Last time I briefly shared several ways God speaks to us through His Word, the inner voice, pictures (visions), and impressions. Let’s look at a few more avenues of hearing Him:
Dreams — Everybody dreams. Scientists believe dreams help cleanse our minds and emotions of the junk of the day, and this is probably true. But throughout the Bible, God often spoke to people through dreams, and He still does today. If you and your children remember your dreams, there’s a high likelihood that this is an avenue through which God desires to talk with you.
Dreams are a vast topic, which we can’t tackle here. However, if you want to explore how God might be communicating with you through them, I have written an extensive article series on dreams at my other blog, Out of the Fire. It’s free, and I think you will enjoy what you learn there.
Encourage your children to tell you about their dreams. Take the time to talk them through. Mention that God might be trying to speak to them through their dreams and suggest, “Let’s ask God to show us what your dream means.”
Checks and nudges — A “check” in your spirit is that little uneasy feeling you get inside when you are about to say or do something that you shouldn’t. A check is planted in you by the Holy Spirit to help you avoid sin or an unwise decision. Most of us tend to rationalize these away, thinking they are silly — and then we end up wishing we had acted differently.
A nudge is the positive side of a check. It is the Spirit prompting us to do or speak something which will further God’s plan for us. Following a nudge can take us from a place of danger into a place of safety. God also uses them to lead us into opportunities and connections with people which will benefit us or them.
Checks and nudges are one of the most common ways the Lord speaks, but they are subtle, like a soft whisper. The more we learn to pay attention and act upon them, the more sensitive we become to His leading, thereby coming into the greatest amount of blessing.
Peace or the lack of it — Very similar to checks and nudges, the Lord guides us by the absence or presence of His peace. Colossians 3:15 instructs us, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts ….” Again, this is a very subtle way of hearing the Lord, but it is one that all of us can tap into.
Christian songs — How often have you been focused on something else while Christian music was playing in the background, and suddenly a line from a song gripped your attention? Perhaps it reassured you, reminded you of God’s goodness, or convicted you of something you needed to get right with the Lord. God often uses Christian music to speak to His children. It is just as valid an avenue to hear from Him as any other means.
Sermons and Christian teaching — We hear both God’s general message and also personal tidbits meant just for us. The Holy Spirit emphasizes a word, phrase, or point to witness to our heart something which He wants to talk to us about. What one person takes away from a sermon may be quite different from what speaks to another person, because each of us has unique needs in any given moment.
Pastoral counsel and correction — We all need this, and we can expect God to speak to us through our pastors on a personal level. For children, parents fill a pastoral role of speaking into their lives on God’s behalf.
Other people — Someone says something which the Holy Spirit drills home to us. We can’t shake it. It might be a word of encouragement or a direction we should take. It might be a testimony of something good the Lord did for them, which in turn gives us hope that God will do great things for us, too! Often, the person has no idea that he is being used by the Lord to speak to us. God can even use non-believers to get His message across to us.
Inspired ideas — As we grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord, He plants inspired ideas within us on a regular basis. They are often so subtle that they seem to be part of our normal thinking patterns, rather than coming across distinctly as His voice. Romans 12:2 talks of the “renewed mind” we are to enjoy as believers. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says “we have the mind of Christ.” The flow of inspired, creative thoughts within us is a normal way to hear from God.
By now, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you have already been hearing from the Lord. Encourage your children to look for Him to speak to them in these ways, too. The list I have given is not exhaustive. If you’d like to share other ways you have experienced God’s voice, please feel free to comment on this post. I’d love to hear from you!
Next time we’ll talk a little more about practical steps you can take to help your children become increasingly sensitive to the Lord’s voice.
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