This is an excellent question, for our thoughts can indeed run contrary to God’s thoughts, as we see in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Men may think they know God’s Mind concerning something, while they may be missing God’s thoughts completely. So, your question if very important; in fact, it is vital for the Christian who wants to know and do God’s will. Let’s consider a few points in answering this question.

  1. God speaks plainly to us THROUGH HIS WORD! In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (NKJV). God speaks to us primarily through His inspired Word. As we read and study the Bible HE COMMUNICATES HIS THOUGHTS TO US. Some have interpreted this passage as meaning that God gave His thoughts to those who wrote the Bible and allowed them to express them in their own words. No, every word is a revelation of God’s very own thoughts. The apostle Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians 2:13, “Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” (NASB). This means that we can read God’s Word and take it at face value. His words are to be taken literally unless the context demands a symbolic meaning. They are NOT hard to understand if we really desire to know His will.
  2. God speaks plainly to us WHEN WE ARE OBEDIENT TO HIS WILL! We just stated that His Word is easy to understand “if we desire to know His will.” John 7:17 confirms this, for it says, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Jesus was telling the Jews that if they really wanted to know if his message was true or not, God would reveal this to them “if they were willing to do His will.” This is a valuable principle for believers to lay hold of, for if our desire is to obey and glorify God, He will indeed reveal His truth to us.
  3. God speaks plainly to us THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT! Let’s turn again to 1 Corinthians 2 and read verses 9-12: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit: for the Spirit searchs all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (NKJV). We can know God is speaking to us because we have received the Spirit of God! The Spirit reveals the things of God to us through the Word, as we saw earlier in verse 13. It is the Holy Spirit’s mission and delight to do this. Our part is simply to yield to the Holy Spirit so He will be free to reveal God’s Mind to us. I should add that, at times, the Spirit will reveal God’s will to us through impressions. In Acts 16:6 we see that the apostle Paul was “forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia” and in verse 7 Paul desired to go into Bithynia “but the Spirit suffered them not.” Paul was sensitive enough to the Spirit’s leading, and the Spirit impressed upon Paul’s heart God’s will.
  4. God’s speaks plainly to us WHEN WE PRAY! James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (NASB). God wants to speak to us, but He also wants us to speak to Him! He knows we lack wisdom and His desire is that we cry out to Him to learn His will. This verse assures us that if anyone asks for wisdom, “it will be given to him.” This wisdom will be imparted to us through His Word, through impressions by the Spirit, through the counsel of godly Christians, or by clear and unmistakable circumstances. Whichever way God may choose, we can be certain He will communicate His mind and will to us, and WE WILL KNOW HE IS SPEAKING TO US!  (190.9)  (DO)