Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 17, 2007

Today's blog is taken from Priscilla Shirer's study, DISCERNING THE VOICE OF GOD (Lifeway Press 2006):

Lord, heighten my spiritual sense to
See that which is not visible
Hear that which is not audible
Sense that which is not tangible
Believe that which is unbelievable
Teach me to sort through
the noises of this word to
hear and discern your powerful,
wonderful, pure, precious voice.
---Priscilla Shirer, Discerning the Voice of God

* Many of us don't really believe God will speak to us and give us specific directions concerning the details of our lives. We claim to believe that God speaks, but we are secretly discouraged because we don't see evidence of His voice in our lives. We need to approach the Father with an expectancy that He WILL speak.

* "If you want to hear God' voice clearly and you are uncertain, then remain in His presence until He changes this uncertainty. Often much can happen during this waiting for the Lord. Sometimes He changes pride into humility, doubt into faith and peace; sometimes lust into purity. The Lord can and will do it" Corrie ten Boom

* God is looking for someone who believes He is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. Go to God expecting to hear His voice and don't hesitate to move forward in obedience. When you obey, you move from YOUR agenda to His and God's plans are always greater!

* "I know that God is speaking to me when He impresses something on my spirit internally and confirms it through a person or circumstances externally." Tony Evans

* (Phil. 2:13) No longer do I frantically search for God's will. I frantically search for God. I trust that it is His responsibility to show me what He wants me to do and how to do it by speaking through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. As I seek Him, stay in His Word and continue to keep an intimate relationship with Him by confessing my sin, he transforms my mind and emotions to align with His plan.

* As we seek Him and acknowledge Him, He promises to continue to direct our paths (Prov. 3: 5,6) and often does so by bombarding us with a thought that will not cease to permeate our thoughts and hearts. When you are walking with Him, seeking Him and desiring to receive His directions, He will direct you with consistent persistence.

* I am learning that the primary channel through which the Lord will reveal His word to me is the Bible. Scripture provides the boundaries into which all of God's fresh words will fall even those words concerning our everyday lives.

* As we seek to hear the Holy Spirit speak through Scripture, we are tuning our spiritual ears to catch the moment when a passage seems to capture our attention in an almost shocking way, a way through which our thoughts are drawn to how the passage applies to a specific situation in our lives. The Holy Spirit orchestrates these events. HE SPEAKS!

* "With all my heart I have sought You. Do not let me wander from your commandments. Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. " Ps 119: 10, 18 The better you know God the more clearly you can hear God. Develop the disciplines that cause you to press into Him. Don't go voice hunting, instead go God hunting!!!!!!

* "Whoever seeks God as means toward desired ends will not find God. The mighty God, the maker of Heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used. His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after personal gain. He will not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection." A. W. Tozer * Often we seek to know God's direction more than we seek to know God. We bypass the relationship because we would rather have answers about us. God wants to speak to you because He wants you to know Him. Knowing His direction is just a by product. Hearing from God will always be designed to point you to Him and open up your understanding and your experience concerning who He is.

* Never think your circumstances are disconnected from God's leading and His will. Don't spend your time wishing you could get out of the season of life you are in, rather spend your time looking fervently for God' s hand in your situation. When seeking God's guidance, always take into account the activity He is allowing in your life at that time. The enemy's discouraging voice tells us what we could do "if". The voice of God tells us what we should do now. When you ask God for direction, keep your eyes open to see what He does next.

* How you choose to respond to God is more important than hearing from Him. He doesn't just speak to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed! Obedience is not only the key that keeps the door of communication open between you and God but the only appropriate response when He speaks.

Five M's of correctly hearing God:
1. Look for the MESSAGE of the Spirit. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Don't just casually ask God for guidance. Consciously turn your attention inward to see if what you are sensing carries the weight of God or if it is the unsure, unsteady voice of your own conscience.
2. Live in the MODE of prayer. Submit what you hear back to God in prayer. Throughout your day when the issue comes into your mind don't spend time worrying; spend time handing the issue to God.
3. Search out the MODEL of Scripture. Carefully consider the Scriptures. Does what you think you're hearing in any way contradict the character of God or the Word of God?
4. Submit to the MINISTRY OF ELI. Seek the counsel of a wise, more mature believer who can discern God's leading in his or her own life.
5. Expect the MERCY of confirmation. Ask the Lord for confirmation. God desires you to know His will. He's not hiding it from you. "When I ask the Lord to confirm what He is saying to me through the Holy Spirit so I can be sure He is indeed speaking, he allows the Holy Spirit to speak to me and verify His message through His written Word, circumstances, or even another person." Priscilla Shirer.
Over and over scripture makes clear that the determining factor for experiencing God is OBEDIENCE. We must learn to make obedience a habit regardless of our feelings. God knows what is best and only requires us to obey so that we may experience it. He desires to bless us with His most special gifts, and we experience them when we commit to the only appropriate response: complete and immediate obedience. "God cannot draw near to us while we are walking away from Him in disobedience at the same time" Jim Cymbala

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