Tag Archive | God’s Voice

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 47 – Listen to God

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 47

Listen to God

Hello, Lord, are You there? Your Word says that You are with me always (Matthew 28:20); You will never leave me or forget about me (Joshua 1:5). Do you speak to Me often? Sometimes I try to be still and listen to You, but I cannot hear Your voice. I don’t really know what it sounds like or I’m not sure whether it’s Your thoughts or mine. How do I know the difference? Please help me be still enough to listen and give me the discernment to know Your voice when You speak to me.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved one, I am always right here waiting to listen to you and talk to you. Will you do the same for Me? I desire intimate relationship and personal conversation with you daily. I want to listen to your requests and impart My wisdom and instructions for your life. I am your Shepherd, and you are My sheep. My sheep know My voice and follow Me (John 10:27).

You will know and recognize My voice by spending time with Me in My Word. Whenever you read My Word, you are hearing directly from Me. The Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see what I want you to understand when you spend time in the Scripture. You will hear Me speak to you through My Word. However, I love to communicate with you in prayer also. When you pray, go into the secret place, where you and I meet alone. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). When you quiet your heart and mind enough, and give Me your undivided attention, you will hear My inaudible voice in your thoughts. It is soft as a whisper, yet powerful and majestic (Psalm 29:4).

When you spend time in My Word, getting to know My character better, you will better know what to expect when you hear Me in your thoughts. I am loving and compassionate; I will encourage you with My love and envelope you with My kindness. I am wise and discerning; I will instruct you with My wisdom. I am your Advocate; I will guide you and support you with My knowledge. I am your Counselor; I will advise you in all your circumstances. I am your Father; I will delight in you and bestow your identity as My child. I am the Prince of Peace; I will fill you with the confidence of knowing I am in control.

When you hear My voice, the message will always align with My Word in Scripture. My voice will always be consistent with My character. It will bring you a feeling of peace unless I am convicting you of a sin. My words will never be harsh, accusing, condemning, or confusing like Satan’s voice. My words in your thoughts will be sincere, clear, truthful, motivating, comforting, and uplifting. I may instruct you to do something challenging, but I will always equip you to carry it out. I will never ask you to do anything that does not agree with My Word in the Bible. I will not lie to you, manipulate you, deceive you, or shame you. Those actions identify your enemy, the devil. The more time you spend in conversation with Me, the better you will be able to identify and discern My voice in your thoughts, from your own thoughts and Satan’s.

Above all, I just want to spend time with you, however that works best: in My Word, in personal conversation, or shoulder to shoulder walking through the journey of your life. I love you, My friend, and I want what is best for you. It is best that you remain in relationship with Me by reading My Word, talking to Me in prayer, listening to Me and hearing My voice, loving Me with your obedience, and praising Me whenever possible. I look forward to our next conversation. When shall we meet again?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I so long to hear You speak more regularly, and to know for sure it’s Your voice I hear. Teach me more about Your character so that I may be confident in discerning Your voice from the other thoughts in my head. Lord, please speak to me now and let me know what needs to change in my life in order for me to hear Your voice in my thoughts more consistently. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, help me to quiet my mind and heart enough to hear You speak. What do You want me to know at this time? (Record every word or thought you have.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, will You share what You want me to know about listening to Your voice? How do I discern between Your voice and my own thoughts? (Write down what He says to you now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, teach me to be more in tune with Your whispers and how You speak to me all day long. What do I need to do to hear You speaking to me and guiding me? (Journal all ideas and thoughts that pop into your mind.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You for speaking Your heart and pouring Your thoughts into my mind whenever I meet with You. Thank You for making Yourself available to meet with me any time and anywhere. Lord, I so appreciate that Your desire is for greater intimacy with me. Give me the same desire and expand my time, so that I may accomplish the goal of putting You first in my life, and listening to You daily. Thank You for Your loving kindness and forbearance. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 29:4, The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.

Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Psalm 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Matthew 28:19-20, 19“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. 20And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 4:23, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

John 10:2-4, 2“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 42 – I am with You

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 42 

I am with You

Lord, I hear and know in my mind that You are with me. I read Your promises in Your Word. I can repeat these verses in my head, however, sometimes, it just doesn’t seem real. My heart does not always feel alive with Your presence. Lord, help me to know how to feel the joy of Your presence at all times. I will say the prayer of David from Psalm 51:10-12, 10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” Lord, renew a right spirit within me. Please give me a fresh filling of Your Spirit today.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved one, I will say it again for you: I am alive and I live in you. You may not always feel My presence, but I am here with you at all times. Listen to My voice; know and feel the joy of My presence. Seek Me first; spend time with Me in the morning. I will give you a good start to your day. You may hear a word of encouragement from Me, or an instruction, a blessing, or a command I want you carry out. Let’s connect daily; I wait patiently for you to seek Me, because I love you. Blessed are you when you acclaim Me, when you walk in the light of My presence. Rejoice in My name all day long (Psalm 89:15-16). Speak to Me throughout your day.

You are never alone when you are walking in relationship with Jesus. He is the great Shepherd of the sheep (Hebrews 13:20). He will leave the ninety-nine in the open field in search of the one lost sheep (Luke 15:4-7). And when He finds it, He joyfully places it on His shoulders and brings it home. Feeling lost? Stop your wandering, little sheep. Jesus, your shepherd, knows exactly where you are. His sheep hear His voice, “Come home, little lamb. Come home.” Listen and obey. Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). Remain in Me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4). Love Me by obeying Me, and we will make our home with you (John 14:23).

Of course, when you sin, we must deal with it as quickly as possible. When convicted by the Holy Spirit, confess your sin and turn from it. Disobedience stands in the way of close relationship with Me. I do not remain anywhere close to sin, so it separates you from Me. Quickly get rid of any roadblock that stands in the way of a close relationship with Me. “Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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 that person, and they with Me” (Revelation 3:19-20). Feast on My words; enjoy My presence. Let us break bread together. I am nourishment for your soul. I bring refreshment to your days and life to your spirit. I am with you always (Matthew 28:20). Bear witness to My goodness; share the message of My love and salvation.

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven, the secret to feeling Your presence is spending time in two-way conversation with You. I must know You to feel You with me. I can know You by spending time in Your Word and speaking with You in prayer. Lord, You promise that “I will seek You and find You when I seek You with all my heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Lord, I will seek You while you may be found; I will call on You while You are near (Isaiah 55:6). Lord, hear my cries and answer me. Share Your heart with me now, O Lord, as we sit together in the secret place. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, it amazes me that You desire a close relationship with me. Will you describe what that looks like to You? (Record every word and thought He gives you now.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, will you share Your heart with me now. You are Immanuel, God with us. How do I feel Your presence? What shall I do? (Write His thoughts that pop into your head.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, I am drawing near to You now. Will you draw near to Me? Please convict me of anything that stands in the way of my relationship with God. (List any sins or shortcoming that the Holy Spirit reveals to you now. Confess your sin and ask the Lord’s forgiveness.

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Lord God Almighty, thank You for the work of Your Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross who provided me the way back to You. Thank You that I, myself, may personally approach You any time. I am grateful that You want to enjoy a relationship with me, Your child. I do not deserve any amount of time You give Me, and yet, You are generous to remain with me always. Thank You for sharing Your heart, what it means to be in relationship with You, and for Your forgiveness when I fall short. Lord, I love spending time with You. Please help me to make it a regular practice, in good times and bad, every day, all day. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Exodus 3:11-12, 11But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12And God said, “I will be with you, and this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Joshua 1:5,9, 5“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you…9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Judges 6:12, When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

Psalm 16:11, You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

Psalm 21:6, Surely You have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of Your presence.

Psalm 23:4, Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 41:12, Because of my integrity You uphold me and set me in Your presence forever.

Psalm 51:10-12, 10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing sprit to sustain me.”

Psalm 89:15-16, 15Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, Lord. 16They rejoice in Your name all day long; they celebrate Your righteousness.

Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.”

Jeremiah 1:4-9, 4The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. 9Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put My words in your mouth.”

Jeremiah 1:19, They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11-13, 11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

Zephaniah 3:17, The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Matthew 1:23, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 15:4-7, 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. 6Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep,’ 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

John 14:23, Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

John 15:4-5, 4“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you; you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Acts 2:28, ‘You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’ (see also Psalm 16:11)

1 Thessalonians 3:9, How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

Hebrews 13:5-6, 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:20-21, 20Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything goof for doing His will, and my He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

James 4:8, Come near to God and He will come near to you.

Revelation 3:19-20, 19“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20Here 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 that person, and they with Me.”

