Naomi sent me in a good question,
“You give allot of examples of how God talks to you when you are praying. What if I don’t sense Him? It is hard to have a relationship with someone you can sense or hear.”
When I say that God talks to me I do not mean that I hear some sort of supernatural or audible voice. Most often God communicates with me by dropping thoughts into my mind. These thoughts sound to me like my thoughts. This means that there is no immediate way to recognize them as coming from God.
The reason I tend to express them as “God thoughts” is because many of them have been specific things I could not have known naturally.
Here is an example. Many years ago someone gave us $10,000.00 without attaching any conditions. I knew we did not need the money so I asked God if we should give it to some worthy mission or keep it for ourselves. A thought came immediately, “keep it for yourselves”.
When this thought came I was sitting on the second story balcony on the front of our house having my prayer time. My next thought was, “how do I know this message to keep the money is coming from God, maybe it is just my selfish nature speaking out?” I said to God, “how do I know this thought is from you?” Immediately a single word came to my mind. The word was “red”. When I had that thought I heard a car coming up the street toward our house. I could not see the approaching car but knew it would arrive at the corner shortly. I said to God, “are you trying to tell me that the next car to arrive at the corner will be red?” The next thought said, “yes”. A few seconds later a red car arrived at the corner! I was shocked!
Then I starting thinking about what had just happened. I thought, “that could just have been a co-incidence.” Then a thought came and said, “green”. Then I heard another car coming up the road. It arrived at the corner and it was green! God was training me to listen to the thoughts of my mind to learn to ask myself , “could this thought be from God?” I have been doing this for almost 30 years.
Most of the time when I risk obeying a thought that I suspected might be from God I find that it was. Not always but I am happy to find that much of the time God is really communicating with me.
Another way I can often tell if it is His thought rather than mine is that His thoughts are always much more loving, forgiving, patient, wise, generous, etc. than mine. I think we need to risk by experimenting with obeying or applying the thoughts that might be from Him. His thoughts are always consistent with His character, goals, teachings, etc. that we know from the Bible.
Also, He never tells us to do anything sinful. The real problem we have with testing a “God thought” is usually that it is inconvenient or that we may appear foolish. As far as I am concerned these are small prices to pay for being “in cahoots” with God.
Hope this helps.