Tag: hearing God

May 14 Help me choose obedience

obedience-to-god-3-638Dear Father, let me learn the lesson of Saul from this passage of scripture.  Let me remember that to obey is better than sacrifice.

Father, what You want is obedience: meaning I put what You tell me above all else.

I hold true to Your Word no matter what other people think or say.

I do not bow to peer pressure.  I do not change what You have sent me to do because I am afraid.

Saul weakened in the face of the opinion and pressure of the people, and did not obey completely.  He even reasoned a way to convince himself he had indeed obeyed.  But the prophet Samuel saw the truth of it and confronted him.

Saul’s disobedience cost him the leadership of Israel.  He would soon be replaced as king.

I need to remember that it is not how often I pray, or whether I make monetary donations to ministries, or give my time in mission work.  The question is whether I have done what You have told me, specifically me, to do.

Help me hear You clearly, Lord.

And empower me to be strong enough to follow through completely.

Father, give me whatever I need, so I can stand in the end, and say I was truly obedient.  Amen

I Samuel 15:1-35

April 26 Hearing God’s Voice

Father, thank You for the example of Gideon.  On two occasions Gideon asked for a sign before moving forward. What a great illustration to show me it’s ok to ask You for confirmation that I am indeed hearing from You.

 

There are times when I am sure I hear You and understand what I am to do.

But other times when, due to fear or reluctance on my part, I second guess myself and come up with reasons why I might have misunderstood You. So I am glad to know it is all right to ask for that reassurance.

I desire to follow in Gideon’s footsteps.

His first confirmation:  The offering he brought was consumed by fire.

His first obedience: Upon receiving absolute proof he was hearing from You, Gideon tore down the altar to Baal and the Asherah pole and built an altar acknowledging You as The One True God. Even though he did this fearfully, You protected and blessed him.   

His second confirmation: A wet fleece on dry ground, followed by the dry fleece on wet ground.

His second obedience:  Gideon followed through with Your plan to save Israel.

Gideon used a good example of something that would be unlikely if not impossible to happen naturally. I too, need to be sure I’m not asking for a sign that will simply support my own desire; like, “Lord, if the sun comes up tomorrow I will know You mean…”

How do I verify I am hearing from You?

Asking You to combust food or wet a fleece like Gideon may not the best route to go these days, although not beyond Your ability.  And You have left Your written Word as a guide for me.  So, I have learned to ask three questions:

1 – Does what I hear agree with Scripture?  The answer must be “yes.”  I believe You will never tell me anything that contradicts what You have already told me in Your Word. Consequently, I must be familiar with Your Word.

2 – What will the result, or the fruit of the act be?  It should lead to and produce the fruit of the Spirit; which is peace, patience, love, joy, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control.   The acts of the flesh are immorality, idolatry, impurity, debauchery, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, envy, and the like.  So I can look at the expected result and see where I am headed.

3 – Will it benefit my relationship with You, Lord?  Everything I do will either draw me closer to You or pull me farther away in our relationship.

So I can ask the three questions.  But if confusion still exists, it is good to know that I can come to You with whatever concern I have and know that You will answer me so I can be sure of Your direction.

Thank You that You let me hear Your voice.

Give me the courage to be like Gideon and act on what You have told me.  Amen

Judges 6:11-40; Galatians 5:17-23

Jan 16 Are you a wrestler?

Dear Father, it seems I am a wrestler.

wrestlers

Jacob wrestled with You one night. He held on till daybreak, and You blessed him. In Your blessing, he became part of the promise You gave to Abram: to make him father of a great nation, make his name great, and bless all the earth through him.

For Jacob (renamed Israel) was Abram’s (renamed Abraham’s) grandson. And down through their lineage, You came as Jesus Christ, Messiah and Savior, blessing all the world.

My wrestling is not so productive as Jacob’s.

With simple things: decisions, relationships, or issues which may be meaningless in the grand scheme of things; I spend time and waste energy grappling with whether or not I made a good decision. I review the options, second guessing myself, wondering and worrying about how other choices would have played out. There is no winning there, and no blessing in that.

So Father, help me seek Your godly wisdom in my decisions. Help me bring every choice to You and ask for Your perspective. You tell believers to ask when we need wisdom, and You will give it to us.

Show me how to hear Your voice of truth and then have peace about the decision when made, without revisiting it over and over.

Rather than continue to wrestle with relationships, Lord, I give them to You. Show me how to spend my time and energy, and who to spend it with. Beginnings and endings are hard for me, and I know sometimes You bring a person into my life for a season. But I struggle when that season is over, to know how to let go.

