Tag Archives: Hearing God

Listen to God’s Heart

John 7:24 “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” New Living Translation

Jesus is telling His hearers to look beneath the surface of the law—to look beyond the letter of the law to God’s intent. The context is His teaching that they shouldn’t be angry about His healing on the Sabbath because they broke Moses’ law in circumcising their sons on the Sabbath.

This teaching ties in with the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says, “You have heard it said ‘thus and so,’ but I say to you ‘this instead.’” Jesus makes the same point when He says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Maybe the Pharisees were focusing on the fence instead of enjoying God’s pasture. They knew the rules, but they didn’t know God. So they didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah (John 7:28).

The lesson to me is that pleasing God isn’t about keeping certain rules or doing everything just right, but about listening to His heart and acting accordingly.

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Praying for the USA

With the U.S. Presidential election coming up in November, more American Christians are remembering to pray for our nation’s leaders and to pray about the elections. We remind each other of 2 Chronicles 7:14-15—“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (New Living Translation) Another good verse to remember at this time is 1 Chronicles 5:20—“They put their trust in God and prayed to him for help, and God answered their prayers….” (Good News Translation)

My prayer:

Oh Father in heaven, we, Your people, do humble ourselves before You, recognizing that You alone are God, and we place our trust in only You. We seek You, and we turn away from our own selfish ways of thinking and doing. We cry out for forgiveness, cleansing, and help from You. Grant us wisdom in each choice we make. Open our ears to hear Your voice, and give us grace to obey. Please heal the brokenness that has become more and more evident in our country.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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God’s Unfailing Love Continues

Lord God all-powerful with thoughts high above us,

You have stooped down to care for and love us.

Please open my ears so I may hear You

And grant me eyes to see truth so I will fear You.

Teach me to obey and trust in Your goodness.

You will keep me in peace. You will not forsake us.

Your mercy is great. Your kindness is forever.

Never can anything my soul from You sever.

 

Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” New Living Translation

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Listen to Instructions

“But God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.” (Job 33:14 New Living Translation=NLT)

Dear Father, often You have spoken, and I didn’t recognize it. Thank You for still loving me and never letting me go and continuing to speak to me. Please open my ears to hear You. Open my eyes to truth.

Exodus 23:2 and 15 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong….”  “…No one is to appear before me empty-handed.” (both New International Version)

God gave His people these instructions after He brought them out of Egypt. Do they apply to me also? Certainly the ideas apply to me. I mustn’t follow the crowd in doing wrong—as the Israelites did when the ten spies brought back a bad report on the threshold of the Promised Land. And I shouldn’t come to God empty-handed. I should bring praise and thanksgiving at the very least. Furthermore, I should bring a willing heart of faith. “…It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)”

In following these instructions, the Israelites were acknowledging God’s power and lordship. I want to do that too. Besides that, I want to show my love for God by obeying Him. Jesus told us in John 14:15 to keep His commandments if we love Him.

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Can I REALLY Hear God’s Voice

In John 10:27. Jesus says, “The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.” Amplified Bible

I’m trying to learn to listen to God. I’ve never heard His audible voice as some have (like the boy Samuel in the Bible). In Genesis, Jacob’s son Joseph heard God often in dreams. Not me, although I did have a dream once that I think was from God. And Paul in the New Testament heard God clearly in dreams and visions, circumstances, and God’s Word. He also heard God speak audibly. I believe I hear God most often by His bringing applicable scripture verses to mind when I pray or by His giving me fresh insights into His Word.

So sometimes the enemy shoots thoughts into my head like, “You don’t hear like ___ hears. Maybe you don’t hear God at all.” Last week when he started hissing those lies at me, I told myself, “Well, I don’t hear like that because I don’t have to do the same job they do.” A memory of a truth I learned years ago also came to mind:

In the physical world, containers come in all shapes and colors, but the shape and color don’t affect the amount the vessel will hold. If I pour a quart of water into a tall, slender blue bottle, it may look different from a quart of water poured into a short, wide red jar, but it’s still a quart of water. Likewise, when God’s Spirit speaks to us, we may hear differently because we’re individuals, but that doesn’t discount anything of what He says to us.

God wants to communicate with His children, the sheep of His pasture. He calls us to listen and obey. The test of whether I’m hearing Him isn’t whether I hear like someone else does, but rather whether what I hear lines up with the truth He’s already spoken in His written Word.

© Tricia Opitz Jan.-Dec. 2010

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God’s Will

God’s Will

When the people asked Jesus what God’s will for them was, He told them, “This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:29 New Living Translation

Your will, O God, is for us to believe in the One You sent to set us free,

And so my Lord, I choose to receive Jesus Who came to rescue me.

I’ll trust and listen and obey and follow Him in the homeward way.

So let Your Spirit work, I pray, to conform me to Your will today.

He worked it in—I work it out.

Philippians 2:12-13 “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (New American Standard)

God has worked His salvation in me. He’s given me a heart of flesh instead of dead stone. He’s working in me to want and do what pleases Him. So now I’m to work that out into my life. He gives the instruction and the power. My job is to listen and obey. As I do this, I become a light in this dark world.

Thank You for salvation, Father. Please teach me to hold out Your light to others. Amen.

Copyright by Tricia Opitz 11/28/10

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Filed under God's Work in our Lives, Poems and Songs

Listening to God

I’ll never be a Samuel or a Paul.

Will I ever learn to listen to God at all?

When I hear His still, small voice,

Will obedience be my choice?

Or will I choose to disobey

And hear no further what He’d say?

Jesus, by Your grace I’ll do

What You’ve commanded me to.

I’ll love others as You love

And move as Your Spirit moves.

Father, please open my ears to hear

So that to You I can draw near.

Oh Lord, You said we can be friends

And have unity that never ends.

The communion of Father, Son and Spirit, too,

Can be mine as I seek You.

You draw near and whisper love

And prepare me for the life above.

 

Copyright by Tricia Opitz 11/28/2010

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Purity

Matthew 7:13-14 says that the narrow way leads to life and that the broad way leads to destruction.  Matt. 6:22 and Luke 11:34 (in the New Living Translation) say that a “pure eye” lets sunshine into the soul. Oh Lord, please purify me so that You can pour sunshine into my soul!

Saturate me with Your Word

And fill me freshly with Your Spirit, Lord.

Let me reflect Your grace

As I earnestly seek Your face.

Teach me to love and pray

And walk in Truth—Your narrow way.

You lead where it’s best.

In Your wise counsel I rest.

I used to seek the easy things, or comfortable, or what seemed “happy” to me.  I tried to please others so they would approve of and appreciate me.  Today I decide to quit seeking those things.  Instead, I want to take up my cross and follow Jesus.  I can only do that with the grace and power of the Holy Spirit working in me.  Without His help, I’ll be like the rubber band that snaps right back to the old shape when the pressure’s off.

Heavenly Father, let these phrases from an old chorus be true of me:  I’ve “decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.  Though none go with me, still… follow.”  With Your help, I’ll keep my eyes on Jesus, the faithful and true One, Who begins and completes my faith.  I’ll ignore the distractions of the easy and comfortable, or what seems to please my flesh or other people.  If I wander off into my own way, please bring me back into the path of discipleship to Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Jer 2:13 NLT “For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me — the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”

Heavenly Father, so often I’ve ignored You and acted foolishly, seeking to “dig my own cisterns” (find happiness and fulfillment my way).  How often You’ve spoken, and I didn’t heed!  Or I’ve started in the path of righteousness and let myself be pulled away.  Please forgive and purify me. Keep me thinking about You, listening for Your voice.  Amen.

Listen to Jesus

Jesus, please help me listen to You and quickly obey

And keep eternity in view and walk in Your way.

Your sheep hear Your voice.  Speak Lord, and open my ears.

Lead and guide me by Your Word.  I will follow as I hear.

Copyright by Tricia Opitz 5/24/10

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