Roadblock #1 – Doubt – The Enemy of Belief

DoubtInexperience and ignorance kept me in a bubble for the first two decades of my Christian walk. After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and invited Him into my heart at the age of eighteen, I lived a good Christian life, doing all the right things. I began a Bible study in the book of John. I continued to attend my childhood church, where I was involved in a young adult group. I prayed and read my Bible regularly. I listened to Christian music and read inspirational books. I tried not to sin too often, but when I did, I asked God’s forgiveness as soon as I felt convicted.

Over the years, I heard other believers, like pastors, talk about hearing God’s voice, but I never considered that God would speak to me. Often, I heard Christ followers say that their faith was more of a relationship than a religion. I thought that praying to God and reading His Word meant I had a relationship with Him. However, I never left room in my prayers—conversations with God—for Him to speak His mind. I never even attempted to listen to His voice, because I didn’t believe He would speak to me. I occasionally sensed God speaking to me through Scripture but never even dreamed He would speak to me in my thoughts. Sound familiar? Can you relate to any part of this story?

Looking back, I see that I fit the description of the lukewarm Christian. I wasn’t cold toward God, but I wasn’t on fire for Him either. I enjoyed a “normal” life, which resembled the lives of many other Christians I knew. And after twenty years of this blissful monotony, I wondered if this was all there was to life. If so, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on living.

While I was in counseling for clinical depression, my psychologist shared his recent boost in his walk with the Lord. He had learned how to listen to God’s voice. I could see the new passion and excitement he had for Jesus. It sparked my interest in knowing Jesus more intimately. My counselor encouraged me to spend time alone with God: to talk to God and then listen to Him, writing down what I heard Him say. Unfamiliar with this practice, I made many attempts over many weeks before I realized success. 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice. The first book in the Hearing God’s Voice Series, walks you through my process of learning how to hear and recognize when God speaks.

I soon realized that the obstacle of doubt had prevented me from hearing God’s voice for all those years. My skepticism profoundly contributed to my deafness toward God’s voice. Actually, it kept me from attempting to listen to God at all. I lacked faith that God would speak to me; therefore, I heard nothing.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” We might add to that: It’s being certain of what we do not hear. To hear God’s voice, we must be certain we will hear it! Do a faith check. Examine your own heart and mind. Do you believe that God will speak to you? Do you understand that God speaks to you through His Holy Spirit, Who lives in you? You can believe it, because Jesus said it in John 16:13-15:

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you.” (Emphasis mine)

Not understanding the role of the Holy Spirit kept me from leaving room in my prayer time for God to speak. I prayed, but I didn’t stop talking long enough to listen. I didn’t believe I would hear God speak to me because I didn’t understand that He spoke through the Holy Spirit. But when I started delving into Scripture and reading inspirational books about the Holy Spirit, my appreciation grew for all that He does for me. A more thorough knowledge of the third person in the Holy Trinity afforded me a better understanding, which led to an increased trust that enabled me to hear His verbal communications in my thoughts.

I could relate to Peter with my doubt. Remember the story of Jesus walking on the water from Matthew 14:22-33? Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of the lake. Then He went into the hills alone to pray. When evening came and He returned from the hills, the boat was already in the middle of the lake. So He walked on the lake’s surface toward the boat. The disciples were terrified, thinking Jesus was a ghost. But Jesus said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” He said.

Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he began to sink in fear, crying out, “Lord, save me!”

Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter. He asked Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Notice that Peter did walk on the water. He trusted Jesus enough to get out of the boat, but when the wind came up, his faith took a downward turn. He lost his confidence in Christ and doubted His power to keep him on top of the water. Peter’s doubt put constraints on what Jesus would do for him. This lesson teaches us to be certain that God gives us the power to do what He calls us to do. Jesus would not have called Peter out of the boat to let him drown in the lake. Rather, He invited Peter to believe in His ability to empower him to do the impossible.

Similarly, when I doubted that God would speak to me, I put constraints on what God would do for me. My doubt put up a roadblock between God and me. Uncertainty erected an obstruction in my two-way communication with the Lord. Notice I didn’t say that my doubt limited what God could do. More precisely, my hesitation hindered my own ability to hear my heavenly Father. It wasn’t until I entertained the possibility that God would speak to me that the ears of my heart were opened to hear His voice.

Also observe that Jesus reached out His hand to His friend when Peter’s doubt sprang up. Jesus does not let us perish in our lack of faith and trust. He continues to pursue us and use our trials to 1) make us more dependent on Him, 2) bring us closer to Him, 3) increase our trust in His power, and 4) mature us in our faith. He holds our hand until our trust in His power catches up.

Hebrews 3:7-12 offers a warning against unbelief:

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried Me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My ways.’ So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest.’”

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

As it did with Peter, doubt causes us to lose our footing as believers and sink in our lack of faith in Jesus. It makes us dependent on ourselves, not trusting in the power of God in us. We must remember that we have the Spirit of the living, Almighty God dwelling in us. He gives us the faith to believe and empowers us to do all that He prepares and plans for us to do. Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, Who lives in you.” We have the same strength, ability, and authority residing in us that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Pretty amazing, right? All we have to do is recognize that fact, own it, and call on that power of God in us. Praise the Lord that He sent a member of the Holy Trinity to enable us to accomplish all that He has prepared in advance for us to achieve!

We must ask ourselves, what causes the doubt in the first place? One answer to that question is: Satan speaks to our hearts with lies and stirs our spirits to question God’s power and our own abilities.

Doubt is the enemy of belief in the truth, as James 1:5-8 says:

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think He will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

When we doubt God’s promises, power, and abilities, we give a whole lot of undeserved power to the devil, who sows the seed of skepticism in our minds. In each chapter of the 7 Roadblocks book,  I examine three lies that Satan instills in our minds with regard to each encumbrance. Of course, these lies are not the only falsehoods he implants. They represent a sampling to get you thinking about the possible causes of your misgivings. Then, following Jesus’ example of battling Satan with God’s Word when the devil tempted Him in the desert, I dispel each lie with the truth from Scripture.

As long as we accept, believe, and/or invest in Satan’s lies, he is happy because we remain in bondage to him. To break free from the strongholds of the devil, we must recognize the lies and overcome them with the truth of God’s Word. When you find your mind bombarded with the fabricated claims of the father of lies, replace the devil’s deceit with the indisputable truth of Scripture. Wash away the dishonest dirt. Rehearse and repeat the truths of Scripture.

Some falsehoods swirling around in our heads evolve from the idea that God does not still speak to His people today, except to a select few spiritually mature figures, and if we do hear God speak, we can’t be sure it’s actually His voice. Are these lies feeding your doubt? Get your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, and start identifying and eliminating any falsehoods you may be unknowingly investing in.

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Book Two in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

A Friend to the End

What it means to be a friend…by Sindy Nagel

 

I’m excited to share with you one thing I know today

What it means to be a friend in every single way

Then ask your inner being, “Does this reflect myself?”

“Am I this good of friend to anybody else?”

 

My Friend is always near me; He’s never far away

I can call upon His name and speak with Him all day

Especially in the evening hours, He makes His presence known

And watches over me when I’m in the sleeping zone

 

He’s quite the gentle man, never pushing His own way

He opens wide His arms of love when I have gone astray

Forgiving my transgressions, my iniquities, my sin

And helps me live a better life by His Spirit guide within

 

When I am feeling down in heart or my spirit seems depressed

My friend helps cheer my inner soul and shows me I am blessed

When fear sets in, or doubt attacks, or I feel my heart is weak

He reminds me of His promises, and things don’t look so bleak

 

When life gets hard and things go wrong, He is my hiding place

I run to Him, climb in His arms; He wipes tears from my face

He listens so intently to all the words my lips release

And offers me His wisdom, while giving me His peace

 

My Friend is there in good times too, when I am filled with glee

His heart swells up, He cracks a smile, when things go well for me

My biggest fan and cheerleader, He’s always the first one

To fondly pat me on the back and say the words, “Well done!”

 

Every morning when we meet for prayer, He listens and He speaks

When my challenges go on for days and days turn into weeks

I can pour out my troubles to Him and He’s the first to say,

“Don’t worry ‘bout a thing that’s coming, I’ve got your back today!”

 

Like two best friends can usually do, we enjoy our time together

We laugh and cry, we joke and play, like two birds of a feather

I always know when I’m in trouble, He’ll stay close by my side

He cheers me on, encourages me—in Him I can confide

 

My Friend is my comforter, my protector, and my guide

He loves me so much that He paid my debt and died

Although it sometimes feels this way, He left me not alone

He’s always there, deep within, because my heart’s His home

 

This poem is dedicated to My Friend, He is the world’s best

Even when I’ve fallen short and put Him to the test

He loves me more than I can grasp and shows it when He can

He is my Rock, my Friend, my King, and I, His biggest fan

 

I’ve shared with you one thing I know about being a good friend

Both in the good and bad times, an ally to the end

Now ask your inner being, “Does this reflect myself?”

“Am I this good of friend to anybody else?”

 

Go and be a friend today, and use this as your guide

Listen, pray, encourage the one you walk beside

Whether skies are sunny blue or darker shades of gray

Be the best that you can be–a good friend, through Him today


 

Ground Zero – The Foundation for Hearing God’s Voice

Following the 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, and removing the 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, should help you achieve the result your heart longs for—hearing God’s voice. However, there is one pre-requisite to hearing the Spirit of God within. I call it, Ground Zero. You must have already established a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son.

