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Day 1


Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2)
Introduction
There are many ways that God communicates with his valued and loved children. As one biblical
author notes, Job 33:14 (CEV) God speaks in different ways, and we dont always recognize his voice.
The author of Hebrews, looking back at history, also declares, Hebrews 1:1 (NIV) In the past God
spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways.


To be a follower of the Way is to be on a path that is full of adventure, overseen by an incredible
Father. In today’s lesson, some of the rarer ways that God speaks are highlighted. Of course, it’s
important to be open to extraordinary occurrences, YET stay within biblical boundaries.


Ways That God Speaks - Audible Voice


In the Old Testament, Samuel (1 Samuel 3) hears an audible voice from God - “Samuel. Samuel.” He
eventually responds – “speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
In the New Testament, Paul, previously known as Saul, hears a loud voice on the road to Damascus
(Acts 9), which sounds like thunder to others – “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
Do people still experience the audible voice of God? Yes, though it seems to be very rare. However,
rare does not mean never! Here is a story about a Christian author, Francis Schaeffer, during the
20th century:


“He and his young family needed temporary housing during a transition time but had little money.
They needed a “minor miracle” from the Lord. In prayer Schaeffer asked God, “Where can we live,
Lord? Please show us.” Immediately he heard an audible voice - not a voice in his mind or from
another human, for he was alone. The voice simply said, “Uncle Harrison’s house.” Though perfectly
clear, the answer made no sense. His uncle was living in the house. It was very unlikely he would offer
his house for them to live in. Yet the voice was so direct he felt he had to obey it. He wrote his uncle,
asking him what he planned to do with his house for the next year. He was astonished when his uncle
replied that he planned to live with his brother for the next year and would like to offer his house free
of rent to Schaeffer and his family for that year.”


Ways That God Speaks - Angels


In the Old Testament, there are many examples! (perhaps look up one or two of them). Abraham
(Genesis 18-19); Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15); Balaam (Numbers 22:22-35); Gideon (Judges 6:11-24);
Samson’s parents (Judges 13); Isaiah (Isaiah 6:6-13); Daniel (Daniel 9:20-27).


Angels are much more active than many followers of Jesus realize! As Hebrews says, Hebrews 1:14
(NIV) Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Of course,
angels will not speak to people very often, but it has happened – maybe more often than is
reported.


You can read of the activity of some angels in the New Testament as well – e.g. they gave specific
directions to Philip (Acts 8:4-14, 26) and Cornelius (Acts 10:4-6).

Here is a more recent testimony of the ministry of angels:
“My aunt told me this story of being out for a drive, and suddenly losing control of the vehicle. As the
vehicle vaulted up some concrete, two large hands suddenly appeared and stopped the vehicle. Then
she heard the audible words, “Turn off the engine.” Also, my mother-in-law, had angelic experiences
when she was so weak and frail and couldn’t dress herself – they spoke to her and encouraged her;
one even helped her get dressed one morning.”


Other Ways


As you read your Bible, you will also see other ways that God communicates – e.g. through a burning
bush (Moses); through a donkey (Balaam); via literal writing on a wall (Belshazzar and Daniel); by
using a physical object, a fleece (Gideon).
God refuses to limit himself to only one way of communicating. He can use any means he wishes!

For Your Journal Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)
1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.
2. God speaks to his people in many ways – what ways are mentioned today?


Life Application (James 1:22)
1. Have you ever experienced God speaking to you in these ways? If yes, write down what
happened.
2. Spend some time praising God for the desire to reveal his will to those who follow him, or will
follow him.
3. Review John 15:5-6, Romans 12:2, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 5:8.
4. Memorize John 10:27.


Bible Reading
1. Please read Matthew 13:1-23.
2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.
3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts
that come to mind.


