We hear people say it often. God told me this. God spoke to me. I have a word from the Lord. Sometimes we hear their claims with skepticism, simply because we know the person too well. Or we know that person did not hear from God because his "message" did not meet the standard of Truth in His Word.
How do we hear from the God of the Bible who so clearly spoke to Adam, to Noah, to Moses, to Abraham, to the Apostles of the New Testament? Did He stop speaking to individuals after the twelve died? Of course not.
God speaks to all people—to you and me. Jesus said, My sheep know my voice. Pastor Jack Hayford explains at least five ways to hear what He wants us to know.
First and foremost,
God speaks through the Scriptures and His Son Jesus, who is the incarnate Word and the true manna from heaven. Many a time, I have opened the Bible and found a word specific to my inquiry.
The Lord speaks through creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). You can't look up into the night sky without something stirring in your heart that says, "God is mighty." You can't hold a baby in your arms without sensing the marvel of His creative dynamic.
God speaks to our heart. Our conscience "bears witness" (Romans 2:15). Everyone at some time or another, has sensed within themselves the rightness or wrongness of an action. People have an intuitive feeling there is Someone to whom, they are accountable.
God speaks through circumstances. By the very nature of circumstances we face in our lives—whether beautiful or frightening—there comes a revelation of our dependence upon God.
God speaks by His Voice. The conclusive revelation is in the Scriptures, but the Scriptures are filled with God speaking to people.
On that great day of Pentecost, the day the Church was born, Peter rises to preach and interprets what God had said 800 years earlier through the prophet Joel:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days," says God, "that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy." - Acts 2:17-18
God's goal in coming to work through human beings is to fill people with His Holy Spirit and enable them to prophesy. Still, we must always be careful to differentiate between what God has said in His Word, and whether there is a biblical basis to what a person shares as prophecy. The Spirit and the Word always agree.