Tag Archive | heart

Step 3 – Escape the Crowds and Noise

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Step 3 – Escape the Crowds and Noise

My best chance of hearing God speak to me is to be alone with Him, one-on-One, away from the noise of a crowd. I encourage you to make a regular practice of sitting still in a quiet place, shutting out the world’s noise, and listening attentively to the voice of God.

Jesus served as a great role model for how to have a relationship with the Father. As He became better known in His ministry, multitudes of people followed Him. In order to hear instructions and receive refreshment from God, Jesus escaped the crowds and found quiet places to be alone with His heavenly Father. Jesus had the Spirit of the Lord within Him, just as we do, but He still preferred to listen to the voice of God the Father away from the noise of the multitudes. He even separated Himself from His closest companions, His disciples, in order to pray and to hear God’s voice: “Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray’” (Matthew 26:36).

There’s not just one right way, one right time, or one right place to meet with Him. He will meet with you anywhere you are, any time of the day or night. He will speak to you wherever and whenever He has your attention. Seek out a quiet place next time you desire to hear God speak.

1 Samuel 3 provides many examples of how to listen to God, and adopting a childlike attitude is one of the most important. Samuel’s mother dedicated him to serving and worshipping the Lord. Even in his younger years, God spoke to him. This happened during a time when God rarely spoke to anyone, yet He chose to speak to a child. The idea that God holds a special place in His heart for children should cause us to wonder, Why?

Listed below are seven traits God loves in children:

  1. An infant completely depends on his caregiver. Likewise, God wants us to depend on Him for everything. A child trusts wholeheartedly. God asks us to trust in Him with all our hearts.
  2. A child’s mind is open, receptive to new ideas.
  3. A child’s faith has not been tarnished by life’s trials and disappointments.
  4. A child waits with excitement and anticipation to see what will happen next.
  5. A child comes before God with a pure heart, unburdened by responsibilities, regrets, fears, and doubts.
  6. A child believes easily and expects to experience the goodness of God.
  7. A child’s mind remains in its own little world, not distracted by crowds and noise.

When did God choose to speak to Samuel? What posture did Samuel assume? God spoke to Samuel when he lay down at night. Samuel stilled himself before the Lord; he heard the voice of God because he remained in a quiet place with no noise or distractions. Also note Samuel and even Eli, the priest of God, did not recognize or realize right away it was God speaking to Samuel. God did not give up after the first try, however. He pursued Samuel again. In fact, He called Samuel three times before Eli understood. Our God does not give up on us if we don’t hear Him the first time He speaks to us. Persistently, He speaks until we hear Him. Shouldn’t we give God as much in return by waiting expectantly to hear His voice? Shouldn’t we give Him our full attention, away from people and commotion?

When Samuel did realize God spoke, he positioned himself to hear God again; he returned to a quiet place and remained still. He waited patiently. Then God called him again, and Samuel humbly said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” God spoke to him then, and He continued to appear at Shiloh and speak to him for many years, not letting His words fall to the ground or go unheard. He revealed Himself to Samuel through His word and His voice, and Samuel spread God’s message to all of Israel.

We can take lessons from the boy Samuel on how to position ourselves to hear from God. Do you practice being still, in quiet solitude, expectantly and patiently waiting to hear God speak? When you do, you will hear the voice of God.

As I decided to know God better and develop an intimacy with Christ, I eagerly got up early every morning to enjoy a quiet time with God. I used this time to journal my thoughts and prayers to Christ. I poured out my heart to Him. I shared my emotions, my fears, my joys, my anger, my desires—my most intimate feelings—with God. Then I tried to “be still, and know that He is God” (see Psalm 46:10).

I pictured Jesus sitting in my living room with me. He became a brother, a husband, a friend, and a counselor all wrapped up into one. He knew my every need, even before I asked. I listened for His voice and direction in my life. When I spent time alone with God and heard His voice, I hungered for more time in conversation with Him. In Luke 6:21, Jesus says, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” Only God can satisfy the hunger in my soul; only He can fill that need.

