Tag: listen

Googling God part 3

sound-159915_640

 

I believe God is speaking all the time. Are you willing to listen?

listen-2973319_640

 

When you have tuned into God’s frequency, (see last 2 posts) and invited the Holy Spirit to silence other noise and lead you into hearing Him; be prepared to be blown away!

I also believe when He says something, it’s important enough to write down.  First, so you don’t forget it.  Next, to check to be sure what you heard is really from God.

hand-453220_640How can you know if what you hear IS from God or some other voice?

When you believe you have heard from God regarding a situation in your life, or direction you should take, or a decision you have to make, put the answer to these 3 tests:

question-mark-40876__3401 – Does it agree with what God has already said in His Word?

question-mark-40876__3402 – Will it produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life and those around you?

question-mark-40876__3403 – Will it draw you closer to God in your relationship with Him?

 

You are looking for 3 yes answers to confirm what you have heard is from God.

If you hit a no, I would urge you to go back to God and ask again, making sure you have invited the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.

question-mark-40876__340

 

Do you know what God already has said on the subject, and does it agree with what you think you are hearing?  God will not contradict Himself.

For instance, if you know that God has said “do not steal” then you can be sure that the voice telling you to steal what you need is not from God.

solution-2480514_640So, look in the Bible.  Again, God will never tell you something contrary to what He has already said in His Word.  You can use a Concordance – a list of words used in the Bible and where they are found.  There’s one in the back of many Bibles, or online.

If you need help, a Christian friend or pastor can help you find scripture dealing with your topic. Be sure you find what the Bible says, not just what you think it says.  For instance, “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT in the Bible.   Neither is “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

If there is nothing on your topic, or you are unsure, ask God to reveal the truth of your matter to you.

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

question-mark-40876__340

 

Is the anticipated result in the situation the Fruit of the Spirit?

 

James 3:14-17 tells us the wisdom of the flesh will produce envy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil practice.  And that the wisdom from heaven is pure, peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit.

Galatians 5:19-23 also outlines what is produced.  The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.

solution-2480514_640You are looking for how it will affect your situation, the people around you, your relationships. Of course, you can’t predict the future, but you can usually be reasonably sure which way the outcome is leaning.

So, what will be produced by you following what you believe God is telling you to do?

question-mark-40876__340

 

Will it draw you closer to God asks about the condition of your heart.

 

I believe EVERYTHING we do either benefits your relationship with God, or weakens it.

solution-2480514_640Ask yourself:  Does this benefit my relationship with God?

Will it help me become more like Jesus?

If the answer is No, pray for the strength to say “No” to whatever you have heard.  It is not from God.

Philippians 4:13 God has promised “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”

If all 3 are “Yes” then commit your way to the Lord and thank Him for direction.

 

YIELD  sheet

Here’s a worksheet to get your thoughts down on paper and see how what you are hearing lines up with scripture, what it will produce, and how it will affect your relationship with God.

 

 

My concern

 

 

What I think God is telling me

 

 

What Scripture says

 

 

What will it produce

 

Will it benefit my walk with God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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”:

sound-159915_640

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.

listen-2973319_640

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?

HearGod from

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

question-mark-40876__340

 

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.

too loud

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.

question-mark-40876__340

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.

question-mark-40876__340

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.

 

 

Googling God

question-mark-40876__340

The perfect answer to all your questions

The answer to your search for direction, peace, power, purpose

A perfect “wireless” connection that is never out of service, out of range, broken, interrupted by weather conditions, satellite position, or earthly circumstances

If you are seeking directions for how to fix something or the answer to a trivia question, if you’re like my kids, you automatically go to Google.

googlelogo_color_272x92dp

We might be watching a movie and my husband says – “Isn’t she the same actress that was in…”  And I say “No honey, that was another person.”  My son immediately, in the middle of the movie, pushes pause, and picks up his phone to “google” the answer.  Issue solved.

No more discussion.  No argument.  The facts are confirmed in a few seconds.

detective-1424831__340

Don’t you wish you had access to answers for the important questions in your life? As easily as that?

Can you imagine saying “Google, who should I marry? Google, what should I be? Google, where should I live? Google, why am I here?”

jesus-and-world

Truth is, we already have a connection to the God of the Universe – who created the earth, the stars, the cosmos and everything in it.  He also created us: you and me.  And He has wisdom about you and me that He is willing to share, if we just ask.

 

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

To get Google’s answer, you have to have an internet connection and a way to receive that signal.

I believe God is speaking to us, or sending out His signal, all the time, through His Word, His Son, His Creation, and our circumstances, among other ways.  His is a constant, uninterruptible, full-strength signal.  But we need to be receiving it to hear.

God has given us, built into us, a receiver to hear Him.  It’s our spirit.  We are all made up of body, mind and spirit.  As a believer, we have the Holy Spirit within us who helps hear Him even better.  And the Holy Spirit helps us understand what we hear.

  • hurry-2119711_640Try setting aside some time daily or weekly to get alone, to just be still and listen to what God might have to say to you.

Start the conversation with a thank you or a question and then quiet yourself.  For some people it helps to be outdoors without the distractions of the house or apartment.  For others, a quiet room works.

Don’t expect to hear a physical voice, although it can happen.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you sense what God is saying.

  • Observe what is around you.  If outside, are there birds, trees, flowers, clouds, mountains, water, some piece of God’s creation that might have a message for you?  What do you see that shows you something about yourself, or about God?  If inside look at the art, the colors, the items and check any memories or feelings they evoke.

