Calling All Angels – What I learned about Guardian Angels after I met my own

“I need a sign, to let me know you’re here.  All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere.”  

The first two lines of the 2003 hit song by the pop rock band ‘Train’ have always resonated with me. I often feel like God could perform certain functions to make himself more obvious to humankind. Perhaps God could stop a school shooter in a way the public could see, declare himself in the midst of an amazing cosmic sign in the sky, or interrupt a newscast with a major announcement. But what if God chooses more subtle, almost invisible ways of interacting with people? What if each person on the planet actually had an invisible being who was by their side every step of the way, from the moment of conception, all the way through natural death, as a representation of God? These invisible beings were charged, by that very same God, to help, guide, protect, and love them in every way imaginable throughout the course of their lives? 

The Bible declares that angels are ministering spirits meant to serve those who are inheriting salvation (Hebrews 1:14), and that angels ‘will guard you in all of your ways,’ (Psalm 91) among many other verses in the Bible that discuss these heavenly beings. However, I recently read two books that filled in a little more modern day detail about angels, and I will share what I discovered with you in a moment. But first, a story about the one time in my life where I believe I met my own guardian angel.

One night I prayed the following simple prayer: “Dear God, can you please somehow show me my guardian angel tomorrow? In Jesus’s name, amen.”

Looking back, I don’t remember what specifically prompted me to pray that prayer, but perhaps I wanted some kind of sign from God, so that I would know that what I was believing about God was actually true, and that I did have an angel that was guarding me every step of the way. 

The very next day after I said that prayer, I took the metro into Washington, D.C. and proceeded to exit the metro station. Suddenly, an African American woman approached me and loudly asked: “Excuse me!  Do you know where ____ is?” The destination she was referring to was located in the general Washington D.C. area, and I knew exactly where it was. I politely told her where to go, she thanked me, and then we both went on our way.

I proceeded to my office and was almost there when suddenly an older man approached me and asked: “Excuse me! Do you know where ____ is?” I told him where to go, he thanked me, and then he turned and walked away. Around 12 noon or so, I took a lunch break and walked outside when yet another random person approached me and asked me for directions.  This time, my radar was up and I studied the person more intently. I began to wonder if maybe these men and women were somehow angels presenting in human form. 

Later, I was heading out of my office building and walking toward the metro, when a young, shorter, handsome man in a long dark trench coat, who was several feet in front of me, loudly yelled out:

“Excuse me!” I stopped dead in my tracks, eyes wide. I slowly approached him and he slowly approached me. “Do you know where I can find ______?”  He stared straight into my eyes, and I could almost detect a hint of mischief in them. I gave him directions, but then paused a moment. I was just about to blurt out: “Are you my guardian angel?” But I didn’t.  He thanked me and then walked away. This is the part where I am supposed to say: “and then when I turned around to look for him, he was gone.” But I never did turn around to take that one last look.

As I departed, I recall musing at the time that in ten or more years of working in downtown Washington D.C., I had never had anyone, ever, ask me for directions.  Not even one person (and many years after that as well). And secondly, I remember smiling and thinking to myself: “I think I just met my angel.”

This is me and my former boss, Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire. This photo was taken right around the time I believe I met my personal/guardian angel. Loving my suit and super conservative hair-style!

Are angels among us?  I absolutely believe so! And I believe that every single human on the planet has one. In this post, I will take a closer look at the various roles and responsibilities of these mighty spiritual beings. Make sure you read all the way until the end of this post, where I share a compelling personal story that involved my daughter Claire when she was just a baby, immediately after we adopted her. 

So now let’s take a few moments to figure out a few things about angels (and this is what I have learned about angels since that day in Washington D.C.). 

