Thoughts on Listening to God


spiritual_formation_contemplation_beholding_god

HEARING MORE IMPORTANT THAN SIGHT?

We interact with our world using our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Our sense of sight is probably where we gain most of our information about our world. All these senses are very important, but developing the sense of hearing may be more important when it comes to our relationship with God. We don’t see God, we see what God does. We touch and taste what God has made.

When it comes to hearing, we can hear the sounds of things God has made, but we can also learn to hear what God says. Not audibly, but we can know when He speaks to our heart. 

THOUGHTS ON HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD

An effective business skill is “active listening.” The skill is considered so important it is taught in many companies, at all levels of the organization. We can use similar techniques when we listen for the voice of God. The Bible gives us numerous examples. The following are some active listening techniques and their Biblical references:

1.    Set a regular time to pray.

 Mark 1:35

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 

2.    Eliminate or minimize distractions.

Prepare yourself for the conversation with God.

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 3.    Focus on the speaker.

Although we can’t have eye contact with God, we can focus on our Lord. Be still and meditate on God’s Word. Acknowledge who God is.

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 
 

Matthew 6:9

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

 4.    Respond to the speaker.

Pray as if you were having a conversation with your friend. You can tell God exactly how you feel. He knows anyway.

Matthew 26:42

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 

 5.    Keep an open mind.

We don’t know what God is going to say. Don’t anticipate the answer you want.

Jeremiah 33:3

 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

 6.    Clarify or ask questions.

The Psalms are full of questions to God. We are free to ask our Heavenly Father anything. But we must approach our God with a spirit of humility. God is God, and we are not.

Psalm 43:2-3

You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.
 

 7.    Take notes.

Journal your prayers and God’s responses. Later you will have a record of God’s communication with you and a list of answered prayers. 

Habakkuk 2:2 

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it
 

 8.    Pray and not give up.

In business, it’s important to continue to work on a project and see it through to completion. This could take months, or even years. During this time there is constant communication with coworkers, project managers, supervisors and others. Continue to pray until you hear from God.

1Thessalonians 5:17

pray continually

Luke 18:1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

 

Two way communications is critical for any lasting relationship. We should not just offer up a list of prayer requests and then be done with it. We need to sit in the presence of the Creator of the Universe and hear what He has to tell us. This takes time. He’s your best friend. Spend some time listening to Him.

May your time with the Lord be blessed.

Walk in His Light,

Julie

Advertisements

Hope and a Future


My husband and I have been discouraged lately. He was laid off 6 months ago, and is still looking for work. We pray every day for the right door to open. But we trust in God’s timing. One of my favorite promises from Scripture is this:

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Have you ever noticed that many passages of Scripture can be interpreted for several different times? Words God spoke to Moses, Joseph, Hannah, the Prophets, and the Disciples have just as much meaning to us today. That’s the power of God’s living word.

And the hope and future promised in Jeremiah 29:11 is not just for this life. It’s for our eternal life too.

God graciously gives us a glimpse of what heaven will look like in various places in Scripture.  Scripture tells us what the New Jerusalem; our future home will look like:

Revelation 21:18-21

18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[f] 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

The passage goes on to tell us about God in our future home:

Revelation 21:22-27

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We’re promised an eternity of love and living in paradise (Luke 23:43). Today’s troubles won’t even be a memory.

Walk in His Light,

Julie

God’s Coffee


coffee-mugs

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

God brews the coffee, not the cups………. Enjoy your coffee!

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Enjoying God’s Word


05_Flatbed_2 - JUNE   Original Filename: 76548479.jpg

One of my goals in January was to complete reading the entire Bible by the end of the year. I carefully selected a different version of the Bible to read this time. Studying from a different version of Scripture can breathe new meaning into a passage. This has been such a blessing as I have read over familiar passages, in a different version of Scripture.

I’m ahead of schedule. Now that I have reached Paul’s epistles, it occurs to me how much I have enjoyed reading God’s story. It’s been a blessing, and a daily conversation with my Heavenly Father. I’m already looking forward to doing it again.

Reading every part of this amazing book has been a blessing. Of course we go to the Psalms when we are sad, or want to praise our Lord, and the Proverbs for wisdom. But every single book focuses on one main theme, presented in a different way – God’s redemptive process. We all need it. And it’s a gift we can all enjoy.

You don’t have to wait for a certain date on the calendar to begin reading God’s Holy Word. He’s here to talk to you any time. Why not now?

Walk in His Light,

Julie

Non-Stop Praying


praying lady

In my last blog post, I mentioned that sometimes I become distracted while praying. I know this is not unusual, I have heard similar stories from many friends, and blog comments echoed the same thing.

So what’s the problem?

I think the answer is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. We’re told to “pray continually” (NIV). The King James Version translates it as, “Pray without ceasing.”

Now if you think about it, that makes sense.

When I get together with friends we have conversation. When we have to leave each other’s company the conversation stops. But God never leaves us. There’s no reason to stop the conversation. There’s no reason to stop praying. Ever.

Walk In His Light.

Julie

Distraction When Praying


woman-praying

 

I have a confession to make. Sometimes when I pray, my mind wanders a little. I know this is common. But thirty minutes is not too long to stay focused, and not too long of a time to give to God. But Satan does not want us to talk to God, so this is one of those times he may try to distract us.

The room I pray in has a little fountain. I have a cross and a Bible nearby. It is set to keep me focused. I keep a prayer journal and write out my prayers to help me stay focused. This is also a record of God’s answered prayer. But journaling my prayers It does not always keep me focused on God. I really have to concentrate.

Today I want to ask you a question. How do you stay focused during your prayer time?

I will respond to each comment.

Thank you, and blessings on your day.