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 6 – Good News

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 6

Good News

Mark 1:14-15 says, “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ He said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”

Jesus is the good news—the good news is that God provided a way to a restored relationship with Himself. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for all our sin. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). Jesus is the good news!

To hear God’s voice regularly, we need to be in a close relationship with Him. God promises in Jeremiah 29:13, “you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” It’s possible over the first few days in this journey to a more cherished relationship with God you have not been hearing from God during the two-way conversation time in these exercises. Have you been seeking Him with all your heart? Or does something stand in the way?

It may be time to step back and take an inventory of your standing with the Lord. One of the roadblocks to hearing God’s voice is disobedience or sin. 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. This is good news!

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.” This is great news!

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. This is fantastic news!

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 this the greatest news you’ve ever heard? Yes!

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 a fresh start in life? Do you want to let Jesus 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. This is the beginning of an intimate relationship with God—the living God living in you!

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 in your journal. 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! This is wonderful news!

Or possibly, you invited Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord a long time ago, but sin has been creeping back into your life and you just need to get yourself right before God again. Take a little time with God right now to confess your sin and ask His forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Then, repent and turn from your sinful ways. Allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from all unrighteousness and wash you whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7). Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to live a life more pleasing to God. Then, return to this journey in pursuit of God’s heart. Spend time with Him daily and enjoy a more intimate two-way conversation with the Lord. Be still and listen. And God will honor your time with the sound of His voice again.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing me a way back to You. Thank You for sending your one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the death penalty for my sin, and restore my relationship with You. I confess all my sin before you, especially these sins that Your Holy Spirit convicts me with right now: (list all sins that come to your mind). Lord, please forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Remove the roadblock of disobedience so that I may hear and know Your voice in my heart again. Lord, let me hear clearly from you right now. Thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  • Lord, what do you want me to know about the good news of Jesus? (Write all words and thoughts given to you in this moment.)

 

  • Jesus, please share with me your heart. Why did You give Your life for mine? (List all thoughts and impressions you have right now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, how do you empower me to live a life more pleasing to God? (Record the things you hear in your heart.)

 

 Review the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and impressions you’ve written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

 

 Prayer:

Father God, thank You for making a way for me to communicate daily with you. Thank You for removing the roadblocks that stand in the way of my hearing Your voice. I am so grateful for Your unconditional love and grace that continuously gives me second chances, third chances and more. Lord, I look forward to meeting with You again tomorrow. I long to hear Your voice again, so I will know and experience more and more of Your heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 Supporting Scripture:

Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

Matthew 9:35, Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Psalm 51:7, Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved.

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 1

God uses difficult times like these to draw us to Himself so that we may experience a more cherished intimacy with Him than our normally busy lives allow.

 

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved.

 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 1

Why Me?

Heavenly Father, why me? Why do You, the All Powerful, All Knowing, Ever-present, Amazing God, Creator and Ruler of the universe, desire an intimate relationship with me?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

You are My beloved child, a daughter of the King. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5). I loved you even before I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I knew the number of your days before one of them came to be (See Psalm 139:11-16).

You are a crown of splendor in My hand (Isaiah 62:3). I have adopted you as My own child, even My heir (Galatians 4:5), and sealed you for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), so you will know Me and spend all eternity in My presence (John 17:3).

O daughter, I am with you. Do not fear. I take great delight in you. I will quiet you with My love and sing songs of joy over you. I will bring you home with Me, and I will restore your fortunes before your very eyes (See Zephaniah 3:17-20).

You are My beloved bride and I am your Bridegroom. I rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride (Isaiah 62:5). You are radiant. You reflect the light of My glory and your obedience brings Me joy and happiness.

Why you? I have engraved you on the palms of My hands (Isaiah 49:16). I love you more than you will ever comprehend. When you obey Me, I make My home in you (John 14:23). You are My temple, My very dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16). I know you intimately, and I desire that you would know Me as well.

Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). Remain in Me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4). Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

You are My beloved, and I am your Friend (See John 15:13-15). I desire a deeper intimacy with you. Know Me better and cherish the passions of My heart. Let My mercy, grace, and love transform your heart entirely and eternally.

Why you? I created you, and I desire a greater spiritual intimacy with you. Will you make time for Me, to know My heart? Be still and know (Psalm 46:10). I am God, and I love you, My child.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, Your banner over me is love (Song of Songs 2:4). Thank You for expressing Your love and joy over me, Your creation. Please expand my time and help me to spend more time in Your Word, and more time listening to Your voice as I seek to know the passions and desires of Your heart. Help me understand more of Your love for me, so I, in turn, can return that love to You and others. Help me understand who You are, and therefore, who I am in You, so I may become all that You designed for me before You breathed Your breath of life into my lungs. I desire to know You more intimately and love You more passionately. Thank You for meeting with me today. As I listen to Your voice within, please tell me who I am. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  • Father God, please tell me, personally and individually, who I am to You. (Write what God says to you in your thoughts.)

 

  • Jesus, help me understand, what is Your desire for me? (Record His answer here.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, empower me to live my life for God, in step with You. What does that look like? (Record the thoughts given to you by the Holy Spirit within you.)

 

Review the thoughts God gave you above. Many times the Lord will bring words from Scripture to your mind. Use the concordance of your Bible to look up those words and verses. Read those Scripture passages and record them here. Write any further impressions and confirmations the Holy Spirit gives you as you read God’s Word for you today.

 

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You for communicating Your love and affections to me. As I seek to know You more personally, help me remember who I am in You. Give me the confidence to approach Your throne with boldness because Your Son has made me righteous and provided the way for me to experience intimacy with You. Thank You for the gift of Your Spirit in me. I am so blessed that You are with me 24/7, all hours of the day and night. Father God, You never leave me or forget about me (Joshua 1:5). Jesus, You are with me always (Matthew 28:20). Thank You for these promises. Holy Spirit, write them on my heart and remind me of them as needed. In the precious name of Your One and Only Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken individually. However, when we rely on ourselves for everything and don’t depend on God for anything, He could view this independent spirit as arrogance or overconfidence. Likewise, it often feels good to be in complete control of ourselves, our lives, an event, a situation, another person, or his actions. The haughty monster of pride rears its ugly head in the condescending creature of control. And when we compare ourselves to others and always come out on top, a conceited nature triumphs over humility in our souls. Be careful—this sounds a bit like sitting in the judgment seat, and that’s not a position you want to claim for yourself. Judgment is reserved for Almighty God alone.

Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)

Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

Unfortunately, pride comes much too naturally to all of us, including me. Read about the fall of humankind in Genesis 3. From the very beginning of time, self-importance snuck into human desire. Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be all-knowing and wise, like God, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. Deceived by the devil, Eve ate some and gave some to Adam. Pride initiated a sinful response when the evil one presented his temptation.

The need for independence and superiority continues to be the cause of some of our sin today. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The truth of this verse rang loudly in the Garden of Eden. It still rings true thousands of years later.

Another example of haughtiness is found in Ezekiel 28, the prophecy against the king of Tyre. In verse 17, the Sovereign Lord says, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” God detested his arrogance. The king’s pride preceded his destruction.

In Proverbs 8:13, the wise Solomon says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Fear in this case is the same reverence for the Lord that we talked about in the previous blog. When you respect the Lord, you will detest all pride and arrogance, as He does. Yet arrogance sneaks into all areas of life. Recall that pride inventory we talked about? It may be necessary to make that assessment daily, even hourly.

If pride in any form resides in your life, don’t expect to be close to God and hear from Him regularly. Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.” As another passage I’ve already quoted says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:6-8). God spends time with humble people who submit themselves to Him and make time for Him. God distances Himself from the self-righteous, prideful, judgmental person.

When the needle on the pride-o-meter registers anywhere on the gauge, take action immediately to dispose of all forms of pride. Humble yourself before the Lord. Submit yourself to Him and exalt Him, rather than yourself. Show the Lord how much you trust in Him for everything. Relinquish your control to the Most High. Place the desires of others ahead of your own. Do not judge any person or behavior. Assume the servant position in God’s kingdom.

Do you struggle with judging others or promoting yourself to a higher pedestal? What alerts you of your arrogance? I can tell you truly, when I do not practice the humility of a servant, I should not expect God will speak to me. No matter my standing or position in the world, I am but an unworthy sinner, forgiven and saved by God’s grace alone. I am no better than anyone else. If I do not treat others better than myself, God has no business with me, and therefore no reason to talk to me.

Anytime I have seated myself on the judgment throne with regard to another human being, God has given me an opportunity to experience the same affliction, position, or experience as the one I judged. Very soon I’ve gained a new appreciation and respect for the one I condemned because I have walked down a similar path. Becoming the object of my own pride rapidly and effectively cuts me down to size. When the roadblock of pride comes down, my reception of God’s voice dramatically improves.