When you seek God with all your heart, you will find Him! This is Good News. The journey to greater intimacy with Jesus begins with acknowledging your sin. The God of all creation is righteous and holy. He doesn’t want to be near immorality. So our disobedience, rebellion, and sin separate us from Him. Sin is anything that doesn’t please God. It’s not just committing one of the big ten, like: murder, adultery, idol worship, stealing, etc. Sin shows up in our everyday behaviors, like: gossip, lying, cheating, pride, jealousy, unrighteous anger, gluttony, greed, and judging people, just to name a few.

The Bible very clearly states that those who do not enjoy a saving relationship with God through Jesus are condemned to a life apart from God for all eternity. Born into the sin of Adam and Eve, we are all sinful by nature. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, despite our sin, God desires to be in close relationship with every individual He created. How is that possible? God sent His Son, Jesus, to bridge the enormous gap that sin creates between Himself and us.

Although our sin separates us from God, no sin is too big for God to forgive, and we don’t have to get our lives in order before coming to Jesus Christ. God loves you just the way you are. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God, in His unconditional, infinite love for His creation, established a way we could be forgiven, redeemed, and reconciled to Him. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb, and die on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sins. In doing so, He formed a bridge between a sinful people and a perfect God. He provided the only way we could experience restored relationship with God, the Father. John 3:16-18 says,

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

God gives us the opportunity to live with Him eternally, through His Son, when we confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God promises that we will be saved when we accept Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sin and believe in His resurrection from the dead.

Did you hear that? Jesus didn’t remain in the grave. He’s not dead! Jesus is alive! We can have a relationship with a living God through Jesus Christ because He lives! Isn’t that the greatest news you’ve ever heard? Yes! Give God a shout of praise!

If you have never confessed your sin and invited Jesus into your heart, what are you waiting for? Simply believing in God isn’t enough. To reiterate, Jesus Christ is the only way to a restored relationship with your heavenly Father. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Do you desire to walk with Jesus? Do you want to let Him heal your hurts and fill that hole in your heart that nothing else and no one else can fill? Do you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord today?

There is nothing you can do to earn your own salvation, and no measure of good behavior and good works will get you into heaven. It is by God’s free gift of His amazing grace and the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross that your sins are forgiven, and you are reconciled to God. The way to experience forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God is to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, accept that He died for your sins, ask His forgiveness, and invite Him to be the Lord of your life. When you do this, God sends His Holy Spirit to live in your heart.

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” Jesus stands at the door of your heart today and knocks. Do you hear His voice? Will you open the door and invite Him in? If you are not a follower of Christ yet, and your heart’s desire is to know and feel God’s presence and peace daily, then accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and start your new “relationship” with Him today.

You may sense the Holy Spirit of God encouraging you to make a decision for Christ right now. If so, say these words in prayer to God:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I confess that I have sinned, and I know that my sin separates me from You. Please forgive me for all my sins. I accept that Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to save me by Your grace. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin and provide the only way back to You. God, I believe You raised Jesus from the dead. He is alive and lives to intercede for me.

Jesus, I invite You into my heart today to be the Lord of my life and give me a fresh start. Thank You for the promise of eternal life in heaven with You, and for the gift of Your Holy Spirit Whom You send to live in my heart right now. Please help me hear Your voice within me and lead a life that glorifies You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

If you prayed this prayer for the first time and were sincere, there is great rejoicing in heaven today! You are forgiven, and you will spend eternity with your heavenly Father. Your fate has been sealed by the Holy Spirit Whom God gave you just now. You are a child of God! Welcome to His family. The Bible says,

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:11-15)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If you invited Jesus Christ to be your Savior today, you now have a new life in Him, because He lives in you. By the power of God’s Holy Spirit within you, your actions and attitudes will change. With His help, you will discard your old way of living and seek to live a life that is more pleasing to God.

Record today’s date and keep it somewhere safe. This is your spiritual re-birth date. You are born again in Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday! God adopted you as His son or daughter today. This is the first day of the rest of your life! You have just established your new personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit of God now lives within you, and He is eager to speak with you in two-way conversation.

To learn how to recognize God’s voice, I will refer you back to my recent blog posts beginning with January 4, 2018, entitled, Step 1- Expect and Believe. Also see my book, 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, available on Amazon.com in three forms: Audio Book, Kindle, or Paperback.

Click here to buy 7 Simple Steps book

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Click here to buy 7 Roadblocks book

Book Two in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

Click here for FREE Ground Zero Video Course

Cover - Ground Zero

 

 

My Sweet Baby Girl

 

 

 

My Sweet Baby Girl

 

My “Sweet Baby Girl”, I can’t wait to meet you

Thinking about all the fun things we will do

From the moment you draw your first little breath

Until I depart this world with my death

 

Your Grammy will sing you sweet lullabies

And rock you to sleep as you close your eyes

I’ll read nursery rhymes with you on my lap

And peek in the crib while you’re taking a nap

 

We’ll play on the floor and make lots of noise

I’ll send you home with annoying, loud toys

I’ll teach you to crawl, to walk, even run

Every time we’re together we’ll have loads of fun

 

