Tag Archive | thoughts

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 54 – Satan, the Destroyer

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 54

Satan, the Destroyer

Lord, some Christ followers today do not believe that Satan is still a real threat and influencer. What do You say? Are we really in a daily battle with our enemy, the devil? How do we recognize his attacks? Can we put the blame on him when we sin? How do we discern his voice in our thoughts?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Child of God, you are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old has gone; the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). You may not place blame on Satan for your sin. Sin does not control you unless you allow it. I have given you the free will to choose right from wrong. It is your decision to obey or disobey Me; to follow My Word or disregard it. Satan is still a real influencer of humanity against Me. To believe anything less could cost you your life—your marriage, your family, your finances, your friendships, or your relationship with Me. Do not let down your guard. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10) but Jesus came to give you life in the full. I have provided you a way out of any temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit in you. He helps you say ‘No’ to sin. Be sensitive to My voice within. I lead you not into temptation; I deliver you from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).

Satan speaks to you in your thoughts. He does not know your thoughts, but he interjects his thoughts into your mind. He leads the whole world astray. He is the accuser (Revelation 12:9-10) and his accusations are shaming and condemning. His voice is harsh and condescending. His words are manipulative and wounding. He uses Scripture to deceive, and he distorts the truth. His language is disturbing and confusing. He plants ideas in your mind trying to keep you from living a life of purity and righteousness in Christ. He will stop at nothing to weaken your faith and damage your relationship with Me, your spouse, your family, your friends—anyone and anything important to you. Remain alert to his ways. He is the destroyer of all good things.

Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He deceives you with altered versions of the truth. When you believe in his lies and give way to his deceit, you take a step toward him and away from Me. You do not want to put yourself in this position, walking down a path to destruction, like a sheep being led to the slaughter. You are more than a conqueror. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate you from My love that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39).

Make no mistake though. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-9). Otherwise, your enemy will deceive you and destroy your life. Your struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Daily dress yourself in the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand (Ephesians 6:10-18). Pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of requests.

Submit yourself, then, to Me. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to Me, and I will come near to you (James 4:7-8). I have given you My Spirit. You may rely fully on Me. No temptation will overtake you; I am faithful, I will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Be strong in Me and in My mighty power (Ephesians 6:10).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can rely on Your Holy Spirit, Your promises and the truth in Your Word to make choices and decisions according to Your will. Thank You for leading me not into temptation but delivering me from the evil one. Please make me ultra-sensitive to discerning the thoughts from the devil. When he attempts to lead me astray, remind me of the truth, and help me stand firm in my faith. Lord, please speak to me now regarding my personal battle with the enemy and how I can be victorious in the daily struggle he engages me in. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please show me ways the devil is currently attacking me. What are my areas of weakness? (Write down whatever comes to mind just now.)

 

  • Jesus, it is said, ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10). Please show me how You fortify my weakest walls against my enemy, the devil? What shall I do to protect myself? (Record every word and thought Christ gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please identify ways the devil masquerades as an angel of light to me? How am I currently being deceived by him? (Journal all the ideas that run through your mind.)

 

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:

Heavenly Father, thank You that whenever I am tempted, you always give me a way out, by the power of Your Holy Spirit within me. Help me to recognize Your voice and draw on Your assistance every time. I hear that I am in a continual battle with the enemy, but I do not always recognize it when I am in the middle of the battle. Help me to be more sensitive to the devil’s deceitful ways and war tactics. Let me engage in battle with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, as my weapon of choice. Give me the time to daily read and meditate on your Word, so that your Spirit will be able to remind me of it when I need it. Holy Spirit, please bring to my memory the exact Scripture I need, at the exact moment I need it, along with the power and authority to overcome the evil one in the name of Jesus Christ, by His blood. Thank You for the victory over sin, death, and the grave. In the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of His blood, I ask all this. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Matthew 4:5-7, 5Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 13:24-25, 24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in His field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, His enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”

Matthew 13:36-39, 36Then He left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil.”