Most of my life I was the one who literally left, moved to a different place. I never really learned how to move on from being close to someone. How do I say good bye when there is no geographical separation? But hanging on too long isn’t working out either.

Move me into and out of the relationships You want me to have, so that I can give and receive the blessings You intended for each of us.

I also wrestle with issues in my life when I have had a single viewpoint. Some are things I learned as a child and accepted without question. Now I have grown and learned that things are not as absolute as I once believed. And even though these beliefs are holding me back and potentially harming me, it’s hard to let go.

Help me have discernment when it comes to examining issues that affect my life, my behavior, even my sense of identity.

Father, as I wrestle with all these things, let me take hold of and cling to only You.

Pry my fingers off of the things that are not important. And bless me as I cling forever to You. Amen

Genesis 32:22-30

Jan 3 Make me like Noah

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Lord God Almighty, help me be more like Noah. Let me hear Your voice like Noah did: in a way that I understand who You are and what You are telling me to do. And help me respond as Noah did, in complete obedience, doing all that You command.

Father, I know it is only by Your great mercy, and Your steadfastness in holding to Your promise to Noah and the animals, that You do not destroy the earth again by flood.

Surely there is as just much, if not more evil and corruption now in my time, as there was then.

When You see the earth once again full of violence, are You saddened and grieved to see how people treat You, Your earth and each other? You have the power to wipe man and beast from the face of the earth again. I am in awe of Your restraint, and grateful You do not.

Show us all Lord, how to draw away from the violent, corrupt, evil influences of the earth and our flesh. Let us see where in our circumstances we are not listening to Your voice or receiving Your instruction. There will be temptations. Even You, when You walked the earth, were tempted. You went into the wilderness where needs became great, yet were not overcome by the devil’s temptings.

We also are tempted: by our own appetites, our desire for fame and for power. Yet You have promised that You will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear – because of Your faithfulness. You will show us a way of escape.

Give us the strength to overcome temptation and take the way of escape. Help us make righteous choices when tempted. Help us remember that when we submit to You, and resist the devil, then he will flee. Let us remember that we are Your children, Your sons, Your daughters; and find strength in that relationship.

Father, I desire to worship and serve only You. Strengthen me to withstand temptation. And send Your angels to come and attend when I am weak and in need. Thank You. Amen

Genesis 6:1-7:24Matthew 4:1-11

Jan 3 Make me like Noah

006-noah-ark

Lord God Almighty, help me be more like Noah. Let me hear Your voice like Noah did: in a way that I understand who You are and what You are telling me to do. And help me respond as Noah did, in complete obedience, doing all that You command.

Father, I know it is only by Your great mercy, and Your steadfastness in holding to Your promise to Noah and the animals, that You do not destroy the earth again by flood.

Surely there is as just much, if not more evil and corruption now in my time, as there was then.

When You see the earth once again full of violence, are You saddened and grieved to see how people treat You, Your earth and each other? You have the power to wipe man and beast from the face of the earth again. I am in awe of Your restraint, and grateful You do not.

Show us all Lord, how to draw away from the violent, corrupt, evil influences of the earth and our flesh. Let us see where in our circumstances we are not listening to Your voice or receiving Your instruction. There will be temptations. Even You, when You walked the earth, were tempted. You went into the wilderness where needs became great, yet were not overcome by the devil’s temptings.

We also are tempted: by our own appetites, our desire for fame and for power. Yet You have promised that You will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear – because of Your faithfulness. You will show us a way of escape.

Give us the strength to overcome temptation and take the way of escape. Help us make righteous choices when tempted. Help us remember that when we submit to You, and resist the devil, then he will flee. Let us remember that we are Your children, Your sons, Your daughters; and find strength in that relationship.

Father, I desire to worship and serve only You. Strengthen me to withstand temptation. And send Your angels to come and attend when I am weak and in need. Thank You. Amen

Genesis 6:1-7:24; Matthew 4:1-11

Jun 19 Your Word, Your Spirit, Your Voice

God's Word 3Precept??Father, how amazing that You sent Your Word through prophets to the kings of Israel to give them direction, instruction, correction, even advice on successful battle plans!  You sent specific word to Ahab to determine that he should fight against the thirty-three kings and their armies and chariots assembled.  You told him who should lead the attack, when, and who would win.

I often wish there were such easily discernable ways I could hear from You.  If only You would send me an email, or write across the sky to inform me about decisions or concerns I face.

And then I realize – You have written me a letter – It’s Your Holy Word!

