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How Do I Sense God?

by Mike Ingold on February 06, 2024

How do we sense God in our lives? Is he present with us? Is he speaking to me personally? Can I sense God in other ways besides hearing him? Romans 8:16 gives us the best answer: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” We can know that we are sensing God if our spirit bears witness with God’s Spirit.

Seeing & Hearing
Just as we experience the natural world through our five senses (to hear, see, touch, taste, and smell), we can also experience the spiritual world through our spiritual five senses. Seeing may be the easiest spiritual sense to recognize. God may give us a dream or a vision, or we may see into the spirit realm as God reveals something. Hearing is also more familiar to us. God often speaks to me in his still, small voice. Many times, I hear a word, phrase, or an impression in my mind. Spiritual seeing and hearing often go together. When God shows something to our spiritual vision, we need him to speak to our hearing to tell us what we are seeing.

Psalm 34:8 from the Message says, “Open your mouth and taste and see - how good GOD is. Blessed are you who run to him.” In this verse, “taste” is experiencing the goodness of God and his Word in all our experiences of life. We need to chew on his Word until it becomes new manna and new wine to us. We can spiritually taste the fruit of the Spirit, or we may get a sense of a bad taste that indicates the enemy is involved instead of God. 

God may reveal smells to us in our spiritual noses to help us sense him or other things happening in the spiritual realm. I had a missionary friend who had the gift of discernment of spirits by smell. God allowed him to recognize evil spirits by smell. He often encountered the spirit of religion, which smelled like a skunk! We may also smell the fragrance of heaven, a sweet-smelling aroma.

Touch or feeling is the last spiritual sense. We may feel heat in our hands when we are praying with someone, indicating that God’s healing power is flowing through us. We might also feel something cold when an evil presence is close by. At times, we may experience pain or numbness in parts of our body. This may be what the person we are praying for is experiencing, or it may be a word of knowledge for the whole group. Sometimes, when we lay hands on a person or when we are praying for them, God begins to show us things about that person. God can use all five of our spiritual senses as we sense and experience him.

As we sense things from God, we always need to ask ourselves, “Does this sensing line up with God’s Word, his nature, and his character? If it does not line up, we need to put it on hold until God gives further instruction. Don’t be afraid to test your sensing against God’s Word, his nature, and his character. A sense from God should bring peace to our spirits. The enemy’s leading will bring doubt, fear, and confusion. Finally, the best test is “Does our spirit bear witness with God’s Holy Spirit?” That is the best way to sense God.

Tags: god, see, holy spirit, spirit, touch, hear, taste, smell, spiritual discernment, spirit realm, sensing

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