2.4 God Speaks to His People

If you’ve been attending church and in fellowship regularly, mainly an evangelical Christian church, you’ll hear people say things like they felt led by the Lord, or God told me…”

Often times Christians who have not been in God’s Word regularly and don’t take the time to study the Word, or non-believers just plainly don’t know what it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ think, “how does God talk to these people?”  How do you know it’s really God speaking. Or, “Does God just come to you in some spiritual form and sit at your dining room table and say, “We should talk?”

In the scriptures below you’ll find that many ears will hear, but many will not understand.  Today’s devotion touches on how God speaks to His people, in the past and now in the present.  If you desire to learn more about how to hear from the Lord, start writing a daily devotional journal.  (Click here or see the link on the right).  You’ll be glad you did.

S – Scripture:

Hebrews 1:1 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.”

John 14:26 “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 8:47 “He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

O – Obeservation:

In today Experiencing God workbook – Blackaby reminds us that in the Old Testament God spoke in a variety of ways.  During Jesus’ time, God spoke through Jesus.  Now God speaks through the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things, will call to your memory the things Jesus said, will guide you into the truth, will speak what He hears from the Father, will tell you what is yet to come, and glorify Christ as He reveals Christ to you.”

The key words to look at here and in the Bible is that through the Holy Spirit, God will speak by:

-teaching

-recalling to your memory

-guidance in truth (His Word)

-speak, tell, glorify.

A – Application:

The main thing people say is, “How Do I Know When God Speaks?”

The four ways that God speaks is through:

The Bible, Prayer, Circumstance, Church

Writing a Devotional Journal is key in my hearing from the Lord.  I can pray, read my Bible, attend church, observe circumstances – all of which need to be done and we need to participate in, however it’s when I journal (to learn more about journaling with your devotions, click on the link about Journaling) I hear most clearly from the Lord.  Through the Word of God I learn, and when I write the SOAP method of what I learn, along with prayer – confirmation of God’s teaching is from circumstances and the Word and fellowship through the church.

Personally I notice that if I lack direction, or I feel that I haven’t heard from the Lord – it’s usually because I’ve been robbing my time with the Lord to listen to Him during devotions and I haven’t made the time to stop and wait for guidance.  When we do everything we can in “our power” – based on our education, our finances, our work, our families – sure we are being resourceful – but why do we wait until we can’t fathom anymore and we surrender to the Lord saying, “I give up, Lord help me!”  Why did we not go to Him from the very beginning?

P – Prayer:

Life would be so much easier if we remember to go to our Lord from the beginning and say, “Father, I can’t do this on my own, please help me, guide me and allow me to know your will.”

Advertisements

Make Time for God

Make time for God. Not enough time in the day? What's your relationship like when you run out of time. -Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Make time for God. Not enough time in the day? What's your relationship like when you run out of time. -Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Walking with God. Quiet time with God. In the busy-ness of life we need to make time, because we can. We make time to get up, go to work, spend time with our friends/family, go to the gym, go on vacation – yet so many of us say, “there’s just not enough time in the day to have ‘quiet time’ with God.”

S – Scripture:

Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. ~2 Corinthians 5:14 NLT

Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 2 – Day 3

O – Observation:

Paul wrote in Corinthians that the love of Christ controls us, in the NKJV it says that the ‘love of Christ compels us,’ and in the Amplified Bible it says that, ‘the love of Christ controls, and urges and impels us.’  The love of Christ strongly moves us to love.

A – Application:

In Day 3, Blackaby reminds of the story of Adam and Eve – whom God created for a love relationship with God. When they sinned, they hid from the Lord, when he asked where they were (as if he didn’t already know), God knew that there was something wrong with their relationship.

Are we hiding from God? What would happen if you didn’t talk to your kids, your spouse, your coworkers, for a whole day, let alone, week and months?  Some of you might think, ‘hey I wish I could, but they keep talking to me and no one’s listening.’

Maybe we need to relook at how we spend time with God. Are we going to Him, only when we want or need something? Is it a one-way conversation?  What is “quiet time?”

Daily we need to spend time, reading his word so that we can hear from the Lord, receive guidance, instruction, inspiration, words of wisdom.  When we pray we should start with adoration, how much we love and appreciate the Lord for all that he has done for us. We can then ask for our needs or desires, even though he knows our heart, he still wants to hear from you.  Then, we need to sit in quiet. In the still of time, I can hear the Lord most clearly.

I have found that when I have traveled to foreign countries I hear God best. It’s most likely because I don’t speak the language, although I travel with other English speakers, there’s more time to just watch, observe, and listen. God wants to speak to us – please take that time to hear him, take quiet time daily, you’ll receive the peace he speaks about and promises in scripture.

P – Prayer:

Father, I thank you for your love, your grace, your mercy. You are the true and living God. Forgive me when I rush through my devotions and don’t always take the ‘quiet’ part of my devotional time to hear you. Help me to know and do your will with a joyful heart.

You are my all and all. You are my rock and my salvation for which I shall not fear. Thank you for your blessings, for provision, for health. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 28 April 2010

© @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

2.2 Not by my will, nor strength, but in God’s strength

Excerpt: The Lord God spoke about the people of Israel, doing their own thing, worshipping other gods, not following God’s commandments; they didn’t want to have anything to do with the only true and living God. – Experiencing God – Unit 2, Day 2 S – Scripture: Psalm 81:13-14 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries.” O–Observation: In Psalm 81, The Lord God spoke about the people of Israel, doing their own thing, worshipping other gods, not following God’s commandments; they didn’t want to do have anything to do with the only true and living God.  Because of this rebellion and their refusal to repent of their evil ways, God allowed the people of Israel to suffer the consequences of their actions. God would not protect them from their enemies and blessed them; however, God allowed them to continue to NOT receive his best.

