Only God knows, so it is up to us to listen.
Jennifer Schuchmann's book, 9 Ways God Always Speaks, has been such an encouragement to me that prayer is not a one-way conversation. In fact, prayer is most alive when we learn to become active listeners, engaged in dialogue with the One who knows us best.
As Clay and I reminisce, we realize that there have been many times when God was trying to tell us something. Below is a list of 9 memorable ways God has spoken to me.
1. Through Peace - When praying about where to attend college, I felt unrest when I visited other campuses, but I felt a peace when visiting Auburn. That might just be because the Holy Spirit lives in Auburn and it is the greatest place on earth, but still, I knew it was the place for me.
2. Through Conviction - When struggling through my first year of marriage, I stayed awake to pray one night and God opened my heart to my own sin. This revelation was a relief to me. I thought Clay and I were from different planets, but God showed me that if I allow Him to mold me, we were going to be alright.
3. Through Scripture - When making a career decision, God kept bringing Colossians 3:23 to my mind. Everytime I prayed, God reminded me of the verse. "Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men." It was as if God was saying, "I give you the free will to choose the job, but whatever you choose, give it 110%... all for me!"
4. Through Circumstances - There are times when the stars align and you just know that this is not a coincidence.
5. Through Godly Counsel - I am very thankful for friends who are not afraid to speak the truth boldly. Even when I did not want to hear it, I wanted to hear it.
6. Through Faith - Bill Boldt, our Campus Crusade director at Auburn (where the Holy Spirit lives), told us that when he was thinking about marrying his wife, he was 80% sure that she was "THE ONE". He had to trust God for the other 20%. I have always remembered that story and when it is time to make a decision, I have often trusted God for the other 10%, 20% or 30%. After that, it just doesn't make mathematical sense!
7. Through Contemplation - This is a Christian's way of saying, "Worry", but it doesn't count if you turn your worry heavenward.
8. Through Books - So many of my stories begin with the words, "I was reading this book the other day when I realized..." Jennifer's book is another example of a read that has changed my perspective and given me direction.
9. Through Quiet Prayer - Nothing is more powerful than quiet. In the stillness, God's answer is often revealed.
Feel free to leave a comment about a time when God has spoken to you. If you are looking for a great book to take to the beach, check out 9 Ways God Always Speaks.