Luke 22:31-32, 31Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

John 8:44, He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 13:2, The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.

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

2 Corinthians 11:14-15, 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 4:26-27, 26In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 6:10-18, 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, an after you have done everything to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

2 Timothy 2:24-26, 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do His will.

Hebrews 2:14-18, 14Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

James 4:7-8, 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God, and He will come near to you.

1 Peter 5:8-9, 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

2 John :7-8, 7I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

Revelation 12:9-17, 9The great dragon was hurled down—that the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with Him.10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” 13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15Then from His mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 47 – Listen to God

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 47

Listen to God

Hello, Lord, are You there? Your Word says that You are with me always (Matthew 28:20); You will never leave me or forget about me (Joshua 1:5). Do you speak to Me often? Sometimes I try to be still and listen to You, but I cannot hear Your voice. I don’t really know what it sounds like or I’m not sure whether it’s Your thoughts or mine. How do I know the difference? Please help me be still enough to listen and give me the discernment to know Your voice when You speak to me.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved one, I am always right here waiting to listen to you and talk to you. Will you do the same for Me? I desire intimate relationship and personal conversation with you daily. I want to listen to your requests and impart My wisdom and instructions for your life. I am your Shepherd, and you are My sheep. My sheep know My voice and follow Me (John 10:27).

You will know and recognize My voice by spending time with Me in My Word. Whenever you read My Word, you are hearing directly from Me. The Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see what I want you to understand when you spend time in the Scripture. You will hear Me speak to you through My Word. However, I love to communicate with you in prayer also. When you pray, go into the secret place, where you and I meet alone. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). When you quiet your heart and mind enough, and give Me your undivided attention, you will hear My inaudible voice in your thoughts. It is soft as a whisper, yet powerful and majestic (Psalm 29:4).

When you spend time in My Word, getting to know My character better, you will better know what to expect when you hear Me in your thoughts. I am loving and compassionate; I will encourage you with My love and envelope you with My kindness. I am wise and discerning; I will instruct you with My wisdom. I am your Advocate; I will guide you and support you with My knowledge. I am your Counselor; I will advise you in all your circumstances. I am your Father; I will delight in you and bestow your identity as My child. I am the Prince of Peace; I will fill you with the confidence of knowing I am in control.

When you hear My voice, the message will always align with My Word in Scripture. My voice will always be consistent with My character. It will bring you a feeling of peace unless I am convicting you of a sin. My words will never be harsh, accusing, condemning, or confusing like Satan’s voice. My words in your thoughts will be sincere, clear, truthful, motivating, comforting, and uplifting. I may instruct you to do something challenging, but I will always equip you to carry it out. I will never ask you to do anything that does not agree with My Word in the Bible. I will not lie to you, manipulate you, deceive you, or shame you. Those actions identify your enemy, the devil. The more time you spend in conversation with Me, the better you will be able to identify and discern My voice in your thoughts, from your own thoughts and Satan’s.

Above all, I just want to spend time with you, however that works best: in My Word, in personal conversation, or shoulder to shoulder walking through the journey of your life. I love you, My friend, and I want what is best for you. It is best that you remain in relationship with Me by reading My Word, talking to Me in prayer, listening to Me and hearing My voice, loving Me with your obedience, and praising Me whenever possible. I look forward to our next conversation. When shall we meet again?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I so long to hear You speak more regularly, and to know for sure it’s Your voice I hear. Teach me more about Your character so that I may be confident in discerning Your voice from the other thoughts in my head. Lord, please speak to me now and let me know what needs to change in my life in order for me to hear Your voice in my thoughts more consistently. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, help me to quiet my mind and heart enough to hear You speak. What do You want me to know at this time? (Record every word or thought you have.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, will You share what You want me to know about listening to Your voice? How do I discern between Your voice and my own thoughts? (Write down what He says to you now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, teach me to be more in tune with Your whispers and how You speak to me all day long. What do I need to do to hear You speaking to me and guiding me? (Journal all ideas and thoughts that pop into your mind.)