Angels Attend:

Angels guard and protect people. The following story is a true account from my close friend from college, Jennifer.  Jennifer’s tale is taken word for word from a voice text she left me on my phone when I asked her to share her angel stories with me: 

From Jennifer:“We were riding in the boat on Lake Anna (a lake located in Northern Virginia), and my son Tyler was on the inner tube being pulled by the boat. I was nervous the whole time because he was only four years old. Suddenly, Tyler popped out of the inner tube I saw an angel pop up out of the water and catch him, and hold onto him. So I saw the head, the shoulders, the arms and the hands. My second angel sighting occurred when I was 19 years old and was driving down Arlington Avenue and this big box truck just started backing up into the street and I didn’t have time to stop. I closed my eyes and then looked up and saw a huge, probably 9 foot tall, angel. The angel was probably as tall as the box truck.  I would say he looked like a younger man, maybe late 20s, with shoulder length hair and a thick, flowy robe, with big strong arms and hands. The angel held it (the truck) there so that my car got by safely.”

The second true story was told to me during my freshman year in college by my roommate Cherith. This event occurred to her close friend, a boy who was living in Africa with her while she and her family were doing missions work. This is probably the most compelling angelic encounter I have ever heard about. 

From Cherith: “My friend and his father were out fishing in a slow moving river in Africa one afternoon, when suddenly, a very large and aggressive crocodile rammed up against their canoe and overturned it. The boy and his father were suddenly thrown overboard.  The crocodile proceeded to drag the young boy down to the bottom of the river. The boy, holding his breath, recalled seeing the crocodile begin to roll him along the bottom of the river, which is what crocodiles do to their prey as they prepare them to eat. Suddenly, a bright light appeared and two strong arms grabbed him by the shoulders.  The boy looked up and saw a large and powerful angel, dressed in a bright white robe, who pulled him straight up out of the water, very quickly. The angel then pulled him through the water to shore and then disappeared. His life was saved that day, due to efforts of this amazing angel sent from God.

In the book “He came to set the captives free” by Dr. Rebecca Brown, a woman that eventually left Satanism had an interesting twist on God’s protection in the following story:

“It was during that last visit to California that one of the incidents happened that started me on the road to accepting Christ, started me questioning Satan’s claim to be more powerful than God.  As we arrived at the edge of the property, we could go no further. The whole area was surrounded by huge angels. The angels stood side by side holding hands. They were dressed in long white robes and stood so close together that their shoulders touched. They had no armor or weapons. Nobody could get through them, no matter how hard we tried. Any kind of weapon used merely bounced off of them, doing them no harm. Suddenly, their countenances changed and the fierce look from their eyes made all of us fall backwards onto the ground. A very humbling experience, I may add. I will never forget, as I sat on the ground looking up at them, one of the angels looked into my eyes and said to me in the most loving voice I had ever heard:“won’t you please accept Jesus as your Lord?  If you pursue the course you are taking, you will be destroyed. Satan really hates you, but Jesus loves you so much that he died for you.”

Elaine then noted that their entire group had to leave because they could not get through that wall of angelic protection.  She concluded the story with the following: “I doubt the family ever knew of the battle going on outside of their house. They were completely protected!” 

Angels Assist:

I recently read two books by Blake Healy (The Veil and Profound Good) that have changed my perspective on angels and their role in our lives. Blake has a very unusual gift and can actually “see” into the spiritual realm, meaning he can see ghosts, demons, angels, even Jesus Himself; anything that is invisible is seen as plain as you and I can see regular things. Blake claims that angels are much more than “guardians,” but more like personal attendants who are constantly assisting and loving the person they are assigned to, and actively demonstrating God’s love to their person through their entire life (including conception).

