Tag Archives: Hearing God

Learning to Wait

Oh, no! Saul’s troops were quickly slipping away. The ones who remained trembled with fear. Saul had waited the seven days there at Gilgal as Samuel had instructed, but Samuel still hadn’t come. Saul panicked. “Bring me the burnt offerings and the peace offerings!” he demanded. Then he made the sacrifices that Samuel was going to do when he arrived.

Just as Saul finished the burnt offering, Samuel arrived and asked what Saul had done. Saul replied that he saw his men scattering, and Samuel hadn’t come when he had said, and the Philistines were ready to march against them. He added that he felt compelled to offer the burnt offering himself because he didn’t want to go into battle without asking for God’s help. (Based on 1 Samuel 13:7-12 NLT).

Unfortunately, I’m like King Saul sometimes. I want to learn to wait on God (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV—“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”).

But when I wait to hear God’s voice, I get impatient and start listening to doubts. The voice of doubt says that God doesn’t want to speak with me or fellowship with me. It says that I can’t perceive His presence or hear what He says. The doubt from human pride hints that I should get busy with other things. So, like King Saul, I go to plan B. There wasn’t a plan B when I started to wait on the Lord, but when I let the doubts drag me to the edge of unbelief, I think I need to come up with a new plan.

Father, please forgive my impatience. Thank You for forgiveness and for Your patience with me. Now that I see the doubts, I can choose to bring them captive to Jesus. I’m determined to sit at Your feet and learn to wait. Amen.

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Listen

One of my goals this year is to learn to listen better—especially to God. The following reminded me of my need to work toward this goal.

At a family holiday gathering, one of the exhausted children whined for his father’s attention. All the adults, including his father, were busy with other pursuits. While I worked on a craft project, the Holy Spirit nudged me to help the child. I thought, “I’d comfort the boy, but I don’t know what to do. My attention or attempts to comfort would only get him more upset because I’m a rather distant relative.”

So I asked God what I could do, but I kept on working on my craft instead of stopping to listen. After a few minutes I got an idea of what to do. By that time, however, the child had sat down on the couch and fallen asleep.

By being too busy to listen to our Father, I missed an opportunity to obey Him and perhaps become less distant to my young relative. Maybe I can learn from this experience to stop and listen next time the Holy Spirit nudges.

“…Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” -Hebrews 3:15 New Living Translation

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God’s Word Seeds

Luke 8:11, 15, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. …15 [T]he ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”

I want to be “good ground,” so when Jesus plants seeds from God’s Word in my heart., I will humbly receive them (James 1:21). Jesus gives me living water—His Word and His Spirit—for watering the plants. As they start to grow. I can nurture them with the plant food of faith that results in obedience. (James 2:17, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”) I will diligently practice applying God’s Word to my life. I need to pull out weeds like anger, bitterness, jealousy, regret, strife, pride, haughtiness, and anything else that interferes with nourishing my soul.                               

Then these plants in my heart can mature and produce Holy Spirit fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

(Scripture quotes are New King James.)

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Escape

I almost got pulled down into that snake hole of regrets. Again. This time, though,  I saw the way of escape. I said aloud to myself, “I am determined to forget what lies behind and to shut the door on regrets and lock it.
Closed_weathered_door_cr commons
Today is real. I can live in today. The past is no longer a reality for me. I can’t live there. I am determined to live today!” (“Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.”—2 Samuel 14:14 New Living Translation)

Then I thought maybe Jesus was saying, “Come. Let us reason together. Though your sins were like scarlet, now you are white as snow. Every sin was washed away in the blood of the cross. Those sins were removed as far as east from west, forgotten never to be remembered again. Even your poor choices have not interfered with My continued love for you and goodness to you.”
God has loved me with an everlasting love. His plans cannot be thwarted. He can use everything in my life to make me into the person He wants me to be. He doesn’t regret making me His child. Jesus isn’t sorry He died for me.
Thank You, Father! Thank You, Lord Jesus!

(See 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 3:13, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 103:12, Romans 8:38-39, Jeremiah 31:3, Job 42:2, and Romans 8:28.)

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Impossible?

OJOSH004         The Commander of the Lord’s army gave Joshua instructions for conquering Jericho. All the soldiers, as well as seven priests carrying trumpets, were to march around the city once a day for six days. The Ark of the Covenant (representing God’s presence) was to be carried behind the priests. On the seventh day, they were to march around seven times, the priests would blow the trumpets, and everyone would shout. The walls would fall, and the city could be overcome.
So was it the marching, the trumpets sounding, or the shouting that brought the walls down? Or all three? I believe that the obedience of Joshua and the Israelites opened the way for God’s powerful Spirit to destroy the walls. Zechariah 4:6 says regarding Zerubbabel’s work on rebuilding the temple, “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
When I encounter seeming impossibilities, I need to listen to the Lord and obey Him completely. That will open the way for God to accomplish His purposes in and through me. Those who wait on the Lord renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). Lord, please teach me to wait to hear and then obey. Amen.

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He Satisfies Our Deepest Thirst

Bible-text- pub dom pic -Petr Kratochvil    Nehemiah 8:12 “And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them [the Book of the Law of Moses].”
Yes, what reason for rejoicing—to hear and understand God’s Word! (The people in this verse understood because the leaders and Levites “gave the sense and helped them to understand the reading….” –Nehemiah 8:8)
Thank You, Father, for the insight You give me into Your Word by Your Holy Spirit and by good teachers who “give the sense and help me understand.” Amen.
I’m reminded of a hymn we sang at church when I was a youth. The first verse says, “… Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.”* The song in turn reminds me of Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God….”
The “sacred page,” God’s written Word leads us to Jesus, the Living Word, and He satisfies our deepest thirst. break bread- pub dom pics- Gustavo Di Nucci

 

*“Break Thou the Bread of Life” by Mary Ann Lathbury and William F. Sherwin. Music and lyrics at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp8oi0qjanU. More information about the hymn at http://www.lectionary.org/HymnStories/Break%20Thou%20the%20Bread%20of%20Life.htm
(Pictures public domain courtesy of http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/hledej.php?hleda=Bible&x=24&y=16     Bread picture by Gustavo Di Nucci; Bible picture by Petr Kratochvil.)
(Scripture quotes are New King James Version.)

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True Soul Food

Bible w-cornbrd-1       Isaiah 55:2-3 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you — the sure mercies of David.” (New King James)
Feeding on what I hear from God as I come humbly to Him and listen—this is true soul food. He gives wisdom abundantly. I’ll delight myself in what He says, and my soul will be refreshed and revived and will live. I’ll learn of Jesus and find rest for my soul (Matthew 11:28-30). I’ll receive the “sure mercies of David—pardon, blessings, and connection/fellowship with the almighty, totally just yet perfectly loving, only true God. (The New Living Translation says “all the unfailing love I promised to David” instead of “the sure mercies of David.”)
And what further delights my soul is that this very God has made me His child through His Son Jesus Christ! Indeed, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, His ways and thoughts are higher than mine! They are more wonderful and marvelous than I can comprehend or imagine.
Psalm 37:3 “ Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” Amplified Bible

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Waiting on God

Excellent blog post by Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.! Very helpful. I especially liked the part about HOW we are to wait.

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

alone-with-god “Wait for the Lord.  Be strong and take heart.  Wait for the Lord” ( Psalm 27:14 ).

I am in a period of waiting right now. I believe God has a specific reason for telling me to wait. My responsibility is to trust Him. I need to slow down and wait on God to clearly reveal His will to me. A lack of trust is perhaps the root cause behind my decisions to jump ahead. I believe God will give me clear direction, but I must wait until He is ready to give guidance.

In this hurry-up world, waiting for anything can cause us to lose our tempers, tongues, and good senses more frequently than we care to admit. I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting in line. We don’t like waiting at stoplights. We don’t like waiting for dinner. We don’t even like waiting for good things – like…

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A Thailand Visitor Cuts to the Core

I so identify with Marie on how often I’ve “hoodwinked” my own heart. Like her, “I don’t even need a lying prophet; I can deceive my own self, arguing that “that’s not really what God wants me to do,” or “maybe He didn’t really speak to me about such and such…”

Marie-Ellen

            “Seriously? You don’t even have any friends in common? You have got be kidding! If I did something like that you would KILL me.” My incredulous, somewhat dramatic daughter did have a valid point and for a brief moment I questioned the sanity of my decision. But it was too late now; Danny and crew would be arriving shortly.

            Although I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of my blog followers in person over the past two years, we have always met in a safe place: an airport, a coffee shop, a church, a Christian Retreat. This time was different. I had actually invited what could be considered a complete stranger, from halfway around the world, into my home. Crazy?  Maybe. But Danny and I had been corresponding for more than a year. I knew that he was a musician working with…

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Hearing the Right Shepherd

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice, and they won’t follow the voice of another (John 10:4-5). Sometimes, though, I do seem to listen to and even follow other voices such as that of the world or my flesh or the devil.

The world views life without God’s perspective. It shouts at every turn, “It’s all about me.” The flesh wants everything instantly and seeks comfort, ease, and importance. It makes excuses for my sin. The devil lures with temptation, then heaps on guilt and condemnation when I’ve succumbed. He twists scripture into palatable untruth so I end up believing his lies instead of God’s truth.

Yes, Jesus’ sheep hear His voice. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He (Jesus) was the sacrifice that reconciled me to God. Now the Lord has claimed me as His own, so I’m definitely one of His sheep. No problem there.

But perhaps I’m not surrendered to Christ in every area of my life and have leaned on my own understanding instead of trusting God (Proverbs 3:5). As I draw closer to Him and yield more of myself to Him, I’ll walk more often by the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Or it may be that I’m not consistently putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). The helmet of salvation would protect my head from the world’s thoughts. The belt of truth would keep me from swallowing the devil’s lies, and the shield of faith would fend off his temptations and condemnation. Also, the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) could cut flesh/world ideas from spirit ideas.

Finally, Hebrews 5:14 says that the mature person can discern good and evil because of practice. As I practice listening to Jesus more, I will know His voice better and will follow Him more closely.

Thank You, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that You  keep working with us, Your sheep, so we can learn to hear Jesus clearly and follow close to Him.

NOTE: I have linked the Scripture references to Bible verses at Bible Gateway (BibleGateway.com). All except the Hebrews reference are New International Version. Hebrews 5:14 is in the Common English Bible.

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