How God Still Speaks Today Through Dreams and Visions

Liz Pineda

Contributing Writer
Updated Nov 29, 2023
How God Still Speaks Today Through Dreams and Visions

Back in the day, I envied God’s servants for having the opportunity to hear God’s audible voice as they sought His guidance.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17 KJV)

Back in the day, I envied God’s servants for having the opportunity to hear God’s audible voice as they sought His guidance.

To hear God’s voice like David:  “Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.” 1 Samuel 23:2 NKJV

Or like Samuel: "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:1-10

Don’t we all wish there was a direct line to heaven—giving God a call when we need Him most or even for a quick chat?

Hearing God’s voice audibly may not be possible in today’s world if we were to believe what many present-day preachers assert. Some church leaders believe that God no longer communicates with us in the same manner as He did in the past.

They all confidently stand by such conviction with utmost certainty. However, I do understand these preachers adhering resolutely to this particular stance. Many false prophets and teachers claim to have heard God’s voice in order to deceive believers, manipulating them for financial gain. That is a fact, but it does not necessarily mean that all are tarred with the same brush.

The truth is—there are compelling life testimonies of real people whose lives were positively transformed following a transcendent experience with God. Some were fully conscious, while others had such transcendental encounters during a near-death experience.

What makes their stories compelling and convincing can be attributed to the following factors:

-Genuine and radical life transformation occurred after their supernatural encounter with God.

-Some of them used to belong to terrorist organizations but chose the path of peace after hearing God’s audible voice.

-Some are known atheists and others are haters of God but became believers after a supernatural encounter with the Almighty. (Atheists are known to believe in ideas they witness. They stubbornly reject views they regard as unfounded or forcefully thrust upon them.)

-A number of them are well-respected experts in their field, such as surgeons, scientists, university professors, etc. (Many of these people were initially apprehensive about sharing their supernatural, spiritual experiences with God for fear of losing their professional license and being labeled a lunatic).

I have done research on some of these people and was inspired by their incredible, life-changing testimonies.

Pastor Charles Stanley on Hearing God’s Audible Voice

The late Pastor Charles Stanley was one of the most well-respected Southern Baptist pastors worldwide. His integrity and unflinching devotion to God are truly remarkable. He often touted the crucial significance of listening to God in acquiring invaluable guidance and direction toward a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. During one of his sermons, he shared with his congregation how listening to God led him to discover God's purpose for His life. 

Pastor Stanley asserted that he heard God's audible voice. A statement that raised some eyebrows even among some members of the Christian community. Nonetheless, as he related this mystical experience with God, you could see a bit of discomfort on his face. He looked apprehensive yet gave a straightforward answer before toning his statement down.

Here's what he said: "Somebody says, 'Does God speak audibly?' I don't think He does 99.9 % of the time. Somebody asked, 'Has He ever spoken to you in an audible voice?'" 

At this point, Pastor Stanley’s face reflected a sense of trepidation. Viewers could sense his inner struggle to blurt out what he had in mind. Thus, in order to avoid the repercussions of being misunderstood, he expressed it in a way that would still get his message across without sounding eccentric or irrational.

He did so by saying, “I would only say, for me personally, maybe once or twice I heard it! But that's not normal. Two critical times. Did I hear Him say, 'Charles!'? No, I didn't. I would have fainted if I heard it. So, I did not hear that. Let's put it this way—it was so loud and so clear, it was as if it were audible."

When Pastor Charles Stanley said, “Did I hear Him say, 'Charles!'? No, I didn’t.” 

He didn’t—not because it wasn’t audible enough. It was audible; it’s just that God’s discernible voice differed from that of humans—not from how it sounds. According to those who claimed to have heard God speak to them, God’s voice sounds like an audible human voice. There was a sound, a perceptible voice, but it was soft, gentle, and seemed to come forth from the depths of one’s Spirit—hearing God’s voice from your Spirit in an audible way.

What Pastor Charles Stanley experienced was encountered by many others whose lives were forever altered after such a transformative, life-changing experience with God.

According to a study by Tanya Marie Luhrmann, a psychological anthropologist, around 10 percent of Christians attest to having heard God’s audible voice.

Thus, it is presumptuous to declare that God no longer speaks to us in an audible voice. As Pastor Stanley once said: “Sometimes people say, 'I don't believe God speaks today.' Well, let me just say this. You are absolutely wrong! God speaks today, and what He says to each individual, He says according to what the need is and what's His plan for your life. That's why developing a listening heart is so very important."

Pastor Stanley’s Personal Testimony

One Saturday morning, Pastor Stanley claimed to have woken up feeling peculiarly anxious and restless. He instinctively knew such an unsettling feeling was from God. He, however, was oblivious to what these disconcerting feelings of anxiety were about. Hence, at around 9 o'clock that Saturday morning, he got down on his knees and sought God for an answer.

Pastor Stanley related: “I was so restless that I told God, 'What in the world are you saying?'"

“What He said to me was so unlike what I had expected, He said, 'I want you to go to the mountains and spend these three months and just relax and trust me.' Oh, that sounds selfish! Go to the mountains? It just so happened that a close relative had a house up there. So, we're gonna pack up and go to the mountains for three months and just take it easy and we can be serving God.”

And being an obedient servant of God, Pastor Stanley, despite finding God’s instructions a bit bizarre, relented and went with his wife up to the mountains of North Carolina for three months. But after just a month of staying up the mountain, a man approached him while he was out fishing with his wife.

According to Pastor Stanley, here’s how their conversation unfolded: "'Are you Charles Stanley?' I said, 'Yes, sir.' 'Are you a seminary student?' I said, 'Yes, sir.' To make the long story short, he said, 'Would you be willing to preach for next Sunday, our pastor has gone on vacation.'"

Despite not knowing anything about the church and not being familiar with the man personally, Pastor Stanley, without hesitation, said yes. He not only preached one time, he also preached the succeeding Sundays. And the next thing he knew, they were obliging him to be their pastor. At this point, Pastor Stanley declined because he still had to complete one year of seminary. Nonetheless, he eventually became their pastor after he graduated from his theological studies.

Pastor Charles Stanley further shared: “If I had ignored my restless spirit, I would have gone to California (where he originally intended to go) and probably would have done a mediocre job out of the will of God. And so watch this: His plan was totally unlike anything I would think but in order to get me to the mountains, that church, and teach at the Bible institute, and finally with a few other things going on, finally get me to Atlanta, and finally all over the world. Suppose I had said no to God. That's why it's important to listen carefully. Sometimes He gives us a restless feeling, sometimes He just whispers something quietly, "Here's what I want you to do."

Read Part 2 here.

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