If I take the time to read it, often, things become clear.  If I had never read the Bible, I wouldn’t know that in it, You have already included instructions for godly, moral living.

You have already made Yourself very clear on many topics that relate to me today.  Instead of hearing of and memorizing only scattered verses, I need to feed myself, and know the entirety of what You have to say to me.

So, reading Your word is a start.  Studying it for a deeper understanding is also important.  Then connecting the dots to how what You have said impacts my life, is crucial.

Some Bible study methods have big words for this: observation, interpretation, application.  Very simply, it is asking: What are You saying?  What does it mean?  What does it mean to me?

So big part of the burden to hear from You is on me to listen to what You have already said.

But to help me even more, You have given me, and every believer, the Holy Spirit.

Part of the Holy Spirit’s job is to help me understand, apply, and live by what Your Word says to me.  I need to pay attention to what it is telling me, and be obedient, not ignore, discard, or drown out what I hear.

Thank You that I can hear from You just as specifically as those who heard the prophets speak.  You have given me so much more to help me in knowing You and understanding You.

Thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for the Holy Spirit.

Help me make reading and studying Your Word a priority for my time and energy.  And do not let me quench the Holy Spirit.

And thank You that I can even talk to You personally in prayer.  And know that You hear me.  And trust that You’ll answer.  What an awesome God!  Amen

I Kings 20:1-22

Apr 26 Hearing God’s Voice

Father, thank You for the example of Gideon.  What a great illustration to show me it’s ok to ask You for confirmation that I am indeed hearing from You.  It’s important to be sure before taking action.

There are times when I am sure I hear You and understand what I am to do.

But other times when, probably due to fear or reluctance on my part, I second guess myself and come up with lots of reasons why I might have misunderstood You.   I need to be reassured.  So I am glad to know it is all right to ask for that reassurance.

I desire to follow in Gideon’s footsteps, Lord. First, it’s important for me to know who I am hearing from.  He asked for confirmation and received absolute proof he was hearing from You.  Upon realizing it was truly You, he built an altar that acknowledged You as The One True God.

Then, he was obedient in Your instructions to remove the worship of other gods, tearing down the false altar and Asherah pole.  And even though he did this fearfully, You protected and blessed him.

As he followed through with Your plan, he asked for clear validation.  Gideon used a good example of something that would be unlikely if not impossible to have happened naturally.   So I too, need to be sure I’m not asking for a sign that will simply support my own desire; like, “Lord, if the sun comes up tomorrow I will know You mean…”

How do I verify I am hearing from You?  Asking You to combust food like Gideon did, is probably not the best route to go these days, although not beyond Your ability.  And You have left Your written Word as a guide for me.  So I have learned to ask three questions:

1 – Does what I hear agree with Scripture?  The answer must be “yes.”  I believe You will never tell me anything that contradicts what You have already told me in Your Word. So I must be familiar with Your Word.

2 – What will the result, or the fruit of the act be?  It should lead to and produce the fruit of the Spirit; which is peace, patience, love, joy, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control.   The acts of the flesh are immorality, idolatry, impurity, debauchery, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, envy, and the like.  So I can look at the expected result and see where I am headed.

3 – Will it benefit my relationship with You, Lord?  Everything I do will either draw me closer to You or pull me farther away in our relationship.

So I can ask the three questions.  But if confusion still exists, it is good to know that I can come to You with whatever concern I have.  And know that You will answer me so I can be sure of Your direction.

Thank You that You let me hear Your voice.  And help me confirm it.  Amen

Judges 6:11-40; Galatians 5:17-23

Jan 23 What a ride! Here I am

fun-937105_640

O Lord, I think of all You allowed Jacob (renamed Israel) to go through, and I wonder how difficult his life must have been. He was a twin, compared from birth to a brother who was very different from him.

His father chose a favorite son, not him. His mother schemed for him to receive his father’s blessing, resulting in his exile from home to a place far away.

He worked happily for seven years to earn a bride, but was deceived on his wedding night with a different woman. He worked another seven years and still had nothing to call his own.

Then, things started coming together. He gains large flocks, gets away from his manipulative father-in-law, reconciles with his brother, returns to his father, has many children, including two sons by his beloved wife Rachel. But then she dies in childbirth. And later, her older son is taken from him, presumed dead. His life falls apart again. Talk about ups and downs!

My life has had its ups and downs. There have been times of delirious joy as well as disappointment and sorrow. I feel sometimes as if I am barely able to get up for a new day. And I have Your Holy Spirit in me from whom I can draw strength! I have scriptures I can read to be encouraged. I have praise music I can play or sit at the piano and sing.

