When my relationship with the Lord first began in 2012, the biggest stumbling block for me was understanding how He speaks to His children.
I think that we can all agree that the easiest, most straightforward way to know what His plans are would be to audibly receive a clear response. I thought, for a while, that this was the type of reply I was looking for – to literally hear from the Lord. I took the whole “receiving a response from God” thing to mean that to know what His will is for my life, I needed to hear it verbally spoken to me.
I have been following the Lord for seven years now, and I have received a lot of responses to prayer … but I have never once heard Him speak.
If that surprises you, I’m here to tell you that it surprises me, too. haha
One thing I did for a long time that really hurt my relationship with the Lord was asking Him a question, then sitting there and waiting for a response to come to me, right then and there. In this way, I was demanding His wisdom instead of putting His timing first. I didn’t ever mean to do it like this, but the more I asked and the less I heard, I eventually became impatient. I was so frustrated because I wanted to hear from Him, but when it wasn’t immediate, I convinced myself that He wouldn’t answer me at all.
On top of all this, I was only looking for one type of response. I wanted Him to say something to me, because I wasn’t at the point yet where I believed He could use other outlets to speak to my heart.
In this post, I open up on a subject I’ve never touched on my blog before. Today, I’m sharing with you twelve different ways the Lord has spoken to me over the years, because I want to encourage you to grow your faith in Him.
I also want to quickly add this: hearing from Him in the twelve ways I describe below always has been and always will be completely His doing, not my own! All it took was a willing heart and steadfast prayer. ❤
Being open to hearing from Him in the ways He chooses is what has opened up these doors of communication in my relationship with Him. In fact, His creativity is beautifully manifested in all the ways He speaks to me, and through these outlets, He has taught me so much more about Himself than He could have done through simply saying “yes,” “no,” and “wait” to me over the years.
12 Ways The Lord Speaks To Me
He speaks to me through …
1. The Bible. My favorite pastor and writer, Dr. Charles Stanley, has always stressed the importance of seeking the Lord’s guidance and instruction through the Bible. I used to doubt that this was possible, because I thought that the Bible just contained old stories and letters that couldn’t really be applied to life in the 21st century. However, from the moment I opened up my heart to hearing from the Lord through His Word, He began to take all the Bible verses I read and apply them to my life in countless ways. Through the Bible, He comforts me, teaches me, directs me, and even convicts me. Never think that He can’t use the Bible to speak to us, because He most certainly does!
2. Music. I cannot even tell you how many songs the Lord has used to connect with me. This is one of the strongest ways He gets my attention and speaks to me personally – through the lyrics of Christian songs. When I seek the Lord through music, He is faithful to meet me there. 💖
3. Peace. When I’m stressed out about something and I’m asking the Lord for wisdom on which path He wants me to take, I’ll know He has responded the moment He gives me peace about one of the decisions. If I continue to freak out about the situation after I know which path is the correct one in His eyes, then it’s usually because I personally want to take the other path. Eventually, I’ll come around to accept that His plans are greater than mine, and I’ll take the path He placed on my heart. I have never once regretted putting aside my own desires and following Him!
4. Discomfort. Similar to the last example I gave, the Lord will show me that something isn’t right for me by causing me to feel uncomfortable about it. The longer something doesn’t feel right to be doing or pursuing, the more I’m able to see that isn’t what He has planned for me.
5. Conversations. There have been multiple occasions where I was seeking the Lord’s guidance on a subject, and then He used a word or phrase someone else said as His answer. I can’t really explain how that works, haha – I just know that it happens when something someone has said grabs my attention, because I can tell that He’s using that to respond to me.
6. Books. Sometimes, it could be a fictional book, but more commonly, it’s a Christian living book. That’s why I love reading Dr. Charles Stanley’s books so much! Time and time again, the Lord has used Stanley’s wisdom to speak personally to my heart, which has deeply strengthened my relationship with Him over the years.
7. Inspiring quotes. This is one reason why I adore Pinterest! I have read a great many quotes that have helped me to see the Lord’s work in my life in new ways, which I am extremely grateful for.
8. Open doors. When opportunities come up that I acknowledge to be the Lord’s doing, then I can definitely say I see His hand at work in those situations! Sometimes, those doors are ones I had been asking Him to open in my life, but most of the time, they’re doors that I never would have requested to be opened. Regardless of the nature of these opportunities, they are a blessing every time.
9. Closed doors. This is the more painful counterpart to those open doors. lol and this can refer to doors that have always been shut, as well as doors that the Lord has shut in my life that used to be open! For most of these situations, it’s hard to come across a closed door, but I eventually come around to realize it was for my good and for His glory.
10. Blog posts. Who knew?? Haha, I have read more than one blog post in the past that the Lord used to teach me something. It’s a blessing when He speaks to me through fellow bloggers!
11. Repetition. This one may take a bit of explaining. There have been times in my life where I was praying for something, and then the Lord confirmed it by filling my life with that thing. For example, when I was first praying about Guatemala in early 2017, that word began showing up everywhere for me! He opened my eyes to all the places Guatemala is mentioned in my everyday life, which kept me thinking about the country and praying about it, as well.
12. Remembrance. There have been instances where a Bible verse came to mind, or a situation that the Lord came through for me, and this is to keep me continually mindful of how the Lord is at work in my life. All of this is done through His Holy Spirit within me. 💖
My prayer for you after you have read this post is that the Lord will open up your heart to receiving feedback from Him in a huge variety of places! There is no limit to what He’ll use to grab our attention and teach us something. In fact, the more I grow in my relationship with Him, the more I realize that I’ll never be able to accurately guess how He’ll speak to me next. ❤
How does the Lord speak to you?