I've heard it said that God sometimes speaks to us. How do I know if God is speaking to me?
Some years ago, I was in a Bible study with a group of people my age. Invariably, a number of them said God had spoken to them in audible ways. I could not claim that same level of clear communication from God in my life. One day, I asked earnestly, “What did God say and how did it sound?” I wasn’t trying to be rude; I really wanted to know. How does God speak to us today?
We know that God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. As 2 Timothy 3:16–17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” That is why it is so important to read the Word regularly, to know it better and better through the years.
Second, God speaks through faithful teachers and preachers who know the Word, who live as the Scriptures command, and who teach with humility. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit who “will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).
You will know if God is speaking to you if what you hear from Him is confirmed by Scripture. God will never contradict His own Word. Beyond that, there are times when you may receive impressions or promptings about things to do, people you should help or call. I think we also hear and see God in His creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Ps. 19:1).
Finally, God speaks to us through circumstances, difficulties, and sometimes suffering, to change us, to get our attention, to help us depend on Him.