It Breaks Through

So much noise.

Too much information.

Bombarded by distractions….

and then God’s voice breaks through.

Clear.

Strong…..

making more sense than all the chaos around me.

One of my favorite images of God comes from the story that Jesus tells us in the 10th chapter of John about the Good Shepherd.  “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them on.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”  John 10:3-4.

I recognize his voice.  How?

It’s simple but not easy.  After reading the entire Bible 10 times, I know when God is speaking to me because he is speaking his words – the words I have read over and over.  I recognize his truth because I have seriously studied the Bible for over 30 years.  I’m not a pastor or a theologian.  I’m just an average person who really wants to hear God and know the truth.

I have been asked, “How do you know it’s God and not just your own voice telling you what you want to hear?”  When what I hear lines up with what I’ve read and studied in God’s word, I have no doubt that it’s his voice.  He often brings scripture into my mind that answer questions I have.  Many times God tells me something I’ve never thought of or even wanted – then I definitely know it’s him.

Important point – messages from God will be consistent with more than just one verse in the Bible.  The only way to really know it is from God is that it lines up with what God says about this topic throughout the entire Bible.

One verse can steer me in the wrong direction.  One or two verses taken out of context can tell us lies – nothing close to what God really meant.

Be very careful with the ‘life verse’ concept.  The only way that works is if you understand what God says about that topic through the entire Bible.  Otherwise, it can be a shortcut that takes you down a dark path – a path where you hear what you want to hear because you are not recognizing his voice.

The closer I get to God, the easier it is to hear his voice.

Thank you for being my good shepherd, Abba Father.

No Short-Cuts

I like to get answers to my questions quickly.  I don’t want to spend a bunch of time researching and trying to figure them out.

Who has the time for that?

Can you relate?

If some of the questions you have is “why don’t I hear God speak to me more often?” or “why can’t I ever hear God speak to me?”,  the answer is – it takes having a personal relationship with God to regularly hear him.  The closer I get to him, the louder and more clearly his voice becomes.

Yes, sometimes he will just speak out of the blue to someone who doesn’t even believe in him.  But, generally, getting our communication channels open with God takes time and effort.

We like to take short cuts by listening to the pastor for 20 minutes on Sunday morning so he can teach us something from God’s Word.  We like reading Christian books and devotionals where other Christians share what they heard from God.  Don’t get me wrong – this is good – I’m a Christian blogger, aren’t I?  The Holy Spirit can and does use all of these methods to reveal truth to us.

But I will never have a close personal relationship with God through someone else.  It’s got to be just him and me for many hours, many weeks, many months, many years.  If I really want to know and hear God, spending significant, serious time with him and obeying what I read and hear is the answer.

“God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.”  Psalm 53: 2.

He’s looking down right now.  What does he see?

Please help us seek you with all of our hearts, minds and souls, Abba Father.

It’s Finished.

Complete.

All the weaving, measuring and hammering was done.  Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and put up the curtain to the entrance.

Done.

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34

Awesome!

There are times during the praise part of worshipping God with my spiritual family when I visualize a cloud billowing into the room.  As I watch in my mind, the glory of the LORD fills the space around me.  God’s word tells us that he ‘inhabits’ the praise of his people.

God is always beside me but there are two places in my life where he feels most near to me –

  • the first place is right now with my Bible open in my lap and my ears and heart open to what he wants to say to me.
  • the second is when I’m joining with God’s people in praising him.  This is especially true for me when a praise song includes pivotal truths that have been game-changers in my life.  This last Sunday we lifted our praise up to God because he fights our battles and he walks with us through the darkness that surrounds us. Tears streamed down my face because my battles since my son died are huge and the darkness often tries to smother my joy.  I felt a cloud of God’s grace and love filling the room and my heart.  God is good, he loves me and always wants the best for me even when I can’t see it.  These are all facts that have gotten me through the last 5 1/2 painful years since my son was killed.

Do you know what it feels like to have the glory of the Lord fill your heart?  If you want to get closer to God, read his Word daily, listen and obey and spend time sincerely praising him with your spiritual family.  Open your heart and mind to him and he will fill you with his love and grace.

