How do people hear God?
The Bible describes many ways in which people have heard from God over the years.
In the Garden of Eden in Gen. 3:8, God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day and talked with them face to face. Gen. 18 indicates He appeared to Abraham bodily as well, so it wasn't only done before the fall of man.
He communicated by dreams many times (Gen. 20:3, 6;28:12 and others) and visions (Gen. 15:1;46:2 and others). He also raised up prophets through the history of Israel to tell the people what they were supposed to do or what they weren't supposed to do. There was much more of the later and it was repeated often.
In the New Testament, people who are filled with the Holy Spirit can give direct words of knowledge (speaking true things that they would have no other way to know but by God), words of wisdom (speaking messages to help resolve a problem or deal with a situation in a way beyond their abilities), messages of tongues and interpretation (where one person gives a message in an earthly language that they don't know how to speak and the same person or a different person who also does not speak the language gives an interpretation of that message), and words of prophecy where a message is given by an individual giving direction or encouragement or inspiration or even what we would consider to be a future event that will happen. These can be read about in 1 Cor. 12-14. Other gifts of the Spirit include healing, miracles, faith, and very importantly the discerning of spirits to help ensure that what is said is from God and not from man.
In addition, the Holy Spirit will speak to individuals in their mind and can and does carry on conversations with them.
Large portions of some Bible books are revealed by God - Revelation and Daniel being good examples - where God or an angel delivered information to the writer. The Bible is still one of the primary ways that God transmits information to His people, although it wouldn't be audible. In addition, hopefully when you hear sermons, Sunday school lessons, or read Christian websites, you are reading or hearing information that God has prepared for you to hear through His servants.
Whenever man alone is involved, it is always proper to make sure that what you are hearing lines up with what the Bible says or with its principles. God is not variable. Neither is Jesus (Heb. 13:8). If you think God is telling you to do something that doesn't line up with the Bible, you need to listen better.
It helps when listening for God to get in a quiet place and worship Him for a while and then be still. Seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit and let Him guide your life. He has things to tell His church today. I encourage you to find a Spirit filled congregation to worship with. If that isn't possible in your area, then seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit on your own and make your own particular branch of your denomination Spirit filled. God is not a respecter of persons. He wants to fill every believer, every Christian church, and every Christian denomination with His Holy Spirit so we can all work together for His glory better.
Submitted by William Haller on