Tag: blessing

Googling God part 2

How does hearing from God work?

Physical ears

Outer ear collects sources of sound – the sound waves.  For us to “hear”:

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It has to be within our range of hearing

It has to be loud enough

It has to be clear enough

 

hearing-106483_640Middle ear directs the sound to the ear drum where the sound is transferred from the vibrations of the ear drum to 3 little bones that conduct the sound through the cochlea where the sound is turned into nerve impulses and sent to the brain to interpret and understand what we hear.

We’ll look at 3 reasons we miss out hearing that have a spiritual similarity:

  1. we don’t hear because we aren’t listening –our ears are not pointed towards where the sound is coming from
  2. there is so much noise that the signal gets muffled or confused
  3. there is infection that needs to be cleaned out to restore our ability to hear clearly

Spiritual ears 

Our spirit hears everything our physical ears hear and our brain processes.  But there is another level of understanding that we can access with our spirit that allows us to filter messages that have a deeper spiritual meaning.

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So we need to engage our spirit and focus it on listening, interpreting and understanding those meaningful messages.

 

  1. As with our physical ears, we need to point our spiritual ears where God is speaking.  We need to tune our spirit into God’s frequencies.

What are His frequencies?

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The previous blog asked some specific questions and gave ideas to help you identify how to listen in some of these areas.

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So the first question is: Are you tuned in and exposing yourself to the sources God is broadcasting on?

solution-2480514_640Listen to Christian sermons and podcasts.  Read the Bible.  Spend time in prayer.  Become aware of God’s Creation around you.  Examine your circumstances for what is bringing you blessing, confusion, pain.  Ask God to make you aware of how He is speaking to you and spend time in that area.

  1. Like our physical ears, the message we are trying to receive won’t be heard if there is too much other noise surrounding and masking it

chairulfajar_-655482-unsplash (1)So many things compete for our attention every day: books to read, movies to see, music to listen to, places to go where there is noise and busyness.  Advertising tries to convince you that their product is exactly what you need to solve all your problems and meet all your needs. Whether it’s insurance, a new car, or the latest tech, we are overwhelmed with media and input and our minds flooded with so many options and choices that they block out the messages God is speaking to us.

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And that’s just the outside noise.  What about the inner voices you speak to yourself every day?  We are usually much more critical of ourselves and those negative voices have an impact on our ability to hear from God as well.

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The next question is: Are you tuning out the world and the other voices that are clamoring for your attention so you can focus on hearing God?

solution-2480514_640There’s a simple solution.

prayer-888757_1920Before you pray, or read scripture, listen to a sermon or podcast, take a nature walk, or search your life circumstances, invite the Holy Spirit to silence all ungodly voices and distractions.  Ask that confusion, preconceived ideas, biases, and misconceptions be sent away.  And ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth, clarify meaning, and show application to your life.

  1. The infection that needs to be treated to restore our spiritual hearing is sin.

Sin is like an infection blocking our ability to communicate with God effectively. Sometimes there is sin we are aware of that needs to be dealt with. Being willing to turn from it and ask for forgiveness is the way to remove that block to your hearing God. If you are unsure of any sin, invite God to search you and show you where sin may be causing a hearing problem, and remove it.

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The question is: Have you cleaned out your spiritual ears lately?

 

solution-2480514_640Thankfully, God has prepared a way for our sin to be forgiven and be removed as far as the east is from the west. 

I John 1:9-10 tells us:  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If it would help to have a guide for personal reflection on possible sin issues, see “When Hearing is Blocked” on my main menu.

listening-3079065_640When you are ready to tune into God’s frequency, and invited the Holy Spirit to silence other noise and lead you into hearing; be prepared to be blown away!

I believe God is speaking to us any time we are willing to listen.  And I believe when He says something, it’s important enough to write it down.  Keep some kind of record of how and when you hear from God.

But don’t run off with some word you think you heard without checking it out. Hold it up against what the Bible says.  And maybe even ask other believers what they think for some confirmation.

Next time I’ll share a simple way to know if what you heard is from God.

 

 

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Snowflakes

snow-1848346_640Snowflakes: drift down aimlessly from the bright, white sky.

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Birds: titter and hop from branch to branch to feeder to ground where seeds have spilled down onto the white, mounding snow.

 

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Trees: which must have taken decades to grow up from tiny seeds drinking in moisture and pushing through the ground cover of leaves and nettles and dirt, hold arms extended, reaching out to catch a line of snowflakes that imperceptibly pile on top of their outstretched branches.

Crisp cold air: visible only when man or beast passes by, exhaling huffs of clouded condensation, chills everything, adding a clarity to the reality of this poetic scene.

glistening snow

Light: distinctly noticeable as the sun breaks through the overcoat of clouds, adds a shimmering and warmth in its momentary passing presence.

Overall: peace, a sense that this is exactly as it should be. For this time, for this place, God’s complete intention is fulfilled.

And I stand here in awe of this blessing; grateful and humbled to be a witness to the completeness of this scene before me in this moment.

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Amazed at the direction and diligence of the Master’s hand that created and placed all these elements together for this moment of perfection. The Master: who grew trees from tiny seedlings over years, decades;

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birds from eggs in nests for generations to be here right now; who creates snowflakes and controls the weather; who prepared this moment for me so that I would bear witness.

 

Philippians 1:6 confirms to us that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” and I can only have confidence in a God who can orchestrate moments like these, to orchestrate the events, relationships and circumstances of my life; through me, because of me, even in spite of me to do exactly as he promised.

What a mighty God we serve!wintry-2993370_640

I lift my hands

ceiling fan

The other day I was helping put up a ceiling fan. We had to work with our hands above our heads; and quickly, it became very tiring. Soon, all the blood ran out of our arms and our hands got numb. Our shoulders ached and muscles we didn’t even know we had, cried out in rebellion.

 

We don’t often hold our hands up for very long periods of time. It isn’t the natural relaxed state for our bodies.

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In Exodus, while Moses held up his hands, his army had victory. When his hands dropped, they began to lose. Moses needed help. Two assistants came to help him by bracing his arms so his hands could remain uplifted. And his troops gained a victory!

In 3 of the Psalms, David records that he raised his hands to God. And in I Timothy, we’re told to raise our holy hands in prayer. So in the Bible, it seems holding up your hands is a good thing.

If this is pleasing to God, why didn’t he create us like that? It would have been a simple thing for Him to do. After all, trees lift their branches. It’s their normal position – a stature of having extremities raised heavenward.

I think it’s because He wants our lifted hands to be voluntary – our choice. It’s a way of offering praise. And it’s a way of asking for the gifts He’s prepared for us: salvation, blessings, answers to prayer, in a posture of readiness to receive them.

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Too many times, we go around with our hands clenched in anger, fear or frustration — or just trying to hold on to what we have. So that when we pray, we are unable to receive what God wants to give us.

 

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Because to receive, you have to open your hands.

 

 

I like the song written and recorded by Sandi Patty I Lift My Hands To You because it encourages me to lift my hands. Join me, lift your hands to God – showing Him that you’re ready to receive the blessings and answers to prayer He has for you today.

Are your Blessings running low?

When I got to the lake to take my walk today, the most noticeable thing was the water level. It had dropped to an extremely low point. Very few birds could be seen on the water. Rocks lay exposed. At first glance, the water looked shallow and scummy, the banks muddy and messy. It was as if the blessing of the beauty of the water had been taken away.

rock-328783_640            Could this be like our lives? What would they look like with God’s blessing withdrawn like the water in the lake? We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing when we have it. We revel in it! It surrounds us and holds us up as we float on it. My first thought was that to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing.

But where the trail came near the water, I stepped off to have a closer look. I saw hundreds, perhaps a thousand tiny fish! Fish not usually see because the regular depth of the water obscures them from view. This blessing of these fish had been there all along but had gone unnoticed.

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From there I could also see that the ducks and geese had gathered in a small inlet to feast on the algae that had grown on the underwater rocks which now lay uncovered. What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans stuck in the sandy lake bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocks’ edge to pull them out. So, this ‘clean up’ effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when God seems to withhold His bounty for a time? Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably “Yes”.

Would we discover blessings we often don’t notice, or take for granted? Probably yes. God blesses us with every new day, each breath we take, every friend, every sunset. There is even blessing in times of hardship. We just need to take the time to look and notice, like the tiny fish in the lake.

Could we feast on the growth of our faith that has grown in the depth of God’s blessings? Yes. Perhaps it is not fully exposed and realized until the level drops, like the algae covered rocks.

Have we allowed things to creep into our lives that we need to remove? Undoubtedly, yes. But like the garbage on the lake, we may ignore them until we see their trashy presence in full view. Then it’s an opportunity to clean things up.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.” And if you’re feeling like God’s blessing is somewhat lower than usual in your life, don’t be discouraged. You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting, and clean up before you.

And before long, the depths will return.

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