In his first book, The Veil, he reveals the different kinds of angels he has “seen” over the years, including protection angels. He notes that many of them stand near the front door of people’s homes (or at church), looking far off into the distance, with their main mission seemingly to offer a 24/7 security presence for the humans who are present inside that particular dwelling place. Blake notes that these angels are symbolic of the all-encompassing protection of God. There are also worship angels who take a great amount of time to prepare a room where a church or worship meeting will be held (or even just a gathering of believers). They are often seen floating above the room with bowls in their hands, bowls that hold different colored liquids symbolizing different properties of blessings that God would like to bestow upon those people who choose to come to that gathering. For example, Blake notes that green liquid often symbolizes healing, and it is often poured out on the group while they are worshipping God. Personal angels are your guardian angels, but so much more than that.  Blake states the following: “this angel is more like a resourceful personal assistant…I have never met anyone with more than one, and I’ve never met anyone without one.” Personal angels sometimes resemble the person they are matched with (for example a blond girl matched with a blond female angel who resembles her). As stated, they serve as a representation of God’s love and help for their person throughout their life. Additionally, activation angels seem to activate some kind of major power from God, but one particular angel needed Blake to accompany him to a certain residence before it could release that power. Blake noted that the angel led Blake to a house which was dark and depressing. The angel sent a bolt of lightning into the house, which lit it up with God’s light and love and some kind of heavenly power. 

I much prefer this image of Michael the Archangel than of the cute little cherub angels that are sitting around, playing harps. Angels are awesome and powerful. More powerful than the Devil and his demons. (Please see end of post for photo credit.)

Once, a “deep heaven” angel appeared to Blake and presented God’s plan as it pertained to Blake’s life in the form of a scroll. The scroll showed lines moving based on the free-will choices he had already made and that he had yet to make over the course of his life. This angel showed him that God allows human free will but is still in control of the entire mother board. This angel was consumed in fire and difficult to look at.  Blake saw a glimpse of God’s perfection and holiness while he gazed at this being. I will leave a short video clip at the end of this post where Blake tells this story himself.  It’s very fascinating. 

Finally, angels perform menial tasks. One day Blake noticed an angel quietly picking up small folded sheets of paper after a church service. He inquired about the task the angel was performing. He learned that the angel was gathering up all the unspoken prayer requests that were not prayed for at church that morning, because “God wanted those requests too.”

I want to speak for a brief moment about worship angels, which are the angels that show up at church and perform tasks there to benefit the people and also to worship God. Blake’s perspective is the reason I show up for what I call “physical church.”  There is so much good stuff going on in the spiritual realm at church, things that directly help and benefit me and my family, and I want and need as much of it as I can possibly get. At physical church, worship angels pour many liquids down on the congregation that directly help each person in attendance. They also dance and perform many other tasks, for both God alone and also the people who are present.  

For me personally, I believe angels lift burdens off of me while I am at church. For example, I often enter church grumpy and moody.  I am somewhat bugged by the happy and smily church greeters that are in my face when I walk in the door. But a funny thing happens while at church. By the time church is over, I am in a much better mood, filled with more faith and encouragement. I often leave church feeling that God is good and in control, and that I can trust him, even if the message had nothing to do with any of those aspects of God. 

The bottom line is that I leave church feeling much less burdened, and much more joyful deep inside. I believe that it’s because of these angels, and because of God.  Angels point back to a good and kind God who is always loving and helping us.

My takeaway?  Go to physical church.  It will help you. 

Angels Announce:

Another role and responsibility of certain angels is to make announcements.  Sometimes the news is outstanding, other times not so much. The Christmas story contained a very positive and amazing message of Christ’s birth, taken out of Luke 2:10: “the angel said to them: don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David’s city.” 

Before the literal end of the world, angels will appear in the sky one last time and urge everyone to turn to Jesus Christ, before the end.  I refer to this as humanity’s “last call” of sorts.  This “last call” is for everyone left on the earth, so that every person on the planet has one more chance to worship God and receive Jesus Christ as Savior, before the end comes. The end is very bad, and God is very good, thus this one last chance.  From Revelation chapter 14:6:

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

After the good news is announced, a second and third angel delivers the not so good news, which is more like a strong admonition, including urging mankind to not worship the anti-Christ or receive his mark on their forehead or hand. The anti-Christ is the person who rules the world and acts all God-like before Jesus Christ returns a second time.  