The Bible provides many significant illustrations of humility. Jesus, God’s own Son, displayed the ultimate humility when He left His throne in heaven and came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb and die for our sins. Another dramatic demonstration of Christ’s servanthood took place when He washed the feet of His disciples. We can imitate this kind of humility when we selflessly serve our own subordinates, or, better yet, those we judge. This foot washing can be accomplished literally or figuratively. Think of a way you might take an unassuming position with someone you lead, manage, or influence. Is there any type of metaphorical foot washing you could perform for him or her? Maybe picking up a towel and basin of water is what you really need.

Let’s examine some of the enemy’s deceit in our thoughts, which gives birth to overconfidence. You might believe you can take care of yourself; you know what’s best for you. Or, you might think you are in control of your own life. Is it possible that thinking you are better than someone else for any reason could be hampering your clear reception of God’s voice in your thoughts? Grab your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God’s Voice today, and begin identifying what stands in your way of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart His home.

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 7 – Share the Good News

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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

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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

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #4

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Reward #4 – Follow the Instruction

God speaks to His people not only to encourage us, but also to instruct us in life. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” God shares His wisdom, His commands, and His teachings throughout the Bible. For example, read Proverbs 2 to catch a glimpse of the benefits of seeking God’s wisdom. Also, Jesus sums up the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-38 when He says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” These are instructions to live by.

Seeking God’s wisdom by listening to His voice and then following through on His instructions leads to a life of intimacy, peace, and joy with the Lord. When we tune our ears to God’s voice, quite often we hear or feel the Holy Spirit prompting us to do something important. Just as a parent instructs a child and expects obedience, God expects us to obey when He speaks to us. When we do not obey His voice, we miss out on some great opportunities to experience the plans He made for our lives, including the benefits of lasting joy, indescribable peace, and abundant blessing—the kind of full life Christ came to give us.

Proverbs 8:10-11 says, “Choose My instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” In this verse, God compares His instruction to precious metals and reveals a worth far greater than silver or gold. Nothing you desire or money can buy surpasses the rich wisdom imparted in God’s instructions.

In John 14:23, Jesus shared an insight on how to experience intimacy with God: “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” When we love Jesus, we will obey His teaching. When we obey His teaching, God loves us and makes His home with us. We learn and grow in intimacy with God. Jesus didn’t leave us guessing how to get close to God. This verse came in the context of Jesus promising to send the Holy Spirit to live with us. God dwells with those who love and obey Him. He doesn’t just visit us from time to time; He makes His home IN us forever. Jesus modeled His love for God by being obedient to His Father’s instructions, even unto death on the cross. It’s not enough to listen to God’s voice. We also must obey.

In Acts 1:1-2, Paul reminds Theophilus that before God took Jesus up to heaven, Christ gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to us so He could continue to teach us and give us instructions after He returned to the side of God the Father. When the Spirit of God instructs us, He does not allow us to forget about what He wants us to do. In my experience, the Spirit does not let me ignore His instructions. He persists until I obey.

When you are obedient to God’s instructions and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you will experience incomparable joy just as Jesus’ disciples did in Acts 13:52: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Don’t put off doing the will of God. When you hear God’s voice and instructions, don’t wait months to carry them out. Confirm what you hear, and then do it! When we’re obedient to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we’ll experience a greater joy lasting longer than any happiness we might receive from the things of this world. In Luke 11:28, Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Listen to God’s instructions, “and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 4 – Write It Down

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STEP 4 – WRITE IT DOWN

The best advice my Christian mentor offered me about listening to God’s voice was, “Write it down.” Writing down an idea reinforces it in my mind, so I will more accurately remember it later. The practice of writing in a journal absolutely, unequivocally produced for me the desired success in hearing the voice of God and maintaining the integrity of His words. Additionally, journaling your conversations with God offers many excellent benefits, It help you:

  • Differentiate your thoughts from God’s thoughts
  • Return to your conversations with the Lord when you experience times of disconnect from Him
  • Document the Scripture verses He leads you to
  • Preserve the exact words from God’s mouth, so your enemy can’t twist them around, and use them against you later

The Holy Spirit of God reveals His thoughts to me, and I don’t want to miss one of them. Every time I meet with God, I write down our conversation. He already knows my thoughts and questions, but I usually write them down anyway in a notebook or on the computer. Then I wait to hear Him speak. While I’m waiting to hear His voice, I journal every thought popping into my head, no matter how unusual or unimportant it seems. Why? Recording all my thoughts offers me the best chance of discerning the still, small voice of God from the other voices in my head.

As I go back and read what I have written in my journal, I can see where my own thoughts end and God’s begin. While my thoughts lack confidence and certainty, His thoughts are authoritative and convicting. My expressions are timid and self-condemning, but God’s voice exudes strength and encouragement. My ways are naïve and simple, while His ways are wise and wonderful.

Since the Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s Word, you will know the Spirit speaks to you when you recognize a concept or verse from the Bible infused with the words you have written in your journal. You will recognize God’s voice in your notes as He speaks to you in a loving, encouraging, affirming manner. His voice will be apparent when you feel conviction of a sin and when He speaks the truth in love. Read God’s encouragement in this example from my own journal:

Journal Entry on 04/15/2014

My child, I have called you My own. You belong to Me. Do you cherish Me the same way I cherish you? You are everything to Me. I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. Your name is burned into My mind. You are always on My heart. I will never forget you. Try writing My name on your palms and do not forget Me.

Remember what I say to you. Write it down. Draw on it when times are tough. Refer back to it when it becomes difficult for you to hear Me. It will help you recall what I have said to you. I have written so many things on your heart. I have written so many things in My Word. You have My written Word to help you find your way; you have My Holy Spirit to remind you of what I have said. The words spoken by My Spirit within you will lead you back to My written Word. Write down the words I put in your mind and on your heart. Examine them again as needed.

Life gets crazy. A time may come when you do not hear Me. Then you will refer back to your journal and relive the words I have spoken to you. Cling tightly to the spoken and written words I have given you. You will cherish the time we spent together in the past and allow My voice to be heard in your mind and heart once more.

You are My beloved child. I have so much wisdom to send your way. Be diligent in recording the knowledge I impart. Do not take it lightly. It may save you some day. Record everything you hear, big or small. Sometimes the biggest blessings are wrapped in the smallest packages. Record every thought that presents itself in your head. When the words begin to flow more rapidly, you will recognize My hand in it. When you look at it again, you will be able to discern your own thoughts from My thoughts in your journal writings.

Anything worth anything is worth writing down. Write down anything and everything I say to you.

 

As God mentioned above, my journal becomes really useful when I experience times of spiritual drought—when I feel disconnect from God, when He doesn’t speak to me, or when I can’t hear Him. In reading it again, I’m able to reconnect with God and remember what it sounds like to hear from Him. It helps me remember His character and how He feels toward me. It’s a way to reconnect my spirit with the Spirit of God inside me.

Pausing to listen for His voice is vital. How can I hear Him speak if I don’t leave room in the conversation for Him? Write down your comments or questions to God, and then lift your pen off the paper for a few moments to wait for His response. You may write a paragraph or two, but leave Him space on the page to reply. Do not feel the need to fill the air with your own voice and thoughts all the time. Learn to become comfortable with the silence. Ecclesiastes states, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).

Clear your mind of all the clutter and obstructions. If random thoughts enter your mind—like your grocery shopping list or your “to do” list for the day—quickly jot them down so you won’t forget them, and then return your focus to God. Concentrate on the topic of your discussion. Reiterate your questions or comments to Him. Then write down the next thoughts that enter your mind—all of them, no matter how common or strange they may seem. Sometimes you will find abundant meaning in the simplest expressions.

Documenting what you hear God say to you will be monumental in your quest for intimacy with Him. With all the distractions we have pulling us away from God, taking time to read through your journal of His messages to you will put you back on track in focusing your attention in His direction. The ability to read and reread His loving, encouraging words, specifically given to you, will build your confidence in your relationship with Him, just like reading His message of love for you in the Bible does.

Had the scribes not put their time and attention into writing down the inspired words of God, we would not have the Bible today. If you do not write down what He says to you, those words may get lost in your head, and you may not be able to recall them exactly as He gave them to you. Satan would love to twist and mix up the words God has given you to make you believe his version instead. Just as you use the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, to battle your enemy, you may also use the truth in God’s words you have written down in your journal to fight the one who opposes you. What God says to you will be reinforced by Scripture.

When you learn to distinguish God’s voice, or thoughts, as you are journaling your conversation with Him, write His voice in cursive or italics, and print your thoughts to distinguish the two voices on paper. When possible, date each conversation. Title your journal entry with a fitting name to identify the topic, so it’s easier to spot when you want to return to it later.

Maybe you love to blog or post on social media. When your conversations with God are not too personal, consider posting them in some form. You can tweak them to be more generic and allow others to enjoy a word from the Lord. If you don’t yet have a blog, you may set one up free on WordPress.org or WordPress.com. I maintain a blog on my website, www.sindynagel.com. The posts filed under the category titled “From God’s Heart to Yours” come from messages I hear from God and relay to you. Here’s a sample:

Life in the Son

Lord, I have been in a slump because of the dreary weather. Would You shine some light into my life? Does the sun, or the lack of it, really make that big of a difference in my life?

My child, if only you knew. Life in the Son makes a monumental difference. The sun I have placed in the sky may lift your spirits while it shines, but it does not provide constant light, as you know. Truly, My Son will shine His light into your darkness at all hours of the day and night. You never need to endure the storms of life alone. I am with you always. I will shine My light of life into every dark corner. I will light the way for you. I will lead you in the path of life.

My sweet daughter, life in the Son does make a big difference. Even on the darkest of days, you may have joy in your heart because you belong to Me. I am the true light that gives life. As you walk in the rain, My light will lead you on your way. Follow Me and you will never walk in darkness, because I am the light of life. (See John 8:12.) I have made My light shine in your heart to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 4:6.)

My precious one, life in the Son does make a big difference. You may be downcast for a little while, but consider what I have done for you. I am light. I have given you My light. In Me there is no darkness. (See 1 John 1:5.) Never again will you remain in darkness, because you believe in Me, the light of the world.

Are you downcast? Look to Me for your happiness. Are your spirits low? I will lift you up on eagle’s wings. Are you depressed? I will remove your sackcloth and clothe you with joy. Are you stuck in a pit? I will pull you out and place you on solid ground. Are you caught in the middle of a storm? I will weather it with you and bring you to a place of rest. I am with you.

Seek Me, My child, and I will give you joy in your spirit and peace in your heart. My light will illuminate the darkest of days. Even as we speak, the skies are getting brighter. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me shall stay in darkness (John 12:46). Life in the Son does make a big difference. Choose the light of life.

 

The gift of the Holy Spirit and the ability to hear God’s voice are like having your own Bible, personalized just for you. At all times and in all places, you have access to God’s will and word through His Spirit inside you. The Holy Spirit takes the words of God and Jesus and makes them known to you. Listen to the inspired word of God inside you, and write it down. You’ll be thankful you have the opportunity to refer back to God’s personal words for you at a later date.

Each word He utters has value and may connect to other things He reveals to you later. The thoughts God gives you one day may make sense down the road a month or two later. You may ask God a question or pray a prayer He doesn’t answer for several days, weeks, months, even years. Recording your conversations will allow you to track and relate one to another, as God uncovers His will, plan, and purpose for your life.

Rejoice whether you hear one word, four sentences, or two paragraphs from the mouth of the Lord. Each and every word God speaks to you is precious and valuable. Sometimes the most priceless things God says are one-word expressions. Don’t compare how He speaks to you with how He speaks to your friend. He communicates with you exactly the way you can hear Him with exactly the word(s) you need to hear—no more, no less. Write down every word God says to you while you practice the art of listening to His voice. You’ll be really glad you did!

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

The Spirit of God in You

“We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

My dear children, you belong to Me. You, who acknowledge Jesus is My Son, live in Me and I in you. You know I am in you by the Spirit I have given you. You have seen the light. In Me there is no darkness. Now live in the light by the power of My Spirit within you. The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. My Son, Jesus Christ, overcame the world. You, too, have been given the power to overcome the darkness when you believe Jesus is My Son, and you walk by My Spirit.

To walk by My Spirit, you must listen to My still, small voice within you. I speak to you from the depths of your heart. Find a place of solitude and listen intently to hear the voice of My Spirit. I speak to you throughout your day. As a shepherd guides his sheep, so My voice will guide you. You are My sheep, and My sheep know My voice.

I have shown you My great love for you by sending you My Son. My love is made complete in you when you love each other, even as I have loved you. You love because I first loved you. Now show the world My love is in you by keeping My commands and carrying out My will. Let others taste and see My goodness.

You are My light in this dark world. Do not hide yourself, but shine brightly for all to see.

 

Many Scripture references in this text also come from the book of 1 John and John 10.