What is God’s Rhema Word for You?

"So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17

“So, then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

Welcome to a brand-new year! What a great time to start fresh with new goals and new ideas. A popular way many people set goals is by centering them around a specific word. What you do is you choose a word that describes your “why” and what your intentions of the year will be. Maybe you’ve done this.

Did you know the Bible also has a “word?” Ok, yes, I know it’s THE word, the holy word of God. But I’m talking about its word, what it’s trying to say to us. God uses two different forms of communication to do this. One is called the rhema word.

If you’re not familiar with rhema, don’t worry. Many people aren’t. Simply put, it’s one way God talks to us, even how He talks to us personally one-on-one. Let’s explore how God does this and perhaps discover what His rhema word is for you.

Logos vs. Rhema

Two Greek words translate as “word” in the English language—logos and rhema.

Logos refers to the written form of holy Scripture and sometimes to Jesus Himself. There are over 300 examples of logos in the Bible. We see one example in John 1:1.

“In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (my addition)

Another example is in John 18:32.

“…That the saying [logos] of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.” (my addition)

Rhema (hray’-mah), on the other hand, refers to any spoken word. Strong’s Dictionary defines it like this:A rhema word is Greek for any spoken word or utterance by a living voice.

“An utterance (individually, collectively, or especially); by implication, a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); a saying, word.” (#4487)

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon also defines rhema as something that has been uttered by a living voice: “Any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning, a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative,” as a matter of narration, command or dispute (4:69, 505).

An example of rhema is found in Matthew 4:4 when Satan was trying to tempt Jesus before His ministry began.

“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word (rhema) that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (my addition)

It’s also in Romans 10:17.

“So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God.” (my addition)

Another example (and there are 70 in the New Testament, so this will be the last one I mention) is in John 15:7.

“If you abide in Me, and My words (rhema) abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (my addition)

In essence, anytime God is speaking to us, it is a rhema word. It offers us direction and guidance so we know where to go and what to do.

Who’s Talking?

When it comes to the rhema word, Christians might dispute who is actually doing the talking.

Many Christians often believe rhema comes from the Holy Spirit, which makes sense because of what Jesus said the Holy Spirit was.

“…And [the Father] will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16

God longs to dwell with us, which literally means to settle down in a fixed place.

The Holy Spirit is our helper and counselor, the one who internally guides us and teaches us as we go from faith to faith. He dwells with us (the Greek translation is “katoikeo,” meaning “to settle down fixedly in one place”), and He is always faithful. His rhema is often interpreted through feelings and emotions, or even through another person’s words or actions such as from a pastor or friend.

The only problem with this view is that rhema isn’t limited to just the Holy Spirit.

Since rhema means “a spoken word,” anyone could be doing the talking and not just the Holy Spirit. And that could spell trouble.

This leads us to the other point of view many other Christians have—that rhema and logos are synonymous.

Rhema and the Bible

The thought is we cannot perceive God’s word, His rhema, if we don’t know which Scripture it’s based on. God cannot betray His own word (Psalm 89:34), so if we receive a rhema word, then it must be based scripturally. This is the camp of thought I fall into.

But if the Bible isn’t specific about a particular topic, such as which car should you buy, then we discern God’s rhema based on Biblical principles. We might ask ourselves if we’re obedient with our finances, if the purchase betrays any of the Bible’s commands, or if ungodly forces are influencing us before we make a decision.

The Holy Spirit indeed speaks to us. Remember, Theyer’s Greek Lexicon said it’s “an utterance by a living voice.” In this case, God’s living voice. But we must always remember that He first speaks to us through His word, the Bible.

If we believe we have received a rhema from the Lord, then we must test it against what the Bible says. Likewise, we must be familiar enough with Scripture to rightly discern if God is really speaking a rhema word to us. Otherwise, we run the danger of being led astray by evil forces pretending to be the Lord, which is one of Satan’s favorite weapons.We cannot receive a rhema word from God unless we are familiar with the Scriptures.

Just Ask for It

Rhema isn’t just something we receive. We can also ask for it.

As we study the Bible and become familiar with its teachings, there’s little doubt at some point we will simply have no idea what a particular verse is trying to say.

Bibles with study notes, dictionaries, and concordances are handy references to help figure things out. Another great strategy is simply to pray and ask God about it.

I used to exercise on an elliptical trainer at the gym for long stretches of time. I’m talking like an hour or more (I’m a crazy cardio junkie, I confess). To keep my mind occupied, I often read the Bible on my phone.

Since I was trying to exercise, it was highly unlikely I was going to stop to look up Scripture I didn’t understand in some reference book, not that I had one nearby. The only thing I could do was ask God directly about it.

