Archive | April 2018

Roadblock #2 – Fear – The Enemy of Confidence

Apprehension about the unknown can keep us from understanding the mystery of God. But fear is not from God. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” I had a fear of God, but not the right kind of fear. Before I got to know God better, apprehension shrouded my desire to speak in conversation with Him. I feared that everything that came out of God’s mouth would convict me. I dreaded His wrath, because I did not know the truth about His character.

God is loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, faithful, trustworthy, and so much more. He loves us so much He wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us. I had to get to know God more intimately before the only fear I felt toward Him equaled awe and reverence. Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” God delights when we fear Him with a reverence that acknowledges we can put our trust in Him and depend on Him for everything.

Now that I know God better because of spending time in His Word and listening to His voice, I no longer fear Him with anxiety and apprehension. I can’t wait to speak with Him because He amazes me. I now fear God out of reverence and respect because He has made His loving character known to me through His Word and His voice. I can depend on Him to meet all my needs. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).

            Read Acts 9. It’s the story of Saul, later renamed Paul. After the death and resurrection of Christ, Saul threatened to kill Jesus’ disciples and take His followers as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus, however, he saw a light from heaven flash around him. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’” (Acts 9:4) It was the voice of Jesus. Saul could have fallen from the fear and dread of what was about to happen, or from the awe and reverence of being in the presence of the Lord. As he met the Lord face to face, Saul may have feared his own identity as one who persecuted the Jesus who stood before him.

Is it possible your identity causes you anxiety in communicating with Jesus? If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are a child of God. No longer are you a slave to fear. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” However, you may not feel connected to God. Maybe you’ve strayed from living a life that pleases God, and the shame you feel causes you to fear God’s wrath. Perhaps you have stopped attending church, reading the Bible, or praying regularly. As a result, you experience apprehension about how Jesus would relate to you if He spoke to you.

Many times, we claim our identity from external sources in our lives. My identity branded me early in life when I heard my mom repeatedly refer to me as “an accident.” Accidents are unwanted, unexpected events that we don’t plan for and that sometimes cause pain: physical, emotional, or spiritual. I knew my mom had not planned me; therefore, I believed I was unwanted and unloved. My conception and birth had caused my mother undue emotional pain and then emotionally scarred me for much of my life. The external label “accident” spawned an internal insecurity about my identity that stuck with me for more than thirty years.

Another fear that blocked my communication with God was the fear of intimacy. I feared He wouldn’t speak to me; therefore, I didn’t want to experience the pain of rejection. I wasn’t even sure He listened to me when I talked to Him. I hesitated to get emotionally close to God and become too dependent on Him because I feared He would let me down, as others had.

I knew I was a child of God, but I didn’t feel like His child. What if God also viewed me as an accident? What if He didn’t love me either? What if my sins were too big for God to forgive? God wouldn’t speak to me. I was nothing to Him. I was nobody special. Why would He talk to me? Do you ever experience conversations like this within yourself? Are you insecure about your relationship with Jesus? Are you unsure about your identity in Christ? I was. My uncertainties caused me to approach the throne of God with fear and trembling, not in confidence with awe and wonder.

The first time I sat down to listen for God’s voice, I needed reassurance from God that He wasn’t angry with me. I wanted to know how He felt about me. I longed to know who He saw when He looked at me. I craved His attention, positive or negative. I prepared myself for whatever He would say to me. I wanted to know who I was to God and that He had a plan for my life. Battling depression for the second time, I desperately needed a reason to go on.

My depression counseling sessions had turned into spiritual mentoring meetings. My counselor described how he listened to Jesus’s voice and encouraged me to try it. He instructed me to record my conversations with Jesus in a journal. During one session, we talked about how God has His own special name for each of His children. My counselor invited me to consider asking God, “What is your name for me?”

A name is more than a way to identify someone. It’s a birthright; it represents our heritage, our legacy, our inheritance. It becomes our own challenge to make our names good and live up to our full potential as God’s creation. This starts when we seek God for His name for us. We can’t live into our God-given identity and purpose until we understand what that is.

God’s chosen name for you may be different than the name your parents gave you. Many people throughout the Old and New Testaments received their names, name changes, or identity, directly from the mouth of God and Jesus: Abram (Abraham), Sarai (Sarah), Isaac, Jacob (Israel), John the Baptist, Jesus, Simon (Peter), and Saul (Paul), to cite a few.