Day 2
Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2)
On the previous day, you looked at some rare ways that God speaks to his children. Today, you’ll see
how he uses dreams and visions. It’s important for a person to eagerly desire to hear God’s voice
(and obey it), AND at the same time avoid the trap of comparing with others’ experiences. It’s true
that family members sometimes get competitive, isn’t it? This can happen in the family of God as
well.


Ways That God Speaks - Dreams; Visions


Dreams are ways that God can speak to his followers while they sleep. Visions occur while someone
is awake.

Are all dreams from God? No. They can also come from your own “flesh” (you ate too much pizza
late at night!), or even from Satan. In Abide 9, you will learn how to be wise about figuring out the
source of a dream or vision. Also, this is important to teach others! (remember, you’re to pass on
what you learn)


What are some examples from the Old Testament? First, Joseph learned what his future would be
through two dreams. E.g. the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowed to him, representing his parents and
brothers. Second, God appeared to Abraham in a vision confirming his promise to grant him a son
(see Genesis 15).


In the New Testament, the magi were warned in a dream not to return to Jerusalem (Matthew
2:12). And the apostle Paul received multiple visions, while Peter experienced a powerful vision that
transformed his attitude towards the Gentiles (see Acts 10:9-17 – Gentiles are those who are not
Jewish).


You can find examples throughout church history as well. The man known as Saint Augustine (from
the 4th century) heard an audible voice that led to his commitment to be a follower of the Way. His
decision was also impacted by reading the Bible. But before that, his mother Monica had received a
prophetic dream (this is a dream that looks ahead at what will happen). From this, you see that in
the 4th century God was still speaking through dreams, his audible voice, and the words of the Bible!
God can give dreams and visions to unbelievers as well, as he loves them and will seek to draw them
into relationship, or to warn them. E.g. Pilate’s wife had a dream about Jesus, and warned her
husband that Jesus was innocent, and that he shouldn’t condemn him (Matthew 27:19). Even the
pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar, had a vision from God concerning his future (Daniel 4).
God said through Peter that dreams, visions, and other prophetic experiences would become
commonplace. Acts 2:17-18 (NLT) In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all
people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men
will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women
alike ….’


Of course, many Muslims today are seeing Jesus in their dreams and then making decisions to follow
him! God longs for people to commit to him, and to guide those who already follow him. He will
speak! This is why it’s unwise to ignore any possible way that God may speak to you.


For Your Journal
Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)
1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.
2. God speaks to his people in many ways – what is discussed today? Give some biblical examples.


Life Application (James 1:22)
1. Have you ever experienced God speaking to you through dreams and visions? If yes, write down
what happened.
2. Contact 3 people that you know who are mature followers of Jesus. Ask them if God has ever
spoken to them through dreams or visions. Rejoice with them, as your enthusiasm can encourage
them to keep seeking God’s voice.
3. Review John 10:27.


Bible Reading

1. Please read Matthew 13:24-35.
2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.
3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts
that come to mind.


Day 3
Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2)


Ways That God Speaks - Through Other People
A very common way that God uses to speak to his people is through others. This is why the Holy
Spirit has given so many gifts to the Church that can be called, “speaking gifts.”


First: preaching and teaching


God used preachers and teachers such as Peter, Paul, and Apollos to share the truth about God and
his ways (Romans 10:14-15). It is no different today – preaching and teaching are still essential for
people to hear God’s Word. Listen to what Paul commanded, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NIV) … when
you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but
as it actually is, the word of God …


Of course, this teaching can come in the form of writing and books as well. Many have experienced
huge breakthroughs as the Holy Spirit used something that has been shared in written form.


Second: prophesying


Prophecy is listed as one of the New Testament gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10;
Ephesians 4:11). In Acts chapter 11, a person named Agabus prophesied that a famine would sweep
the known world. In 2004, Pastor Ray Duersken, received a prophecy about one day ministering in
other countries, and that his wife Fran would receive a strong prophetic gift – to help him in his
ministry. Both of these seemed highly unlikely at the time, but they both happened. God is good!


