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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Part Two: Hearing God’s Voice

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Psalm 29:4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

Learning to hear the voice of God can be the most wonderful of all continuing life experiences. Learning to hear the Lord’s voice comes through a combination of things that we incorporate into our life starting with receiving Jesus as Lord of our life. From there many things contribute to learning to hear God’s voice. The Word of God begins to speak to us as we learn to read the Bible. The Holy Spirit begins to speak to you in special and intimate ways as you learn to worship God. As you pray and have times of being quiet, the still small voice of God will sometimes minister things to your heart. God speaks to us through sermons and teachings. God finds many ways to speak to us. He always speaks to us in line with His Word. It isn’t like hearing an audible voice. It’s more like an impression in your heart that happens. It does happen and it is real!

Jesus said, “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” It is the Holy Spirit within you that enables you to hear God’s voice. In John 10:27 Jesus said, And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. John 14:16-18

Today, I want you to continue helping you learn what is key to hearing the voice of God. I touched on it yesterday but want to dig deeper today. It has to do with letting God speak to you through His word but then you responding to it. As we read these verses, look for words relating to hearing. James 1:22-25 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law—the law that sets you free—and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

Did you catch the last the words of the last sentence. It says, “If you do what it says, and don’t’ forget what you heard…” It is implying that when you read God’s Word, that you’ve not just read something but that you’ve heard something. God’s Word speaks! Every time we read God’s Word, before we end that time, we should ask the question, “Lord, what is one thing you are speaking to me today?” Pray it before you read and ask it after you are done. It says the way to elevate God’s voice in your life is to know what it is speaking to you and then doing it. This for many people is where the voice of God begins to fade and they lose their sense of hearing Him. They do because they don’t pay attention to what God is saying. They don’t seek to know what He is speaking and then they don’t incorporate it into their life. He may be speaking about love, or giving, or being kind, or being careful with what you say, or possibly forgiving some one. It could be any number of things. But you have to first hear it and then esteem what God is speaking to you about it. It’s at this point you attempt to walk out and obey what He is speaking to you about. That should be a part of your daily prayer!

God will often correct us like a parent does a child. A good parent doesn’t heap guilt or verbally abuse their child or call them stupid or amplify their faults. A good parent from a heart of love, wanting the best for their child, instructs and teaches their child how to do the right thing from a pure motive and heart. A good parent does this so that their child will grow up having developed godly character becoming one who is a blessing to all of society. That is what God does with us. He is not trying to point out our shortcomings or sins to condemn us. He is trying to help us. He is loving in speaking to us. The devil is the accuser that attacks and makes us feel bad. You need to learn the difference between the two. If the voice you hear is uplifting and full of love, it is the Lords. If the voice you hear is condemning and heaping guilt on you – seriously – it’s Satan! Cast down that voice. That is not the voice of the good shepherd Jesus.

If you are a parent, you probably understand the blessing it is when your children pay attention to you and what you say. You know you want to help them. When they disregard you, they’ve literally stopped hearing your voice. When they pay attention and listen and do what you say, you are blessed and they are blessed. That is what increases our ability to hear the voice of God – esteeming His voice and learning to do what He says. Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. Find a way to esteem what He says to you today. Take a piece of paper. Jot down something you feel He has spoken to you through His Word today. Carry it in your pocket and think about it. As you do this, it will cause you to hear His voice much more often.

Tomorrow: Getting help with obeying what He is saying to you….


Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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