How then does God speak to us? How do we know it is God? Consider this statement from John: "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him" (I John 2:27). Also consider this verse: "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things" (I John 2:20).
We must come to reckon with the fact that "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." God cannot be known by our natural senses, nor can we know the word of God by our natural minds. We cannot study the scriptures, apply rules of grammar, refer to the dictionary and then say we have heard God. This is not the word that is active, a communication of God Himself to us.
The only way we can hear God is by the anointing that He has given every true believer. This has nothing to do with the natural mind; it is a spiritual matter. God does write His word on our minds, but it is by the Spirit, not by our efforts of intellect. It happens as we bow our knee to God and wait on Him. We are utterly dependent upon God in this matter. If we cannot hear God, all we can do is continue to wait on Him until we do hear Him speak. If we are serious with God, we will not rise from this place until we let Him put His finger on whatever is hindering the communication.
In the end, we only know a word of God by the anointing. The anointing is a spiritual "witness" or "knowing" that makes His word alive and active, meeting the need of the moment and communicating the reality of God.
When and how does this anointing come? John says we have an anointing and that it abides with us even as the Holy Spirit abides in us. We are to abide or live in that anointing or "knowing" at all times. An intellectual reading of the scriptures does not produce this anointing. What is needed is a humble desire to hear God and obey what He speaks.
Some have the mistaken idea that we only need the anointing for special times. We do need the anointing for special times, but the anointing is not just for those special times. We are called to live every moment in that anointing, living in His presence, living His life in every circumstance and responsibility that comes our way. God gives a "knowing" of His presence and His mind moment by moment if we are quiet, sensitive, and looking to Him in all things. He communicates His wisdom in every circumstance of life. This is the fulfillment of Hebrews 8:10: "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts." It is a "new and living way." God is alive, and by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, He is alive in us.
This personal living word of God is the basis of faith. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). When we are confident we have heard God, then we can move in faith. Faith brings the ability to take steps of obedience to God. The living word authors faith in our hearts and keeps us in relationship with Jesus who will fulfill that word in our lives. Apart from this faith, we cannot please God because we cannot move in His life and power. No wonder God said that man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Notice that (as in our previous discussion) this verse does not read, "Faith comes by reading the scriptures." If that were true, all we would need to do is read the Bible and we would have faith. How many read the Bible and yet don't even know what faith is? What does produce faith is the word of God to the one who has ears to hear Him. Will God feed us? Does He not feed the hungry? If we are hungry, God will feed us by His very own word. God's word will become nourishment to us, enabling us to live in Him.