So many times in my life, I have heard stories of how God has plainly laid things out for friends and acquaintances. There have been a few instances in my life where God gave me an idea or vision, but I tend to not trust him to reveal things in HIS time, by HIS means.
I look for Him to answer prayers through the "open the bible to a random page" method. Or the "attend 1048392 church services" method.
I was reading through Acts 10, and (as I am writing this, I am proving to myself what I am writing about) God revealed something very important to me.
He uses different mediums to speak to different people, but His timing is ALWAYS perfect.
You have this story about Cornelius, who from how the scripture reads, led a life that to the Pharisees would be seen as acceptable. He regularly sought after God and gave to the needy. God sent an angel (medium 1) to Cornelius with very specific instructions. He was told, in short, to send for Peter. He sent three of his men to fetch Peter.
The next day, as the three men approached, Peter goes to the housetop to pray. He fell into a trance and had a dream (medium 2), much less specific than Cornelius' interaction. While pondering the vision, the men arrived at where Peter was.
While pondering his dream, the Holy Spirit (medium 3) spoke to Peter and told him to go down and find the men. Peter went with the men back to Cornelius. There, Peter preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ (medium 4) and the Spirit worked through him in order to reach the people surrounding Cornelius who were living by the law. All who were there were baptized. Kingdom advanced.
Within this one story, God speaks to at least two different people in four different ways. Lessons this teaches me:
1. God can speak to us through supernatural means. The angel was what instantly got Cornelius' attention
2. God can speak to us through dreams. When we are walking instep with God, he can use our subconscious level to communicate with us. This is how great pastors and leaders come into visions and ideas.
3. God can speak to us through the Holy Spirit. Much like the idea of having an "angel" on our shoulder, the Holy Spirit can whisper immediate direction into our lives.
4. God ca speak to us through people. Whether it's friends or acquaintances, God uses people to speak to us. In this case the Holy Spirit was leading the people around Cornelius to Christ through what Peter was saying.
5. God's timing is PERFECT. Just as the men were arriving, Peter went onto the roof to pray and God gave him this dream. Plus, if you read the scripture, you see that Peter happened to be hungry and dream about food....
In no way is this an exhausted list. Proof: God speaking to me through the revelation of this blog post and you seeing this blog post on Twitter and God (hopefully) speaking to you through it.