In other passages of the Bible, these special heralding angels point out individual traits of the people with whom they interact. When an angel appeared to Daniel, the angel stated that Daniel was “highly favored” by the Lord. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, Gabriel declared that Mary was “highly favored, and the Lord was with her.” When an angel appeared to Zechariah, the angel said, “Do not be afraid, for your prayers have been heard.” As a person who has prayed for several things for many decades without an obvious answer from God on many of these categories, this brings me great hope.  

I will close with a personal story and one final point about angels. 

Angels Acknowlege:

About two days after we adopted Claire, I was feeding her a bottle of formula and rocking her in a rocking chair located in our family room. I was a brand new mom and absolutely loving it. Claire was only three months old, but already advanced for her age and was smiling and interacting with me in a wide variety of baby ways. On that particular day, Claire was enthusiastically consuming her bottle when suddenly, she stopped feeding and just opened up her little mouth, all the while staring intently at something up on the ceiling. Her eyes were open wide and she looked excited! I looked up at the ceiling but saw nothing. I looked back down at her and noticed that she had since broken into a very wide smile and stared at the ceiling with a smile on her face for several minutes. She seemed to be following something invisible with her eyes. I watched as her eyes moved slowly around the ceiling for about five minutes. After that, she resumed her bottle feeding.

Claire did this for several days in a row, until one day, she just stopped doing it and then never did it again. I asked God about it and this is what He said to me: “She is watching the angels who worked so hard to get her into your family. The angels are celebrating!”

Baby Claire, on her Adoption Day! It was pretty much right after we got her home that she started to stare up at the ceiling, watching what I believe was an Angel that must have been entertaining her in some way, and also celebrating her arrival into our family!

I think it’s worth celebrating the fact that angels even exist in the first place and are always helping us in ways we cannot see. Angels are awesome! But they simply mirror a God who is awesome as well. 

So like the title of my post, Calling All Angels, I think what I learned most about researching this topic is that the angels are already here among us, and helping us more than we will ever know.  

And that it’s ok to ask God for a sign, to let you know He’s here.

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PS: Please feel free to leave your angels stories below in the comment section! Or feel free to comment on Facebook! Here is a story my friend Nina shared with me right before publication:

And yes, I strongly believe in angels. In 1991, I was in a car accident. My super-heavy-like-a-tank old Volvo hydroplaned and I was headed straight for a utility pole. The car tipped over on the driver’s side and my face was about 6 inches from the ground. Suddenly, I felt a force righting the car, just before it hit the pole. The car was totaled, but I didn’t have a scratch on me. Only a powerful angel of God could have lifted that heavy car up! (Also, I have a healthy respect for Volvo engineering, and since then, have only driven a Volvo.)

For further reflection and clicking on links:

I still love this song, Calling All Angels, by Train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaG9SDxwPBg

For Blake Healy’s book about seeing into the spiritual realm: go to amazon.com and enter Blake Healy The Veil paperback. I highly recommend this book!

Here is a link to Blake’s interview with the angel who helped him to understand God’s will as it pertained to his life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPyQ4UA-tUs

For Rebecca Brown’s book, He Came To Set the Captives Free, go to amazon.com and enter He Came to Set the Captives Free by Rebecca Brown. Again, highly recommend.

If you struggle with that story about the crocodile in Africa and think it’s made up, I found this short article on the many crocodile species found on Africa: https://www.activewild.com/list-of-crocodiles-in-africa/

To read a much more comprehensive and biblically-based book on angels, read Billy Graham’s book.  In it, Billy Graham states the following: “Yes, angels are real. They are not the product of your imagination. If we had open spiritual eyes we would see not only a world filled with evil spirits and powers—but also powerful angels with drawn swords, set for our defense.” Go to amazon.com and enter Angels by Billy Graham.  It’s only $7 bucks!

The picture of Michael the Archangel was screen-shotted from David Bonagura Jr.’s twitter post. The original painting was completed by artist Leonardo Montoya.

Thanks for reading!  If you could like this post, comment, (or comment or like under Facebook), I would be incredibly grateful as it helps with the algorithms.  Appreciate!