You’ll ride in the stroller as we walk down the street

And I’ll show you off to everyone that we meet

We’ll visit the park and climb monkey bars

I’ll push your little swing in our own backyard

 

Watching you take your first little step

Will be the most exciting thing yet

I’ll take lots of pictures and post them for friends

My brag book, chock full, will burst at the ends

 

I’ll watch you dance and enjoy your school plays

Afterward giving you oodles of praise

I’ll support your fundraisers and cheer for your sports

And celebrate all of your good grade reports

 

We’ll bake in the kitchen, getting covered in flour

I’ll take you shopping for hours and hours

We’ll play with dolls and go for bike rides

We’ll explore new places, side-by-side

 

We’ll go to the beach and build castles of sand

And walk the shoreline, your hand in my hand

We’ll have lots of sleepovers with giggles and fun

And crash in the bed when the long day is done

 

I’ll teach you everything that I know

Not only with words but also with show

We’ll talk about God and Jesus, His Son

I’ll share the wonderful things they have done

 

I’ll take you to church, and we’ll sit in the pews

I’ll share with you, the Gospel’s good news

We’ll read the Bible; I’ll teach you to pray

Not only at meals, but all through the day

 

I want you to know how much you are loved

Not only by me, but by God above

He knit you together in your mother’s womb

Perfectly, for improvement, there’s no room

 

He gave you two parents who are the world’s best

Knowing that you’ll certainly put them through tests

But no matter the things that you say or do

You must remember always that we all love you!

 

No matter your strengths, your weakness, your status,

Your behavior, your choices, anything you throw at us,

At any age, you’ll make my head swirl

You’ll always be Grammy’s “Sweet Baby Girl”!

 

I love you already, more than you know

I’ll love you forever, wherever you go

I’ll always love you, any way that it’s stacked

I’ll love you forever, to the moon and back.

 

Written especially for My Sweet Baby Girl–Arriving in May 2018

From your Grammy Sindy Nagel

 

What Stands in Your Way of Hearing God Speak?

depositphotos_8137875-Barricade-and-Warning-Light-Closeup[1]It’s my prayer today, that if you’ve been following my blog for the past couple months, and applying the 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, you will be well on your way to hearing and recognizing the voice of God within you. However, if you’ve been regularly putting in the time and effort to listen to God, and not yet heard from Him, you may be wondering, Why? I am eager to share with you seven things I discovered that kept me from hearing God speak.

Before you think, But God won’t speak to me because… (Fill in the blank yourself), let me tell you, it’s really very simple. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and invited Him into your heart to be your Lord, then God does speak to you. However, something may be deafening your ears to His voice.

In this blog, over the next couple months, I will introduce seven roadblocks that may stand in your way of hearing God speak. As you read on, see if any of these barriers might be keeping you from enjoying two-way conversation and intimate relationship with Jesus.

After twenty years of following Christ and yet struggling with clinical depression, I was ready to throw in the towel. I could only hope there was more to life than what I’d experienced. I heard believers talk about a relationship with Jesus. I thought I had one. I talked to God, but unfairly, I didn’t leave room in the conversation for God to speak to me. I didn’t believe He would speak to me. Doubt was one of the roadblocks standing in my way of hearing God’s voice. I didn’t consider that the big God of the universe would speak to little ole me.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. About fifteen years ago, it all changed for me. One night, while talking to God, I actually made time to listen. I heard a voice in my thoughts that I knew was not my own. It was God! He spoke to me, an average girl. Now I know ordinary people hear from God, too.

You may wonder, Why doesn’t God speak to me? What am I doing wrong? How do I go about hearing His voice? I wrestled with these same uncertainties. In my quest for answers, God blessed me far beyond my heart’s desire. My relationship with the Lord grew stronger and deeper as I learned how to enjoy two-way communication with Him.

Does your relationship with Jesus lack the WOW factor? Mine did. But hearing God’s voice added an amazing new dimension to my faith adventure. Whenever we listen to God’s voice within us, we achieve a greater intimacy with the Lord. Hearing God’s voice is one of the keys to a deeper connection with Jesus Christ. It’s absolutely life-changing and life-giving!

Your search for deeper intimacy with God is about to yield results. After regularly hearing God speak for the last fifteen years, I nailed down 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Practicing any or all of the behaviors identified here may cause you to feel that the all-powerful God will not speak to you because you are not worthy or qualified to hear Him.

Truly, despite your flaws and feelings of inadequacy, God continues to pursue you passionately. He doesn’t wait until you are perfect and sin-free to speak to you. The Holy Spirit of God communicates with you all day, every day, in many different ways. He’s anxiously waiting for you to listen and recognize His voice!

As a Christian, you have the living God dwelling inside you, so why wouldn’t you be able to hear His voice? Well, these seven things may stand in the way: doubt, fear, pride, worry, busyness, disobedience, and an unwillingness to forgive. To be clear, these behaviors won’t necessarily keep God from speaking to you, but they may keep you from hearing Him. The indwelling Holy Spirit helps you become more Christ-like, so you have to be able to hear and recognize God’s voice within you to utilize the promptings and assistance the Holy Spirit offers you in the journey of sanctification.

