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Roadblock #6 – Disobedience – The Enemy of Righteousness

It’s pretty simple—disobedience to God is sin. Clearly, sin separates us from God. He despises sin and doesn’t want to be anywhere near it. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” This verse confirms that sin and an unrepentant heart can keep God from hearing you. When He hides His face from you, most likely, He will not speak to you either. Does sin, or disobedience, stand in your way of hearing God’s voice?

Confession of sin is not only required by God—it is necessary for your own peace of mind. Confessing your sin, turning from it, and attempting to lead a clean life of obedience open the door of communication between you and God. In our humanness, we won’t ever be completely free of sin on earth, but we should try to live our lives in a different way than the rest of the world.

Of course, if you’ve never confessed your sin and accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then you already live apart from God, and the Holy Spirit does not occupy your heart. In that case, you should not expect to hear God’s voice within at all.

If that’s you, please click on the Ground Zero link below and view the video in which I share the Gospel of Good News. Learn more about how to invite Jesus into your heart and begin a new relationship with Him. When you do, God’s Holy Spirit, and the ability to hear His voice, are God’s amazing gifts to you.

1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” Sounds like it’s not if we sin, but when we sin, confession is required. Then, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. Our full acceptance of His pardon releases us from all guilt and shame for that offense. God remembers our sins no more, so we can forget them also, and strive to do better next time we are tempted.

Ground Zero Video – Click Here to Watch (Hosted at Gumroad.com – Click to “Buy or Rent” the video, then enter 0 as price to watch it for FREE.)

Even after accepting Christ as my Savior and being a Christian for many years, it’s still nearly impossible to live a sin-free life. That’s the goal, but sadly, in my humanness, it’s not achievable on this side of the pearly gates. Jesus is the only person who ever accomplished that feat. One role of the Holy Spirit is to empower me to overcome temptation and resist sin. However, if I am not tuned in constantly, listening to God’s voice within, or if I am not willing to obey Him, I will fall short of God’s glory. Therefore, it’s still possible, on any given day, that disobedience, unconfessed sin, rebellion, or repetitive sin could erect a roadblock that impedes my clear communication with God.

No matter how hard we try to defeat sin, at times, it becomes our master. Thankfully, we serve a High Priest who hears our confessions and daily intercedes on our behalf, restoring our relationships with God the Father. We worship an awesome God who sent His Son to be a sin offering in place of us, and then, He also sent us the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to live our lives according to the Spirit rather than the sinful nature.

Satan has only as much power as we give him. How powerless have you become? Whatever your weakness, it’s time to take back control! All of it! We’ve been given Jesus’ authority over all sin. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and He lives inside us. Instead of relinquishing our power to the adversary, we must draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit within us to resist temptation and our tendency to believe the lies Satan introduces in our thoughts. We have the ability stand firm in our faith and resist all temptation because the Lord does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Our brothers and sisters in Christ, who live in all parts of the world, suffer similar trials.

Be vigilant about guarding your heart and your mind. Do not allow the deceiver to carry out his battle plans on your watch. When I stood on the sidelines of life and did not participate in the big game, the devil did not need to concentrate his focus on me. The moment I invited Jesus into my heart and sought a more intimate relationship with Him, I enlisted in the battle of good vs. evil. Choosing God’s side, I put a large target on my back for the dragon, Satan, to take his aim. Satan sat up, took notice, and stepped-up his plan of action to derail me.

Most often, the common battlefield is our mind. Satan will continue to sway us toward disobedience. But Jesus triumphantly conquered this battle for us already. We can claim our victory over sin in the name and blood of Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to stand firm in your faith and embark on a barrier-free journey of intimacy with Jesus? If your desire is to do so, but you feel unprepared, I suggest you beef up your plan of counterattack against temptation and sin by practicing these steps daily:

  1. Confess your sin.
  2. Turn from your disobedient ways.
  3. Immerse yourself in the Word of God. Meditate on it day and night.
  4. Dress yourself in the full armor of God.
  5. Be ready to draw the sword of the Spirit by being prepared with Scripture to battle temptation and lies.
  6. Know your weak spots and vulnerabilities.
  7. Take control of all your thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.
  8. Remove any other roadblocks between you and God.
  9. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit all day long.
  10. Obey the voice of God in your thoughts.

Has the devil ever captivated your thoughts with the following deceptions? If not the lies listed below, then identify any other lies regarding sin that you have believed and disprove them with the truth from Scripture.

#1: Your sins are too big for God to forgive.

#2: You need to keep asking for forgiveness for the same sin.

#3: God will never speak to you because of your sin or past.

 Click on the link below to purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Identify the obstacles and the lies that hinder your communication with the Holy Spirit, and then, make an effort to remove and disprove them. This book will get you started in the right direction.

Click here to purchase book today.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Roadblock #2 – Fear – The Enemy of Confidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is a gentleman. He pursues us, but He doesn’t crash in on us and take us over. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” Jesus continually pursues us. He is pursuing you now. He stands at the door to your heart and knocks, saying, “Here I am!” He patiently waits for you to listen, hear His voice, open the door, and let Him in to enjoy intimate relationship with the living God.

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

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

Click here to purchase book

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I AM Your Stronghold

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9:9-10).

Lord, where are you? You have allowed this trial in my life, but I cannot feel your presence. Are you here?

My precious child, I AM here. I AM always with you. I will never leave you or forget you. I have written you on My palms. Your name is engraved on My heart. Close your eyes and look for Me in your mind again. Pay attention to your heart which is My dwelling place. I will give you My perfect peace, even in your trials.

You are not alone. Seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart. Trust Me. I will take care of you. I will walk with you through this valley. I will carry you when necessary. Rest in Me.

The road is long, but I AM your ever-present strength. Though we walk through fire, we will not be burned. I AM your Savior and your friend. I love you more than you can comprehend. My perfect love casts out your fears. You need not be afraid. I AM with you at all times, in all places. Cast your cares upon Me, and I will give you rest.


 

Do Not Be Discouraged

Run to the Arms of God

by Sindy Nagel

 

When discouragement beats me down

I run to the arms of God.

He holds my hand and leads me on

Where others have not trod.

 

He gives new strength to my tired bones

And hope to my weary soul.

He makes me of sound mind again

In Him I now am whole.

 

He calls me in His righteousness

To bring new sight to the blind

To release those held in prison

If only in their mind.

 

I will not fear, for I’m redeemed

And called by His new name.

He healed me and transformed me;

I will never be the same.

 

The road less traveled has its bumps

The sailing sometimes rough

But still I will press on for Him

Because He is enough.

 

Inspired by the Word of God:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6-7)

 


 

Patience is a Virtue

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

My child, your heart is in My hands. I hold you close to Me. I know your desires; your longings are pure and holy. I will give you all that you ask for, in due time. Wait for Me. Good things come to those who wait expectantly for the Lord. You have heard Me say, “Ask for anything in My name and you will receive it, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24). When you ask in My name, you will receive what you ask for. In the waiting, let your heart overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is patience. Let your countenance be full of joy as you wait upon the Lord. You will receive what you ask for in My perfect timing.


 

He Knows My Name

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Psalm 147:4)

Sweet child of mine, you were in my thoughts before I formed your heart and gave you the breath of life. I know your thoughts, I see your tears, and I hear your call. I am with you wherever you go; I will never leave you. Your life is in my hands.

I determine the number of the stars and call them each by name. How much more precious you are to me than anything in all my creation. I know you and call you by name. You are not only my offspring, but also my heir. All that I have is yours. Live in the abundance I offer you. Seek me for your wisdom. Call on me for your strength. Listen to my counsel. Receive the comfort I give you. My perfect peace belongs to you.

Search for me as treasure. Your true identity lies in me. When you know me, you will find your source of joy and peace. I have come to give you life. In my death and resurrection, you receive forgiveness of your sins and reconciliation to me. You, too, are raised to a new life in me. Discard your old ways and find the meaning of true life when you believe in me. I am your Father, you are my own, I call you by name.

Maranatha! Gospel – He Knows My Name Lyrics

I have a Maker

He formed my heart

Before even time began

My life was in His hands

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears me when I call

I have a Father

He calls me His own

He’ll never leave me

No matter where I go

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears me when I call

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears when I call

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/maranatha!-gospel/he-knows-my-name-lyrics/#bqDqpKdMzXexelrg.99

 

Do not fear, I am with You

In the Arms of His Love by Greg OlsenSo 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…For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10 & 13)

Lord, you woke me this morning with these words from the Shoulders song by For King and Country, playing in my mind: “I will feel no fear. I know that You are near.”

Lord, what do you want me to know about this?

My darling child, I want you to know that I love you and I am with you. I am always near whenever you are afraid. I will strengthen you. I will take hold of your hand and lead you out of your fear. There is no fear when you know you are loved by me. I will protect you and take care of you. Be afraid of nothing, for I have redeemed you and called you by name; you are mine. Nothing will overtake you; nothing will harm you. You are my child, whom I love dearly. Be strong and do not fear the days ahead. I am in control. I have your best interests in mind. Trust me with your whole heart. I will help you and take care of you. I hold you close to my heart. I love you more than you know.

Artwork Credit: Be Not Afraid © Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. For more information visit, www.GregOlsen.com


 

For King & Country – Shoulders Lyrics

Artist: For King & Country Album: Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

When confusion’s my companion

And despair holds me for ransom

I will feel no fear

I know that You are near

When I’m caught deep in the valley

With chaos for my company

I’ll find my comfort here

‘Cause I know that You are near

[Chorus:]

My help comes from You

You’re right here, pulling me through

You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness

all on Your shoulders

Your shoulders

My help comes from You

You are my rest, my rescue

I don’t have to see to believe that

You’re lifting me up on Your shoulders

Your shoulders

You mend what once was shattered

And You turn my tears to laughter

Your forgiveness is my fortress

Oh Your mercy is relentless

[Chorus]

My help is from You

Don’t have to see it to believe it

My help is from you

Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

[Chorus]

My help is from You

Don’t have to see it to believe it

My help is from you

Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/for-king-country/shoulders-lyrics/#XzHBam3OEqkKc2gG.99

 

I Knit You Together in Your Mother’s Womb

birthday

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

My darling daughter, I knew you before I created you in your mother’s womb. I ordained all of your days before one of them came to be. You are my beautiful creation, made in my likeness. Let your light shine, as my light shines through you. Raise your hands to the heavens in praise of my holy name. You are my child. I love you beyond measure. Lift your eyes toward the skies and watch me smile down upon you. You are my precious one. I call you by name, you are my own.

Spend time with me today, and I will shower you with my love an affection. Listen to my voice, my wisdom will direct your paths. Search for me as hidden treasure. Seek me and find me when you look for me with all your heart. I am with you always. I have never stopped pursuing you. Make time for me in your day. I am your strength and peace. I am your comfort and joy. Know me and experience the life I have planned for you. You are the child I delight in. I celebrate your birth today! Happy Birthday, my love.


 

I Will Not Lead You Astray

See link to Greg Olsen’s “Take My Hand” artwork on my Facebook page.

“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (John 10:2-4)

Good morning, my child. I am the good shepherd. I look after my sheep. I call them each by name, and they follow me because they know my voice. You are my sheep; you know my voice. Listen to me. I will not lead you astray. Let me go ahead of you and prepare the way for you. Follow me wherever I lead you. I will remove the obstacles that impede your travel. I will clear the path and mark out the best way for you to go. The road is narrow that leads to life. All other roads lead to destruction. I want the best for you. I will lead you on the path of life. I never said it would be easy. Truly, it will be worth any hardships you have to endure. Remember, I am with you always. You never walk alone. Take my hand. We’ll travel this journey together. You are my precious child. I know you by name.

Ask Me Anything

John 14:12-14

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

My beloved one, I will do whatever you ask in my name. You will do great works, even greater works than I did, because I intercede on your behalf. God is glorified when you pray and make your requests in my name. Ask me anything in my name, and I will do it. You have my power living inside you—power that can heal the sick, give sight to the blind, cast out demons, release prisoners, even raise the dead. With the power God has given me and with my Spirit living in you, nothing is impossible. Do not limit your works to what you think you can accomplish. Ask small and small you will do. Ask big and big you will do. Trust me and rely on me for your power and strength, courage and conviction, wisdom and knowledge. I will equip you to do all that I have prepared in advance for you to do. Let’s get to work and glorify the Father.