Prayer

I hear His voice and He hears mine.

I made this statement the other day and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I was speaking of prayer. That communion between God and man. It’s not just about making your wants known. It’s about talking not to Him, but with Him. And it’s very important to know that He said that we do hear His voice and He says He hears ours.

Today, I want to share some scriptures to help build your faith in this area.

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

I originally included this scripture to encourage you that the scriptures would build your faith. However, as you can see it also mentions your hearing. Hearing comes by the Word of God. How do you know you’ve heard God’s voice? Ask yourself, “Does it agree with His Word?”

Bind them continually upon your heart and tie them about your neck. When you go, they [the words of your parents’ God] shall lead you; when you sleep, they shall keep you; and when you waken, they shall talk with you. (Proverbs 6:21-22, Amplified)

Know His Word and you will know His voice.

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (John 10:3-5, KJV)

…You have given me the capacity to hear and obey… (Psalm 40:6, Amplified)

His sheep hear his voice. He said so. That makes it so. Believe and receive. Don’t say, “I can’t hear God”. Agree with God, by agreeing with His Word. “Thank You Father that I do hear Your voice.”

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for you to speak to my heart]. (Psalm 5:3, Amplified)

I have called upon You, O God, for You will hear me… (Psalm 17:6, Amplified)

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:17, KJV)

God will hear… (Psalm 55:19, Amplified)

O You Who hear prayer… (Psalm 65:2, Amplified)

He Who planted the ear, shall He not hear? (Psalm 94:9, Amplified)

He hears your voice. He hears your prayers. How awesome is that!

…Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. [So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Solomon 2:13-14, Amplified)

“Do I take time to meet my Good Shepherd each day, letting Him tell me of His love…” (footnote to Song of Solomon 2:13, Amplified)

“Do I realize that my voice… is sweet to Him…” (footnote to Song of Solomon 2:14, Amplified)

I hear His voice and He hears mine.

Pursuing God

I was recently talking to a friend about our support of James Robison’s ministry, Life Outreach International. I mentioned James’ book My Father’s Face and how it so changed my life when I first read it many years ago. She asked me to explain, but I couldn’t remember what it was that so affected me, so I decided to reread the book. I’m so very glad I did.

This morning as I was reading, I came across a paragraph I wanted to share with you.

People have said to me from time to time, “James, you seem to be able to hear God’s voice in a special way. You talk about conversing with God as you would about leaning over the back fence to talk to a neighbor. I just don’t hear God speak the way you do.”

No, not everyone will. But I believe with all my heart that every believer can. In fact, God told a prophet of old that if we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. In my life, missing my own father’s voice as I did, I so hungered for conversation with my heavenly Father that I have pursued and pursued it. And as I did, I found that He had been pursing me and calling me all along. (excerpt taken from My Father’s Face, by James Robison, Multnomah Books 1997)

I have found that to be so true in my own life and in the lives of others who have hungered after God. Finding their deepest need for fellowship unsatisfied by anything or anyone else.

Often times I have seen husbands and wives, parents with their children, and friends, sabotage their relationships, because they are trying to get from people what only God can give. Some examples are trying to get their identity, security, constant companionship and perfect, unconditional love from others.

I discovered long ago that as wonderful and satisfying the relationships in my life could be nothing compares to my relationship with Him. He is the source of my strength, my life, my joy and the overflow of that is what makes my life and my relationship with others so wonderful.

In His book James Robison mentioned a very important key to this kind of fellowship found in Romans 10:17.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV)

Hearing comes by the Word. Start there and never depart from there. Listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to you through His Word and then act on it. And you will find that more and more you will recognize His voice in the scriptures and then when He speaks to you in the car, in the grocery store, in the mall, you will recognize His voice from those times in His Word.