Over the next several weeks, this blog will help you identify seven barriers that may cause deafness to God’s voice. Learn how to crush these deterrents and strengthen your relationship with the Lord. Achieve amazing results when you clear the path to listening to God. Truly, it’s worth your time and effort. In fact, it’s vital to experiencing the abundant life Jesus Christ came to give you!

All this information and more can be found in my book, 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak: Removing the Barriers Between You and God. It’s available from Amazon.com in Audio Book, Kindle, and Paperback. 

Click on this link to purchase the book

Book Two in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 7 – Share the Good News

image of Stairs to open door. free concept 3d illustration

I followed Christ more than twenty years before I learned the art of listening to God’s voice. I knew God spoke to a few people, but I didn’t believe He would speak to me. If early in my walk of faith a more experienced Christian had practiced “show and tell” with me, I could have been listening to God’s voice for many, many more years. When you know something really great—when you have access to a priceless piece of art—you show and tell others about it. You show them what it means to you and tell them how to achieve it for themselves.

Enable others to enjoy the treasure you already enjoy. Tell people they can hear the voice of God. Show them the art of listening to Him. This is my prayer for you: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 6).

Please do a better job than I have done as a wife and mother in sharing your relationship with Jesus Christ and your ability to hear God’s voice with your spouse, your children, and their children. Satan wants nothing more than for us to keep this priceless treasure to ourselves.

When I started hearing God’s voice, my enemy, the devil, took notice. Satan stood on full alert and wanted to stifle me before I became a threat to his work. He introduced new lies to me, and, naively, I believed them. I crawled into my prison cell once again when I believed in the opponent’s deceit. He cunningly ran these crafty thoughts through my mind: You hear God speak? Really? People will think you are crazy. You’d better keep this one to yourself. No one will believe you. They will think you are foolish. They will lock you up and throw away the key. Your husband won’t believe you. He’ll think you are unstable—after all, you are depressed and taking medication. Your children won’t understand. Don’t even try to share this with them.

Do you feel as unhappy about this as I do? Have you ever had similar thoughts? I allowed Satan, the destroyer, to shame me right into silence. I wasn’t crazy but naïve—not fully aware and alert to my spiritual opponent. I was not knowledgeable and experienced in the ways of the devil. I kept this wonderful news of hearing God’s voice all to myself. I shared it only with my mentor, who heard God’s voice too.

I played right into Satan’s hand. If he could keep me silent about listening to God’s voice, he had me exactly where he wanted me. Nobody would know about it. Nobody would hear the good news. Nobody would be encouraged to listen to God speak. Nobody would believe they could hear the voice of God in their thoughts. The enemy had me believing I lived on an island, all alone. Satan convinced me that many believers do not hear God’s voice, and I’d be crazy to say I do. Therefore, I supposed I should not tell anyone I practice listening to God and I recognize His voice.

As soon as I became wise to Satan’s deceitful ways, I began the battle of breaking free. King Jesus came to my rescue again. The Holy Spirit used Scripture to educate me about the devil’s ways. He instilled confidence in me because Christ has already won the battle against my enemy. Christ has set me free. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” I remain free now to show others what God has done for me and to tell them how to listen to His voice.

I learned to pray the Armor of God, from Ephesians 6:10-18, to protect myself. He showed me how to rebuke the devil and stand strong in the victorious name of Jesus Christ. He gave me the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, as my weapon of choice. Not only did I have a new passion for Christ, I had a new hatred toward the devil. I would stand firm in the finished work of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, I would win this battle in my mind. I would be excited to “show and tell” the world how to practice the art of listening to God.

In my weakness, Jesus Christ strengthened me for battle. He protected me from my enemy and equipped me to stand victoriously in authority over Satan. Jesus prepared me to carry out my purpose in God’s greater plan. I’m nobody special, except that I’m a child of God. He had me in mind before He created the world. He wanted me and loved me before He set the stars in the sky.

He uses the common, the lowly, and the unlikely ones to carry out His plans. I represent the common, lowly, and unlikely. I am an ordinary woman who can hear from an extraordinary God. He used my story and prepared me to share it to bring His people into closer relationship with Himself. God has called me to deliver a message to His people. This is the message God wants me to share with you:

God loves you more than you will ever comprehend. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you. He speaks to you, and He wants you to listen. He has more to say than a “yes” or “no” to your requests. He wants you to put Him first in your life by spending time with Him daily, listening to His voice, and carrying out His will.

Spending time in relationship with Jesus Christ to develop the art of listening to God is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Well, it’s a close second to the decision I made to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. Listening to God and hearing His voice is priceless—a valuable art form. Will you search for it as for silver? Building intimacy with Jesus Christ is building spiritual wealth in the kingdom of God, here on earth and in heaven. Will you pursue it as you would hunt for gold? The wisdom of God is more precious than rubies. Will you seek it around every corner?

