God’s Seven Languages 

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‘My sheep listen to my voice; and I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27) 

If the heathen gods are idols that cannot speak (Psalm 115:4), the God of the Bible is a living God who speaks! Science has proven that ‘All living things have the ability to communicate with each other using a variety of signs and signals.’ How much more God loves to communicate with the human beings he created in his image and redeemed to himself? God takes pleasure in speaking to his people and it is his people’s pleasure to listen and submit to his voice. Language is important in any mutual relationship. God speaks to us primarily through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) but the Bible itself also records seven languages God uses to speak to us. God’s choice of the language he uses to speak to each one of us depends on him and our ability to listen. Here are the seven languages: 

1. Inner voice of the Holy Spirit 

God’s Holy spirit speaks in a soft inner voice the Bible describes as ‘a gentle whisper’ (1 Kings 19:11).  This needs a closer walk with God, training and holy living. As the famous hymn says, ‘Just a closer walk with thee!’ This is why the Bible tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) because it is through his Holy Spirit that God speaks to us. ‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it”’ (Isaiah 30:21). 

2. The word - rhema

‘Rhema’ is a specific scripture or Bible passage the Holy Spirit uses to speak to a specific situation one is going through to bring encouragement, comfort and direction (Genesis 28:15). Once when I faced a huge problem the Holy Spirit used Mark 16 to encourage me. There was a ‘very large stone’ placed on the entrance of the tomb and the women while on their way to the tomb asked each other: ‘Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?’ (Mark 16:3). That was my question: ‘Who will roll my stone for me?’ The story continues: ‘But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away’ (Mark 16:4). The Lord was saying ‘don’t worry, I have rolled your stone.’ He did roll it!   

3. The body of Christ  

New Testament believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit who speaks through them. Believers in the Church of Ephesus for instance spoke to Apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit. ‘Through the Holy Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.’ (Acts 21:4). This is one of the blessings of the fellowship of the brethren; that God speaks to us through our brethren. ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!’ (Psalm 133:1).  

4. Visions 

One New Testament vision God used to break the strong ‘middle wall of separation’ between the Jews and the gentiles (Ephesians 2:14), was that given to the Apostle Peter to go and preach the gospel in Cornelius’ house. ‘While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them”’ (Acts 10:19). 

5. Dreams 

God speaks through dreams. God spoke to Joseph (Genesis 37), Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (Genesis 40:5), and Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1) through dreams. Two important things to note in relation to dreams: 

  • Not all dreams are from God.  

Dreams that are not from God come from ‘cares’ or continuous thinking or worrying about something which the subconscious mind stores and brings up as dreams (Ecclesiastes 5:2). 

  • God confirms dreams that are from him.  

The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh twice was to confirm that it was from God (Genesis 41:32 also Acts 10:16). It is important to ask: ‘Is this dream from God or from my cares?’ And not to rush but to wait for confirmation. 

6. Circumstances  

Can God use natural phenomena like heavy rains or cancelled flights to speak to us? I believe so. One good example is Balaam’s story (Numbers 22:21-31). The Lord stood in the way to block Balaam’s journey as it was not his will. Similarly, the Lord might use circumstances to protect us from stepping outside his will. 

7. Pain 

Pain is God’s seventh language! But why should God speak through pain when there are six nice languages he can use? As mentioned, the wise God chooses the language that can best get our attention to listen to him. The language of pain may be God’s last resort when we are no longer sensitive to the other languages. As CS Lewis said, ‘Pain is God’s megaphone to awaken a deaf  world.’ It was the language God used to speak to King Manasseh to restore him from evil. ‘Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray… The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So, the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner. In his distress he sought the favour of the Lord his God and humbled himself…’ (2 Chronicles 33:9-13). 

Lord, Keep us sensitive to your voice. 

Alex Bolek is ICMDA Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa and Regional Secretary for East Africa  


  1. Trevor Stammers on 25 July 2022 at 9:43 am

    A really helpful summary. Thanks

  2. Papa Ataro on 27 July 2022 at 11:19 am

    Extremely edifying, thanks Alex for this. You have encouraged and lifted me in spirit through this seven languages exposition. Be blessed. Papa

    • Abel Zoumanigui on 7 September 2022 at 1:07 am

      Merci beaucoup !

  3. Radiologist Moses BITAKUYA on 9 August 2022 at 12:22 pm

    I like somuch here

  4. Suzanne Fenlason on 29 September 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Great teaching Alex. What you wrote is filled with hope to encourage our hearts that the Lord wants to speak to us. What an awesome God we have!

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