As high and exalted as God is, He longs to let me in on his mysteries, so that I might better know His heart. How does he do this? Oftentimes, it’s not in the ways we expect.
I marvel at a good mystery, don’t you? There is something about the mystery of God that ignites a fiery desire, deep in my heart.
Yet, in all God’s mystery and majesty, His Word tells us that through a personal relationship, my Heavenly Father—Almighty God—longs to share His heart, with me.
“’Call to me and I'll answer you, and will tell you about great and hidden things that you don't know.'” (Jeremiah 33:3 ISV)
He longs to teach me about life, about His ways, about His heart and my heart, about His plan and purpose for the world and for my life.
As high and exalted as God is, He longs to let me in on his mysteries, so that I might better know His heart.
How does he do this? Oftentimes, it’s not in the ways we expect.
God revealed himself to the people of the Bible in miraculous ways, including in dreams and visions. God delivered warnings (Genesis 20:3, Matthew 2:13), gave prophecies (Daniel 7, Genesis 41:25-27), and communicated his will (Matthew 1:20-23, Acts 10:9-17).
Such dreams were often very specific, about certain people, places, and events, and delivered to certain individuals.
How Does God Speak to Us?
Our Heavenly Father desires closeness with us—a communion with each of His sons and daughters. So how does He draw us near?
God speaks in many different ways. Here is what Scripture says about how God speaks to us:
He speaks to us through His Word:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
He speaks to us through His people:
"Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21 ESV)
He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit:
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come." (John 16:13 ESV)
He speaks to us through His creation:
"...The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands." (Psalm 19:1 AMP)
"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20 NLT)
He speaks to man through dreams and visions:
"For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from perishing by the sword." (Job 33:14-18)
Why Does God Speak to Us?
Whenever God speaks, it will be to call us into His will for us, to draw us closer to himself, to teach us about and confirm the truth of His Word.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NLT)
In all the ways He speaks, through Word, Spirit or Creation, God desires to infuse us with courage and boldness as He sings over us.
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
God speaks so that we might seek Him, know Him and be saved by Him.
“Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life." (Job 33:29-30 NKJV)
“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” (Psalm 139:1 NLT)
Through His speech and revelation, God seeks to draw us in, to let us catch glimpses of “more” than what we thought we knew. When you learn to look for these glimpses, you will gain a hunger for more of Him, for His Word, and through this, He transforms our hearts.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 Berean Study Bible)
Through dreams, He might lead us into intercession, perhaps for a specific person, or situation.
"Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints..." (Ephesians 6:18 ESV)
Through dreams, He gives us deep revelation of the condition of our hearts.
“But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, ‘Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.’” (Genesis 20:3)
“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:22 NASB)
God may show us an area where He wants to cleanse us, or heal us, or deliver us. Perhaps He wants to give us confirmation or direction.
Through dreams, because of His love and mercy, He warns us.
“God speaks in different ways,
and we don’t always
recognize his voice.
Sometimes in the night,
he uses terrifying dreams
to give us warnings.” (Job 33:14-16 CEV)
He may reveal to us something that is to come in order to prepare us for it. However God speaks, He seeks to draw us into a deep hunger to know His heart and His will for our lives. Through His Word, Holy Spirit, creation, dreams, or visions, He points us to Christ.
A Prayer to Hear God’s Voice in Unexpected Ways
“He uncovers the hidden dimensions from darkness, bringing what is in deep shadow to light.” (Job 12:22 ISV)
“Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things from Your instruction.” (Psalm 119:18 Holman Christian Standard Bible)
I praise You and I thank You—that You express Your heart, that You express the beauty, and the glory of who You are—that we may KNOW You, here and now.
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20 NIV)
God, Your Word is our firm foundation. Lord Jesus, You’re our solid Rock—our way, our truth, our life, our salvation! And God, I thank You for Your Holy Spirit—our “truth navigation.” How You direct us and lead us into what is true. You give us sight to see, to hear, and to perceive what You are speaking.
It is written, “…blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). God I want to see what You are saying, I want to hear what You are showing me. Purify my heart and my senses, that I may be able to clearly see and hear what You are saying…within Your Word, by Your Spirit, through what You illuminate for me to see and to perceive in and through Your creation, and through the pictures that You paint for me to see and hear and perceive within my imagination. Surprise me, Lord, with what You desire for me to perceive from You, in beautiful, unexpected ways! For it is all, that I may know You more.
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Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Yolya
Heather Barr is a simple country girl living in North Carolina alongside her husband, Jason. They have two Blue Heeler pups, two cats, and eight chickens. Heather enjoys photography, spending time in the garden, and curling up with a good book. Heather loves writing about her journey into the Father’s heart, as she faces her fears, discovers who she is in Christ, and learns how to live life in the Secret Place of His presence. You can follow her daily journal at Life in the Secret Place, and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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This article is part of our larger Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.