God Speaks! How to (imperfectly) hear the indirect/subtle voice of God – Part II

Is it really possible to hear the actual voice of God? I believe that it is, and this is part two of a short series on how to actually hear God’s voice. If you missed part one, where I write about ways God speaks more directly, click here: God speaks! I believe God can speak “directly” using the Bible, a clear voice in your mind, an audible voice, and a slightly brighter thought, among other more obvious methods of communication.

God also speaks more indirectly, or subtly, using a vast array of different methods, and this post will only be a skim and a summary, and I will probably fail to mention several categories.  My personal favorite ways of hearing God’s more indirect voice include answered prayer, music, books, peace or lack thereof, and God’s beautiful creation. So let’s get started!

God speaks to us through creation. This is probably my favorite way of hearing the subtle voice of God.  For me personally, whenever I marvel at something beautiful in creation (like a sunset or mountain view), deep praise rises within me and I find myself wanting to thank and praise God for his awesome creativity. I believe that God speaks in creation to both prove his existence and to display how awesome he is!

Yes, this is Finding Nemo. What is so cool about tropical fish is that when the light is shining directly on them, they glow! You can really see the amazing color patterns that make them each so unique.

One time on a mommy vacation, I went to a beautiful tropical island for a few days. One afternoon I had some time to do some snorkeling right outside of my hotel room and saw the most beautiful tropical fish underwater. When the sun was shining on them, they lit up from within and the colors were so beautiful and striking. I kept noticing how perfectly the colors coordinated on these small creatures.  But then these beautiful little fish would travel into the shade and their colors would no longer shine; they would become dull. I could not see their beauty.  In that moment a thought popped into my head: “Heather, you are like these fish.  You need my light shining through you so you can shine brighter for me.”

We went camping this past summer in Wyoming and pitched our tent on this gorgeous lake. Every morning I awoke to this beautiful view! God speaks through creation. I believe what he is saying is “I exist! Check out my beautiful handiwork!”

God speaks through blessings and answered prayer. God will show how much he loves us by blessing us with really cool gifts.  A few years ago my childhood bestie, Hillary, was dying of terminal cancer. I had taken her to a Heart concert where we were enjoying the opening act from the nosebleed section.  Hillary was an atheist but very open to talking about God, and we had discussed prayer and “signs from God” quite a bit. It was announced that there was a “front row seat” contest which we promptly entered from our phones.  Hillary turned to me and said “Heath, you should pray and ask God to let us win this contest!  That way we can see if he exists!” 

“Oh no!” I thought secretly to myself.  God does not always answer our prayers in the manner and timing we would prefer!  However, I decided to give it a shot and bowed my head and said a prayer that God would bless us with front row seats.  Sure enough, we won the contest!  We had one of the best times of our lives rocking out in the front row!

Hillary challenged me to pray that we would win front row seats to a concert we attended together. I prayed. We won!!

Hillary received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior two weeks before she died. The moment she bowed her head and prayed with me is one of the best moments of my entire life.  She’s now in heaven where I believe she is praying for me and watches over me.  I can actually feel her prayers from heaven!

God speaks through Christmas:  Have you ever really stopped and listened to traditional Christmas music?  We all glibly sing Christmas hymns without really focusing too much on the lyrics, but many of the songs clearly and unmistakably share the good news of the arrival of Christ Jesus!  Let’s look at a few verses of some of the more popular songs:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!  Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing!

Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining.  It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth!

Hark now hear the angels sing, a King was born today.  And man will live forever more because of Christmas day!

Every year for about a month, people all over the world can hear God speak to them about the good news of Jesus, whom he sent to save the world from their sins and so we can have access to eternal life in heaven!

God speaks through unlikely means, including pain. Sometimes God speaks to us in our distress as a way to draw us to himself and so that we will turn to him for comfort and help, and maybe save us from something that is coming up in our future life.

God also speaks through loneliness. I believe what God may be saying is “I know you are lonely. I see you! I love you and I want you to know how much I love you! Open your heart up to having a relationship with me. I will fill up those lonely spots. I see your tears. I have created you for a purpose. I have a plan for your life!”

(By the way, the short paragraph above was not in the original draft. I just added it. I believe someone needs to hear it. Maybe it’s a person contemplating suicide. Why did I write it? It was a thought that would not go away.)

God is also a huge fan of speaking to us in unlikely and unusual ways.  There is even a passage in scripture of God speaking through a donkey! An example of God using unusual methods happened to my mom back in the early 1980’s.  At the time, she was a single mom of two young girls who happened to be a firm agnostic.  She was absolutely not looking for God, but you know the rest!

One day, as she was reading a book by Edgar Cayce, a secular clairvoyant and prophet, there was one sentence that stood out to her about Jesus Christ. Cayce said that Jesus Christ had fulfilled prophecy.  In that moment, my mom says a voice spoke directly to her and said the following: 

“Linda, I exist.  What are you going to do about it?”

That one sentence launched her on a spiritual journey where she eventually came to a place where she ended up believing not only in God, but also in Jesus Christ.  God used an unlikely book to change her life and the lives of her two little girls.  One of those little girls grew up to be a non-famous blogger of this post you are reading.

God speaks through everything: God speaks through other people, technology, books, all forms of media, music, movies, Internet blogs, the weather, dreams, visions, accidents, pain, coincidences (I call them God-winks), blessings,  circumstances, and the list goes on. Another indirect way of God speaking happens to me when I go to church or listen to a sermon online.  Suddenly, the pastor will say something that hits close to home and applies perfectly to what I am going through. 

Here are a few more ways that God can speak to you…

  • You will feel a peace
  • You will feel restless
  • Your way will seem blocked
  • Your way will open up 
  • You will have a burden for something
  • Answered prayer
  • Unanswered prayer
  • An idea that won’t go away 
  • A “divine appointment” with someone
  • One word (or number) that keeps coming up 
  • Something unusual or miraculous that happens
  • Someone will tell you about Jesus Christ 
  • You will feel a conviction of sin

Here is the bottom line of this post: God speaks more than we realize.  He usually speaks a bit more indirectly, although for newbies he actually tends to be more obvious. God will draw people who do not yet know him with both his love and his conviction of sin. He will always be consistent with his word (the Bible). God speaks to everyone a bit differently. It is a process to learn how to hear his voice. 

Here is a hint I learned the hard way on how to hear from God. First, pray and ask God to speak to you.  Wait a moment.  If nothing happens, go about your life.  After awhile, something will happen. It may be a voice, a thought, a circumstance, a blessing, or your mom will say something completely random that applies to something in your life.  You will stop in your tracks and say to yourself, “Wait, was that God?”

Yes, it was!  If you are not sure that God exists or even if he cares about you (or the rest of humanity), why don’t you say a prayer, asking him to reveal himself to you?  And then sit back and see what happens.  Give it a little time and don’t give up.  Keep knocking!  He will answer!

I want to close with a personal story that illustrates the concept of God’s indirect voice.

The blog that you are now reading is over four years old, but it really started nine years ago with an idea that would not go away. The idea was this:

You should start a blog.

That’s it. It was not even spoken in the King James Version. 🙂 I’m not even 100 percent sure the thought was from God. But the thought would not go away. I argued with myself for about four years before I began to pray about it. What stopped me from writing? I was afraid of failure and rejection. I was afraid that not even one person would ever read any of my posts.

This “loser blog” has now received over 15,600 views! I am grateful and humbled for everyone who has visited. My stats are very small potatoes compared to so many well-known bloggers, but my continual hope is that a seed of truth and faith will be planted in each reader that finds themselves on the pages of permission2speakfreely.com.

God is speaking! Be open to hearing his direct and indirect voice. He loves you!

Be open for surprises too!

You just might find yourself rocking out in the front row of one of your favorite bands!

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If you missed part one, where I write about ways God speaks more directly, click here: God speaks!

