Does God speak to kids?
God spoke to kids and teens in the Bible and He still speaks to kids today.
As parents and leaders, we need to teach our kids how to hear the voice of God for themselves.
Three Parts of Man
But first, we need to teach on the three-fold nature of man. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, we see the three parts of man: spirit, soul, and body.
I like to put it this way: I am a spirit; I have a soul; I live in a body.
It’s important for kids to know that God speaks to us through our spirit. If I told a group of children, “God spoke to me,” they would think I heard an audible voice. (Sometimes God does speak in an audible voice, but most of the time He talks to your spirit with a still small voice.)
There are four ways that God speaks to us through our spirit:
1. The Inward Witness
The most frequent way that God leads all of His children is when the Holy Spirit “bears witness” with our spirit (Romans 8:16). With the inward witness, you don’t hear anything. It is a “spiritual feeling” that you have in your gut. It’s a red light or green light. You may be watching a TV show and you get a yucky feeling on the inside. That’s the red light, the inward witness, telling you to turn it off.
Sometimes you’ll hear people say, “I’ve got peace about that.” What they are saying is, “I have a green light; the inward witness is telling me to go for it.”
2. The Voice of Your Spirit
The second most frequent way that God speaks to you is by the voice of your own spirit, which is your conscience. Your conscience comes as a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). If you have been born again, your conscience is a safe guide. If you’re not born again, your conscience is not a safe guide. The inward voice is a little different from the inward witness in that you actually hear words on the inside of you – you hear a still small voice.
I’ve taught kids to listen to the voice of their spirit by putting them in real-life situations:
“How many of you have ever been tempted to steal a candy bar at a grocery store, but you heard a voice say, ‘No’?”
“How many of you have ever walked past your bedroom and seeing it all messy, you heard a voice say, ‘Remember, Mom told you to clean up your room’? That is your conscience – the voice of your spirit – sometimes called the inward voice.
3. The Voice of the Spirit of God
Another way that God speaks to us is through the voice of the Spirit of God. This voice is also an inner voice, but it is much stronger and more authoritative than the voice of your spirit. When God spoke to the child Samuel, I do not believe that it was an audible voice. If it were an audible voice, Eli would have heard it too. Yet, the voice was so strong inside Samuel that it seemed to be audible to him. This is the voice of the Spirit of God. You will hear this voice much less frequently than the voice of your own spirit.
4. Visions (Seeing And Knowing)
Another way God speaks to you is through pictures or visions. Many times God will show you a picture of something in your spirit. For example, once during worship, I saw a picture of a bicycle in my spirit. I wasn’t sure what that meant so I asked, “Is anybody here praying for a bicycle?” I found a boy who had been praying for a bicycle for some time, and I encouraged him to keep believing in God. The next day, the church office got a phone call from a little boy in my class who had bought a new bike about two weeks earlier, and then won another new bike in a sweepstakes. He wanted to give the sweepstakes bike to the boy who had been praying for a bike! Praise God!
Teaching kids to listen to God is a big part of prayer, because prayer is talking AND listening to God.
After you have taught your children to hear God speak to them, it is really important that you teach them to obey His voice and do what He has told them to do. Whether it is to share the gospel with someone, pray for someone who is sick, or to forgive someone who has wronged them, it pays to obey.
God’s way is always the best way!
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Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.