A – Application: Experiencing God workbook – pg 30 – Blackaby encourages us as Christ followers to be aware of what God is doing around us, to be obedient to His Word, to know that we cannot do the things that the Lord may be showing us to do on our own. However, we can allow God to use us and through His power and will, we can accomplish His work. By following the desire of God, we are pleasing to him. We can be assured that He will guide us and protect us and that nothing will be done that is not His will. If we choose to follow a route that is not God’s will, or try to do things on our own, the Lord will try to guide us back on track, but we have free will.

P – Prayer: Lord I pray that my will is always your will. I know that I cannot do many things; however, in you I can do all things as the scripture says. I ask that you forgive me for my sins, help me to be aware of your work around me and create opportunities for me to be involved in your work. In Jesus name, amen.

2.1 God Centered Living: focus your life on God’s purpose not your own plans

O – Observation:

Blackaby states that, “Self-centeredness is a subtle trap… Like King Asa, you can avoid it (self-centeredness) at one time and fall right into the trap at another time. God-centeredness requires a daily death of self and submission to God.”

In reading John 12:20-36 – Jesus predicts his death; he tells the analogy of a wheat kernel which must be planted in soil and dies, or it is alone. However, in its death, the kernel will produce many new kernels.  Jesus said that if a person loves their life (more than anything else does) they would lose it, as all people will eventually die. Those who do not care about their lives, (give sacrificially for others, even if they lose their earthly lives) will keep it for eternity. It’s difficult to read the two statements here and not ask yourself the question, “why?”.

In regards to Blackaby’s interpretation, we as Christ followers must die daily to our selfishness in order to be God-centered and submit to God.

A – Application:

How can I apply this to my life? I would need to start my day and seek the Lord first as it states in Matthew 6:33, I would also need to be consciously aware in my thought process of, “What would Jesus do?”  In order to be God-centered, my decisions are based on what is pleasing to the Lord. This is a challenge, surrounded by the world’s influence of “What’s in it for me?” – Life as we know it is temporary. How do we place God first and have him in the center of our lives and not be stampeded upon or used like a rug. How do we take one scripture and say, “I want to know and do God’s purpose not my own.”

Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 2 – Day 1

S – Scripture:

John 12:24-25 “24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. Nevertheless, its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. NLT

P – Prayer:

Father forgive me for my sins, help me to know and do your will. Lord may your grace fall upon me. Help me to do what is expected. Allow me eyes to see and ears to hear, the beauty and blessings you have given me. Give me strength, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do your will.  Let not the things I do be my plans, but yours.  Help me to die daily to self-centeredness and help me to be God-centered. In Jesus name, amen.

Date:  04 April 2010

©   @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

2.0 When Someone Asks About Spiritual Matters

Photo by: SiliconChaos via Flickr

2.0  Jesus Has You on Speed Dial — Why Don’t You Pick Up?
O – Observation: “No one will ask after spiritual matters unless God is at work in his life.” Blackaby, 2.0 — Is God working around you and you just don’t know? Did you ask God to use you to minister to others, yet you’re not sure if an opportunity arises, if that is really God? The scripture is plain, in John 6:44 — “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”

If that’s the case, then you should know, that God is already working in a person’s life when they come to you and ask about spiritual matters. When that person comes to you and ask about your faith, why you believe in God, why you go to church, what’s with “religion”.  Know that this is an opportunity that God has created to use you in his Kingdom Work, to share the Good News with this person.

The author of EG aka Experiencing God opens unit two with several key scriptures. It’s interesting how each time I have gone through the EG workbook I am awakened to verses that I have read many times over, yet a new revelation is revealed. That is the power of God’s word. It’s also the reason, if we had no other reading material for the rest of our lives, if we seek God first, to speak to us through his Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that lives within us; we would never need another book or news source.

The “S” or scriptures for today are three verses that explain that if anyone, even when you and I were asking, and seeking God; it wasn’t because of us or something someone else did. It was because God was drawing us to him, John 6:44 is the best all the verses, it’s plain and simple.

Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 2 : Looking to God

S – Scripture:

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” – Psalm 20:7;

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” –Romans 3:10-11;

“No one can come to me (Jesus) unless the Father who sent me draws him.” – John 6:44

A – Application:

I can apply these verses to my life by remembering that if someone around me is asking questions about the Lord; seeking the meaning of God’s creation; that is the Lord working.

We’ve already ready that we need to seek where God is working and get involved. If we question a situation in our lives and ask, “Is that really you Lord?”  The answer is simple, if someone asks you about God, your faith, why you believe what you believe, consider the answer to be, “Yes”.  God is working in that person’s life, drawing that person to him, and wants to use you to plant seeds, and possible bring that person to a personal relationship to Jesus Christ.

P – Prayer:

Father we thank you for the revelation of your word. There are signs and wonders everywhere. Yet we are only to look at the relationships in our day to day life, to look for the opportunities around us that say, “here I am send me”. God wants to use us in his work. Let us be aware of the situations around us that ask us to participate in his calling to him. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 29 March 2010

© @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved