How does God speak to us?
Many sermons have been preached on this, and there are lots of biblical citings on it. Here's my personal testimony:
God speaks to me through timing and arranging coincidences - what I call godincidences. For example, bringing up the same topic from multiple sources - like in my previous post on forgiveness: a CR lesson, a chapter read, a bible reading from my devotional time, a radio sermon - all coming together on forgiveness. Followed by an 'ah ha' moment that comes from the Spirit within me. That's the holy confirmation that this is from God.
Another way is through answered prayer. Sometimes in the course of prayer I'll offer up a problem to God. I'll invite him into the solution, rather than stubbornly fighting on under my own strength. I'll simply ask for help in forming a solution. And then zap the solution comes to me, all in a rush, in a timing much faster than I could have arranged on my own. And it all makes sense immediately - by revelation rather than by step-by-step analysis.
That's how I know something is given by the spirit: the speed of understanding. All aspects come in parallel, perceived by me at one time and in a whole.
Contrast that with temptations that come from the devil: they are step-by-step analyses of a situation. Somewhere in there is a lie or perversion of truth or deliberate obfuscation of truth. I don't pick up on the lie and believe the final analysis.