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Sometimes I get the distinct feeling that something that someone has said is working on multiple levels. On the surface level they're talking about whatever makes sense in the context of the conversation, but on another level, it feels like they are speaking to a specific thing relevant to my spiritual life.

For instance, I have a bad habit I am trying to quit. I have prayed for God's help. Some days I feel like I really don't want to quit and I fall back into the habit. Then later the same day I'll be talking to another Christian about the weather and they might mention that it's windy and I'd say, "Well, that's Texas for you." And they would reply, "Yeah, it's not going to quit."

In that instance I felt like it was the holy spirit speaking, talking about me going back into my habit even after asking for help to quit. It was saying I wasn't going to quit. Considering the wind is used many times in the Bible as a symbol of God's presence in the world it seems even more likely.

What is the biblical basis for the idea that the Holy Spirit speaks through the words of other people, even those not meant to be advice?

  • Welcome! I've updated your question to make it fit our format better: we don't do well with "truth" questions (some Christians will say there is a biblical basis for this, while others will say there isn't). Instead, we can answer with what biblical basis is given by those who believe in this sort of thing. If you haven't already done so, I hope you'll take a minute to take the tour and learn how this site is different from others. – Nathaniel Mar 23 '16 at 19:55
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I do not think that there is any direct scriptural basis for God speaking through other people. This means that (to my knowledge) there is not a specific Bible verse that iterates this crystal clear.

But after close inspection, you can see that God speaks in miraculous ways. He used Balaam to speak. Even though Balaam was not a Christian, and was rebellious, God used miraculous ways to speak.

Know I know this isn't exactly the kind of situation you're talking about, but it is something to think about. God will talk to you in many different ways.

Sometimes while I'm coding, I'll listen to (christian) music as well. Twice in the course of a half-hour, the words I was typing matched with the song. And it just got me thinking, "Wow, God is amazing. He can use any method to speak." He can use any method he wants to talk to you. Dreams, other people, even sitting down in your room! Yeah, that happened. God uses amazing ways to accomplish his will. And if speaking to you is His will, it'll get done.

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    Balaam is a good example; that's the sort of thing that fits well as an answer to this question, as it's support from the Bible for this idea. – Nathaniel Dec 8 '16 at 4:55
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for taking the site tour. For some tips on writing good answers here, please see: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Dec 8 '16 at 7:40
  • Didn't God use Balaam's donkey? – guest37 Feb 28 '17 at 22:21
  • @user33515 Yes. But if you read the story, the whole point of God using Balaam's donkey was to keep Balaam from getting himself killed. Later in the story, God spoke throug Balaam, against Balaam's will. – GreenHawk1220 Mar 4 '17 at 23:56
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This view is actually based on overall understanding or the revelation of the scripture; that God reveals his truths and communication through various means. We know of examples where God even opened the mouth of a donkey and made him talk. (Numbers 22). In the New Testament Jesus clearly promised us of the works of the Holy Spirit (John 16). Thus it is rather an implicit case from the whole Bible that we learn that God or his Spirit might talk or communicate with us indirectly, rather than a heavenly voice or direct communication.

Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (ESV)

(James 5:19-20) 19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (ESV)

2Tim 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (ESV)

1Cor 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.(ESV)

1Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (ESV)

If his attributes are revealed to us through nature, his voice is also revealed to us through subtle indirect things, not just through people's advice but through anything. It depends on the us as to listen to him.

General reference on God's guidance that you might use as reference:

Gen 12:1; Exod 13:21; Exod 15:13; Exod 33:13-15; Num 10:33; Deut 32:10; Deut 32:12; 2Sam 22:29; 2Chr 32:22; Neh 9:19-20; Ps 5:8; Ps 23:2-3; Ps 25:5; Ps 25:9; Ps 27:11; Ps 31:3; Ps 32:8; Ps 48:14; Ps 61:2; Ps 73:24; Ps 78:52; Ps 80:1; Ps 107:7; Ps 139:9-10; Ps 139:24; Prov 8:20; Isa 40:11; Isa 42:16; Isa 48:17; Isa 55:4; Isa 57:18; Isa 58:11; Jer 3:4; Luke 1:79; John 10:3-4; John 16:13

This question reminds me of the interview of Andrew Klavan on Jewish Voice on his book The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ where he explained how God kept calling and helping him through subtle messages and things in life. He shared an incident where as an unbeliever he was on the verge of committing suicide, but he saw a Christian baseball player on TV whose direct pro-christian messages were so annoying to him; but that night the player said "sometimes you have to run in pain", an indirect secular message which saved Andrew from committing suicide. He of course later realized that God was helping him all along.

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God did in times past use prophets, dreams, and yes even a donkey to reveal his will to man. But in these last days he has spoken unto us through his Son Jesus (Heb. 1:1) Jesus has revealed the mind of God to us through the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit will not speak of himself but whatsoever he hears that's what he speaks (John 16:13-14). How then does the mention of something quitting (like the wind) seem like a word from the Lord? I believe the answer is found by looking at two passages. Jeremiah 31:33 and 2 Cor. 3:3 both tell us that the Holy Spirit writes the word in our heart. Because the will of God is in our heart our conscience will either condemn us or not (1 John 3:19-21). That is God's way of moving us to repent, the goal is to have a conscience free of guilt. My prayer is that you will yield your will to the will of God.

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