God Still Speaks

Leading up to Christmas, as I was reading the accounts of Jesus's birth (especially from chapters 1 and 2 from the Gospel of Matthew), I was struck by God speaking to people through visions and dreams. Does it still happen today? I think so.

What are some ways that God still speaks to us?
  • The Bible (His written word)
  • Through community and others around us (especially those that follow Him)
  • Visions and dreams (maybe a little controversial of an idea nowadays, but can we rule it out completely?)
  • Directly to our hearts and minds
I wrote about this last point about 18 months ago, on Grace Church's Children's Ministry blog. I told the story of how I thought God spoke to Hannah. I figured it was worth re-posting in full here, with some edits.

God Speaks to Hannah
The other week, our daughter Hannah determined that she wanted to clean out a bunch of stuff from her room, to give to Goodwill. Part of it was just for the sake of clearing out clutter, but she also wanted to give to others in order to be a blessing. (Though clearing out the clutter is a blessing in itself to her Mom and I.)

For example, I asked her if she wanted to give her Barbie set to a younger girl that she knows, and she asked "Does Goodwill help people? Like when you buy things there, what do they do with the money?" I said that I think they provide job training, so that people can have jobs and provide for their families. She said that she'd rather the toys be sold so the money could help people.

By Tuesday evening, she had collected a laundry basket FULL of clothes, toys, and stuffed animals, and was planning to gather more on Wednesday morning. Before breakfast on Wednesday, she and I were reading our Bibles (when our schedules allowed, she would join me at the table for her own devotional time). Her verses for the day were 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, which encourage us to give freely and generously, in order to bless others. As soon as she read her verses for the day, she said, "Hey! This is exactly what I've been doing!" 

Hannah thought it was a neat coincidence that what she had already been doing (collecting things to give away) was what she read about.  I told her that I thought what happened was a huge deal.

How? I explained that I think that it was the Holy Spirit who had spoken directly to her heart days earlier, and that this reading confirmed that it really was something that God wanted her to do.

Sometimes when we have thoughts in our head, we may not always know if they are from us or from God.  For the majority of us, most of the clear direction we receive from God is from Scripture and from a community of believers, not from Him speaking directly to us. I rejoiced with Hannah and encouraged her that God spoke to her heart, and that she obeyed, and then God confirmed His words to her.

I have shared with my children the few times in my life that I heard directly from God, when He wanted to give me specific direction.  These include:

  • During the closing days of my athletic career at Furman, in a difficult losing season, I asked God, "Why should I continue working hard?  I basically all finished here." Immediately, I heard a voice in my head saying, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (from Colossians 3:23).  I later discovered how God used my time on the team to be a testimony for Him to others. (I wrote about this event on my other blog.)
  • More than 10 years ago, I was serving in a ministry that required hours of work every single weekend (Saturday night and Sunday afternoon), and could often get very monotonous. I asked one evening as I was cleaning up, "God, how much longer will I be doing this?" I heard Him say, "Just pour yourself out. This won't go on forever." Within a year, that ministry opportunity was completed.
  • Two years into my marriage, I felt like God was wanting something more from me, to be able to pour myself out for a short period of time. The immediate thought was "mission trip," which I had always been set against me doing. But I took steps of faith and God kept opening doors. In March 2003, I went on my first overseas mission trip to Nicaragua, an experience that such a blessing for me.

Don't discount the truth that God still speaks to us. In fact, if you are in a relationship with Him, it should be a regular occurrence. As in this the video in this post, God should be telling us things (as encouragements, commands, corrections, etc).

image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev via freedigitalphotos.net


  1. This is so wonderful!!! Your blog is SUCH an encouragement to me!! This post makes me think of 1 Timothy 4:12. ---Ashley

  2. Thanks for that encouragement for ME! And I never would have thought of that verse reference in this context, but makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing that.

    I Tim 4:12 --> "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."