I don’t want to mislead anyone here because I literally have no way of proving what I believe. I make this disclaimer because certainly this is a topic that can be misleading if not taken in the proper context. Fortunately I am only an opinion writer and not an expert so if there is something that I say that does not edify you… please toss it and turn to your spiritual leader for advice.
In essence, how God speak with me could be entirely different from how God would speak with you. The other part of the equation is how we interpret the various forms of communication from God. In order to address this topic I can only speak from my experiences. Others may experience things grossly different. It is my firm belief that God made us very unique. That means even though we have so much in common we are unique to God. It is similar to how we have children who may have much in common but to the parent they are that different. Even with identical twins a parent knows them separately and intimately. In the same manner even though we have the same Creator, our Heavenly Father knows us as individuals first and then as one of His many children. Therefore I believe that it is through our individuality that God communicates with us.
In addition to God being the transmitter and we are the receiver, our interpersonal relationships with God can make receiving vary. When someone says God spoke with me or that He told me something or otherwise communicated with them… that is between the Maker and the made. Even though we know some people may use such statements erroneously, that is not our call to make. How God communicates with anyone is none of our business. With that said we still should not fall for the charlatans or false prophets. You will know them by the fruit they reveal.
On the spiritual side we know about the manifestations of the Spirit as mentioned in the scriptures. More specifically it mentions speaking in different kinds of tongues and another one is the interpretations of tongues. Although this may be a highly controversial topic even for some Christians, it also covers how uniquely God distributed the various manifestations of the Spirit into us, the body of His creations. This topic goes much deeper than this essay will cover but it is a topic that I think believers need to discuss because of how it has been used or misused causing confusion to the body of believers. If something edifies the body then it is good but if it doesn’t then it is questionable. That is a topic that needs to be discussed among believers.
The twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians would make a great Bible study topic. However opinions might vary deeply about this subject so people need to be respectful of one another. I would suggest that one leans not upon their own understanding but instead yield to the power of the Holy Spirit who is the final authority. Likewise the Holy Spirit is the usual transmitter in speaking with believers, but God uses various modes of communication to speak to His children. Read Numbers 22:28. Though God never spoke to me through a donkey there have been plenty Jackasses that have spoken to me claiming it was a message from God. (Joke)
The main tool God uses to speak with me personally has been through the written word. I find the more I become familiar with the scriptures the more it activates the Spirit of God that resides in me. It is through my desire to know God better that more knowledge and understanding comes directly through the word. This is because the Spirit of God lives in the word so it searches through our hearts and delivers communications to us according to what the Spirit knows about us. If believers do not spend much time in the scriptures that does not mean that God would not use other measures to reach them but it appears that our desire to know God better is what activates His divine knowledge, understanding and ultimately wisdom. It is through wisdom that many other doors are made available. Wisdom is directly from God but it is not a casual commodity. One must seek it as though it were more precious than silver or gold and treasure it even more.
The next tool that God uses to speak with me is through the Holy Spirit, which is the same One that is activated through a study of God’s word. Fortunately we have a live-in Helpmate that stays with us, protects us, directs us, teaches us, chastises us, and the like. This could also be what others refer to when they say God told them something. It is because of this that I try not to judge people because the Holy Spirit communicates quite frequently to believers in various forms… albeit through the heart or through the mind or even through other people. That usually depends upon their personal relationship with God and how intimately that relationship might have been bonded. Though we would assume that people in the clergy would have a more intimate and closer relationship simply because of their chosen profession or calling, God relates with each of us according to the desires of our heart. The more you seek the more you find. The more time you spend with God the more you understand the subtle ways that He speaks with us. So if you seek clarification on how God communicates with you, spend more time doing things where you know He resides. “Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6
There are certainly other ways God uses to communicate with His children but why not start with the basics and work your way up to more subtle ways and means. Word!