Third: words of knowledge and words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8)


God can give another person a word of knowledge about you – information that you have never told
them. Or they might receive a word of wisdom, which is Holy Spirit-inspired guidance about
something you are facing.


Fourth: interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10; 14:5)


The gift of tongues is a gift from God where someone speaks in a language unknown to them –
either a human language or an angelic language. At times that same person, or another person, will
receive an interpretation of this into a language that is known.


Some would like to reject these gifts from God; however, is this a grateful response to something
that the Father can use for good in one’s life? Of course, a person needs to learn HOW to use the
gift, and use it wisely. Nevertheless, this is true about ALL gifts!


It’s important to be thankful that God will speak to you through others (and to others through you!)
This is why he calls the church a, “body.” There are many parts and each part needs the others! Here
is another story of God speaking through others:

“One pastor has always tried to seek God on his primary calling, sorting through the many good
things he could be doing. Over a sixteen-year period, through his team of prayer partners, and via
many prophetic times at church, others have received 32 different ‘words’ for him using the same
picture – of him traveling up a mountain, leading others, while calling out to them. It relates to his
calling to blamelessness, and to call others to this as they walk with Jesus. Some of these words even
came from believers in other countries, on mission trips. It is only after the 32nd word that he started
sharing this pattern with others.”


For Your Journal
Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)
1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.
2. God speaks to his people through others – what are the examples discussed today?


Life Application (James 1:22)
1. Have you ever experienced God speaking to you through others? If yes, write down 1 or 2
examples.
2. Quickly scan through 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Write down all of the gifts listed in this passage and
then circle those that require hearing the voice of God.
3. What is something that you are currently needing to hear God’s will on? Today, ask 1 or 2 people
to listen in prayer for you on this matter – even if this is only done through a text or email (in person
is always better, but not always possible).


Bible Reading
1. Please read Matthew 13:36-58.
2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.
3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts
that come to mind.


Day 4
Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2)


Ways That God Speaks – A Still, Small Voice – Part 1
This is THE most common way in which God speaks to people. Elijah heard this still, small voice:
1 Kings 19:11-12 (RSV) And he [the Lord] said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the
LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke
in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an
earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the
LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.


Job referred to the voice of God as a whisper! Job 26:14 (ESV) Behold, these are but the outskirts of
his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can
understand? (also Job 4:12). This inner voice so often takes the form of thoughts that are embedded
in your own thoughts, though actually not from you! Nehemiah described it as God putting it into his
heart, Nehemiah 7:5 (NIV) So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and
the common people for registration by families.


One of the ways that you can know that these are the Holy Spirit’s (God’s) thoughts is if you receive
them after you have asked God for wisdom about a particular matter. When you receive thoughts

after such prayer requests, you shouldn’t doubt that they came from him. Listen to what James said,
James 1:5-6 (ESV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without
reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who
doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.


These Holy Spirit thoughts MAY (not always) be accompanied by feelings, as the Holy Spirit operates
with a word upon your heart. This is particularly true if God is trying to call someone into ministry, or
when his Spirit calls people to salvation, or when he is bringing healing to wounds in your heart.
If you’re meditating on the Bible and require wisdom or guidance, something may stick out in a
quiet, yet obvious way. This is a rhema, which was discussed in previous lessons. Of course, if you’re
still learning to hear his voice, you may not be as certain in discerning between your thoughts and
his thoughts. That’s ok! That’s where most people start – uncertain.


Today people also refer to this way of God speaking as: a conviction or prompting or impression. In
speaking of the impact of Stephen’s charges against the religious leaders for resisting the Holy Spirit,
Luke writes, Acts 7:54 (NKJV) When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they
gnashed at him with their teeth.


Domesticated animals and pets learn to accurately recognize the voice of their master by
experience! Similarly, as a human, you learn from experience alone how to distinguish colors or
musical notes. No psychologist or philosopher can even begin to give an explanation for this!
And learning to distinguish God’s voice is no different – you learn to recognize it through experience.
Further, no philosophical explanation can be given for how a person distinguishes light from
darkness – you just can!