God speaks through sunsets: “Another day has quickly passed. Time is flying. Think about eternity!”

God speaks! How to (imperfectly) hear God’s direct voice – Part I

God speaks both directly and indirectly – directly through his Bible (pictured above, the small purple book), his audible voice (rare), and clear thoughts to our mind, among other ways.

Several weeks ago my husband found himself in a pickle: he could not locate his inflatable camping mattress anywhere.

He asked me if I had seen it and I told him I had not. Being the Godly wife that I am, I sweetly asked him:  “Have you prayed about it?”

No, he had not.  Typical male not asking for directions.  

He bowed his head and said a quick little prayer asking for God’s location services. Within a matter of moments, an answer came back in the form of a clear thought in his head:

“The mattress is at your office underneath your desk.”

He couldn’t believe it. Why would his camping mattress be there?  He did not even remember bringing it to his office. 

He grabbed his keys, got in the car, and drove to the office.

Sure enough, he quickly located his camping mattress, right where God told him it would be.

When he returned with his camping mattress in tow, it got me thinking: 

Does God really speak to us like that – so suddenly and directly?  I know that for me, God usually does not. 

This post is my attempt to help you, my Dear Reader, to hear the actual voice of God. If you have followed my writing, I am a fan of both qualifiers and bullet points.  Bullets help my brain to think properly, and qualifiers are excellent ways to include many angles and possible outcomes.  They are also great outliers of information that need to be considered when forming an argument or thesis. 

A few qualifiers in bullet form before we get going:

  • First, I do not pretend to have a corner on the market for hearing the voice of God.  I would say I am fairly sure I am hearing from God about half of the time.  The following post is a summary of what I have learned over 30 plus years of being a Christian and wrestling with this topic.
  • Second, in my experience, God tends to be more indirect rather than direct. It is extremely rare to hear a loud, booming, audible voice from heaven – although it’s not impossible.
  • Third, if you do not yet have a relationship with God, the number one thing He will be speaking to you about is that he loves you and would like to have a relationship with you. 
  • Fourth, God speaks a bit differently to each person.  He is more subtle with me; he may be more obvious with you.  God may give you amazing visions and dreams in the night.  He may give me nudges and slight impressions. Try to be open to the unique ways he may speak.
  • The Bible says that God is our Shepherd and his sheep (his children) will learn to hear his voice. We have to believe that God wants to speak to us because He is a communicative and loving Father, Shepherd, and King.  It is a process to learn to hear his voice.
  • God desires us to walk by faith, and not by sight. I suspect that this is why he speaks to us in more subtle ways. God tends to speak to us in a still small voice because he wants us to work at our relationship with him, and that means working at learning how to hear his voice. 

God speaks directly and clearly:

The following are several examples of ways God can speak more directly to each of us:

Audible voice: This is how everyone, at first, believes God is supposed to speak to people. I quickly googled “hearing the audible voice of God” and apparently, according to one study, up to 10 percent of Christians have reported hearing God’s audible voice. I have never experienced this and it is my understanding that this is a very rare experience.  Let’s look at the life of Jesus himself.  There are only two recorded instances of God speaking audibly to Jesus in front of other people. On the first occasion, Jesus is being baptized by John the Baptist and is on the cusp of beginning his earthly ministry.  Suddenly, a voice is heard from heaven proclaiming:“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) God again audibly spoke later in the book of Matthew saying the same thing, but added in a command:

“Listen to him!”  

So although it is possible to hear God’s audible voice, it is not very likely.  However, there are several other ways that God tends to speak to humanity.  

Through the Bible: I believe the number one best way to hear God’s voice is to actually read his word to you – the Bible. Not sure where to start? Start with the book of John or Mark in the New Testament. They will both give you a bottom line version of Jesus and his earthly ministry.  When God speaks to me using the Bible, a verse or two will leap off the pages at me and will impact me more than the other verses.  That, or a specific word will stand out to me.  Oftentimes I get a “fragment of a verse” in my head.  When I look it up in the Bible, it is extremely helpful and encouraging and very applicable to some situation.  I believe this is God’s way of speaking to me through his word.