Early morning offers me the quietest time and the best chance of hearing God’s voice. My mind is clearest first thing in the morning before I start thinking about all I have to do that day. I have made it my practice to get out of bed thirty to sixty minutes early to enjoy time with God away from the crowds and noise, even in the privacy of my own home. I completely relate to Psalm 5:3: “Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; morning by morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

When I first began my early morning practice of meeting with God, I felt unproductive. As I’ve said, often I fell asleep in the silence. Do you recall Jesus’ frustration with His best friends who fell asleep when He had asked them to keep watch while He prayed? I don’t want to be the one to fall asleep while meeting with the King of kings, do you? If not, do whatever it takes to stay awake and hear what God has to say to you.

Frequently, I found my mind wandering to the other noises in my head. When I became aware these things kept me from my purpose, I dealt with the distractions by writing them down. On a piece of paper, separate from my journal, I wrote down the busy thoughts that took up space in my mind and set them aside so I wouldn’t forget about them later. Then I resumed my still, expectant state of waiting on God.

If you’re not already in the practice of listening to God’s voice, you may not know how to begin. I like variety, so I start my time with God in different ways each day. In my book, 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, I share a few with you. If you have your own way already, don’t change it. But if you are looking for new ways to spend time with God, try one of my “7 Ways to Start Your Time with God.”

If you are not in an intimate relationship with Christ right now, I encourage you to set aside at least one thing on your busy schedule to make time for God and escape the crowds and the noise. Take a few minutes every day to be still and know God more intimately. Listen to His voice, hear what He says to you, and write it down. You’ll be really glad you did!

 

Click here to order this book now!

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 2 – Make the Time

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Deuteronomy 6

4The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Dt. 6:4-9, NKJV)

 

Step 2 in 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice is – Make the Time

God wants you to hear this today:

He loves you more than you know, and He wants to spend time with you. He wants you to put Him first in your life and listen to His voice daily.

The first commandment God gave us in Deuteronomy 5:7 is, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Anything that keeps you from spending time with Him is another god. Anything you put more value on than your relationship with Jesus Christ is another god.

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

God wants to be in first place in our lives. Don’t be like me and wait until you are in dire straits to deepen your relationship with Jesus. Pursue Him now—seek Him with all your heart; and you will find Him.

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God, and He will come near to you.” God patiently waits for us to spend time with Him.

When I wanted to put God first in my life, I had to make the time for Him. Can you relate? I worked full time, raised a family, I chauffeured my children to sports and other activities, and participated in Bible studies and church ministries. I did all the right things and I followed Jesus, but still my heart suffered a hollow sense. Discontent and dissatisfaction bred my search for more. This could not be all God planned for me. I soon realized I hadn’t left any time to be alone with God and just listen to Him.

My Christian mentor, who had been listening to God speak, encouraged me to find a quiet place where I could talk to God, and then be still and listen for His voice.

First, I had to expect and believe that God would speak to me. Next, I had to make the time. So I put God first by getting up at least one-half hour earlier than my normal time every day before I went to work.

The time quickly grew into forty minutes, then sixty minutes and longer, because as I heard from God, I loved being with Him. I used this time just to “be in relationship” with Jesus Christ, talking to Him, and then, listening.

At first, when I quietly sat with the Lord, it did not go completely well. I didn’t know how to hear His voice. I got so bored in the silence that I fell asleep. So I had to figure out how to keep myself awake.

Even if you are not a morning person, meet with God for at least a few minutes at the beginning of each day to ask for His direction, and listen to what He says. You may hear something important before you start your day. Then actively listen and be aware of God’s voice at unexpected times throughout the day. The Holy Spirit speaks to us all day long; however, we get distracted and forget to listen.

If you don’t hear from God right away, don’t quit! He doesn’t stop talking to you just because you don’t hear Him the first time. Remember the story of Samuel (1 Samuel 3)? God called Samuel three times before Eli, the priest, realized it was God calling. He continues to pursue you until you hear Him. He pursued me for nearly two decades before He finally got my attention. When He did, my life quickly transformed from boring to amazing!