In the same way you can’t explain how you distinguish between your thoughts and the Spirit’s
thoughts – you just can! And what a blessing from God this is!


For Your Journal
Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)
1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.
2. What is the MOST common way that God speaks to a person? Explain this in your own words as
you write down your answer.
3. Is discerning God’s voice something that you learn over time?


Life Application (James 1:22)
1. Spend some time praying about and reflecting on this question – are there certain distractions in
your life that keep you from hearing the still, small voice of God? Write them down.
2. If you received anything in the previous question, spend some time in confession. Then write out a
prayer of commitment to God – to make a very real change.
3. Review John 15:5-6, Romans 12:2, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 5:8, John 10:27.


Bible Reading
1. Please read Matthew 14:1-21.
2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.
3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts
that come to mind.

Day 5
Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2)


Ways That God Speaks – A Still, Small Voice – Part 2
Today, you’ll learn a bit more about hearing the still, small voice of your Father in heaven! This is
something every follower of the Way can keep growing in.


First: we naturally do NOT have access to God’s thoughts and mind (see Isaiah 40:13), but because
of Jesus, we now have the potential to access his thoughts and mind!


The apostle Paul was amazed by this blessing and described it this way, 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV) “For
who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
What an incredible spiritual birthright to have access to the mind of God, whose thoughts and ways
are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9)!


And your access is through the Spirit of God, who is given to every follower. Or as Paul again says it,
1 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV) … in the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of
God.


Second: God’s thoughts are communicated to us in our human spirit


The human spirit is the place of self-awareness. The Bible describes it this way, 1 Corinthians 2:11
(NIV) For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? And it’s
in or upon your spirit where the Holy Spirit communicates God’s thoughts to you, as one passage
notes, Romans 8:16 (NIV) The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
Put another way, your spirit is where your thoughts and God’s thoughts mix together, so that they
come out as your own thoughts!


But here’s a caution: this gentle word, which bypasses physical senses to go directly to your spirit,
may be easily disregarded by some who think that only the more extraordinary, outward, or obvious
communications are the real thing.


However, all messages from God must pass through the spirit of a person, whether they’re
communicated through their physical senses (primarily seeing and hearing) to their spirits, or
communicated directly from God to their spirits (therefore, called the STILL, SMALL voice).
What this does is it elevates the still, small voice to the same level of importance! In fact, it takes a
MORE mature person to recognize/receive the still small voice, than the ‘loud’ and spectacular voice.


Third: the still, small voice is best suited for a relationship with free intelligent beings
Heaven will NOT be populated by people who were forced to believe in and follow Jesus. Instead, it
will be made up of people who freely love and desire him. And so God partially hides himself; not so
that you can’t find him, but so that those who don’t want to discover him won’t find him.


Neither the careless nor the willfully blind will hear his voice. Rather, those with humble hearts and a
desire to draw near to God WILL hear his voice. Or as the prophet affirms, Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) You
will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


Fourth: if God is always speaking to us at a ‘loud’ level, he won’t be able to alert us

If God was ALWAYS loud, it would be natural to tune him out among all the noise. No person can
handle constant noise. Therefore, by speaking in a still, small voice, it can cause you to be “on the
alert” for God’s gracious directions, encouragement, and warnings.


For Your Journal
Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)
1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.
2. What 4 points are made today about God speaking in a still, small voice? Try to explain them in
your own words, if you can.


Life Application (James 1:22)
1. Meditate on John 1 today. Don’t rush it. God wants to speak to you! And journal your
conversation with God using the SMORP tool. You need to practice the things that you’re learning.
And if you’re experienced in hearing God’s voice and abiding, why not receive more from your good
Father? He is very generous!


Bible Reading
1. Already covered today in the Life Application section.


Day 6
Final Steps
1. Please read Matthew 14:22-36.
2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.
3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts


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