Tag Archives: hearing God’s voice

How to Know God’s Will

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          The Old Testament is full of amazing stories that are types and shadows of our Christian life and the problems we encounter in that life. Understanding the significance of these events and what they point to in our lives today will give us the tools we need to navigate our life of faith in Christ.

          Let me throw a few thoughts out there that will help you understand some of the basics of interpreting the Bible.

  1. Many of the writings of the New Testament assume a pre-existing knowledge of the Old Testament.
  2. The Old Testament was written to spiritually dead people who had no revelation of the devil. Therefore, anything that happened, good, or bad, they thought God did it.
  3. The Old Testament Law was never meant to be kept. It was given to man to be broken so that man could see the futility of His own righteousness and expose his need for a Savior. This is why no man, except Jesus, was ever able to keep the Law. It is referred to in the New testament as “the Law of Sin and Death” (Romans 8:2) 

          Understanding these three facts will help you better understand the writings of the New Testament and give some protection from wrong theology.

          For this teaching we will focus on Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of Egypt and their journey to the Promised Land. This entire story is a type of our deliverance from the bondage of slavery to sin, and the Christian life of pursuing the New Testament promises of the Kingdom of God and our eternal reward. We are going to focus on one small part of their story which, I believe was a huge contributing factor as to why they didn’t enter the promised land. It is the story of the manna that fell from heaven.

          The children of Israel walking around in the desert for 40 years is a type of the modern day Church. It is a picture of us walking around in this broken, corrupt, and fallen world.

          While in the wilderness, God rained down manna from heaven to sustain them every day, for FOURTY years. They were required to go out daily and gather this manna that fell in the form of little pieces the size of coriander seeds. Through all the drama, through all the amazing events that happened on their journey, this was the one constant that they had to do to survive. How they dealt with this supernatural provision gives us a clue into our own spiritual lives and the importance of daily spiritual food to sustain us in our Christian walk.

Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

          God gave Israel specific instructions on how to handle this manna. This was a way for God to test His peoples faith. You could only gather as much as you could eat in one day. Any more and it would rot and produce worms. It was useless.

Exodus 16:4  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

          God provided food to sustain their physical needs and to test them. This is a type of what He has designed for us spiritually. For us to live a successful Christian life, we need daily exposure to, and intake of The Word! Jesus Christ is the Word of Life, The Bread of Life!

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

          We need this spiritual sustenance to develop and fulfill what God has purposed for us. We need it to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ. If we do not pursue relationship with Him daily through His word, fellowship through prayer, worship, etc. we become spiritually starved and try to satisfy our starving spirits with the inferior substitutes that this fallen world has to offer. Without this daily manna, we become dry clumps of clay, difficult for the potter to mold and shape into His likeness. We hinder the work of grace and quench the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

We don’t forget to give our bodies three square meals a day, so why are we feeding our spirits only one or two small snacks a week? Our spiritual health depends on a daily  diet of spiritual sustenance.

          It takes natural food to fuel your physical body. If you maintain a diet of healthy food in the right proportions, you will be physically strong, and able to move around, working and accomplishing what is needed in the life. If you only eat once or twice a week, or only eat junk food with not much nutritional value, you will begin to decline physically, become weak and be susceptible to sickness and disease.

          It also takes spiritual food to fuel your spiritual body. You need DAILY spiritual manna to insure you are strong spiritually. If neglect to feed your spirit you will become weak and susceptible to deception, confused about what God’s will is for you. discouraged and a prime target for the enemies attacks. Another mistake is to always read books about the Bible or listen to sermons about the Bible instead of reading the Bible for yourself. This can be like eating fast food in the natural. it is not healthy to live on that alone. Understand that these are just supplements to the real thing and they lack the pure spiritual nutrients to make you develop properly. You need to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you personally. There is NOTHING that can take the place of you own personal revelation of God’s word.

          If you are struggling to find God’s will, the best place to start is to fill your spirit with His written will, the Bible. I remember a certain minister telling me a story about asking God to speak to Him. He saw other Christians having these great experiences of God speaking to them personally and giving them direction concerning His will for their life. He was seeking God’s will about some big life decisions and just couldn’t get clear on what God’s will was. So set apart some time to pray about by himself. He said he fell across his bed and wailed and cried for about 45  minutes for God to speak to him about these things he was confused about. He finally ran out of steam and became quiet and the Lord DID speak to him! The lord said, “You don’t know what I have already said to you. I have said many things to you already in MY WORD. Find out what I have already said and if I need to say something else, I will.”

          That should be a revelation to a lot of folks. Open the Bible and find out What God has already said to you. God has a lot to say and he has written it down for us so we can read it and re-read it at our convenience. There is no excuse for us being ignorant of His will for us.