Right now, I implore you to reclaim any power you have relinquished to the enemy and empower your family, your friends, your children, and your children’s children by passing on this precious gift of knowledge to them. Do not fear; be strong and courageous. Tell those you influence to put God first—to spend time with Him and listen to His voice. Train them in the ways of God, and then train them in the ways of Satan, their enemy. Educate them and equip them to stand firm and claim Christ’s victory in their own battles.

Demonstrate how to know God better by saturating yourself in His Word and meditating on it day and night. Encourage your children to do the same. Place them into God’s care and protection, so they may develop a greater intimacy with and trust in the One who created them.

Model the practice of listening to God’s voice in front of them so that it can be caught as well as taught. Share your own experiences with them. In the words of Charles Stanley, children will “do what we do before they do what we say.”[4] So be sure you are practicing what you are preaching, and then instruct the next generation and beyond, using the four T’s:

  1. Tell them to put God first by making time for Him, making Him a priority in their lives.
  2. Train them to know God better by reading His Word and meditating on it day and night.
  3. Trust them to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ by spending time with Him in the person of the Holy Spirit and yielding their own spirit to His.
  4. Teach them to “listen” to the voice of God within themselves—listen and obey.

When you believe in God and accept Jesus as your Savior, He sends His Holy Spirit to live in your heart. The living God dwells in you! Look within your own spirit, and tune in to the Spirit of God. Jesus promised the Spirit of Truth would speak to you and make the things of God known to you. You have access to everything that belongs to God—to His very mind and thoughts. God and Jesus speak to you through the Holy Spirit, who speaks to you in your thoughts. Listening to God’s voice within you is one of the keys to experiencing an abundant life—the full life Jesus Christ came to give you. When you can hear the voice of God, you have everything you need; you are filled with all the fullness of Christ. When you hear God speak to you, it will change your life forever.

Now believe it and do it! Go and listen to the voice of God! God will bless you richly as you seek to know Him more intimately.

Respond to God’s voice in the words of the boy, Samuel: “Speak, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). May God bless you with His presence and His word as you seek to know Him better every day. Know and cherish God’s voice within you. And then, be sure to ‘Share the Good News’ with the world!

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #7

image of Stairs to open door. free concept 3d illustration

Reward #7 – Delight in the Peace

By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I had created a busy life for myself. I had everything I wanted: a husband, a home, a job, a girl, a boy, friends, a dog, God, a church, a ministry, and much more. Why did I feel so empty? I controlled my life—or did my life control me? My life resulted in exactly what I had made of it, not what God had planned. My life was good, but it was not God’s best for me. My life felt full, but I remained hollow. My whole life had left me with a hole in my heart. Our definition of a full life is different than God’s. The life I had created quickly spun out of control and into depression. I was in pieces and had no peace within.

God met me at the bottom of my pit of depression. He stretched out His hand to me. I took hold, and He pulled me up. He set me down on His firm foundation and began the rebuilding process in me. As I learned to trust God more every day, I turned over new areas of my life to Him. When I turned over complete control to God, He rearranged major things in my crazy, busy life to give me the peace He wanted me to enjoy.

After many months of meeting with God on a daily basis to listen to His voice—absorb His healing, find freedom in forgiving, enjoy His encouragement, follow His instruction, consider His conviction, and savor His wisdom—I could now delight in His peace. God had rebuilt my demolished soul through the work of His Holy Spirit inside me. He gave me a newfound confidence in Christ and in myself as a child of God. He gave me a renewed relationship with the Father. He gave me a stronger, more vibrant faith and a passion for serving my Savior. He gave me more spiritual knowledge and a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and His role of transforming me into a new creation.

Let me be clear. Life did not get a lot easier, but it did become more peaceful as I gave over control to God. That statement seems contradictory. Losing control should not produce peace in one’s spirit, but the things of God are not as they seem. He does not operate as the world does. When I gave up control and surrendered to the will and plans of God, He lifted a burden from me.

As I consulted with Him in all areas of my life, big and small, I turned from being a people-pleaser into being a God-pleaser. I didn’t care as much about what people thought anymore; I concerned myself with what God thought. I did not have to please everyone; I had to please the One. I tried not to spread myself thin going in too many different directions. I focused my attention in one direction—up.

It took many months for God to rearrange my life in order to give me the kind of peace He wanted me to experience by trusting fully in Him. I had obligations I needed to fulfill and positions I had to find replacements for. I had to change the way I operated in my home among my family. As God freed up my time by releasing me from a few responsibilities, I became more available for Him to use in His work.

Doing God’s work generated a much greater reward than anything I might take on myself. With obedience come peace and joy. As I faithfully met with God every morning, our relationship deepened immensely. He did a great deal of intense work with me on discovering, processing, and healing my emotional wounds. I shed many tears along the path to healing. The rough and rocky emotional journey had to be traveled to get to a better place—a place of freedom, peace, and rest.

