Tag Archive | intimate

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #3

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

Reward #3 – Enjoy the Encouragement

Who doesn’t want to hear an encouraging word from God? We all desire His unfailing love. There’s a God-shaped hole inside each of us only He can fill. He designed it that way. Sensing unmet needs, we search for things that will satisfy us: love, relationships, food, alcohol, drugs, material possessions, independence, wealth, success, and recognition. When we acquire and achieve those things, however, we remain empty and unsatisfied. We continue to yearn for the one thing that will bring us long-lasting happiness and fulfillment.

God created human beings with a hunger and thirst only He can satisfy. He wants us to be dependent on Him for everything. He wants to be in close relationship with each of us. Only God can love us perfectly and completely. No human being can match the love He has for you and for me. Nothing can satisfy our longings except the One who placed those desires in our hearts. Food, alcohol, and drugs bring temporary satisfaction until the effects have worn off, leaving us craving more. Material possessions and wealth provide the illusion of happiness for a time. However, some of the richest people in the world experience poverty in their spirits. Money and personal belongings do not bring lasting joy. Success and fame are achieved through long hours of hard work and dedication, often leaving little time for relationships and an unbearable loneliness.

As stated earlier, God used my depressive episodes to get my attention. He wanted me to experience more of Him, so He could fill me up with His love, encouragement, and companionship. I exude gratefulness as I remember how God worked through my Christian mentor to fascinate me with a new and exciting relationship with Jesus. I received spiritual guidance on how to get close to God by listening to His voice. It was the best thing He could have done for me. It sparked my interest in pursuing a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Lord.

In my depressed and dejected state of mind, I had a very low opinion of myself. I felt unattractive, unappreciated, unwanted, and unloved. Each time I met with God, He rebuilt my soul with kind, encouraging words. In our daily conversations, God told me what I meant to Him. He informed me I’m made in His image and He doesn’t make mistakes. He stated I’m beautiful on the outside and the inside. He reminded me He wanted me and loved me before He created the world. He showed me how precious I am to Him and how much He enjoys spending time with me. He demonstrated my value as His creation, and He revealed my worth as His heir. He delivered me from my enemy, Satan. He liberated me from captivity. He refined me and equipped me to carry out His purpose for creating me. He helped me see myself through His eyes.

Below is one of my Quiet Time journal entries. I hope you find God’s words encouraging for yourself, too. My thoughts are written in regular text and God’s words to me are italicized.

Journal Entry on 10/09/2004

Lord, I read through yesterday’s journal. I see You want to be involved in everything I do, even the small stuff. Lord, would You help me remember to let You in and check with You on everything throughout the day? Please speak to me today. I would love to hear from You.

O My daughter, I love you. I love to listen to you share your heart with Me. I want to hear from you all day long. I want you to share every emotion, every struggle with Me. I want you to breathe a prayer to Me all day long. Pray without ceasing. Let Me in on everything. Nothing is too small for Me. I want to know all the details. When you seek Me and trust in Me this way, you will experience the kind of intimacy your heart desires. I am your Father, your friend, the lover of your soul. I desire to dance every step of your life with you, but I will not force you to spend time with Me. I wait for you to desire it too and find your way to Me. Then I’ll welcome you with open arms, embrace you, and lead you through the dance of your life. I’m always with you—not just in the morning. You can talk to Me all day long. I expectantly wait to hear from you. I love you, and I long to spend time with you. Give Me a chance. You won’t believe what you will feel. It will be better than anything you could imagine. I’ll be right here waiting for you. I love you.

I love You too, Lord. I want what You want. Please help me get there.

 

Before and during my depression, my fire for life had burned down to a mere ember. Meeting with God daily and listening to His voice ignited a new fire of passion in me for knowing the living God who dwells in me. When you recognize and hear God’s voice on a regular basis, it brings new meaning to an otherwise dull, lifeless existence.

Let God be the fuel for your heart’s fire. Listen to what He says to you. As Paul stated in 2 Thessalonians 2:16, let God’s words to you “encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” Make time to meet with God daily. Enjoy the encouragement, and let God love you. Discover the deeper, long-lasting joy that comes from being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s instruction.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 1 – Expect and Believe – From: 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice: Listening to God Made Easy

By Sindy Nagel

Step 1 – Expect and Believe

To hear God’s voice, we must expect and believe we will hear it. In faith, we should not doubt that God speaks to us. James 1:5-7 says,

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

DOUBT kept me from hearing God’s voice for the first twenty years after I became a Christian. My skepticism resulted in a lack of spiritual intimacy with Jesus Christ for the first two decades of my life as a believer.

I knew being a Christian meant enjoying a relationship with Jesus Christ. I thought I had one, but I didn’t really consider that it required two-way conversation with Jesus to maintain that closeness.

Unfairly, I talked to God, but I didn’t pause to listen to His response. I never dreamed one of the voices in my head might be the Spirit of God within me.

I didn’t EXPECT that God would ever speak to me, an average person. I knew He spoke to prophets, pastors, missionaries, and other spiritually mature individuals, but I never thought I could hear God’s voice.

However, one evening about eighteen years ago, it all changed for me. I heard a voice in my thoughts that I knew was not my own. It was God! He spoke to me, an average girl. Now I know ordinary people hear from God too. And I know God speaks to all believers, but we don’t always hear Him.

In John 8:47, Jesus says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” Jesus said it, so you can believe it! When you belong to God, you will hear Him.

The next verse helped me when I found myself hesitating: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). To hear God’s voice, we must first believe we will hear it—believe, and then anticipate hearing it.

I attribute my years of doubt to a deficiency in knowing and understanding God. More precisely, I needed to better understand His Holy Spirit within me. It’s absolutely vital we grasp the idea of who the Holy Spirit is in order to expect we will hear God’s voice and believe God speaks to us.

When we invite Jesus Christ into our hearts to be our Savior and Lord, we instantly have the ability to hear God speak because He sends His Spirit to live in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is God’s voice in us.

When Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t stay in the grave. Amen? And He didn’t leave us alone as orphans to fend for ourselves. He gave us a far greater gift—God raised Him from the dead, and He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside the heart of every believer.

Did you hear that fantastic news? Jesus is alive, and the Holy Spirit is the living God who dwells in us and gives us life! We do not place enough value on this gift. It is priceless!

By the Holy Spirit’s power we are able to hear the voice of God within us. Here are a few other things the Holy Spirit does for us:

  • He reveals to us what He knows and hears from God and Jesus. (John 16:13-15)
  • He testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (See Romans 8:16)
  • He seals us as a deposit, guaranteeing our eternal inheritance until the day of redemption. (See Ephesians 1:13)
  • He is our Counselor. He counsels us in the wisdom of God. (See John 14:16)
  • He is our Comforter who soothes us in times of sorrow, anxiety, and grief. (See 2 Cor. 1:3-4)
  • He is our Teacher. He reminds us of what Jesus said and recalls Scripture to our minds. He properly interprets the Word of God for us. He teaches us the truth. (See John 14:26)
  • He guides us to the truth. (See John 16:13)
  • He ignites our faith. (See John 6:63, Ephesians 3:16-17)
  • He empowers us to overflow with God’s hope. (See Romans 1:13)
  • He teaches us right from wrong according to Scripture.
  • He convicts us concerning sin, encouraging us to confess it and repent, or change our ways. (See John 16:8)
  • He transforms us and encourages us to become exceedingly more Christ-like through the process of sanctification. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
  • He is Immanuel, God with us 24/7. (See Matthew 1:23)
  • He makes the things of God known to us. (See John 16:14)
  • He gives us spiritual gifts from God. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
  • He empowers us to do the will and work of God. (See Acts 1:8)
  • He is our intercessor, helps us in our weakness. When we do not know what to pray, the Spirit prays for us in accordance with God’s will. (See Romans 8:26-27)

The list goes on and on. The Holy Spirit of God indwelling us meets all our needs. Also, He connects us in relationship to God the Father and Jesus the Son. We know God better and experience more of Jesus through His Spirit within us.

The most astonishing part about all of this is the Holy Spirit is a free gift from God. Have you accepted this free gift?

1 Corinthians 2:12 says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (emphasis mine). What a priceless gift it is indeed!

Jesus took our place on the cross. All we have to do is invite Him into our hearts to be our Savior and Lord. When we do, both abundant life here on earth and eternal life with God in heaven are free for the taking. We can have the Spirit of the living God dwell in us without any cost to us. Truly, this is amazing grace!

In John 16:13-15, Jesus explained the main role of the Holy Spirit when He said,

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

God speaks to all of His children through the voice of the Holy Spirit within. He makes known to us all that belongs to God the Father.

We have the living God inside us, so why wouldn’t we be able to hear His voice?

There are at least 7 things that may prevent us: doubt, fear, pride, worry, busyness, disobedience, and an unwillingness to forgive. To be clear, these behaviors won’t necessarily keep God from speaking to us, but they may make us deaf to His voice. Learn more about each of these obstacles in my book, 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak: Removing the Barriers between you and God.

Practicing any or all of the seven behaviors above may cause you to feel the All-Powerful God won’t speak to you because you’re not worthy to hear Him. Truly, despite your flaws and feelings of inadequacy, God continues to pursue you passionately. He doesn’t wait until you are perfect and sin-free to speak to you. If that were the case, none of us would ever hear from Him. Instead, the Holy Spirit helps you become more Christ-like, so it’s imperative you know how to hear and recognize His voice to utilize the promptings and assistance He offers you in the journey of sanctification.

Ironically, listening to the Holy Spirit and hearing from God are vital for identifying and changing or eliminating the seven behaviors causing your deafness to Him.

One of the roadblocks to hearing God’s voice is lack of time or busyness. The next step to hearing God’s voice is making Him your first priority and meeting with Him daily. This practice greatly increases your ability to hear Him speak. Expect to hear His voice. God does speak to you. Believe the truth. God desires an intimate relationship with you through two-way conversation. Now, make the time to listen. 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

 

Ask Me Anything

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever 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 confidence 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).

Anything. Ask Me anything according to My will and you will have it. I already know exactly what you need and want, but I prefer to hear you ask Me for it. When you approach Me with respect, in humility, I see you understand your dependence on Me. I desire to be involved in your everyday life. I created you to enjoy an intimate relationship with you.

Many times, you forget about Me and run ahead on your own path, toward your own goals. Your ways may seem good and right, however, My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than yours. (Is. 55:9) Your way may not be My best for you. Seek Me to know My will at all times, in all circumstances.

Truly intimate relationships are achieved when two people regularly spend time communicating their deepest thoughts with one another. I desire to spend time in personal two-way conversation with you. I know your thoughts, but I want to hear you communicate your innermost feelings and longings to Me, and then listen. Sit quietly and listen to My voice within your heart.

You know My voice. Listen to My words of wisdom and encouragement. I will comfort you in your sorrows and counsel you in your daily decisions. Hear Me communicate the depth of My love for you. Let Me direct your paths. I am your Savior, now let Me be your Lord.

Talk to Me throughout your day. I am with you always, only a whisper away. Breathe a prayer to Me at all times, in all places. Be confident that you will have whatever you ask for according to My will. Anything.