Tag Archive | pray

Step 3 – Escape the Crowds and Noise

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

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

“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.

 

Give Thanks in Everything

Joy and Thanksgiving

by Sindy Nagel

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

 

I’ve put in you a joyful heart

A gift of my great love

When others look upon your face

They see your God above.

 

Give thanks in every circumstance

You meet along the road

This is My will for you in Christ

Who carries your heavy load.

 

My Spirit deep within your soul

Lives only for My name

He guides you in My will for you

Don’t quench My Spirit’s flame.

 

Your constant prayers and grateful heart

Are blessings unto Me

Living in My will for you

Will set your spirit free.

 

Be joyful always; pray non-stop

Give thanks for all I give

Listen to the words I speak

In abundance, you will live.

He is Greater

1 John 4:1–6 (NASB95)

Testing the Spirits

1      Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2      By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;

3      and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

4      You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

5      They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

6      We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

My beloved child, I am in you and you are in Me. I am greater than anything or anyone in this world. I have overcome and will overcome any spirit that is in the world. You have the gift of my Spirit within you. You have the same power living in you that raised Jesus from the dead. My Spirit within you overcomes every spirit that is in the world. Test the spirits. Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. You are from God and have overcome them, because I live in you and I am greater. Do not fear the spirits of this dark world. You have the light of the world living in you; therefore, you have power over the darkness. I have dressed you in my Spiritual armor with the belt of truth around your waist and the breastplate of righteousness across your chest. Your feet are prepared with the gospel of peace and the shield of faith extinguishes the flaming arrows of the evil one. You wear the helmet of salvation and carry the sword of the Spirit, which is my Word. Use it as your weapon of choice to fight the enemy of your soul. Remain alert at all times and pray in the Spirit. When you have done everything, stand firm in the truth that I am greater than all evil, and I live in you and work through you. You are mine; you belong to me.

 

Ephesians 6:10–18 (NASB95)

The Armor of God

10      Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

11      Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

12      For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13      Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

14      Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15      and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16      in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17      And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18      With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,