          Many places in the Bible we are shown the importance of daily keeping His Word before us. Here are just a few.

Joshua 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

2 Timothy3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Proverbs 4:20-23 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

John 15:7  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 

          We must understand that the Bible is God talking to us. We can’t take that for granted! If we really believe in God, the creator of the universe, the one who actually made us, and He has some things to say, shouldn’t we put forth the effort to find out what He said?

          His words are Spirit and they are Life. They are needed daily for our spiritual health and development. The Lord feeding the children of Israel with manna is a type of what we should be walking in today. We must put forth DAILY effort to ensure our spiritual health and growth. 

          I have encountered many people over the years asking the same question, “why doesn’t God speak to me?” The answer is obvious to those who are a student of the Bible. God has already said many things in His word. Find out what He has already said and He will surely begin to speak to you further. God wants relationship with you. He is serious about it. When you begin to take it serious a whole new world of light and revelation begins.

           God’s word is His will. If you are not sure what the will of God is for your life, you will find it by a daily pursuit of Him through reading and studying the Bible, worshipping from your heart when no one is looking, and giving yourself to having a hearing and receptive heart. This is what being a true disciple looks like. God’s word prepares your heart to receive His life and nature. It gives you direction and illuminates His will and plan for your life.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feetAnd a light to my path.

          God’s word is a treasure of riches just waiting to be discovered. I love how Job says it:

Job 23:12  I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

          Look at the language, “… treasured the words of His mouth…”  Every day should be a new treasure hunt. The value that you place on God’s Word is evident by the time you are willing to spend on it. The value that you place on your relationship with Him is evident by how much you invest yourself in the relationship. The greatest investments you can make in this life are the attention that you give to His Word and your relationship with Him.

          When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, a part of that prayer was “give us this day our daily bread.” Have you asked for your bread today? Have you found your treasure today? …Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find. (Matthew7:7-8)

          A great way to read the Bible, get daily devotionals, and study the word of God is BibleGateway.com  This online resource makes it convenient and fun to explore God’s word in any translation you prefer. All Bible links to this site are from BibleGateway and I use it on virtually every blog post on this site. There is a wealth of study tools dictionaries, and commentary that will feed you spiritually and encourage you in your walk with God. BibleGateway also has a convenient phone app and a Scripture Engagement section that is a fun, interactive approach to learning the Bible.

JC

~ Developing Our Spiritual Ears ~

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John 10:27 ~ My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they
follow Me.

One of the greatest days of my life was when I discovered that God speaks to His people personally. I thought I had “arrived” at that point, because I had already made up my mind to do what God said. Unfortunately, I found that when you learn to hear God’s voice you then become a genuine threat to the Devil and he goes to work on you to disrupt and confuse the hearing process.
Before we dive into some of the things I have learned to fight this attack on our spiritual hearing, I want to share a brief testimony on when and how I discovered that God speaks to His people. This is important, because before you learn to hear from God, you must first be absolutely convinced that He will talk to you.