One of the first observations my Christian mentor made about me all those years ago was that I did not have much peace in my life. It was a very smart—and true—observation. I experienced a full life, yet I did not know what peace-full felt like. Some people do not experience a full life according to worldly standards but have a life full of peace and contentment because they rely on intimate communication with God through the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on things and circumstances. The full life Jesus Christ came to give us equals a life full of His peace when we are in tune with the voice and Spirit of God, not based on material possessions, human relationships, or excellent conditions.

Jesus stood at my door and knocked. I answered and let Him in. I spent time with Him and listened to His voice. I pursued Him, drew near to Him, and remained in Him. The outcome has been a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Savior. The lasting effect is a life full of His peace. I now know the peace of God, even in the midst of life’s challenges.

Get close to God by being in touch with God’s Holy Spirit inside you. Tap into the power of the Prince of Peace, who lives in your heart. Listen to God’s voice and experience a life full of His perfect peace. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints—but let them not return to folly.”  Listening to God’s voice enables us to delight in His peace. The peace of God is more precious than diamonds, silver, or gold. Enjoying all the rewards of listening to God makes me want to share this excellent practice with the world.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

His Matchless Love

My darling, I love you, much more than you will ever comprehend. Your life is like a mere ember that can be squashed out any time. However, My love for you goes on forever. I will love you into all eternity. I love you to the moon and back, past the stars, and beyond the oceans. My love for you is greater than the expanse of the heavens. I love you long into the night and all throughout the day. There is no match for My love. Sit with Me a while and rest. Lean on Me and feel the warmth of My embrace. I kiss your cheek and whisper in your ear, “All is well, My love. I am with you always. I will never leave you.”

 You are My beloved child. I am your loving Father. Stay with Me and absorb the abundance I give you. All I have is yours. Claim My blessing and My affection. It is yours for the taking. Ask, and you shall receive. I give you whatever you need, and then, I give you more. I will pour out My abundant blessing and My wisdom. My mercies are new every morning. Begin each day with Me and end it the same. Listen to My still, small voice throughout your day. I have much wisdom to impart. I will teach you all things and remind you what I have said. I will offer you conviction and encouragement, forgiveness and redemption, blessing and love.

Love is the greatest of My gifts to you, because it is unconditional, no strings attached. I love you no matter what. I love you regardless of your sins and shortcomings. I will forgive you again and again, when you ask. I help you in your time of need. When you are tempted, I offer you a way out. I strengthen you for each battle. I prepare you for every circumstance. I walk you through all your trials. I lift you up when you are down. I protect you when you are weak. I carry the weight of your burdens. I walk through fire for you. I modeled the depth of My love for you when I died on the cross, in your place.

You are the crown of my creation. I desire your full devotion. Do not give time to other gods. Put Me first. I am your One and only true God. I am your loving Father, your faithful friend. I will never leave you. I am with you at all times. I enjoy spending time with you. Will you sit with Me each day?

 Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Apart from Me, you can do nothing. Experience all of Me when you spend time with Me daily. I am delighted in you. Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. You are My special angel. I am your doting Father. All I have belongs to you. I can’t wait to pour out My blessings upon you, when you spend time with Me. You are My child. I love you perfectly and completely.

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #6

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Reward #6 – Savor the Wisdom

Appreciate and enjoy God’s wisdom. Cherish it more than everything. As believers in Christ Jesus, we have access to all the treasures of His wisdom and knowledge. The Spirit of God, who lives within us, knows the things of God and makes them known to us. His wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing compares to it. According to the two verses that follow, God’s wisdom is a priceless treasure:

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)

I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread. (Job 23:12)

How do we gain complete understanding of God’s wisdom? How does the Holy Spirit make the things of God known to us? Let’s take a look at what Jesus said,

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you. (John 16:12-15, emphasis mine)

Through Jesus Christ, we have access to all that belongs to God. His gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts is the most priceless treasure! Without the Spirit of God living within us, we might not be able to hear His voice or have instant, direct access to His wisdom as He relays it to us.

Jesus did not say the Spirit would speak only to a select few. Jesus said He “will guide you” and “will speak” and “will tell you” and “make it known to you” (emphasis mine). As children of God who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we all have access to His wisdom through the Spirit of God within us. If you believe in Jesus Christ, the Spirit will speak the wisdom of God to you. Are you listening?

“A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him’” (Luke 9:35). God the Father told us to listen to His Son. Jesus is in God and God is in Jesus, so however we stack it up, we just need to listen to God’s voice and savor the wisdom. Savor means “to enjoy, to delight in, to value, and to appreciate.”[2]

Are you enjoying the wisdom God has for you? Do you delight in Him and value the knowledge He gives you? Do you appreciate the access to all that belongs to God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?

