). Stephen, the first martyr, was blessed with a vision of God's throne before he perished (Acts 7:55).

Writing

The last way God talks to us is through the Bible which is, "able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus" (2Timothy 3:15).

All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (2Timothy 3:16 - 17).

Recommended Articles
Whose Dreams Are In Scripture?
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What Exactly Is Spirit?
Where Were Books of the Bible Written?
When Will All Things Be Fulfilled?
Wonders of the Ancient World
What Is the Inspired Order of God's Word?

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