How did Jacob do it? How did Israel get through one more day of grieving his beloved wife Rachel, missing his son Joseph; managing his large family with misbehaving sons Simeon, Reuben, Judah and Levi; all in a day and time of famine, with hunger and need all around him?

Yet when You called him in a time of famine, to relocate to a foreign land, he still didn’t give up. Whatever You had in store for him, he simply answered “Here I am”.

O God, help me be that resilient.

Help me get through dark times and be ready to say “Here I am” when You call. Help me hear Your voice above whatever else is going on in my life. Tune my ears so I will hear You and recognize Your call.

Lord, let me hear clearly, and be obedient to all You reveal to me. Open my ears to the message of Your words that bring personal meaning and conviction to my life.

Prune away any misunderstanding I have been living by. Cut away the dead and unproductive parts. Revive me and make me fruitful again. I long to honor and glorify You.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

How can I do any less?

Genesis 46:2 (and Jacob’s life); Psalm 19:1

Apr 26 Hearing God’s Voice

Father, thank You for the example of Gideon. What a great illustration to show me it’s ok to ask You for confirmation that I am indeed hearing from You. It’s important to be sure before taking action.

There are times when I am sure I hear You and understand what I am to do. But other times when, probably due to fear or reluctance on my part, I second guess myself and come up with lots of reasons why I might have misunderstood You.   I need to be reassured. So I am glad to know it is all right to ask for that reassurance.

I desire to follow in Gideon’s footsteps, Lord. First it’s important for me to know who I am hearing from. He asked for confirmation and received absolute proof he was hearing from You.

Upon realizing it was truly You, he built an altar that acknowledged You as The One True God. Then, he was obedient in Your instructions to remove the worship of other gods, tearing down the false altar and Asherah pole. And even though he did this cautiously, You protected him and blessed him.

As he followed through with Your plan, he asked for clear validation. Gideon used a good example of something that would be unlikely if not impossible to have happened naturally.   So I too, need to be sure I’m not asking for a sign that will simply support my own desire; like, ‘Lord, if the sun comes up tomorrow I will know You mean…’

How do I verify I am hearing from You? Asking You to combust food like Gideon did, is probably not the best route to go these days, although not beyond Your ability. And You have left Your written Word as a guide for me. So I have learned to ask three questions:

1 – Does what I hear agree with Scripture? The answer must be “yes.” I believe You will never tell me anything that contradicts what You have already told me in Your Word. So I must be familiar with Your Word.

2 – What will the result, or the fruit of the act be? It should lead to and produce the fruit of the Spirit; which is peace, patience, love, joy, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control. The acts of the flesh are immorality, idolatry, impurity, debauchery, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, envy, and the like. So I can look at the expected result and see where I am headed.

3 – Will it benefit my relationship with You, Lord? Everything I do will either draw me closer to You or pull me farther away in our relationship.

So I can ask the three questions. But if confusion still exists, it is good to know that I can come to You with whatever concern I have. And that You will answer me so I can be sure of Your direction. Thank You. Amen

Judges 6:11-40; Galatians 5:17-23

Feb 23 Time for God?

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“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done…Jesus said ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”

 

 

 Father, what a wonderful thing for all of us to do. How long has it been since I came and reported, told You about all I have been doing? And when was the last time I came away by myself with just You to a quiet place and got some rest? I so greatly benefit from spending time with just You – in a place where the world doesn’t burst in interrupting with urgent texts, emails, phone calls. Where everywhere I look I don’t see something to clean or organize or jump up and take care of.

I believe this is important: spending quiet, focused time with You. In a time when multi-tasking has been raised to an art form, and busy-ness is worshipped, You have a message here that stops me in my tracks. Help me make uninterrupted, intentional time with You a priority.

I have been on silent retreats before, just alone with You in a place that values exactly that. It is so important to get away from the routine and distractions that eat away at my time and sap my energy. It was wonderful to give You the first time in my day, and the last, and every minute in between. On some occasions You have shown me a new direction or a specific answer to prayer, or a revelation of Your hand in my life. Sometimes You have given me a fresh perspective or encouragement for the path I’m on.   Other times, I simply get to spend quality and quantity time with You, the Almighty Creator of the Universe.   Time well spent.

Thank You for the reminder of how important it is to come away with You to a quiet place and get some rest. It’s been too long. Amen

Mark 6:30

Jan 27 I want to obey

bible-380848_1920O Lord, I read about Moses and wonder how he could have backed away from the great opportunity You gave him to be a part of Your miraculous plan. It seems he made every excuse in the book to avoid joining You in the amazing deliverance of his people.

