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Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 39 – Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 39

Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed

Lord, as with everything, one’s faith is tested in trials and strengthened in a relationship with You. Extreme faith is a gift from the Spirit. And yet, Your word promises it takes only a small amount of faith to do great things. Hardships test the faith and produce perseverance. Is it even possible to increase my faith without the trials? Either way, I have faith in You to work all things together for the good of those who love You (Romans 8:28).

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved friend, when you encounter hardship, exercise your faith. It takes only a speck of faith to accomplish great things. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:19-20). Even a little faith can move mountains.

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:21-22). But when you doubt, you are as a wave on the sea, tossed back and forth, double-minded. You should not expect to receive anything you ask for (James 1:7).

Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4). Faith and trust go hand in hand. Trust in Me with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to Me and I will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Listen to My voice and submit yourself to Me. Trust that I am in control of all things; have faith that I will give you anything you ask for in My name.

Faith is a gift from Me. You have been saved through faith by My grace (Ephesians 2:8), and you live by faith every day. There are different kinds of faith. Extreme faith is a gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9). Your faith will make you well. When you ask for healing, believe in it! Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24). Nothing is impossible when you believe (Matthew 17:20). Jesus dwells in your heart through faith. He is able to do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within you (Ephesians 3:20). Have faith and believe it!

When you experience a breakdown in your faith, do not focus on the obstacle in front of you. But fix your eyes upon Jesus. Do not grow weary and lost heart (Hebrews 12:2-3). Do not fix your eyes on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). There is but One who remains in control of all things; it is I, the Sovereign God, who reigns on high and rules all things and all people at all times. I am trustworthy. I never change. Put your faith and trust in Me; I AM.

Always remember, never will I leave you, never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). I love you deeply and want what is best for you. I am always at work behind the scenes. I have a plan and purpose for you life (Jeremiah 29:11) and I am working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). You are my beloved child, and I care for you deeply. I desire that you mature in your faith, even if it involves allowing you to endure difficult times to do so. Stand firm in your faith; I will provide the strength and hope to persevere. I know what is best for you, and I will see you through your challenges. Have faith, even as small as a mustard seed!

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You for the gift of faith, even though it may be small. Thank You that even a speck of faith can move mountains. You are an awesome, all powerful God, who works through Your weakest people to show Your great strength and power. Almighty God, will you meet with me now and increase my faith and trust in You. Work Your grace and Your power in my life. Give me the confidence I need to trust in You wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please share with me how my faith in You works to move mountains. (Record every word and thought He gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, my Lord, I want to have the faith of the centurion (Luke 7:6-10) and the faith of the woman who touched Your robe to be healed (Mark 5:34). Teach me how to have that kind of faith. What must I do? (Write down all thoughts and ideas Jesus gives you in this moment.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please give me the gift of faith. I want to believe and not doubt. Help me overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:24). Please give to me as You determine. What might that be? (Journal the thoughts and verses the Holy Spirit gives you.)

 

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 Father in heaven, I am grateful for this conversation that we shared today. Thank You for sharing Your heart on the subject of my faith. Lord, strengthen me with Your gift of faith, and empower me to trust in You completely for all things. Lord, I am so blessed that You call me Your child, You love me beyond my comprehension, and You know what is best for me and carry it out according to Your good and perfect will. Thank You for your love and faithfulness to all generations of those who love You. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

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

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 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. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Matthew 9:2, Some men brought to Him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:22, Jesus turned and saw her, “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 15:28, Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted,” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Matthew 17:19-20, Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 21:21-22, 21Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Mark 4:37-41, 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be Still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Mark 5:34, He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 9:23-24, 23“’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 10:52, “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mark 11:22-24, 22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Luke 5:20, When Jesus saw their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:6-10, 6So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to Him: “Lord, don’t trouble Yourself, for I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Luke 7:48-50, 48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 8:48, Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 17:6, He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

Luke 17:19, Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Acts 3:16, By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has completed healed him, as you can all see.

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 10:17, Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.