Satan will do everything in His power to make us so busy we don’t have time to develop our relationship with Jesus Christ. Be intentional about making time for God—not because you should, but because your life will be so much more fulfilling and peaceful when you are in tune with Him.

I invite you and encourage you to put God first in your life. Make time to meet with Him alone and build a relationship with Him by listening to His voice. You may need to let something go. If you are not currently in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, I encourage you to set aside some of the things you are doing and make time for Him. God will take whatever time you give Him. He just wants to spend time with you and show you how much He loves you.

What are you waiting for? Carve out a small chunk of time today when you can be alone with God and begin the practice of listening to His voice. You’ll be really glad you did. If you don’t hear and recognize God’s voice right away, don’t quit! God will honor your time and efforts and enable you to hear His still, small voice within. Truly, it’s time well spent!

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Buy Book Now! – 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

Step 1 to Hearing God’s Voice – Expect and Believe (Re-post–Sorry, this 3/11 post was lost)

Do you believe in Santa Claus? As parents, we sometimes go to great lengths to preserve our children’s belief in the legendary figure known as Santa Claus.

All through the year, we attempt to deter bad behavior with the reminder that Santa knows who’s naughty and nice. Weeks before December 25th, we pile the kids in the car and drive to the mall, where we stand in long lines, so little Bobby and Jessie can sit on the jolly old elf’s lap and whisper their Christmas wish lists into his attentive ear. We might even purchase the expensive picture with Santa to solidify the memory for them. Even Fido gets his picture with Santa and receives a rawhide bone in his stocking.

To intensify their expectation and belief, on Christmas Eve we set out a plate of cookies and glass of milk for Santa. Of course, we make sure those cookies have bites out of them and the milk is half gone before the children come running down the stairs on Christmas morn.

Are we as diligent at promoting God, the true Father Christmas? To quote the old Christmas song, “He knows when you are sleeping; He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”

God gave us the gift of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, born at Christmas, so He could pay the penalty for our sin. He died on the cross, but He didn’t stay in the grave. God raised Jesus from the dead. He’s alive! When we confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God sends the gift of His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. What a priceless gift He is!

The Holy Spirit is the voice of God in us! We can hear the words of God and know His will, because He dwells in our hearts. He speaks to us and reminds us of what God and Jesus said. He recalls Scripture to our minds and teaches us the wisdom of God. He counsels us and comforts us, among many other roles He plays.

When you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you can “Expect and Believe” you will hear His voice within you – Step 1. It’s up to you to “Make the Time” to listen – Step 2.

“He who belongs to God hears what He says.” (John 8:47)

Freedom

My chains have been broken

I give all thanks to Thee

I now know the Truth

And the Truth has set me free

 

You loosed my restraints

Where once I was bound

The chains and the shackles

Fell straight to the ground

 

The bondage of slavery

That once held me tight

No longer has hold of me

Against it we fight

 

You arm me for battle

Your sword at my side

Girded in righteousness

Behind Your shield I hide

 

Your helmet, my salvation

Your belt of truth on my waist

And Your gospel of peace

My feet will carry all my days

 

Still the most precious gift

You’ve given to me

Your Spirit in my heart

Seals my identity

 

A child of the King, I am

Adopted by Your grace

Your love fills my heart

Your joy shines from my face

 

Forever I’ll live with You

In all eternity

Forever I am grateful

That You died on Calvary

 

Your death paid my ransom

The debt I owed to Thee

You defeated my opponent

I will claim my victory

 

My chains have been broken

I give all thanks to Thee

I now know the Truth

And the Truth has set me free

 

 

My Light in Shining Armor

Second Coming Jesus 01

My Light in Shining Armor 

By Sindy Nagel

 

You called me out of darkness

Into Your glorious light

Where once my eyes were blinded

You gave me back my sight

 

You freed me from the prison

Where Satan held the key

No longer am I bound by lies

Your truth has set me free

 

You reached down with a mighty hand

And pulled me from the pit

You set my feet on solid ground

A new light in my heart you lit

 

You’re my song every morning

My friend throughout the day

You whisper truth into my ears

When I make the time to pray

 

My comfort and my guide You are

I trust you my life to You

You walk with me in challenges

In trials, You see me through

 

Your praise I will forever sing

Your joy flows from my heart

You’ve blessed my life in countless ways

I don’t know where to start

 

Thank You for your goodness

In my weakness, You are strong

You comfort me in sorrow

And change my grieving into song

 

You’re my bread when I am hungry

My manna for each day

Your living water quenches thirst

You are my hope and stay

 

You took my wretched, dreary soul

And gave my heart new zest

To live a life that pleases You

And offer You my best

 

Accept my praise to You today

As lowly as it seems

You are my Light in Shining Armor

The Man of all my dreams

 

Thank You, Jesus. You’re the Best!

 

 

Let Your Praises Ring

Praise the Lord, O my soul

Everything in me sings your praise

All my heart, soul, mind, and strength

Will praise you all of my days

 

Praise the Lord, O ye heavens

Praise the Lord, ye earth below

He is worthy of all glory

He is awesome, this I know

 

Before I rise in the morning

Let His praises be on my lips

And when I fall into bed at night

Let the praise in my heart do flips

 

Every moment I will praise Him

For He is my EVERY thing

Let admiration flow from my mouth

As my tongue His praises sing

 

I lift my hands in holy praise

To the Almighty God above

I delight myself in the Lord of lords

And He fills my heart with love

 

The One Who bore my sin and shame

Deserves the best words I can shout

His praise flows from within my soul

And through my lips pours out

 

He is my guardian and my friend

My trusted confidant

He provides me all I’ll ever need

Much more than I shall want

 

I thank Him for His Spirit

He placed within my heart

Who seals me for the final day

When this earth I will depart

 

I hear His voice within me

He whispers in my ear

“I am with you always…

There is no need to fear”

 

If Jesus is your Savior

The Lord of what you do

Just make the time to listen

And you will hear Him too

 

Escape the crowds and noise of life

And to the Lord draw near

Pay attention to the thoughts you think

His still, small voice you’ll hear

 

He speaks to us through Scripture

When we find ourselves in need

He counsels us in God’s good ways

And convicts us of our misdeed

 

He is our hope and healing

Our anchor in the storm

When battles rage against us

He keeps us safe and warm

 

Do not forsake your time with God

He wants to be your friend

To speak with you throughout your day

From the day’s beginning to its end

 

Pay attention to His voice within

As you walk out your faith today

Be conscious of His words to you

I bet you’ll hear Him say:

 

“My child, I love you more than life

You are My special lamb

I want to be Your Shepherd

And show you Who I AM…

 

I’m your light in the darkness

I’m your stronghold in the war

I’m your comfort in your sorrow

I’m the angel at your door

 

I give you food and shelter

I protect you from your foe

I speak the truth within your heart

The things that you should know

 

I hear you when you call Me

I’m with you in all you do

And when you cannot find the strength

You can be sure I’ll carry you

 

Trust in Me, obey My words

And I will see you through

I do not ask you to perform

Without preparing you

 

And when My work you’ve carried out

My joy is your reward

Let your praises ring, let Me hear you sing

‘Halleluiah to the Lord!’”


 

Take heart! We can have peace in a troubled world.

In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:2-4)

My dear children, in this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world. In Me you may find your peace. My peace is available to you at all times, through all the trials of this life. Though the storms rage around you, you need only look within to find your tranquility. I am in you and you are in Me, just as I am in My Father and My Father is in Me.

Turn to Me, and I will calm the wind and the waves that threaten you. Though you are weak, you may find your strength in Me. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid, for I am with you always. I do not leave you alone as orphans. My Spirit lives in your heart.

When you accept Me as your Savior, you are born of God. When you believe that I am the Son of God, you too, in faith, will overcome the world. Live victoriously in your faith. Show yourself to be My children by loving each other as I have loved you. When you obey My commands, you will remain in My love. My joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.

My peace and joy are available to you, even in the trials and turmoil this world brings. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Remain in Me and I will remain in you. My love, joy and peace will remain in you as well. Let My joy be a shining light in a world full of darkness. Radiate My love to a broken world.

See also John 14:27, John 15:4, John 15:9-13.

“United” States of America? Not!

The One and Only True God of the "United" States of America

Jesus Christ is the One and Only True God of the “United” States of America.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of UNITY among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (emphasis mine, Romans 15:5-7)

The one star on the flag pictured here suggests UNITY–Fifty individual states that come together to form ONE nation under GOD. In a week of divided discontent and the protests of a nation against the man elected by its people to serve as the next leader of the free world, it would behoove us to consider the Scripture above.

As followers of Christ, we are called to a spirit of unity, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify God. Therefore, we MUST ACCEPT one another, just as Christ accepted us, in order to bring praise to God.

If you find yourself wanting to protest the most recent leadership choice of the nation, should you instead channel your energy into glorifying God by accepting one another? Remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:28 & 31, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

UNITY–“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Since Jesus Christ graciously accepted me, a sinner, shouldn’t I imitate and obey Him by accepting others? With man (or woman), this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Paul is the perfect example of how God can use even the worst of sinners for the good of those who love Him. I think God can handle the latest election results. Yes, God can use even Donald Trump for the good of those who love God. Let this be your testimony to your friends who are eager to sign their name to a petition and march with a sign in their hands. Imitate God and encourage a spirit of unity. Accept one another in order to bring praise to God.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Pray for Donald Trump as he prepares to lead the Not-United States of America.

 

His Heart will Sing

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).

Beloved one, make it your pleasure to offer yourself—heart, mind, and soul—to Me, in reverence. Do not be as the pagans, who do not acknowledge Me as God. You previously belonged to this world and its ways. However, now you are a stranger to it. Do not imitate the ways of those who do not know Me or accept me. You are My child, I adopted you as My heir. My Holy Spirit, who dwells in your heart, transforms you by the renewing of your mind. Pay attention to His voice within. He teaches you and reminds you of My good and perfect will. You need not question how to please Me. Love Me with your obedience. Set yourself apart from this world, remaining pure and holy as your spiritual worship. Serve Me wholeheartedly according to the gifts I have given you. Live into the purpose I created you for and let My heart sing.


 

My Spirit Lives in You

My Spirit Lives in You

by Sindy Nagel

I am your refuge and your strength
Your shelter in the storm
I walk beside you in your trials
I keep you safe and warm

I formed you in your mother’s womb
You’re engraved upon my palms
Never will I leave your side
Let go of all your qualms

Your life rests in my loving arms
I will take care of you
I know the number of your days
And I will see you through

My Spirit lives deep in your heart
He is a faithful friend
Your close companion every day
‘til I come back again

Listen to My voice within
I whisper in your mind
Words of wisdom, love, and truth
Seek and you will find

I’ll comfort you and counsel you
My words are always true
My Spirit leads you on the path
That I’ve marked out for you

He will not speak on His own
But does what He should do
He takes from Me what is Mine
And makes it known to you

He tells My story for My glory
Bringing honor to My name
‘til all the world knows who I am
Will you now do the same?

Love Me with all your heart,
Your strength, mind, and soul
Love your neighbor as yourself
Make this your foremost goal

Love Me and obey My words
I’ll show Myself to you
Your life will radiate My light
In everything you do

I will never leave your side
Or forget that you are Mine
My Spirit dwells deep in your heart
I’m with you all the time

If only you could understand
What’s right within your reach
The depth of My great love for you
My Spirit’s here to teach

How far and wide, how tall and deep
My love for you does go
You’re always in My heart and mind
If only you could know

Take time, My love, to sit with Me
And listen to My voice
Forget the list of things to do
And drown out all the noise

You know My voice, You are my sheep
By name, I call to you
Open the ears within your heart
My Spirit lives in you