Then I wonder if I have been guilty of the same.

Have there been times when You offered me an opportunity to accomplish something with You and I chose the safer, easier path with no risk? Have You allowed me to be in situations where I could have told someone about who You are, and I chose not to speak? Have there been circumstances when I could have offered to go and do, to act as Your hands and Your feet, but I chose the response that afforded me more leisure?

Have there been occasions when I might have stood up and spoken out for what is right, but remained silent under the socially acceptable guise of being tolerant?

Have there been times when I opted to remain in my comfort zone rather than step out of it in a way that would have honored You?I believe there have been. And ask myself “Why?” Is it that I doubt the power of the God who created the universe? Do I doubt that You will be true to Your Word?

No. I believe it is rather, that I doubt myself. I may doubt that I’m hearing You clearly. Because if not, then I have walked out on a limb that could easily but cut off from under me. Or I doubt my ability to carry through and finish what I start in Your name, bringing embarrassment to both of us. Or I fear it might hold me up to ridicule. So, bottom line, I fear what other people will think about me.

Please forgive me for the times I’ve let You down. Help me be so strong in recognizing that my identity comes from You, and in believing what You say about me, that I am not swayed by fear of what others think of me. Help me recognize the next time You give me an opportunity. And help me be courageous enough to act “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind.”

Oh Lord, fulfill Your purpose through me! Amen

Exodus 4:1-17; 2Timothy 1:7; Psalm 138:8

 

 

Jan 23 What a ride – Here I am!

fun-937105_640O Lord, I think of all You allowed Jacob (renamed Israel) to go through, and I wonder how difficult his life must have been. He was a twin, compared from birth to a brother who was very different from him.

His father chose a favorite son, and he was not the favorite. His mother schemed for him to receive his father’s blessing, resulting in his exile from home to a place far away. He worked happily for seven years to earn a bride, but was deceived on his wedding night with a different woman. He worked another seven years and still had nothing to call his own.

Then, things started coming together. He gains large flocks, gets away from his manipulative father-in-law, reconciles with his brother, returns to his father, has many children, including two sons by his beloved wife Rachel. But then she dies in childbirth. And later, her older son is taken from him, presumed dead. His life falls apart again. Talk about ups and downs!

My life has had its ups and downs. There have been times of delirious joy as well as disappointment and sorrow. I feel sometimes as if I am barely able to get up for a new day. And I have Your Holy Spirit in me from whom I can draw strength! I have scriptures I can read to be encouraged. I have praise music I can play or sit at the piano and sing.

How did Jacob do it? How did Israel get through one more day of grieving his beloved wife Rachel, missing his son Joseph; managing his large family with misbehaving sons Simeon, Reuben, Judah and Levi; all in a day and time of famine, with hunger and need all around him?

Yet when You called him in a time of famine, to relocate to a foreign land, he still didn’t give up. Whatever You had in store for him, he simply answered “Here I am”.

O God, help me be that resilient. Help me get through dark times and be ready to say “Here I am” when You call. Help me hear Your voice above whatever else is going on in my life. Tune my ears so I will hear You and recognize Your call.

Lord, let me hear clearly, and be obedient to all You reveal to me. Open my ears to the message of Your words that bring personal meaning and conviction to my life. Prune away any misunderstanding I have been living by. Cut away the dead and unproductive parts. Revive me and make me fruitful again. I long to honor and glorify You.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

How can I do any less?

Genesis 46:2 (and Jacob’s life); Psalm 19:1

Feb 19 Let me hear

close-up-18753_640

“Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Father, thank You for giving me ears to hear. Help them to be tuned in to Your frequency so I can hear, or see, what You are saying to me in Your Word, in prayer, through other believers, and in my circumstances.  Help me keep my ears clean of the build up that might block my hearing You – the negative talk I say to myself, the self-doubt and self-criticism. And keep them clear of infection; sin which would dull my senses to what You would say.

Forgive me for the times I have blocked my ears because I did not want to hear the correction You were speaking to me, or the step I was too afraid to take.

I pray that in hearing, I would ‘hear’ or gain understanding. Hearing is only half the process. Not only do I need to hear what You are saying, but also understand what it means to me. Thank You for the times You explained what You meant in scripture parables so the message would be clear. Thank You for the times You have provided confirmation to me when I was unsure. Thank You that the more I listen and obey, the more I understand.

I have ears to hear, let me hear. Amen

Mark 4:1-25