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:

Dear Lord, thank You for speaking Your heart and pouring Your thoughts into my mind whenever I meet with You. Thank You for making Yourself available to meet with me any time and anywhere. Lord, I so appreciate that Your desire is for greater intimacy with me. Give me the same desire and expand my time, so that I may accomplish the goal of putting You first in my life, and listening to You daily. Thank You for Your loving kindness and forbearance. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 29:4, The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.

Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Psalm 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Matthew 28:19-20, 19“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. 20And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 4:23, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

John 10:2-4, 2“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 30 – Loneliness vs. Immanuel

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 30

Loneliness vs. Immanuel

Jesus, sometimes I feel alone even in a crowded room. But Lord, other times I really am alone, in isolation, away from friends and family. How do I overcome the loneliness I feel when no one else is around? Where are You, Lord? Why don’t I feel Your presence, even though I have the knowledge that You are always with me?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

When you are lonely, remember I am here. I stand with you in your loneliness (2 Timothy 4:17). I am with you always. I am with you in the darkness and obscurity. I am with you when you are lost. I am with you in your devastation. I am with you at the bottom of the pit. I am with you in the storm. In your weakness, I will strengthen you (Philippians 4:13). Seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

Call on Me any time day or night. I wait patiently for you to meet with Me in the secret place. Turn your eyes upon Me. I am here. I do not leave you alone. I care for you and provide for you. Share your heart with Me, and then listen to My voice. I speak to you in your thoughts. I will sing songs of joy over you. I will quiet you with My love (Zephaniah 3:17). I support you and encourage you, I comfort you and give you My peace.

In your hours of loneliness, find your comfort and encouragement in the pages of My Word. For the Word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). Open the Scriptures to experience more of Me and My heart. My heart is for you; I am in favor of you. I did not create you to abandon you. I created you to love you and experience intimate relationship with you. In your loneliness, reach out to Me and know Me. When you know Me for who I really am, you will never feel alone. I am with you always (Matthew 28:20). I love you more than you can imagine.

Jesus, My Son, also knew the kind of loneliness you face. As He went to His death on the cross, He felt totally alone. His disciples deserted Him (Matthew 26:36). Jesus momentarily felt the loss of My presence as He hung on the cross and cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). But He did not lose faith, living in the confidence that His Father would not abandon Him. His faith carried Him through His loneliest times. And Your faith will carry you through this time also.

You are part of My greater plan. At times, My plan may require you to experience times of isolation. Your friends or family may abandon you, but I never will. You have the privilege of serving Me. You are not alone. I am with you. I equip you and prepare you to carry out My will. I will not leave you or forget about you (Joshua 1:5). I AM Immanuel – God with you (Matthew 1:23) at all times. Please do not forget about Me. Call on Me any time. I am always right here, My beloved child.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of Your continual presence, through Your Holy Spirit dwelling in my heart. I am never alone. You are always by my side. Help me remember to turn to You more quickly whenever I feel alone or lonely. You patiently wait for me to call on You. You are quick to respond and gracious with Your presence. Help me find the meaning in the isolation as You develop and mature my faith for the works You have prepared in advance for me to carry out. Lord, speak to me now as we connect in conversation. Let me hear Your voice and Your heart for me. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father above, grace me with full knowledge of Your presence today. Please share the depths of Your heart for me. What do You want me to understand right now? (Record all words and thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, when You felt abandoned by Your disciples, and even by Your Father on the cross, what carried You through? Please fill me with the knowledge of what to do when I feel most alone. (Write all thoughts and impressions Jesus gives you in this moment.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, let me not forget that You are ‘God with Me’ always. You live in my heart. Lord, describe the kind of relationship You desire with me. How can we make this happen? (Journal all your thoughts and ideas.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’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:

Heavenly Father, thank You for sharing Your heart and Your love with me today. I have the knowledge that I am never alone, but please help me remember to acknowledge You and Your presence in my heart at all times. I am never alone, and I will not feel alone when I am walking and talking in relationship with You. Thank You for loving me so completely. Thank You for making Yourself available to me 24/7. Thank You for the gift of Your matchless love, Your Son, Your Spirit, Your Word, and Your lifeblood in me. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Psalm 16:9-11, Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, or will You let Your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 68:4-6, 4Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before Him—His name is the Lord.5A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling. 6God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 89:15, Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence Lord.

Psalm 139:1-11, 1You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely. 5You hem me in behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. 9If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.

Proverbs 18:24, A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Jeremiah 29:11-13, 11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Matthew 1:23, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us).

Matthew 26:56, “But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled.

Matthew 27:46, About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

Matthew 28:20, “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 5:16, But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Acts 2:28, “You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.”

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

2 Timothy 4:16-18, 16At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The 18Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever.

Hebrews 4:12-13, For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 25 – Ask and It’s Yours

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 25

Ask and It’s Yours

Dear Jesus, I ask for so many things all the time, but not always according to Your will or in Your name. Help me to separate what I want from what You want. Teach me to seek Your will and ask for the things that are important to You. Lord, help me make the time to ‘be still’ in relationship with You and know that You are God (Psalm 46:10). You will give Me what I ask according to Your will. Please show me Your will and teach me what and how to ask.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, you have not because you ask not (James 4:2). I am here waiting to bestow so many blessings on you, yet you have not asked Me for any of them. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).

My wisdom is available to you, by My Spirit, any time of the day or night. You have access to Him 24 / 7. The Spirit of truth takes what is Mine and makes it known to you (John 16:13-15). All I have is yours; simply ask and it will be given to you. The key is to ask. I want nothing more than to give you My wisdom to help you live the life I have intended for you, and to live a life more pleasing to Me.

Make the time to meet with Me in the secret place, away from noise and distractions. Pray to Me. Talk to Me. Listen to Me. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:6-8). I know what you need before you ask, however, I desire relationship with you, so I still want you to ask. I want you to know that you can depend on Me for all your needs. Ask Me for anything, and it’s yours. But I want to hear you ask. I want to communicate with you. I desire spiritual intimacy with you—face to face, heart to heart.

Remain in Me and let My words remain in you; then ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you (John 15:7). The key is to remain in relationship with Me. When you do, you will know My will. You have this assurance: Ask Me for anything, according to My will, and I will hear you, then you will know that you have what you asked of Me (1 John 5:14).

Approach My throne of grace with confidence. Receive My mercy and I will help you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete (John 16:23-26). You may experience My joy even in the darkest of times.

When you ask, believe you will have it. Do not doubt (James 1:5-8). If you don’t receive it instantly, you doubt I heard you, or you doubt you will receive it. Wait on Me (Psalm 27:14). My timing is perfect. My ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). I know what is best for you, and I know the best time to give it to you. Trust Me. I work all things together for the good of those who love Me (Romans 8:28). I love you, My friend, and I desire the best for you. The best thing for you is to remain in relationship and two-way communication with Me. Keep asking and believing.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You for the confidence that I may boldly approach Your throne of grace and ask You for anything. I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:24). Lord, I desire relationship with You also. Help me to make You, and time spent with You, a priority. I want to seek You in the secret place more often. I desire to know Your will, and I respect Your timing. Please give me the patience to wait on You. And now, as I knock on the door of Your heart, please open the door and let me in (Matthew 7:7). In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • God, my Father, please share Your heart with me today. What is it You want me to know? (Record what you hear in your thoughts.)

 

  • Lord, I am asking You right now for _______________ (fill in the blank) in the name of Jesus. I ask for answers according to Your will and in Your timing. Please speak to me now about this request. (Record all words, thoughts, and feelings you have.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, I ask for God’s wisdom for my current situation. What would You have me do about ________________ (fill in the blank)? (Write your thoughts and impressions here.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’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 in heaven, thank You for hearing my prayers and for the listening to my requests. Lord, thank You for meeting with me today, and being available to me whenever I make time for You. Lord, I pray for Your wisdom and guidance in the situations we discussed above. Spirit of truth, reveal God’s wisdom, His will, and His answers to my requests. Thank You for walking with me 24/7 so that I may counsel with You any time. Teach me to pray and ask according to Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

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

Psalm 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Matthew 6:6-8, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:9-13, 9“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

John 15:7, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you.”

John 16:13-15, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the 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 glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you.”

John 16:23-26, “In that day, you will no longer ask Me anything. Very truly I tell you, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Romans 8:28, 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.

Romans 8:32, He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things.

Hebrews 4:16, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

James 1:5-8, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 4:1-3, What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

1 John 5:14, 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.

 Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 1

God uses difficult times like these to draw us to Himself so that we may experience a more cherished intimacy with Him than our normally busy lives allow.

 

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved.

 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 1

Why Me?

Heavenly Father, why me? Why do You, the All Powerful, All Knowing, Ever-present, Amazing God, Creator and Ruler of the universe, desire an intimate relationship with me?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

You are My beloved child, a daughter of the King. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5). I loved you even before I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I knew the number of your days before one of them came to be (See Psalm 139:11-16).

You are a crown of splendor in My hand (Isaiah 62:3). I have adopted you as My own child, even My heir (Galatians 4:5), and sealed you for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), so you will know Me and spend all eternity in My presence (John 17:3).

O daughter, I am with you. Do not fear. I take great delight in you. I will quiet you with My love and sing songs of joy over you. I will bring you home with Me, and I will restore your fortunes before your very eyes (See Zephaniah 3:17-20).

You are My beloved bride and I am your Bridegroom. I rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride (Isaiah 62:5). You are radiant. You reflect the light of My glory and your obedience brings Me joy and happiness.

Why you? I have engraved you on the palms of My hands (Isaiah 49:16). I love you more than you will ever comprehend. When you obey Me, I make My home in you (John 14:23). You are My temple, My very dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16). I know you intimately, and I desire that you would know Me as well.

Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). Remain in Me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4). Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

You are My beloved, and I am your Friend (See John 15:13-15). I desire a deeper intimacy with you. Know Me better and cherish the passions of My heart. Let My mercy, grace, and love transform your heart entirely and eternally.

Why you? I created you, and I desire a greater spiritual intimacy with you. Will you make time for Me, to know My heart? Be still and know (Psalm 46:10). I am God, and I love you, My child.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, Your banner over me is love (Song of Songs 2:4). Thank You for expressing Your love and joy over me, Your creation. Please expand my time and help me to spend more time in Your Word, and more time listening to Your voice as I seek to know the passions and desires of Your heart. Help me understand more of Your love for me, so I, in turn, can return that love to You and others. Help me understand who You are, and therefore, who I am in You, so I may become all that You designed for me before You breathed Your breath of life into my lungs. I desire to know You more intimately and love You more passionately. Thank You for meeting with me today. As I listen to Your voice within, please tell me who I am. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  • Father God, please tell me, personally and individually, who I am to You. (Write what God says to you in your thoughts.)

 

  • Jesus, help me understand, what is Your desire for me? (Record His answer here.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, empower me to live my life for God, in step with You. What does that look like? (Record the thoughts given to you by the Holy Spirit within you.)

 

Review the thoughts God gave you above. Many times the Lord will bring words from Scripture to your mind. Use the concordance of your Bible to look up those words and verses. Read those Scripture passages and record them here. Write any further impressions and confirmations the Holy Spirit gives you as you read God’s Word for you today.