The Day I Heard God

It was November 1988 and I had been saved about two weeks. I had almost no interaction with other Christians for those two weeks because after I was saved, I left town on a job. During those two weeks I had read a paperback New Testament at night in the hotel room where I was staying. It was the only Bible I had ever been exposed to and I was reading it like a starving man.
When I returned home I sought out the people who had prayed the prayer of salvation with me and I had a million questions. I wanted to know more about this wonderful thing that happened to me called salvation. I was dramatically changed and delivered from a 4 year meth addiction. it was a radical conversion.
They invited me to a bible study that night and when I showed up, the house was full of people who were engaged in this discussion about how God had spoken to this one individual a few days ago. As I listened skeptically, one by one they all related stories of how God had spoken to them. I thought they were ALL NUTS!
My Idea of God was somewhat shaken by all this conversation and I wanted some answers. I had to know if this was real or just a bunch of weirdoes that went off the deep end, so I politely asked, “what exactly do you mean by God spoke to me?”
A woman named Diane explained to me that God does speak in our hearts, and that we can learn to hear His voice. She went on to add that every night for one whole year she would lay in bed at night and pray, “God, you are my Father and I am your child, and I should know my Father’s voice, so I am asking you to speak to me.”
Many more words were said and a lot of instruction was given, but what she said stuck with me and I could not get it out of my mind. To help me in my new faith, the group gave me a brand new Amplified bible. I was so excited! I had never seen the Old Testament before and was looking forward to exploring it.
On the long drive home I was wrestling with all this new information about how God speaks to people and I just couldn’t bring myself to accept it without experiencing it myself. So when I got home, I went to the bedroom, dropped my new bible on the floor next to the bed, kicked off my cloths and laid down staring at the ceiling.
While laying there in the dark, I decided to put this woman’s method to the test. So I prayed, “God if you really do speak to people I have to know it for myself. So I am going to lay here until You talk to me if I have to lay here until daylight.” I was dead serious!
I was not prepared for what happened. Immediately I heard this strong voice inside me say “Samuel 3.” I sat up on the edge of the bed and turned on the light trembling. I can’t explain exactly how I felt. I was a little shaken, a little scared, but I knew one thing for sure, that did not come from me because I did not know what “Samuel 3” meant.
As I was sitting there on the edge of my bed, wondering if that was God that spoke or just my overactive imagination, I looked down on the floor between my feet and saw the new Bible. At that point in my life, I had never read one word in the Old Testament, but I picked it up and turned to the table of contents thinking this might be a scripture. When I saw the books of first and second Samuel, I was completely shocked! I felt like my heart was about to pound right out of my chest. I asked the Lord, “which one?” and that same voice came again, only this time it was not a strong inward voice, but a still small voice, and it said, “First Samuel 3,”
You may know the story. The prophet Samuel was just a boy. He was laying in his bed one night, (just like me) and the Lord came and spoke to him (just like me). The boy ran in to the priest because he thought the priest had called him. You see, Samuel did not know God’s voice either (just like me). This happened to Samuel three times until Eli the priest had to tell Samuel that the Lord was talking. God brought me to a place in the bible that I was experiencing at that very moment! He affirmed that He was my Father and that He wanted to speak to me!
It was at that point that I stepped over the line from believing that God is real, to absolutely KNOWING that God is real, alive, and speaks to His people. I was on top of the world! The creator of the universe had just spoken to me in such a personal way that even my pea brain couldn’t get confused about it.
For weeks I was in this euphoric place where I was constantly talking to, and listening to God. He was fathering me, and I was doing my best to be a good son. Then I realized that it was getting increasingly harder to discern God’s voice. I blamed it on not praying enough, not reading enough bible, sin, etc. and this is where most Christians miss it. Like me, they believe all of that garbage and fall into the enemy’s trap of deception and confusion. In this lesson we will look at some things that impede our ability to hear clearly from God.

The Frequency of God

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When you tune in to a radio station you have to adjust the dial to a specific frequency on your radio if you want to have a clear reception. If the frequency is off by just a little bit, the reception becomes distorted with static and hard to hear. God has His own frequency that allows you to hear a clear, strong reception. That frequency is PEACE.
Your heart is the radio, but that radio has to be tuned in to the right frequency to pick up the reception. If you drive your car to the radio station and park it so the bumper is touching the radio tower, you still won’t pick up a reception unless you tune the radio in to the proper channel.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you go to church and park your keister in a pew twice a week that you are going to be tuned in to hearing God’s voice. Your heart must be “tuned” to hear God’s voice.

1 Kings 19:11-13 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

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God was showing Elijah a very important principle that was recorded for posterity. When enemies and circumstances are pressing us and seem to have the loudest voice, He can always be found in stillness.
It doesn’t take long to go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, but as Christians we are called to shine through it all. The enemy knows that if he can cause enough static he can keep us from being clear on God’s plan for our life. The more he can disrupt and interfere with the communication between us and God the less successful we will be in fulfilling our created purpose. That is what Satan is after, your purpose.
Your created purpose is son-ship. In the Garden of Eden, Peace with God was lost, and therefore the father/child relationship was broken. Jesus restored Peace, and through Him we now have the Father/ son relationship restored. When we begin to walk in the fullness of our son-ship the enemy is rendered powerless. This relationship between you and God is ALWAYS Satan’s main target. If he can keep you from being Fathered, he can keep you from becoming like your Father.

Many Voices

When trying to hear from God, we must be able to filter through all the other voices that are speaking to us. If you have ever been in a crowd of people where everyone is trying to talk to you at once, you know that it is very difficult pick out and hear just one voice. That is when you raise your hands and yell “ONE AT A TIME PLEASE!” Often we need to do that spiritually. We take one voice at a time, one thought at a time, and bring it into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Cutting through all the thoughts, bad reports, symptoms, and strongholds of wrong thinking is the spiritual battle that we are engaged in. This never stops. The enemy, our carnal nature, memories of bad experiences, and just life in general are constantly speaking to us. We must learn to find that quiet peaceful place in the presence of God that His voice can be clearly distinguished above all the clamor.

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Worship is the best way to make this happen. I’m not talking about your worship service at church once or twice a week, although that is important. I’m talking about you, all alone in your bedroom, when no one else is looking, worshiping God from your heart. Desiring Him enough to spend time with Him alone, telling Him how much you love and appreciate Him. Pouring out your heart and being open and vulnerable. No effort you make toward God will ever go unrewarded. If you draw close to Him, He will draw close to you.

