Archive for May, 2012

I Love You

One thing you can be sure God is always saying is that He loves you. There is nothing more consistent than His love for you. There is nothing deeper than His love for you. And He has no higher purpose than loving you. Too often you think of yourself as a tiny cog in the grand scheme of God’s mysterious plan. Loving you is God’s plan. It has been from the very start. You were not an after thought on day six. You were the reason for everything He created on days one through five.

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Hearing God’s voice should never be an excuse to put ourselves between He and someone else. We should also never allow people to put us there. The intimate, one of a kind relationship God wants with us is also what He wants with everyone so why would we want to hinder that by getting in the way. We are called to encourage others towards Him. If we are given a Word for someone we need to be extremely careful in how we present it and ask them to seek Him in order to hear it for themselves.

One point of clarification, the “Word” we are talking about is a specific thought or action relating to a unique situation in someone’s life. This is not the same as Biblical wisdom that is always applicable. It’s always okay for us to share from The Word.

Having a Word from God confirmed is important especially when it’s a big one, something that affects the lives of others. He is more than happy to let you know for sure. I really like it when he stacks up five or six different things that all point in the same direction so coincidence can be removed. As we’ve said before, The Bible is a great place to seek confirmation. Having trusted friends seek Him on an issue with you is significant too.

Not everything needs to be confirmed before acting. Sometimes unfortunately confirmation comes after ignoring what you heard. I wish I had fewer examples come to mind right here, you may have one too.

Now maybe we’re hearing from God so the next thing to keep in mind is to always check ourselves. That list from Galatians that we mentioned a few days ago? Well, we need to make sure that’s who we are too. A Word from God will never be self-serving. We should examine our motives all the time. We should ask ourselves questions like: “Am I just hearing what I want to hear? Is this what’s best for everyone or just me? Is that really you God? Questions are always good. God loves them.

There are those times in our lives when God does speak loudly. We may have an epiphany or revelation about something that feels like we’ve been hit over the head. Something might dawn on us that’s like the clouds opening up and the Sun rushing in. When these happen it’s glorious and I’m so thankful but more often than not when the trumpets stop blaring we’re able to see how God had been whispering to prepare us for a long time, His timing is always perfect.

Another small aspect of Hearing from God is that He is concerned about little stuff in our lives. We can develop a familiarity and hear Him speak in the midst of our day to day activities. I could tell you many stories of God speaking about the tiniest of things. I wish there were more of them that I had actually listened to but that’s how we develop trust for the next time or the time after that

Often we don’t recognize God’s voice because we are listening for thunder instead of a whisper. There are times when God speaks loudly but most often He speaks in whispers. He wants us to slow down, make time to connect intimately and seek Him. We are to become good listeners. Too often our time with Him is spent talking and not listening. We have our agenda or our idea of what prayer is supposed to sound like (don’t get me started on that…) and we talk right over Him.

I hope we’ve been able to put some of the doubt about hearing from God behind us. If this is new to you, here’s an idea on how to start. Set some time aside and find a quiet place to be alone with God. Thank Him for loving you and ask Him to join you right here, right now. Call on Jesus. Open your heart to whatever He may want and put aside any agenda you might have. Ask Him to remind you of a scripture. Find that specific verse and then memorize it. Pray for God to show you who to share this verse with. In the next few days you’ll see God present you with an opportunity.

 

I’ve suggested this exercise here before and have heard some great stories that came of it. If we will meet Him and be faithful in the little things we’ll see Him do the amazing. The results of this exercise will be having heard from God, knowing that He heard you and building trust and intimacy. As we’ve said before, there’s nothing better.

Because of man’s selfish nature we should always examine those that are claiming to have a Word from God. This might seem like a difficult task but it’s not as hard as you think. God has given us The Bible for the purpose of checking out what people say. Some of you are thinking, “Hasn’t the Bible been misused by people too?” That’s for sure. However, in the book of Galatians we are given a checklist that is hard to fake. We’re told in Chapter Five that rather than focusing solely on what folks say, we are to look closely at who they are. You see a person that’s intimate with God, that’s led by the Holy Spirit and that knows Jesus is filled with: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. Whatever is presented as a word from God should be backed up by this list not only in the life of the speaker buy also in how it’s communicated.

If you have reservations about hearing from God as a result of other’s overuse of “God told me” or for any other reason for that matter, please don’t dismiss the possibility because of someone’s attempts at manipulation. God has been misquoted since the Garden of Eden. There will always be people that use Him and His Word to get their own way. Don’t let them discourage you from seeking to hear His voice. There’s nothing better. His love for you would not be complete if there wasn’t two-way interaction. So don’t quit, He has much to tell you.