Thank you, Abba Father.

A Work in Progress

Changing me.

Growing me.

This is what God is doing.

Paul tells us in Romans 12, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ” vs 2.

God is in the process of gradually transforming me from the inside out by changing the way I think.  As I continue to read, study and memorize God’s word, his truth takes over more and more of my brain.  His Word is becoming the basis of where my thoughts come from.

I’ve had people ask me how I can be so bold in talking and writing about my faith all the time.  It doesn’t seem bold to me – it’s how I think.

Paul also says to us, ” Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” the rest of Romans 12:2.

Love this!

It’s like tuning in an old radio – as I dial into the signal, God’s voice becomes clearer and more distinct.  God is aligning my thoughts more closely to his.  One of my regular prayers is asking God to help me love the things he loves and hate the things he hates.

When my thinking lines up with God’s, I am able to hear him and understand as he reveals his plans and purposes – his perfect will.

I’m still a work in progress – the transformation is ongoing.  But the mystery of how to clearly hear God’s voice is solved –

get close to him.

Love you, Abba Father.

It Breaks Through

So much noise.

Too much information.

Bombarded by distractions….

and then God’s voice breaks through.

Clear.

Strong…..

making more sense than all the chaos around me.

One of my favorite images of God comes from the story that Jesus tells us in the 10th chapter of John about the Good Shepherd.  “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them on.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”  John 10:3-4.

I recognize his voice.  How?

It’s simple but not easy.  After reading the entire Bible 10 times, I know when God is speaking to me because he is speaking his words – the words I have read over and over.  I recognize his truth because I have seriously studied the Bible for over 30 years.  I’m not a pastor or a theologian.  I’m just an average person who really wants to hear God and know the truth.

I have been asked, “How do you know it’s God and not just your own voice telling you what you want to hear?”  When what I hear lines up with what I’ve read and studied in God’s word, I have no doubt that it’s his voice.  He often brings scripture into my mind that answer questions I have.  Many times God tells me something I’ve never thought of or even wanted – then I definitely know it’s him.

Important point – messages from God will be consistent with more than just one verse in the Bible.  The only way to really know it is from God is that it lines up with what God says about this topic over the entire Bible.

One verse can steer me in the wrong direction.  One or two verses taken out of context can tell us lies – nothing close to what God really meant.

Be very careful with the ‘life verse’ concept.  The only way that works is if you understand what God says regarding the topics in that verse through the entire Bible.  Otherwise, it can be a shortcut that takes you down a dark path – a path where you hear what you want to hear because you are not recognizing his voice.

The closer I get to God, the easier it is to hear his voice.

Thank you for being my good shepherd, Abba Father.

Why Do I Read the Bible?

I read the Bible because, as Zachariah says,

“This message is from the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the world, and who forms the human spirit within a person…” Zechariah 12:1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                   The God who did all of this and formed my spirit wants to talk to me, he wants to teach me and he wants to guide me. He wants me to know the truth. He wants me to know him.

And I want to listen.

Thank you for your Word, Abba Father.

He Speaks…..

and I hear him.

I can call him God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit – these are all names I use for the One True God who talks to me.

How do I hear him?

When Jesus tells us about being our good Shepherd in the book of John, he gives us the key to hearing him.  The Shepherd leads his sheep “and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (John 10:27)  When we know his voice, we know who is talking to us and we can follow.

We all have voices in our heads….how do I know it’s his voice?

I read and study the Bible regularly.  Everything he tells me has to line up with what I read in his Word, or its not his voice.  If I hear something that contradicts what I read in the Bible, I know it’s either just my own voice or, even worse, Satan is busy whispering lies into my head again.

I hear God because I’m listening.  I hear God because I am genuinely searching for the truth.  I’m not looking for scriptures that support my opinions and agenda.  I’m studying so I can know God’s opinions and agenda.

I hear him because I know his voice.

Thank you, God, for leading me and speaking to me.

 

Transformation

Changing me.

Growing me.

That’s what God is doing.