James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Christians tend to focus too much on resisting the Devil. Constantly praying about the devil, binding, loosing, rebuking. Don’t spend time resisting the devil, spend time submitting to God. This is the best, and only way, to resist the devil. By submitting to God, you have automatically resisted the devil. You now fight in His strength and not yours. You acknowledge that Satan is a defeated foe, that the victory has already been won. Now take your stand and enforce the victory by submitting to your Father.

STOP FIGHTING A FIGHT THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WON FOR YOU!

Willingness to Obey

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One of the biggest thing that prevents people from hearing from God is unwillingness to obey what He says. If you ask God for something and you are not willing to hear a “no,” He may not even talk to you about it because He knows your mind is already made up.
There is a popular teaching that’s been around for years called “The five love languages.” It teaches you to identify and recognize your spouses needs so that you can better meet those needs and prevent tension and strife in your relationship. Well, God has a love language, and that love language is obedience.

John 14:16 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
These three passages are from one chapter in the Bible. Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for a life in the Spirit. He is giving clear instructions about how our love for God is to be expressed. He is also teaching them that this is the key to having God manifest in your life.

Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land.
Willingness and obedience are a cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is the number one way to express love for your Father. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. It is THE New Testament commandment. (Mark 12:30) It is THIS love that makes your faith work.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Read more about how to develop your spiritual ears Here

~ How To Develop Our Spiritual Ears ~

          The Lord asked me recently, “How does faith come?” I immediately said “faith comes by hearing Lord.”  (quoting Romans 10:17). The Lord then asked: “How does hearing come?”  I must admit, I didn’t have a quick answer for Him, but I was reminded of all the scriptures that state: “he who has ears to hear let him hear,” and many other scriptures that said, “They had eyes that see and could not see, they had ears but could not hear.”

          I began to see why people who have the “appearance” of faith and declare that Jesus is their Lord are having great difficulty in their Christian walk,  They don’t have a hearing ear … so faith never comes.

          The common teaching is that faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing etc. And there is some truth to that line of thought. The thing that has not been taught is that there are different ways to hear and there is a difference between natural hearing and spiritual hearing.

 Romans 10:17 ~ So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Let me give you a more accurate translation of the verse to make it clear.

ROM 10:17 (paraphrase) ~ So then faith comes by what you hear, and your hearing comes from the Word of God that you act upon.

          Just because you have ears does not mean you are capable of hearing the Word. Your spiritual ears, your heart, can only be opened by the obedience to the word of God. That word will come from the written Word as well as the spoken Word by the Holy Spirit that dwells in you as a believer.  

ONLY THE WORD THAT WE ACT ON WILL DEVELOP OUR SPIRITUAL EARS.

OBEDIENCE OPENS OUR SPIRITUAL EARS TO HEAR MORE INSTRUCTION.

Throughout the bible, it is the disobedient and rebellious people who “had ears but could not hear.”

Deuteronomy 29:4 ~ Yet the LORD hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

Jeremiah 5:21 ~ Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

Ezekiel 12:2 ~ Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.

 “Spiritual hearing” comes from the word of God that we act on. If we are in a place where we feel we cannot hear God’s voice, we should humble ourselves before Him and ask Him where we have been rebellious and disobedient. He will answer.

There are VAST realms of understanding and revelation that we will never acquire if we are not doers of the word. If we do not act on what we have heard, the Bible says we are deceiving ourselves. If we hear the word and do nothing about it, we become spiritually deaf. 

James 1:22 ~ But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Once we obey the Word of God, a wonderful cycle begins. Acting on the word gives life to our faith and develops our ability to hear from the Lord, which in turn opens us up to hear more, which gives us more opportunity to act on what we hear, which gives life to our faith ….  And the cycle goes on.  It is called spiritual growth.

If the Word of God is sown in our heart and we refuse to act on it (rebellion), the devil has the right to come steal it from us. This is the condition that we see in the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:19 ~ When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.

There are too many “way side” Christians in the Church today. The spiritual condition of the Church as a whole is poor, in part because of the inability to hear what the Lord is saying to this generation.

Matthew 13:9-13 ~ He who has ears, let him hear.” 10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

When Jesus called the twelve He said to them: “Come.” They acted on that word and continued to follow Him. Because they acted on the word, THEY HAD EARS TO HEAR MORE. Lets look at the rest of this passage.

Matthew 13:14-15 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Lack of spiritual hearing is a heart problem, cause by unbelief. Unbelief can be manifest in many ways. By rebellion, disobedience, lack of understanding, spiritual laziness, pride, or selfish desires. No matter what form it takes, obedience is the cure.

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

God has already spoken many things to us in His written word. Why would He be inclined to say anything else if we are not interested in what He already said? Find out what God has already spoken and act on THAT. This will give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC