I Know That Voice

Little Samuel’s story in the Bible is one my favorites.

He heard a voice calling to him in the night and he thought is was the Prophet Eli since he was living with Eli.  So Samuel got out of bed and ran to Eli saying, “Here I am”.

But Eli said, “I did not call, go back and lie down.”

This happened again and then the third time, Eli realized that it was God who was calling the boy.  This time Eli told Samuel, when he heard the voice, to say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9.

When God spoke again, Samuel told him he was listening and God went on to tell Samuel what was soon going to happen.

I’ve got a challenge for you.  The next time you think you might be hearing something from God, say those same words, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”  And then listen.  Listen to what is going through your brain.  Think about what you have been reading in God’s Word and how it applies to your life.  Think about coincidences that have been happening in your life and how they relate to what you’ve been reading.  Remember things that Godly people in your life have said to you recently.

I believe God is regularly trying to break through the cacophony of our culture – especially the electronic bubble where we spend a lot of our time.  He is trying to talk to you and me – guiding us, encouraging us, and teaching us.

Have you had the experience where you are reading God’s Word and suddenly a sentence seems to stick out of the page? It almost looks like it’s in bold print? You reread a phrase a couple of times?  You start to wonder what this means in your life?  Has that phrase always been there?  I don’t remember ever reading that or even hearing anyone talk about that before?  That is God stopping us.  That is God drawing our attention to something specific in his Word so he can speak to us.

That’s what God did today with me.  He stopped me as I was reading to remind me how much I like young Samuel’s story.  Because I know God, I know he is encouraging me to continue to learn how to hear him more and more clearly as I read his Truth.  My knowledge of God is growing and the more I know him, the better I hear him.

How can I be confident that it’s God that’s talking to me and not just my own thinking?  What God says to me will always be consistent with what he says in the Bible.  He will not contradict himself.

I am also 100% sure it’s God talking when he says something I’ve never thought of before and it’s consistent with what I have read in the Bible.  God confirms his guidance to me through my circumstances as well.  When it’s God talking to me, things happening around me will line up with what God is saying.  Sometimes it will be something my husband, my pastor or a friend says.  As I pray about what God is telling me, God will often open up my eyes to how he is moving around me and I’m be able to connect the dots.

When I take time to consider all of these things, God’s directions to me become really clear.

When I work at staying aware of the fact that God is trying to talk to me, it’s not hard to hear him.

Thank you for your guidance, Abba Father

Its Time to Act

Accept God’s Word as truth.

Memorize God’s word.

Open your ears to his wisdom.

Work to understand God’s word.May 16 2016 time to act

Call out to God for insight.

Cry out to God for understanding.

Look for insight like it was a pile of silver.

Search for understanding like it was a hidden treasure.

THEN, you will understand and know God.

Are you serious about growing your relationship with God?

Are you willing to invest time and energy into knowing God better?May 16 b 2016 time to act

Proverbs 2 begins with this awesome call to action for serious Christ-followers.

Does this list describe you and  your relationship with God?

If not, this a great list of actions to help you get started.

Right now.

We are crying out for wisdom and understanding, Abba Father.

Do It!

It bothered David that he was now living in a palace while the ark of the covenant of the Lord was in a tent.April 9 2015 Do it.

When David told Nathan the prophet what he was worried about, Nathan told David that he should do something about it.  It was on David’s mind and Nathan reminded David that God was with him.

If this conversation happened today, it might sound something like this:

David: Nathan, I can’t stop thinking about the ark of the Lord sitting over there in that tent while I sit in this big palace.  It’s really bugging me.

Nathan:  Why do you think that’s bugging you, David?  You know how God is always talking to you.  Do you think this is God telling you to fix this situation?  If so, you better do something about it.

As we read God’s word today, Nathan is saying the same thing to us.  God is always trying to talk to us.  His Spirit lives within all of us who believe.  When we are being ‘bugged’ by thoughts, we need to meditate on God’s word to us.  We need to figure out what God is telling us to do and then do it!

The more we listen, the louder God’s voice becomes.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Not Listening

Sometimes we’re just not listening.

We’re focused on ourselves,Feb 15 2015 listening

our plans,

what we want to make happen.

So we move forward,

in the direction we want to go.

Doing what we want to do,

when we want to do it.

With our ears closed to God.

Not listening.

Not really wanting to hear anything that could change the direction we want to go.

Because we know where we want to go.

We have big plans……this is going to be great!

So we march out to the hill country just like the Israelites did in Deuteronomy 1.