Paul tells us in Romans 12, “Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

God is in the process of gradually transforming me from the inside out by changing the way I think.  As I continue to read, study and memorize God’s word, his truth takes over more and more of my brain.  His Word is becoming the basis of where my thoughts come from.

I’ve had people ask me how I can be so bold in talking and writing about my faith all the time.  It doesn’t seem bold to me – it’s how I think.

Paul also says to us, ” Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Love this!

It’s like tuning in an old radio – as I dial into the signal, God’s voice becomes clearer and more distinct.  God is aligning my thoughts more closely to his.  One of my favorite prayers is asking God to help me love the things he loves and hate the things he hates.

When my thinking is lines up with God’s, he can reveal his plans and purposes – his perfect will.

I’m still a work in progress – the transformation is ongoing.  But the mystery of how to clearly hear God’s voice is solved –

get close to him.

Love you, Abba Father.

It Breaks Through

So much noise.

Too much information.

Bombarded by distractions……

and then God’s voice breaks through.

Clear.

Strong…..

making more sense than all the chaos around me.

One of my favorite images of God comes from the story that Jesus tells us in John about the Good Shepherd.  “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them on.”  “The sheep recognize his voice.”

I recognized his voice.  How?

It’s simple but not easy.  After reading the entire Bible eight times, I know when God is speaking to me because he is speaking his words – the words I have read over and over.  I recognize his truth because I have seriously studied the Bible for over 30 years.  I’m not a pastor or a theologian.  I’m just an average person who really wants to hear God and know the truth.

I have been asked, ” how do you know it’s God and not just your own voice telling you what you want to hear?”  When what I hear lines up with what I’ve read and studied in God’s word, I have no doubt that it’s his voice.

Important point – messages from God will be consistent with more than just one verse in the Bible.  The only way to really know it is from God is that it lines up with what God says about this topic over the entire Bible.

One verse can steer me in the wrong direction.

One or two verses taken out of context can tell us lies – nothing close to what God really said.

Be very careful with the ‘life verse’ concept.  The only way that works is if you understand what God says regarding the topics in that verse through the entire Bible.  Otherwise, it can be a shortcut that takes you down a dark path – a path where you hear what you want to hear because you are not recognizing his voice.

The closer I get to God, the easier it is to hear his voice.

Thank you for speaking so clearly, Abba Father.

Don’t Be Fooled – It’s not OK

Hearing his whispers…..

seeing him move….

recognizing the coincidences that happen all around me are really ‘God-incidences’.   My sensitivity to the movement of the Holy Spirit is a vital part of my daily walk with God.  He shows me what the pieces of the puzzle look like and then I watch him put them into place.  I  try to be aware of him moving around me and open my eyes to what he is orchestrating right in front of me.

This sensitivity to the Holy Spirit has increased as my knowledge of God and my personal relationship with him has grown.  I see him working his purposes out in my world – using every opportunity to love me and bless me.  He is training me as he puts me in many situations which stretch my faith and cause me to ask for wisdom.

This sensitivity to the Holy Spirit also makes me more aware of the things on earth that are not from God –

lies….

deceit….

greed……

lack of respect…….

sexual depravity…..

I feel my heart recoiling from these characteristics of Satan which are very alive in our culture.  I can’t stand them.  Satan wins when we give into evil and say its ok for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect.  I have struggled and do struggle with a variety of all of these things throughout my life.  But I always knew it was wrong.

It really disturbs me when I see some of Satan’s work being widely accepted within our culture.  I hear people say, ‘it doesn’t hurt anyone so its good’.

No, it’s not good.  It’s not ok.  Participating in and condoning these things degrades the culture we all live in.  It exposes children to these evils way before they are mature enough to correctly deal with these issues – filling their minds with a twisted truth which will haunt them the rest of their lives.  It all gives Satan a bigger foothold in our world as his infectious evil grows.

As my sensitivity towards God increases, all of this gradually bothers me more and more….

and it drives me to continual prayers for the people in the diseased and darkened culture around me.

I lay my world at your feet, Abba, with the knowledge that you hear us, you love us and you want the best for us.  Heal our souls, Father.