From Hearing God through the Year by Dallas Willard:
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17
As Bible history proceeds, we notice that the more mature the listener is, the more clear the message from God is. Also, as the maturity of the listener increases, the role of dreams, visions and other strange phenomena and altered states decreases.
In the lives of New Testament personalities—especially Jesus himself—there is a great deal of strictly spiritual—nonphysical—communication between God and his people. Visions, dreams and angels continue to play some part—as they may today. When these phenomena were the main (as opposed to occasional) means of interaction, it indicated a less developed spiritual life in the individual or in the group. This is not to be judgmental, but to point out that we should expect to grow into the kind of life with God in which we hear from him amid frequent times of conversational prayer.
REFLECT: When you pray, do you ever have a conversation with God? If not, how might you modify your times of prayer to help that happen? If so, what sorts of things have you been hearing from God lately?