 

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You for communicating Your love and affections to me. As I seek to know You more personally, help me remember who I am in You. Give me the confidence to approach Your throne with boldness because Your Son has made me righteous and provided the way for me to experience intimacy with You. Thank You for the gift of Your Spirit in me. I am so blessed that You are with me 24/7, all hours of the day and night. Father God, You never leave me or forget about me (Joshua 1:5). Jesus, You are with me always (Matthew 28:20). Thank You for these promises. Holy Spirit, write them on my heart and remind me of them as needed. In the precious name of Your One and Only Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken individually. However, when we rely on ourselves for everything and don’t depend on God for anything, He could view this independent spirit as arrogance or overconfidence. Likewise, it often feels good to be in complete control of ourselves, our lives, an event, a situation, another person, or his actions. The haughty monster of pride rears its ugly head in the condescending creature of control. And when we compare ourselves to others and always come out on top, a conceited nature triumphs over humility in our souls. Be careful—this sounds a bit like sitting in the judgment seat, and that’s not a position you want to claim for yourself. Judgment is reserved for Almighty God alone.

Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)

Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

Unfortunately, pride comes much too naturally to all of us, including me. Read about the fall of humankind in Genesis 3. From the very beginning of time, self-importance snuck into human desire. Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be all-knowing and wise, like God, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. Deceived by the devil, Eve ate some and gave some to Adam. Pride initiated a sinful response when the evil one presented his temptation.

The need for independence and superiority continues to be the cause of some of our sin today. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The truth of this verse rang loudly in the Garden of Eden. It still rings true thousands of years later.

Another example of haughtiness is found in Ezekiel 28, the prophecy against the king of Tyre. In verse 17, the Sovereign Lord says, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” God detested his arrogance. The king’s pride preceded his destruction.

In Proverbs 8:13, the wise Solomon says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Fear in this case is the same reverence for the Lord that we talked about in the previous blog. When you respect the Lord, you will detest all pride and arrogance, as He does. Yet arrogance sneaks into all areas of life. Recall that pride inventory we talked about? It may be necessary to make that assessment daily, even hourly.

If pride in any form resides in your life, don’t expect to be close to God and hear from Him regularly. Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.” As another passage I’ve already quoted says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:6-8). God spends time with humble people who submit themselves to Him and make time for Him. God distances Himself from the self-righteous, prideful, judgmental person.

When the needle on the pride-o-meter registers anywhere on the gauge, take action immediately to dispose of all forms of pride. Humble yourself before the Lord. Submit yourself to Him and exalt Him, rather than yourself. Show the Lord how much you trust in Him for everything. Relinquish your control to the Most High. Place the desires of others ahead of your own. Do not judge any person or behavior. Assume the servant position in God’s kingdom.

Do you struggle with judging others or promoting yourself to a higher pedestal? What alerts you of your arrogance? I can tell you truly, when I do not practice the humility of a servant, I should not expect God will speak to me. No matter my standing or position in the world, I am but an unworthy sinner, forgiven and saved by God’s grace alone. I am no better than anyone else. If I do not treat others better than myself, God has no business with me, and therefore no reason to talk to me.

Anytime I have seated myself on the judgment throne with regard to another human being, God has given me an opportunity to experience the same affliction, position, or experience as the one I judged. Very soon I’ve gained a new appreciation and respect for the one I condemned because I have walked down a similar path. Becoming the object of my own pride rapidly and effectively cuts me down to size. When the roadblock of pride comes down, my reception of God’s voice dramatically improves.

The Bible provides many significant illustrations of humility. Jesus, God’s own Son, displayed the ultimate humility when He left His throne in heaven and came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb and die for our sins. Another dramatic demonstration of Christ’s servanthood took place when He washed the feet of His disciples. We can imitate this kind of humility when we selflessly serve our own subordinates, or, better yet, those we judge. This foot washing can be accomplished literally or figuratively. Think of a way you might take an unassuming position with someone you lead, manage, or influence. Is there any type of metaphorical foot washing you could perform for him or her? Maybe picking up a towel and basin of water is what you really need.