Without God’s direction.

Without God’s protection.

And we are chased back down the hill of failure – defeated by our own arrogance and rebellion.

How we wish we had listened!  The consequences of our own choices can be very severe – beating us down.

Unlike the Israelites, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior have been redeemed and the Spirit of God lives within us.  He is always available – we just need to confess our rebellion and turn away from our sin.

Away from ourselves.

Our will.

We turn back to God.

And we recommit to listen….

very closely…..

everyday.

We’re listening, Abba Father.

Our Burning Bush

While he was out doing his job of herding sheep, Moses saw a bush that was on fire but didn’t burn up.Jan 22a 2015 our burning bush

It caught his attention.

He went over to look.

And God spoke to him.

God opened Moses’ eyes to what he had planned  for the people of Israel and he gave Moses an outline of the mission that God was sending him on.

Moses was reluctant to do what God told him.

He was standing on holy ground next to a supernatural phenomenon.  He was up close and personal, talking with the Creator of the Universe.

And Moses was reluctant to serve.

Today, it’s not every day that we get a burning bush moment with God….but it happens.  God still knows how to get our attention if we’re not giving it to him.  He throws up red flags like letting situations go terribly wrong, allowing issues to get really messy, and letting people hit rock bottom where the only place they have to look is up.

But, most of the time, God speaks to us first in whispers.  That’s why we need to be listening.  If we’re paying attention, the Holy Spirit will open our eyes and urge us forward in the purpose God has planned for our lives.

Many times, this happens to us as we’re reading God’s word or talking with God because that’s when he’s got our attention.  We’re focused on him so we can hear him.

As we grow closer to God, his voice gets louder and we can hear him more clearly.  We are gradually thinking more in line with God and he’s renewing our hearts so that we care for the things he cares about.  More and more, we love the things he loves.

So, we  are naturally more in tune with what he’s saying.  God has room in our hearts and minds to work and communicate.  The farther down this road of faith we travel, the easier it is for God to get our attention.

We don’t need a burning bush.

We’re listening closely, Abba Father.

If You Were Wise

We are in one of my favorite sections of the Chronological Bible.  This is where June 17 2014 if they listened.some of the prophets seem much more relevant to me because this Bible has them speaking God’s word directly to the kings who were actually ruling at the time.

Hosea spoke to 5 kings from both Judah and Israel.  Hosea tells them God offers them acceptance and forgiveness if they will repent and be faithful.

Hosea tells the priests they have been rejected by God because they have led the people into idolatry.  When Israel’s repentance only lasts a short time, Hosea points out their deceitfulness.

Hosea predicts captivity for Israel when they experience the wrath of God and their kingdom is destroyed.  The book of Hosea ends with a promise of forgiveness from God if they will turn back to him.

Hosea says to them (my version): “If you were wise, you would have figured this out.  You would understand that God is right and you should be following his directions for you.”

But they didn’t listen.  Instead, rebellious Israel continued down their path of destruction which took them into captivity and slavery.

What about us – you and me?

What path are we are on today?

How well are we listening?

Is it time for us to turn back to God?

Are we following God’s directions for us?

Dear Father, Please give us wisdom.

 

Don’t Miss the Point

They refused to pay attention.September 28 2013

They turned their backs.

They covered their ears.

They hardened their hearts by refusing to listen to God.

This made the Lord Almighty very angry.

Then God said, ” When I called they did not listen,

so when they called, I would not listen.”

Our Father God is the same today as he was several thousand years ago when he said these words to the Israelites through his prophet, Zachariah.

He expects us to pay attention.

He expects us to open our ears.

He expects us to soften our hearts by listening to him as he speaks to us through his living word.

Then he will listen.

Are We Listening?

How it really happened.  That’s what I love about reading the Bible chronologically.

It’s such a different experience to read through the Old Testament and hear the words of the various prophets speaking directly to the kings in context.

The kings of Israel and Judah had prophets coming at them all of the time speaking the words of God.  Sometimes the prophets were screaming the words of God. 

Hosea married a prostitute who was repeatedly and blatantly unfaithful to him.  Why?  To illustrate God’s perspective as he watched the Israelites prostitute themselves with other gods over and over.

The prophets did anything they could to get the kings’ attention.

But the kings didn’t listen.

They refused to change their behavior.  They didn’t repent and turn back to God.

We now have the huge advantage of having the Spirit of God living inside of us.  God doesn’t need to send prophets anymore – he speaks directly to us.

But there’s still the same question – are we listening?