The Bible is a very special book.  When you open its pages, you are handling the medium — the physical object — that God will use to speak to you.  There are other objects out there used by people to communicate with the spirit world: the Ouija board and tarot cards being two examples.  These other objects are all counterfeits and poor substitutes for trying to satisfy the spiritual connection that we all long for.  

But the Bible is God’s.  It is somehow alive and works mysteriously when you read or listen to its pages.  There is a verse in the Bible that speaks to this:

Hebrews 4:12, NIV: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

In my many years of reading testimonies of men and women who have come to believe in God and Jesus, they cite something along the lines of the following thought:

I opened up my Bible and read it, and discovered that it opened me up and read me.

Clear voice in your mind: Sometimes God speaks to your spirit in clear sentence form, as he did with my husband at the opening of this post. This has happened to me probably seven times in my life.

I just finished The Phantom Prince, written by Liz Kendall, Ted Bundy’s former girlfriend back in the late 60’s and 70’s.  One story from Liz’s daughter Molly uses this principle.  

One night Molly found herself in a dangerous situation with Ted.  She writes: 

“At that moment, having seen a physical change in the naked man who was no longer my trusted friend Ted, I started to hear something.  Maybe hear is the wrong word; it was like an invisible typist was typing inside of my head.  The words came out as knowing.  Somewhere deep inside me this quiet presence was feeding me instructions on how to remain safe: “Laugh and smile.  Act as if nothing is wrong.  Tell him you love him.  Tell him this game has been really fun but that you are tired, and you would like to go to bed now.”

Molly survived Ted Bundy that night no doubt due to the mysterious instructions that came to her so suddenly out of nowhere, and she attributed this voice as being from the Holy Spirit himself. On a side note, I studied serial killers and wrote a three-part series on my research.  I read many stories of women reporting a “voice in their head” warning them to ‘not do this, do that, go here, don’t go there’ type of thing. I believe that this is the voice of God attempting to help and protect them.

Still small voice/slightly brighter thought:

Another way that God speaks to people is by putting thoughts in their mind. The thought will always be consistent with God’s word. You’ll never have God telling you to go out and murder somebody, for example. But how do you know it is God speaking to you and not your own human thoughts?  This is probably my number one challenge but this is what I have come to believe paraphrased from a book I read:

The thought will tend to be a little brighter than all your other normal human thoughts. Think of your human thoughts as a 40 watt lightbulb. God’s voice tends to be an 80 watt lightbulb that will pop into your head. The thought will bring you peace and a sense of knowing.  

God also speaks in a small voice to your heart.  It will be quiet but you will hear it.  I know that these two ways seem opposite (a brighter thought and a quiet voice) and I will admit I have not quite figured this out yet.  But both seem to be true.  

In conclusion, my amazing friend Ragan (who is the Editor in Queen of this blog, along with my husband) once had a beloved cat that went missing for over a month without a sighting.  Ragan prayed day after day with no apparent result.  Sadly, Ragan had to move to a different home and was in the process of doing that. One day, she was on her way to a doctor appointment when the Lord spoke to her and told her to go back to the house. Ragan obeyed the still small voice and pulled up to the house.  She was delighted to see her missing cat waiting for her on the front porch!  Her cat was suffering from either a snake or spider bite and was badly wounded. She rushed him to the vet. Ragan later surmised that he was unable to come home because he was recovering from his wounds.  

What I love the most about this closing story is that God showed how much he cared about both Ragan and her kitty cat.  God spoke to Ragan with both a still small voice and a blessing.

God is speaking!  Let’s lean in and take a listen.  

For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it. Job Chapter 33: 14

Stay tuned for part II of this short series where I reveal ways that God speaks more subtly and indirectly.

God speaks in a wide variety of ways indirectly – including speaking through his creation! Yes, that is yours truly,
enjoying the beautiful view. In part II, we will dig into the indirect voice of God. Stay put!