1 Corinthians 13:2, If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

2 Corinthians 4:18, So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 5:7, For we live by faith, not by sight.

Ephesians 2:8-9, 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 3:16-21, 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know His love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Hebrews 10:22-23, 22Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 11:1-3, 1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what I seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 12:1-3, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

James 1:2-8, 12, 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But 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. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do….12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

1 Peter 5:8-11, 8Be alert and of sober mind. 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 the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10And the God of grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. 11To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 23 – Trust in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 23

Trust in Me

Almighty God, I lay down my false sense of security and control, to the One who knows all things and is in control of all things. I trust in You with all my heart and submit to You in all my ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). I put my confidence in Your promise that you will work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28). I trust You with my life. You have proven Yourself faithful in all things to all generations.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My humble child, I delight in you. In your weakness, you are strong in Me (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Your life is but a vapor, a momentary breath. The sooner you learn to trust Me with all your heart, the better your life will be. I understand how difficult it is to lay down your life and submit yourself fully to Me. But I will not let you down. I do not ask you to trust in humans or the things of this earth, but trust in My name alone. 

I have proven Myself faithful to a thousand generations of those who love Me. I am the one True God, Creator and sustainer of all life. I am capable. I see the big picture, I know the future, and I know what is best for you. I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you; to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). My intentions for you are good. My ways are perfect and just (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Take delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Me and I will make your reward shine like the dawn (Psalm 37:3-6). My love reaches to the heavens and My faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 57:10).

I am trustworthy in all I promise and faithful in all I do. I uphold all who fall and lift up all who are bowed down. I give you your food at the proper time and satisfy your desires. I am righteous in all My ways and faithful in all I do. I am near to all who call on Me in truth (Psalm 145:13-18). I have shown My faithfulness to generations upon generations of My people, those who call Me their Lord and put their trust in Me.

Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Me, and I will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). I will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Me. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal (Isaiah 26:3-4).

I am the God of hope. I fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Me, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). I love you, My child, and I will take care of you. I know you better than you know yourself. I know what is best for you and I give you everything you need. I will satisfy all your longings and provide for all your desires. I strengthen you and protect you. My power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Exercise your faith. Put your confidence in what you hope for and your assurance in what you do not see. Though you do not see Me, I am with you always. I will never leave you or forget about you (Joshua 1:5). The better you know Me, the more confidence you gain in Me. To know Me better, meet with Me alone daily. Listen to My voice within you, as I love you, guide you, comfort you and protect you. Remain in Me as I also remain in you (John 15:4) If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7). Ask Me, and then, trust Me.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, as I know You better and know Your heart better each time we meet, I gain more and more confidence in You and Your faithfulness. In the flesh, many times I default to my own abilities, instead of trusting in Your Almighty power. But when I do muster my faith, and put my confidence in You, I am able to throw down mountains of fear and worry, because I am safe and secure in You. Lord, please share Your heart with Me today, and expose my weaknesses in the areas of trusting in You. Calm my fears and anxieties and replace them with peace and hope found in You alone. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  • Father God, please tell me what You want me to know about my level of trust in You. (Record the thoughts God gives you now.)

 

  • Lord Jesus Christ, give me an idea where I am lacking in trusting You completely. Give me the confidence that I need to put my trust in You for all things. Tell me what I need to hear. (Write the ideas, words, and thoughts that enter your mind.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, convict my heart where I lack in faith and empower me to submit myself totally and completely to the Lord for Him to provide for all my desires, wants, and needs. Reveal to me today what I need to do to more fully trust in the Lord for everything. (Journal your thoughts and impressions.)

 

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:

Dear Lord, my Lord, empower me to submit myself fully to You. I confidently place my trust in You to meet all my needs for essentials and inessentials. Lord, I trust You to provide everything I need and protect me from all evil and the evil one. Lord, You are my warrior who fights for me. Deliver me now from all fears, insecurities, lies, vows, and bondages, and set me free with Your everlasting truth. I place my hope and trust in You. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, peace and love. I love You too, my Lord, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let my confidence in You be evident as a witness in my words and actions. Let me actively live out my trust in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 7:9, Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

Deuteronomy 32:4, He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.

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 nor forsake you.

Psalm 9:10, Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 13:5-6, But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.

Psalm 18:25, To the faithful, You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless.

Psalm 20:7, Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 31:6, I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord.

Psalm 33:4, For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.

Psalm 37:3-6, Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Psalm 40:4-5, Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders You have done, the things You planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40:11, Do not withhold Your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

Psalm 56:3-4, When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals to do me?

Psalm 57:10, For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psalm 62:8, Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 100:5, For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 117:2, For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 118:8, It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.

Psalm 125:1, Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

Psalm 145:13-18, 13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. 14The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. 16You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does. 18The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

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

Isaiah 26:3-4, You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 28:16, So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out it roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14, “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. Then you will call on 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,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 39:17-18, “But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in Me, declares the Lord.”

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 15:13, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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 12:9-10, But 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. That 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.

2 Thessalonians 3:3, But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

1 Peter 2:6, For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16)

Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 13:5, …“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Revelation 19:11, I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved.

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 10 – I am Your Counselor

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 10 – I am Your Counselor

 Dear Heavenly Father, I am so grateful that You sent me a live-in Counselor, available 24/7, who listens to me and reveals to me all Your wisdom as I need it. Please help me appreciate and take advantage of this more and more fully as I spend time with You today.

 A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

 Look up, child. I am your loving Father. I know and want what is best for you at all times, in all circumstances. Seek Me first. Seek My counsel first, before all else. I am here for you any time of the day or night. Listen for My voice within you. I speak to you all day long, and I will speak to you in your heart, even at night, as you sleep (Psalm 16:7).

 I know you want to trust the advice of your closest friends and family. That may be okay, at times, but their advice is only as good as their personal relationship and two-way communication with Me themselves. If they are not seeking Me first on your behalf, for your best interest, their advice may be faulty as well.

 I am your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). I am omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. I know all things and work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). I am in control of all things and am present by your side, even inside you, at all times. I am trustworthy and true. I have deposited My Spirit of truth in your heart. You may believe His voice inside you. He speaks the truth and shares the deepest places of My heart with you. All that I have belongs to you. My Spirit will remind you of My wisdom as needed.

 I know that many times you will react from the flesh. But I tell you the truth, live by the Spirit, in step with My Holy Spirit, and display the fruit of the Spirit at all times as He produces it and ripens it in you. Sow to please the Spirit and from the Spirit reap eternal life (Galatians 6:8).

 I teach you wisdom in the inmost place (Psalm 51:6). From your heart, My Spirit makes My truth and wisdom known to you. Do you lack wisdom? Just ask Me, and then, believe the truth I give you in your heart. Trust in Me with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, ask Me first, and I will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 Ask Me for anything, any time, and it’s yours. You have not, because you ask not. 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). Whatever you need is only away by one conversation with Me. I am here waiting for you to ask. I can’t wait to give you what you need and desire. Just ask.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to Me. And my peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6). I am your Counselor, and I care deeply about you and your well-being. Allow Me to care for you. Let Me in on your decisions. Seek My wisdom, and then, listen and obey.

 Prayer:

 Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit of truth, my live-in Counselor. Thank You for the access that Jesus’ death on the cross gave me to Your throne. I am so grateful that I may approach You in confidence to take care of all my needs and desires. Please help me hear and discern Your voice within me at this moment, as I seek You first, above all else. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Lord, what do You want me to know personally about the work of Your Spirit, my Counselor? (Record your thoughts here.)

 

  • Jesus, how do I make maximum use of the Counselor inside me? (Write what Jesus says to your heart.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, how do I best live in step with You? (Jot down all words and impressions you sense at this time.)

 

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:

Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor, please grant me Your wise counsel in everything I do and say today and every day. Let my spirit be in tune with Your Spirit with every step I take. Remind me to pay attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit within me; listen and obey. Lord, I crucify the flesh when it leads me to run my own course, and I defer to the leading of Your Spirit. I submit myself to You and trust in You with all my heart. In the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

 1 Kings 22:5, But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

2 Chronicles 18:4, But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

Psalm 16:7-8, I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 51:6, Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Psalm 73:24, You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.

Proverbs 2:6, For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 3:5-7, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 8:14, Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.

Isaiah 9:6, For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 28:29, All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

Matthew 7:7, “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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

John 14:15-17, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you will know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:26-27, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 15:26, “When the Counselor comes, who I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me.”

John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

John 16:13-15, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is shy I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”

Galatians 6:8-10, The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

 Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

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.

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series