Tag Archive | God’s Word

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 60 – Spiritual Growth

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 60

Spiritual Growth

Heavenly Father, you have saved me and called me to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Teach me the best ways to mature in You, grow in my faith, and bear much fruit for Your glory. I am wholly Yours. Transform me into the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ, so I may live a life that pleases You.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My faithful child, you have already been given everything you need to become like Jesus Christ in every way. The One who saved you and gave you His spirit is able to teach you how to live a life that pleases Me. You have been given a new life in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). All things are possible through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

It is up to you to tap in to that divine power in Christ Jesus. Allow Jesus to live His life in and through you. Abandon sin, and rely on the life giving power of Jesus Christ; make Him the Lord of your life. Read God’s Word and listen for His voice within you. He will guide you on an exciting journey of faith and adventure in Him. Grow and mature in your relationship with the Lord by spending time in His Word and obeying the instructions you hear from His lips. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Grow in relationship with Me and become even more fruitful.

My divine power gives you everything you need for a godly life through your knowledge of Him who called you by His own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Listen to the voice of My Spirit within. I will teach you everything you need to know to live a godly life. It’s up to you to practice what I teach you. Stay true to the quality of character modeled for you in Christ. I predestined you to be conformed to the image of My Son (Romans 8:29) and reflect My glory in ever increasing measure.

This is how you know that you live in Him and He in you: He has given you of His Spirit (1 John 4:13). Remain in Me, as I also remain in you (John 15:4). Talk to Me, listen to Me, obey Me, read My Word, pay attention to My Spirit within, and walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. Grow in your knowledge of Me, and allow the Spirit to transform you into My likeness. All these things contribute to your spiritual growth. Remain in Me and the Spirit will produce His fruit in your character. I 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 (John 15:5). Your spiritual growth is achieved by remaining in relationship with My Spirit. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Spirit, and you grow in Me at the same time. It pleases Me very much.

Prayer:

Almighty God, full of grace and mercy, pour out Your love on me today. Allow me to hear Your voice and see glimpses of Your heart for me. Father, show me the stagnant areas in my faith, and help me grow in the grace and knowledge of You. You are my King and the object of my affection. I submit my heart and my will to You, and ask that Your Spirit transform me into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, let my life be a fragrant offering daily unto You. Speak to me now as we meet in conversation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, in what areas has my faith lacked growth? (Record what you hear.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, what areas of my character does the Spirit need to transform to make me more like you? (Write down all the thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, how do you transform me? How do you make me more like Jesus? (Journal all the ideas He gives you.)

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:

Father God, I never want to remain stagnant in my faith. Help me to grow in the image of Christ through the transforming power of Your Spirit. I understand that challenges and trials may produce the most concentrated growth in my spirit. I submit myself to Your leading to transform me however you see fit. I trust that You walk with me in all circumstances and teach me Your ways. Lord, refine me and make me like gold, pure gold (Zechariah 13:9). In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Zechariah 13:9, “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

John 15:5, “I 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.”

Romans 8:28-30, 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 29For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

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

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

2 Peter 1:2-12, 2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

2 Peter 3:18, Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 John 4:13, This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

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