Let’s examine some of the enemy’s deceit in our thoughts, which gives birth to overconfidence. You might believe you can take care of yourself; you know what’s best for you. Or, you might think you are in control of your own life. Is it possible that thinking you are better than someone else for any reason could be hampering your clear reception of God’s voice in your thoughts? Grab your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God’s Voice today, and begin identifying what stands in your way of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart His home.

Click here to purchase this book now.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4 – Write It Down

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

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!

Click here to order book now!

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Let Me Direct Your Path

My dear one, it is so good to speak with you again. Thank you for spending this time with Me. I desire to sit with you every day and connect in conversation with you again. I desire to direct your days, to minister to you, to educate you, to prepare you, and to motivate you to carry out My work. I want to fill you with My goodness, relay My thoughts to you, fill you with My wisdom, and help you appreciate My presence in your life. I am with you always.

You may speak to Me any time. However, I do appreciate when you start your day spending time with Me. It shows Me that you are trying to make Me your first priority. It shows Me that you are eager to know My will and plan for your life. It warms My heart to know that you care enough about Me to give up a little sleep. I am blessed by meeting with you in the morning, before you begin your day with your own plans.

Your plans may be good, but they may not be My best for you. My ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. I see the future. I know the past. I see all and know all. It is in your best interest to seek Me first, before you set out to accomplish anything. Do not run ahead in a direction I have not prepared for you. When you do, you may encounter snares, traps, conflicts, and barriers. But when you run the race I have marked out for you, everything you come up against has been ordained by Me.

On My path, any trials you face have been allowed by Me. It is My goal to mature you spiritually. In order to accomplish this, sometimes I have to get your attention. Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness. I use all things for your good, to get your attention, to challenge your faith, to increase your trust in Me, to refine your character, and to return you to Myself.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, and will bring you back from captivity.” (See Jeremiah 29:11-14)

You have been held in captivity by the things of this world. Seek Me with your whole heart again, and you will find Me. Call upon Me, come and pray to Me, and I will listen. I am the Lord. I am your Lord. I know what is best for you, and I want to guide you on the path I have planned out for you. Please seek Me first, before everything else, and then listen for My voice within throughout the day. I am with you always. You have access to Me at all times. I love you, My child. Let Me direct your path.

A Delicate Balance

Body

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Mind

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 12:2)

Spirit

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12)

 

My beloved one,

Honor Me with your body—it is My dwelling place. Deep within your inmost being, I make your heart My home. Do not defile your body, it is My holy temple. You are not your own. You have been purchased by My blood; I redeemed you. You belong to Me; therefore, honor Me with your body. You are My child. Put to death the misdeeds of the body and live by the Spirit of the One Who adopted you for all time.  

Renew your mind with My good pleasure. Immerse yourself daily in My Word. Do not be conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed by Me. Do not believe the lies that originate in the darkness. But listen to the truth spoken by My Spirit. Let Him recreate your thoughts. Bathe yourself in Scripture, using it as your fortress and your defense on the battlefield of your mind.

Your spirit has been linked with mine. Live in step with the Spirit, disregarding the desires of the flesh. Set your mind on what the Spirit desires and deny the impulses of the body. When your body, mind, and spirit all cooperate with My Spirit, He gives life to your mortal body and purifies your depraved mind.

The balance between body, mind, and spirit is delicate and difficult to achieve. Only when you live by My Spirit will you find your equilibrium. Listen to My voice within and submit yourself daily into My care and guidance. I am here to help you succeed. Take My hand and walk with Me. I will see you through your challenges and rejoice with you in your victories. We will overcome.

Let My children, called by My name, delight with Me in the joy of My salvation!