I asked God to reveal to me what He was trying to show me in His word. Sometimes He would answer right away, but most times, it would be another chapter or two before I put the pieces together.

Now, these were verses I had read several or more times before and thought nothing about it. But when I purposefully stopped to ask God what they meant, He revealed it to me. And when He did, it was like, “A-HA!! Now I get it!”

So, while God does give us a rhema word—an urging, a prompting, a direction to go, clarity—we can also ask Him for it. I would even argue He’s bursting at the seams for us to do so. We never need to wait for Him to show Himself to us.

God longs to show us who He is. He longs to be in relationship with us. It’s just a matter of us asking for it.God longs to be in a relationship with us. He longs to give us a personal rhema word.

What is Your Rhema Word?

How do we know if God has a rhema word for us? How do we know if He has something to say?

The first thing we must do is read His word. As I mentioned already, we cannot discern the voice of God if we don’t have anything to compare it to. We must know what Scripture says so we become familiar with His commandments and promises, and the depth of His faithfulness, love, and grace.

Once we have His word in our hearts, the Holy Spirit can more easily speak to us when He’s ready to speak. It’s like we prepared a fertile garden bed for the Holy Spirit to plant His seeds. That fertile ground—our hearts—receives the rhema word, and it comes alive to us.

At the same time, we can also pray for a rhema word. We can pray for God to reveal to us what we need to know, which way to go, or to explain something to us.

Whichever way we receive a rhema word from God, we must always be sure to doublecheck it with what the Bible says so we don’t unknowingly fall prey to Satan’s lies.

So, what is your rhema word?

I encourage you to set aside a certain amount of time to read God’s word, whether it’s daily or weekly. Just keep reading.

Then, during your prayer time (wherever or whenever that may be), ask God to speak to you. Ask Him for a rhema word, for whatever He wants you to know. He’ll speak when it’s the right time to say something, whether now or later.

Just always remember that God hears our prayers, He answers every one of them (1 Peter 3:12), and His timing is always perfect (Psalm 18:30).

God has a rhema word for you. One that’s meant for you and only you.

It’s a new year.

It’s time to prepare your heart to receive it.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in finding out which Bible verses give a rhema word, click over to Bible Tools. They put a nice, concise list for further study.

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12 Replies to “What is God’s Rhema Word for You?”

  1. I just wanted to give you tremendous thanks for being willing to share the knowledge that God has blessed you with, as it has absolutely been nothing short of a blessing to me. If you would, please pray for Gods guidance in my life with me. I want to be the brightest light to shine for him, and him alone. My husband and I have been under spiritual attack for long enough. I know that when two or more are gathered, he is in there in the midst ….. I love you and know god will bless you, thank you again…and it’s his breath in our lungs so We pour out my praise to him only!!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Dianna. I will definitely pray for you. If you can be obedient to whatever the Holy Spirit puts in your heart, you’re going the right way. So keep pressing toward the mark. God bless you and your family. I appreciate you stopping by.

  2. What is exactly is Rhema? It seems to me that Kenneth Hagin is the pioneer of this Rhema doctrine. On his website, the definition of Rhema is not clear to me. An excerpt from the definition says: “When the Holy Spirit speaks to you, He quickens a Scripture verse or a specific direction to you – a specific word for a specific time and purpose.” This definition suggests that a Rhema is a written Word that God speaks to us.

    Is Rhema a Scripture verse (written Word) that the Holy Spirit quickens to you? Or is it an extrabiblical word that God speaks to you (that is, a word from outside the Scripture that God speaks to you) for a specific situation? Which is it? If it is simply a verse of Scripture (written Word) that the Holy Spirit quickens to you for application in a specific situation in your life, what, then, is the difference between the written Word and Rhema? If that is the case, it means Rhema is essentially the written Word. It means anytime God speaks to us through His written Word, it is a Rhema.

    Could it be that the Hagin definition of Rhema has changed with time? I don’t know for sure if the current definition on his website is the way he definition it originally or if it has evolved over time.

    • A Rhema word can be given to you by whichever method God wants to use, either as we read the Scriptures or as we pray. What Kenneth Hagin was trying to say is the Holy Spirit will remind us of certain Bible verses to help us during/for a specific time or for a specific purpose. You may not know the verse exactly, which is why it is so important to read the Bible as often as possible. But since God has placed His word on our hearts, you will (should) know what He’s trying to say. If this happens, compare it to Scripture to make sure it is indeed the Holy Spirit speaking to you and not the devil or your own imagination. If it lines up, it’s God giving you a special word. I hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by. God bless.