But you will also have the word to judge whether it’s God or not. I’ve heard Him say things that so challenged my theology that many times I’ve asked Him, “Show me that in the Word.” Then scripture after scripture would come to me confirming what He said. Or the pastor would minister on that very thing from the Word of God. Or a friend would put a book in my hand that explained that very thing on the basis of scripture.

Every time you pick up your Bible to read it, don’t just pick it up to check off your daily reading assignment. Don’t pick it up just trying to get information. But pick it up pursing God. Pursue God in the scriptures and you will soon find that through the scriptures He is pursuing you.

He Will Guide You

In the last two posts I have been sharing on hearing God. Today I want to share with you about the day I realized just how much God was speaking to me and just how much He wanted to be involved in my life.

One Monday morning as I was getting ready to attend a class at my church, I pulled out a pair of heels that nicely matched my outfit. A thought flashed through my mind, “Those are not the most comfortable shoes.” I thought about where I was heading, and decided they would be just fine as I would mostly be sitting in class. Besides, they looked really cute with the outfit 🙂

Then as I was packing my bag, I thought, “Maybe I should get some cash at the ATM.” I thought about that and decided I didn’t need any money just to go to class.

Also, as I was driving out to the church, about an hours drive, I noticed I was low on gas. I thought, “Maybe I should get some gas.” But I decided that I had enough to get to church and I could gas up on the way home.

When I arrived at church, the minister in charge of the hospital ministry pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to go with him to the hospital to pray for someone. I was eager to go. This would be my first hospital call. So I went.

I followed him in my car and we parked in the hospital parking garage. When we entered the hospital, which has many wings, we were directed to the tower the patient was in. When we arrived at his room, we were told we could not see the young man, a teenager, without his parents being present. They had gone to a room to rest over in another tower. So we walked from one tower to the other. When we arrived there, we were told that the parents had returned to their son’s room. So once again we walked to the previous tower. By the time we finished doing all that walking, my feet were so sore, because I was not wearing comfortable shoes. I was wearing the cute shoes that caused blisters on my feet.

After we prayed with the young man we headed out. At that point I realized I had no money to pay for the parking. The minister I was with helped me out.

Then as I drove home from the hospital, which was in a city I was not too familiar with, I realized I was very low on gas. I didn’t know where to stop for gas. I was also not too comfortable stopping in the part of town we were in. I prayed I would have enough gas to get to an area I was comfortable with and familiar with. Thank God I made it, but just barely.

So that morning I thought, not to wear those shoes, get some money, and get some gas. I didn’t think I needed those things just to go to church. But I didn’t end up at church. I ended up in a hospital miles away. I realized then, that God knew what was coming ahead. He knew where I would end up and what I would need. And He wanted to help me.

From that day on, I began watching and listening in my spirit for those simple little instructions. Now is every thought like that from God. No. But I found that as I began to act on those thoughts that would come, I began to recognize when it was Him and when it wasn’t. As I responded to the thoughts, when they proved to be true, I realized that was God. When they didn’t, I realized that was either me or something else. And little by little, I began to recognize His voice.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. (John 16:13, KJV)

He has done just that in my life. He’s helped me in both the big things and the little things in life. Train yourself to watch for His voice each day.

Following Peace

Yesterday I began sharing on how to hear from God. Today I want to continue on that topic. My fellowship with God has brought such joy and peace into my life and I want so much to share that with others. There is nothing on this earth that can compare to a life lived walking and talking with God.

In yesterday’s post I shared how the more time you spend listening for and responding to God’s voice in His word, the more you come to recognize His voice when He speaks. Let’s take a look at a scripture that describes another way you will hear from God.

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. – Colossians 3:15, Amplified

Let the peace which comes from Christ act as umpire in your hearts. That is called following peace. When you have a decision to make and want to hear from the Lord on it, ask Him, in faith, and then follow peace.

A friend of mine once had to make a very difficult decision and she was afraid of making the wrong choice. First I helped her deal with the fear. Remember perfected love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). I always tell people that fear is not a lack of peace, it is a lack of faith. You don’t want to be led around by fear.