Do you need a fresh look at an area of your life or help dealing with emotions that may have surfaced?  Do you see something outside yourself that reflects some inner truth?

  • hand-453220_640Read your Bible.  Start reading and read until you hear something that resonates with something you are going through – a message of instruction, or encouragement, or a revelation about yourself or God.  A verse may stand out with a new significance or understanding than it has had before.  Or it may shine a light that gives you a new perspective.

Ask what this means.  And what it means to you.  Is there something you need to do, or stop doing with this new understanding?

  • Talk to God.  You can say anything to Him.  Whisper your fears, yell your frustrations, rage against your circumstances.  He can take it all.  Pour out your heart about what you are facing.  Ask for His perspective.  Or for clarification on an issue.

Then pause to hear His answer.  Do you need a change of attitude?  A course correction? Do you hear a word of encouragement?  Direction?  Or feel a sense of comfort?

Nature, the Bible and prayer are some of the ways God speaks.  It might also be through a church sermon, or a book, movie or podcast.  It could be through a trusted friend, a stranger or situation.  And the answer may not be immediate.  Keep listening.

What works best for you?  Is there a place?  A time of day or night?  It doesn’t always have to be the same.  God is broadcasting.  And I believe He has a message just for you.  Will you “tune in”?

Next time we’ll talk about how hearing works with our physical and spiritual ears.

 

Which bird are you?

After walking around the lake, I sat down to rest and take in the view.  I was there earlier that morning and there must have been 70-80 graceful, delicate swallows swooping over the water.  They zigged and zagged, climbed, then dove down to touch the water for a drink.  Leaving behind a ripple, they darted away and looped around again.  It was hypnotizing to watch.

avian-1280582_1280

 

I picked out a single bird to study its pattern and see if I could predict when it would take its next drink.  I could not.  Sometimes, they would dive four or five times, only to suddenly veer away from the water before coming again to refresh themselves.

 

swan-1281217_1920

 

During this jumble of helter-skelter avionics, I noticed two large, graceful swans in another part of the lake gliding slowly through the water.  They looked regal, graceful, peaceful as they moved effortlessly on top of the water.

 

The whole scene brought to mind Christians in their daily lives.  Like the swallows, so many dart around in their busy schedules, stopping only for a brief moment to refresh themselves in the Holy Spirit.  A few others appear majestic and calm like the swans.   They seem to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit. And I thought how we should all be more like swans than swallows.

But then, I saw the bird I want to imitate.  An awkward looking bird, it rode very low in the water.  Only a bit of its back was showing with a dark, gangly neck and a small head pushing through the surface.  It seemed to be moving purposefully, but then disappeared completely under the water.

double-crested-cormorant-1367266_1920I was surprised when it reappeared, a full thirty seconds later, and quite a great distance away with a fish in its mouth!  This bird had totally submersed itself and traveled through the water to reach a purposeful destination!

This is how I want to be in Christ! Not dipping in here and there for a sip. Not floating on top with my feet dangling. But totally and completely submerged for long periods of time during which I accomplish much.

And in between submersion excursions, so covered by the Holy Spirit that I am more water than bird, more Spirit than self.

God shows me things in nature to teach me about Himself, and about myself. Can you see yourself in nature? In a flower?  In a bird?

Does something you see bring a greater understanding to your own circumstance?

Ask God to speak to you through His own creation. I believe as you listen, you will Hear More From God!

Smart as trees?

tree-3286246_640

 

In Colorado, the trees are bursting forth! Some have pods opening to reveal the tiny green beginnings of what will be big beautiful leaves.

 

peach-3320387_640

 

Some have burst into blossoms in white and many shades of pink – from light pastel to deep maroon. Beauty is all around, and the signs of life reawakening.

cherry-blossoms-3317872_640

 

 

It didn’t happen two months ago, when the trees in Arizona popped out. It didn’t happen on the first day of Spring, according to the calendar. No, trees seem to have a God-ordained wisdom of the earth and time.

 

apple-2788616_640

They respond when the temperature of the earth gets warmer, and the hours of light get longer. They know when the time is right for them to bud, leaf out, blossom and produce fruit.

 

autumn-1655915_640

And they recognize when the days get shorter and the temperatures colder, to prepare for winter. That’s the time they change the color of their pigment, let go and let the wind take their leaves. And then in winter they go dormant and store up energy for the coming season of growth.

tree-3267598_640

We, on the other hand, seem to have no understanding or even awareness of the spiritual climate we live in. We try to produce fruit out of season. We try to hold on to our stuff and be showy when we should be letting go.

 

We don’t take time to draw on our resources. We often want to run ahead on our own timetable, then keep all we have forever.

tree streamWe could be listening to God’s voice as He speaks in our ear – “this is the way, walk in it”. Yet, we don’t often listen for it. Or if we hear, we don’t obey.

There will come a time, when what is not productive in God’s heavenly economy, will be uprooted and burned. All that is “fruitless” will be stripped away.

To everything, there is a season. It’s time to ask God to show you where you are – what season you are in with regard to specific issues in your life.

Ask God to prune you where things have gotten out of control, or where you are not being productive. Ask Him to speak to you about new projects, ministries, opportunities to see if it’s the right time to move forward. Let Him show you if it’s time to let go of some things. Or simply rest. And be willing to listen.

With His help, we can be as smart as trees.

new-jersey-77916_1280