Considering the possibility that God had a special name for me, I was excited to learn it.  It was the missing link to my identity, my sanity, and my confidence in Christ. One evening, I escaped the noise of my family and retired to my quiet bedroom. This marked the first time that I really tried to hear God speak. I wanted to capture whatever I heard from God that night, so I wrote all my thoughts in a notebook.

I asked God, “What do you think of me? Who am I to you? Do you have a name for me?” I listened intently but heard nothing. I kept asking the same questions but didn’t know what to expect or how the answer would come to me. Would I hear an audible voice? Again I inquired of God, “Who do you see when you look at me? What is your name for me?”

In one very distinct moment, I heard a name whispered in my thoughts. I wrote it down, but I quickly dismissed it, not being able to relate to it at all. I asked God again, “What is your name for me?” Again, the voice in my head repeated the name. Once more, I thought I’d heard it incorrectly. I couldn’t identify with the name. I didn’t understand its meaning. I had expected to hear a name like “beloved one,” similar to the name one of my friend’s had heard.

A third time, I requested God’s name for me. Yet again, God confirmed it in my thoughts, and this time the words took center stage in my head, displayed in all capital letters. Three times God clearly spoke the same name to me in my thoughts. I knew it must be the name He had given me—but I didn’t recognize the meaning behind it.

One way to confirm and comprehend what God says to us is to go to Scripture. Using the concordance in my Bible, I began a two-hour search for all the verses and meanings I could find about the name God had spoken to me. Seeing the name appear in more than twenty-five verses surprised me. As I read each verse and the surrounding passages, a feeling of peace and joy came over me. Emotion overwhelmed me. When I discovered the meaning of God’s name for me, it resonated with me. This name would most likely not mean the same thing to any other person, but it embodied everything I longed to be to God and everything I desired to hear from God at that moment.

That evening, God met me at the bottom of the pit of depression I occupied. He showered me with His loving kindness. He lifted me up out of the darkness and washed off the mud. I connected with Him in a way I never had before. I had a new understanding that God is alive. He’s a loving Father who cares about me and wants to have a relationship with me. I felt special, wanted, and loved by God. I felt important to God, a priority to Him. When I discovered how God felt about me, nothing else mattered. My fear dissipated and my confidence in the Lord replaced it. When I felt loved and wanted by the God of the universe, I had a new reason to live and a new excitement about what the future would hold for me. No longer did I fear spending time with God.

Shortly after I received God’s name for me and began spending more time alone with Him, my church went through a 40 Days of Purpose study from the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. From this study, God revealed and confirmed many things to me as He healed me and strengthened me.

God brought to light the reason He created me and His purpose for my life here on earth. He wants me to help set His captives free, like He set me free, by awakening hearts to Him. He wants me to help lead His people to the promised land, which is the abundant life in Christ, through a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He wants me to be a light to the Gentiles, people who do not know God yet. Really, these assignments represent activities He calls all of His children to carry out. It’s what Jesus did when He walked the earth. God’s Word promises, in John 14:12, we will do even greater things than Jesus did. Can you believe it?

If you have not yet heard the voice of God, I encourage you to listen. If you do not yet know God’s name for you, I pray you will ask Him. If you find yourself imprisoned by Satan’s lies about your identity, I invite you to seek God’s truth and let God Himself set you straight.

God is a gentleman. He pursues us, but He doesn’t crash in on us and take us over. 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 continually pursues us. He is pursuing you now. He stands at the door to your heart and knocks, saying, “Here I am!” He patiently waits for you to listen, hear His voice, open the door, and let Him in to enjoy intimate relationship with the living God.

Open the door to Jesus. He will come in, sit with you, and eat with you. Are you hungry to hear God’s voice? Are you desperate enough to listen? He waits for your response. Will you open your door, and your ears, to what God has to say to you? He calls you by name. No need to fear God because of who you are or who you are not. You are His child, loved and redeemed by Him. Identify yourself with the name God so carefully chose for you before the world began. Your name is engraved on His palms (see Isaiah 49:16).

Some lies swirling around in our heads evolve from the idea that the only things God will say to you are: He will convict you of your sin, or God will ask you to do something you don’t want to do, or He’s full of only wrath and fury toward you because of your sin. Are these falsehoods feeding your fear of intimacy with God? Get your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, and start identifying and eliminating any lies you may be unknowingly investing in.

Click here to purchase book

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Click here to purchase book

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