So I ministered the love of God to my friend until the fear left and the faith in His desire to lead her and to help her came. Then I told her to look at all her options and without actually committing to one, to head in all three directions and then follow that path where she sensed the peace of God.

She was far behind on her mortgage. Her husband was out of work. They were trying to decide whether to refinance, borrow the money from a friend, or just walk away and rent another home. I told her to talk to the mortgage company about refinancing, but don’t agree to anything yet. Second, I told her to talk to the friend who had offered the money, but don’t take the money yet. Thirdly, I told her to begin looking at homes to rent.

She talked to the mortgage company and she said it didn’t go so well. She talked to the friend, but she felt no peace about borrowing the money. She also looked at several homes to rent in her price range and was very discouraged and disappointed. Then one day she walked in to a beautiful home and for the first time in months she felt peace. She knew in her heart this was their home. And it was in her price range.

That home and the landlord ended up being such a blessing to her and her family. At one time when her husband was out of work again and they had gotten behind on the rent, the landlord showed up at the door with a new one- year lease to sign. She thought he was going to kick them out. He told them he knew they would catch up again. How often does that happen?

The Lord knew exactly where they needed to be. I visited their home often and the house, the yard, the neighborhood felt like being in a park setting. It had the feel of a little oasis in the midst of a busy city. It was God’s style all around.

He wants to lead each one of us into a place of love, joy, peace and well-being. Begin to watch for His leading. Be quick to respond to His leading. Look for and follow after the Prince of Peace.

Hearing God

While skiing in Colorado. I noticed on the slopes some people wearing red vests. On getting closer, I was able to read the words on them: BLIND SKIER.

This both gripped and puzzled me. I had a hard enough time skiing with two good eyes – and here were people with no eyesight skiing successfully. How did they do it? I had to find out!

The answer was that each one had a guide whose instructions the skier trusted totally, a guide who gave simple, specific instructions and directions. The guide skied beside, behind, or in front of the blind person-but always in a place where they could communicate with each other. I found out that there were two basic forms of communication the guide used: the tapping together of ski poles to assure the blind person that the guide was there; and the speaking of simple instructions about what to do next. “Go right. Turn left. Stop. Slow. Skier coming up on your right.” The only responsibility of the blind skier was to exhibit complete trust and immediate obedience to instructions.

Life is much like skiing downhill blind. We cannot see even five seconds into the future. We cannot see the struggles and tears to come-or all the other “skiers” who might run into us or we into them.

But God has given us the Holy Spirit to be our Guide through life. To walk with us and talk with us. Our only responsibility is to listen and obey. Before we can obey, we must listen. To listen, we need to know the voice of God. (Excerpt from Hearing God, by Peter Lord, Baker Books 1996)

We need to know the voice of God and John 10 tells us that we can do just that.

…the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (John 10:3, KJV)

…the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10:4, KJV)

Many years ago I heard Pat Robertson explain how he knew the voice of God and I have remembered his response to this day. He said that when he picks up the phone and hears his wife’s voice on the other end, he doesn’t have to ask who it is. He knows it’s her, because he recognizes her voice. And he said he recognizes her voice because he talks with her everyday.

Over the next few days I want to talk about recognizing the voice of God. He wants to be your Guide through life. Life doesn’t have to just happen to you. You can train your ear to recognize His voice and He will lead you and guide you. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 (Amplified) what kind of life we will have if we follow His lead.

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

Are you enjoying life? Are you listening for His voice and quick to obey His instructions? He has good plans for you and He will lead you to them if you will just follow Him (see Jeremiah 29:11).

The first and foremost place you are going to hear His voice is in His scriptures, the Bible. Spend time everyday reading His word and listening for His instruction to you through those words and be quick to obey. 

The more you respond to His voice in the scriptures, the more you will train your ear to recognize His voice. He will never tell you anything different from what He has already said in His word.