If you better understood the value of hearing God’s voice and receiving wisdom from Him, would you make the time to listen more often? Proverbs 2:1-6 says,

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have access to God’s wisdom directly from the mouth of God Himself. Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard? Have you tried turning your ear to the voice of God to receive His wisdom? Have you applied your heart to understanding through the voice of His Spirit within you? Do you desire to have God’s wisdom so much you are willing to “look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure” (Proverbs 2:4)? Will you put forth the effort to garner the wisdom of God by listening to His voice before everything else?

Proverbs 2:6 says, “From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Why don’t we seek God by listening to His voice more often? Why don’t we go to God first to gain His wisdom for everything we say and do? He waits for us to seek Him at all times, in all circumstances. He longs to impart His wisdom for our everyday challenges. His Spirit will guide us in His wisdom, if only we ask. Many times, the Spirit of God guides you even when you don’t ask.

Are you listening to the still, small voice of God within you? Will you search for God’s wisdom as you would search for hidden treasure? Will you make it a priority to meet with God daily to listen to His insight? When you do, you will savor the wisdom of God and enjoy the fruit of His peace.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #5

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Reward #5 – Consider the Conviction

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to change our old ways and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading as He empowers us to become more Christ-like. This process is called sanctification. To be sanctified means to be holy, or set apart. Though we live in the world, we are strangers to it. We should act differently than our non-Christian friends do.

Through the work of Christ on the cross, we have been consecrated and made righteous in Him. Our old sinful ways have died with Christ, and now we can lead a new life of righteousness in the resurrected Christ. As Christians, we should appear different to the world. We are made righteous in Christ, and we should choose to live accordingly, so the world may know we belong to God.

Being a new creation is achieved, in part, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin and encourages us to repent and change our ways. When we live as Jesus Christ did, it pleases God, and it provides a witness to a watching world. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Our sin separates us from God because He hides His face from wickedness. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be our sacrificial lamb. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, so we could be reconciled to God. Jesus made us righteous and holy so we could enjoy a relationship with the righteous and holy God. Now He desires that we would set ourselves apart from the world. He wants us to lead lives that stand out from the way the rest of the world operates. He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own, in our own power. He gives us the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin and holds us to a life of righteousness.

In His saving grace, God gives believers a spiritual conscience—the Holy Spirit—who helps us discern right from wrong in His eyes. He convicts us of sin and empowers us to overcome the flesh and change our ways. “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). We are directed to submit our spirit to the leading of God’s Spirit within us.

In order to lead a God-pleasing life, we must read His Word to know what He expects of us. The Bible is very clear on what is sinful and what is righteous in God’s eyes. When we obey Him and yield ourselves to the leading of His Spirit, He recalibrates our moral conscience to recognize sin, and then He helps us steer clear of it. When we do sin, He convicts us.

The Spirit encourages us to make choices that will please God. He reminds us of what we know from God’s written Word, convicts us of our sin, and empowers us to live a life of righteousness. In order to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must tune our ears to the living God inside us. As Jesus said before His death,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:7-11, emphasis mine)

Jesus provided the way to reconciliation with God, and then He provided the way to live a consecrated life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reunited us with God and gave us access to His power, so we may lead a life set apart for Him. It’s up to us to choose. We can lead a life of sin in the flesh or righteousness in the Spirit. If we choose righteousness, you can be sure the Spirit convicts us when we sin.

It’s important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts us we are guilty of sin so we can confess it, ask God for His forgiveness, and turn from our sinful ways. In contrast, the devil condemns us and causes us to wallow in guilt and shame. The Holy Spirit says, “You did a bad thing,” while our enemy Satan says, “You are a bad person.”  The Holy Spirit encourages or prompts us to confess our sin; Satan accuses our person, attacks our identity, demeans our self-worth, blames us, and charges us for our sin.

When we make a conscious effort to listen to the Spirit of God within us, we hold the keys to life and peace. We must allow our minds to be controlled by Him. Paul says we are obligated to be led by the Spirit. Does Satan continue to hold you in bondage and defeat? Or does God’s Spirit guide you into freedom, victory, and peace? When we obey Him and submit ourselves to His leadership, we will experience life and peace. Consider the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you are reminded of your sin and prompted to repent.

Regularly tuning in to the voice of God, the Holy Spirit within, accomplishes a giant step in the process of sanctification. If we are going to become more like Christ, we must not only listen to the voice of God, we must obey it. When you feel the Spirit prompting you to do or not do something, don’t ignore Him. When you feel a tug on your heart to carry out an assignment from God, no matter how big or small, be quick to comply. When you know the Spirit of God has spoken instructions to you, act upon them as soon as possible.

When a human spirit yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, the result is life and peace. Choose to live in the Spirit and be at peace with God. Listen to His voice, and consider the conviction. Is there a sin you need to confess or turn from? What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do or not do? What behavior do you need to change? What action have you been prompted to take? Perhaps it’s the other type of conviction–to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

Order now by clicking here.

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series