  3. I have heard the Audible Voice of the Holy Spirit and once of God the Father. Would that be Rhema?

    • It could be. Though the Lord does speak to us, we must be careful about what the message is. If it lines up with His word, then, yes, it’s likely Rhema. If that’s the case, earnestly pray over His message and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. s

  4. I received a book about Hearing God 24/7 from a Canadian Pastor and His wife around 2009. I took his advice to heart about writing down your dreams. So I kept a journal for about 6 months and tried to write down dreams as I awoke from them. I have an interesting Journal, now. I won’t share any specific dreams, now but I’m wondering what you or your readers think about this (I did have one dream on June 20, 2009 about a 2nd Korean War – if anyone is interested I’ll write it later here on another trip to this website). Some of the dreams were plain weird, though. I asked my Baptist Missionary friend about this and she said, “Robert it could be the pizza you ate the night before, too.” But I love the book on Hearing God 24/7 from the Canadian Pastor, Mark & Patti Virkler.

    • The Bible says the Lord can speak to us in dreams, but I also agree with your Baptist friend that it could just be the pizza talking to you. It’s important to be sure whatever you dream lines up with the Word. If it doesn’t, then it’s the pizza. Please be careful. The human mind can get very creative, and Satan loves that. Please use proper discernment. If God truly has something to tell you…if He has a Rhema word for you…He’ll make sure you get it.

  5. Hello, good day. Stumbled on this, I don’t know if you can help me explain. I was sleeping one time, around 6am, I heard a voice saying “He has taken away all sins for you not to be forsaken” I thought it was my younger sister, called her several times but she didn’t reply, I later realized my sister couldn’t have said something like that. I heard another one around 2am another day saying “I will bless your finances” and I have heard several of them like I will just feel my spirit drop something in my heart. I don’t know if you can shed more light on this. Thanks.

    • It’s possible it’s a Rhema word for you. Are you sure you were awake at the time? Or do you think it was part of a dream? Either way, it’s entirely possible the Holy Spirit was trying to say something to you.
      But I must ask, have you accepted Christ as your Savior? If not, He may be calling you to repentance. There is that possibility too.
      I find it odd you felt your “spirit drop something,” though. The Lord would not do that. He is a God of love and life, not of making your spirit drop.
      Your situation reminds me of this: Do you remember the story of Samuel waking in the middle of the night thinking he had heard his rabbi teacher, Eli’s, voice (1 Samuel 3:1)? Each time, Samuel ran into Eli’s room saying, “Here I am!” But Eli sent him back to bed. By the third time this happened, Eli finally figured out it was the Holy Spirit calling to Samuel. So Eli told Samuel the next time he heard the voice to respond by answering, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
      So…my suggestion is to pray very earnestly about it. Allow God the opportunity to shine the truth on what’s going on. Ask God to reveal it to you. What does He want you to know? With honesty, tell God you’re ready to listen. It’s very important to be quiet and still when listening to God. He often reveals Himself in very quiet ways. And sometimes, He shows Himself through others–their actions, their words. You’ll know if it’s God because you will have already been praying a LOT about this, then suddenly somebody will say something or does something that makes you ask, “What did you say??” It will seem like a coincidence, but I assure you, it’s not. God does this to test if you’re actually watching for Him.
      So, pray. And keep praying. Listen for His answer. Be sensitive to His Holy Spirit. Then…when you get the answer…first, give Him praise, then be obedient to what He tells you to do.
      I hope this helps. Whenever you are questioning anything, ALWAYS take it straight to God in prayer. He will always answer you.
      God bless you and keep you. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let me know if there is anything more I can do for you.

  6. Hello~ when i read my daily devotionals & the bible the pages will look as if i hi-lighted the page, but i did’nt. This has been going on for a few years,i’m just now inquiring about it because it seemed spooky to me. So i finally told a Pastor about it. He told me it was a Rhema Word from God through scripture reading. Whate er i may be going through, my readings apply to the situation. As i read, yellow hi-lighting appears majically.What is your feedback on this❓

    • I have to be honest, I have never heard of anyone experiencing this. I think it’s very interesting. Perhaps God is trying to reveal something to you, but I wouldn’t call it a Rhema word. Rhema is something that is spoken. But I wouldn’t doubt that it’s the Holy Spirit trying to show you something. You might try really focusing on what is being “highlighted” and pray about it. Take it before God and ask Him to reveal what it is He wants you to know. You will need to be in a quiet room when you do this. Any distraction may prevent you from hearing Him during this type of prayer. If He doesn’t impress anything upon you, if nothing is revealed, then you might consider that perhaps a demon is trying to keep you from reading the Scriptures. Pray about that too! Ask for God to deliver you from anything, any principality, that would keep you from drawing close to Him. Of course, we also cannot rule out perhaps something simply physical. You might have an optometrist take a look at what’s going on too. I pray this helps, and I encourage you to keep reading, keep seeking God’s word every day. He is with you and will guide you through this with love and victory.