The story of the wise men shows how God speaks uniquely to people. These men were most likely the scientists of their day and were trained in astrology. Most Greeks, Romans, and even Jews respected astrological predictions in this time period. 
God has used many unique ways to speak to His people over time. He used a burning bush to call Moses to save the nation from Egypt. A large fish swallowed Jonah, which God used to get his attention. These were unique, one-time occurrences.
God Spoke Through a Star
The wise men astrologists paid attention to the stars. They noticed something they had not seen before. We are not sure what the star was exactly, but we do know it got the attention of these men.
The Bible forbade divination from astrology. Isaiah 47:13b Where are all your astrologers, those stargazers who make predictions each month? Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds. 14 But they are like straw burning in a fire; they cannot save themselves from the flame.
Yet, the God who rules the heavens chooses to use something that these Gentiles will see. Matthew doesn’t condone astrology in his account of the wise men visiting Jesus. But he does show how God spoke to these men in a way they would understand. It seems that even a pagan can respond to God as He reveals Himself.
How Does God Speak Today?
Three ways God speaks can be through nature, through Scripture, and through believing in Jesus. The wise mean heard God in all three of these areas. They observed the star in nature and followed it to the area where Jesus was born. Then they received specific instructions from scholars who knew the Scripture well. Finally, they traveled to Bethlehem to see Jesus.
We can be intentional in seeking God and listening for His voice. Just like the wise men, God often uses multiple ways to speak and guide us. Yet, like the wise men, He uses something that is familiar to us.
As we begin the new year, be open to the Lord speaking in new ways. Don’t assume that God will speak to you the same way He has spoken to others. He has designed you as a unique person and knows how He made you. God will speak in a way that suits you and draws you closer to Him.
To learn how God speaks uniquely, listen here: