Tag Archive | voice of God

Step 3 – Escape the Crowds and Noise

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Step 3 – Escape the Crowds and Noise

My best chance of hearing God speak to me is to be alone with Him, one-on-One, away from the noise of a crowd. I encourage you to make a regular practice of sitting still in a quiet place, shutting out the world’s noise, and listening attentively to the voice of God.

Jesus served as a great role model for how to have a relationship with the Father. As He became better known in His ministry, multitudes of people followed Him. In order to hear instructions and receive refreshment from God, Jesus escaped the crowds and found quiet places to be alone with His heavenly Father. Jesus had the Spirit of the Lord within Him, just as we do, but He still preferred to listen to the voice of God the Father away from the noise of the multitudes. He even separated Himself from His closest companions, His disciples, in order to pray and to hear God’s voice: “Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray’” (Matthew 26:36).

There’s not just one right way, one right time, or one right place to meet with Him. He will meet with you anywhere you are, any time of the day or night. He will speak to you wherever and whenever He has your attention. Seek out a quiet place next time you desire to hear God speak.

1 Samuel 3 provides many examples of how to listen to God, and adopting a childlike attitude is one of the most important. Samuel’s mother dedicated him to serving and worshipping the Lord. Even in his younger years, God spoke to him. This happened during a time when God rarely spoke to anyone, yet He chose to speak to a child. The idea that God holds a special place in His heart for children should cause us to wonder, Why?

Listed below are seven traits God loves in children:

  1. An infant completely depends on his caregiver. Likewise, God wants us to depend on Him for everything. A child trusts wholeheartedly. God asks us to trust in Him with all our hearts.
  2. A child’s mind is open, receptive to new ideas.
  3. A child’s faith has not been tarnished by life’s trials and disappointments.
  4. A child waits with excitement and anticipation to see what will happen next.
  5. A child comes before God with a pure heart, unburdened by responsibilities, regrets, fears, and doubts.
  6. A child believes easily and expects to experience the goodness of God.
  7. A child’s mind remains in its own little world, not distracted by crowds and noise.

When did God choose to speak to Samuel? What posture did Samuel assume? God spoke to Samuel when he lay down at night. Samuel stilled himself before the Lord; he heard the voice of God because he remained in a quiet place with no noise or distractions. Also note Samuel and even Eli, the priest of God, did not recognize or realize right away it was God speaking to Samuel. God did not give up after the first try, however. He pursued Samuel again. In fact, He called Samuel three times before Eli understood. Our God does not give up on us if we don’t hear Him the first time He speaks to us. Persistently, He speaks until we hear Him. Shouldn’t we give God as much in return by waiting expectantly to hear His voice? Shouldn’t we give Him our full attention, away from people and commotion?

When Samuel did realize God spoke, he positioned himself to hear God again; he returned to a quiet place and remained still. He waited patiently. Then God called him again, and Samuel humbly said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” God spoke to him then, and He continued to appear at Shiloh and speak to him for many years, not letting His words fall to the ground or go unheard. He revealed Himself to Samuel through His word and His voice, and Samuel spread God’s message to all of Israel.

We can take lessons from the boy Samuel on how to position ourselves to hear from God. Do you practice being still, in quiet solitude, expectantly and patiently waiting to hear God speak? When you do, you will hear the voice of God.

As I decided to know God better and develop an intimacy with Christ, I eagerly got up early every morning to enjoy a quiet time with God. I used this time to journal my thoughts and prayers to Christ. I poured out my heart to Him. I shared my emotions, my fears, my joys, my anger, my desires—my most intimate feelings—with God. Then I tried to “be still, and know that He is God” (see Psalm 46:10).

I pictured Jesus sitting in my living room with me. He became a brother, a husband, a friend, and a counselor all wrapped up into one. He knew my every need, even before I asked. I listened for His voice and direction in my life. When I spent time alone with God and heard His voice, I hungered for more time in conversation with Him. In Luke 6:21, Jesus says, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” Only God can satisfy the hunger in my soul; only He can fill that need.

Early morning offers me the quietest time and the best chance of hearing God’s voice. My mind is clearest first thing in the morning before I start thinking about all I have to do that day. I have made it my practice to get out of bed thirty to sixty minutes early to enjoy time with God away from the crowds and noise, even in the privacy of my own home. I completely relate to Psalm 5:3: “Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; morning by morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

When I first began my early morning practice of meeting with God, I felt unproductive. As I’ve said, often I fell asleep in the silence. Do you recall Jesus’ frustration with His best friends who fell asleep when He had asked them to keep watch while He prayed? I don’t want to be the one to fall asleep while meeting with the King of kings, do you? If not, do whatever it takes to stay awake and hear what God has to say to you.

Frequently, I found my mind wandering to the other noises in my head. When I became aware these things kept me from my purpose, I dealt with the distractions by writing them down. On a piece of paper, separate from my journal, I wrote down the busy thoughts that took up space in my mind and set them aside so I wouldn’t forget about them later. Then I resumed my still, expectant state of waiting on God.

If you’re not already in the practice of listening to God’s voice, you may not know how to begin. I like variety, so I start my time with God in different ways each day. In my book, 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, I share a few with you. If you have your own way already, don’t change it. But if you are looking for new ways to spend time with God, try one of my “7 Ways to Start Your Time with God.”

If you are not in an intimate relationship with Christ right now, I encourage you to set aside at least one thing on your busy schedule to make time for God and escape the crowds and the noise. Take a few minutes every day to be still and know God more intimately. Listen to His voice, hear what He says to you, and write it down. You’ll be really glad you did!

 

Click here to order this book now!

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

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

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

By Sindy Nagel

Step 1 – Expect and Believe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Click here to order this book now!

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Step 1 to Hearing God’s Voice – Expect and Believe (Re-post–Sorry, this 3/11 post was lost)

Do you believe in Santa Claus? As parents, we sometimes go to great lengths to preserve our children’s belief in the legendary figure known as Santa Claus.

All through the year, we attempt to deter bad behavior with the reminder that Santa knows who’s naughty and nice. Weeks before December 25th, we pile the kids in the car and drive to the mall, where we stand in long lines, so little Bobby and Jessie can sit on the jolly old elf’s lap and whisper their Christmas wish lists into his attentive ear. We might even purchase the expensive picture with Santa to solidify the memory for them. Even Fido gets his picture with Santa and receives a rawhide bone in his stocking.

To intensify their expectation and belief, on Christmas Eve we set out a plate of cookies and glass of milk for Santa. Of course, we make sure those cookies have bites out of them and the milk is half gone before the children come running down the stairs on Christmas morn.

Are we as diligent at promoting God, the true Father Christmas? To quote the old Christmas song, “He knows when you are sleeping; He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”

God gave us the gift of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, born at Christmas, so He could pay the penalty for our sin. He died on the cross, but He didn’t stay in the grave. God raised Jesus from the dead. He’s alive! When we confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God sends the gift of His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. What a priceless gift He is!

The Holy Spirit is the voice of God in us! We can hear the words of God and know His will, because He dwells in our hearts. He speaks to us and reminds us of what God and Jesus said. He recalls Scripture to our minds and teaches us the wisdom of God. He counsels us and comforts us, among many other roles He plays.

When you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you can “Expect and Believe” you will hear His voice within you – Step 1. It’s up to you to “Make the Time” to listen – Step 2.

“He who belongs to God hears what He says.” (John 8:47)

Shout to the Lord All the Earth

In several of my recent blogs, you have seen that the Lord has been waking me up with a song in my heart. The first time I realized this was happening followed a time when I exercised my obedience to an assignment that the Lord gave me back in April this year. The task required that I step way outside my comfort zone. God required my faith and trust for this work He had called me to do.

I did step out in faith and trusted God to guide me through this challenge to carry out his plans. Of course, He faithfully walked me through each step of the journey. Awaking me with the lyrics of unique worship songs every morning became one of the ways God rewarded me for my obedience. The topics of these songs became the subjects of my morning quiet times with the Lord. It has been a blessing and encouragement to me that continues to remunerate me even now when I pay attention.

The lesson God continues to remind me of is this: In order for the Holy Spirit to make things known to me through Scripture and the lyrics of great worship songs, I need to make it my practice to spend time reading his Word and listening to Christian music. Reading the Bible and feeding our minds at all times, in all ways, with the goodness of God is key to experiencing the voice of God in our thoughts on a regular basis.

The song verse that woke me this morning was, “Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing.” By Darlene Zschech. What a wonderful reminder of the power and majesty of King Jesus. Rather than listening to God’s voice this morning, I will use the joyful words of my lips to praise God for his greatness. Let’s make it our daily practice to be in the Word of God filling our thoughts with the goodness of God!


 

Shout To The Lord – Darlene Zschech Lyrics

My Jesus, my Savior

Lord, there is none like You

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath, all that I am

Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in

You My Jesus, my Savior Lord, there is none like You

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath, all that I am

Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/various-artists-worship/shout-to-the-lord-darlene-zschech-lyrics/#E92XJFfxIl4hb0Vf.99