Tag Archives: communication with God

Stop and Take Time to Listen to God

Learn how to Stop and Take Time to Listen to God...

Stop and Take Time to Listen to God

Taking regular time to stop and listen to God is not a strong suit of mine. I do hear from God on a fairly regular basis. I know his voice and how he talks to me. Unfortunately I hate to admit that I kind of stink at being intentional about taking time to listen to God. This topic isn’t what I was going to originally write about this week. It was only because of taking time to listen to God that I decided to write about listening to God!

My notes are lost

I seem to have lost my notes for my original topic. I’m serious – I can’t find them anywhere! I searched my quiet time journal. I’ve looked through my Bible and sermon notes. I looked through my computer documents. I’ve looked through my phone notes. I even looked around for random post-it notes where I may have written some things down. Nothing. Now, I can’t even remember if I even wrote the notes down to begin with, but I could’ve sworn that I did.

After searching around frantically for my notes for well over an hour, I decided to just pray about it and ask God to help me find them. Then I remembered my quiet time about stopping and listening to God. It was about taking time to just stop and be quiet. So I decided to do that after I prayed about losing my notes.

Maybe they were “lost” on purpose

I began to think that maybe my notes were “lost” on purpose because God had other intentions of what he wanted me to write about this week. If I’m right, it’s what he’s been gently correcting me about recently. It’s about making time to stop and listen to him on purpose.

While listening, I had the thought, “Well, maybe they’re lost on purpose because I’m not supposed to write about them. Maybe I’m supposed to write about something else. I usually pray every week about what I’m going to write about, but I don’t think I did this week. I think I just decided last week what this week’s topic would be and then didn’t really spend a whole lot of time in prayer about it. Well, I guess it serves me right!” Leave it to God to conveniently cause my notes to go missing when I try to do things my way without consulting him or listening to him!

Oh, the irony

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Ask God About Your Gifts And Purpose

Ask God About Your Gifts And Purpose...He is your artist and author.

Ask God About Your Gifts And Purpose

This past week we talked about how you have to look for and discover your gifts. It’s kind of like you’re a detective on a case trying to solve a mystery. One of the steps of the search process is to ask God about your gifts and purpose. After all, He’s the one who created you! If anybody would know what your gifts are and how you are supposed to use them it would be God.

I guess you could liken it to inquiring about a painting. Who would you ask if you had questions about the details of a painting? The artist, of course. What about a book that has left you with some questions? Who would you ask if you wanted to know more than what was on the surface? You would ask the author! The creators of the works have all of the knowledge and the inside scoop. They knew what they had in mind when they created their work.

God: Artist and Author

Similarly, God is your creator. God is your artist. You are His Masterpiece.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

God is the also the author who has already written your story. Because of that, He already knows how it ends!

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)  

Therefore, when you have questions about yourself and how you were made, Continue reading

Incremental Obedience … God Leads in Steps NOT Leaps

Incremental Obedience … God Leads in Steps NOT Leaps

Incremental Obedience…God Leads in Steps NOT Leaps

The phrase “leap of faith” is commonly used in Christian circles.  I’ve probably even used the term myself.  But did you know that this phrase is actually unscriptural.  God leads in steps NOT leaps.  We’re not frogs.  We’re humans.  Humans walk, not jump.  We need to learn how to practice incremental obedience via steps that God gives us. 

I’ve recently been reading through the devotional plan “How to Neighbor” by Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life.Church on the YouVersion Bible app.  It’s an excellent 10 day plan!  I highly recommend it.  In part of the plan Pastor Craig is talking about Esther and her pivotal role in helping God’s people.  He mentioned that Esther had to take steps of incremental obedience…

“As a teen, Esther pushed back darkness and risked everything for her neighbors because Mordecai, her adoptive father, reminded her why she was alive “for such a time as this.” Think about this. Esther, and every other person who’s ever done anything valuable for God, basically just took incremental steps of obedience.

The frequently quoted scripture, “Perhaps you were made…for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) can apply to our lives too.  We will have “for such a time as this” moments throughout our lives.  Those moments will require steps, not leaps, of incremental obedience leading up to them.

Esther’s steps of incremental obedience

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Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With God–Part 2

Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With God--Part 2

Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With Him–Part 2

Last week I started a reply to comment that I received on a previous post, “How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted”.  I shared that learning to recognize God’s love is a process that takes time and starts with building a relationship with God.  This week I’d like to finish up my reply by giving the intentional steps that we need to take in order to build our relationship with God and to learn how to feel God’s love.  I will give more details on what more is needed besides attending a getaway, retreat or conference in order to have lasting healing and success.

Reader’s Comment:

“I’m 59, and to this day still feel unloved. I believe what you say about God’s love for us. I can’t seem to sit and really spend time with him. I do talk to Him all day here and there. I know in my mind He loves me but the rest of me doesn’t. I’m so insure from lack of feeling love I push people away. I hate it. I have five kids whom I love so much along with 9 grandkids. At this point I prefer to be dead, but I don’t want to give up. I want to know true love (not from a man at this point divorced twice) and happiness here on earth before I die. Are there places to go for a week or 2 for adults to get away and have bible studies or spiritual help?”

Previously I addressed that there’s a need for some emotional and spiritual healing to take place.  I gave an analogy of a broken arm and how a cast (like a retreat or a conference) is the start of the healing process, but more healing needs to take place on the inside by taking some steps on purpose to have lasting, long-term recovery.  I mentioned that the 4-step Formula for Success would be beneficial in this process.  The formula consists of learning, taking action, using persistence, and make sure we have support. 

Take Some Practical Steps to Build Your Relationship With God:

Learn

The first step we need to intentionally take to build our relationship with God (and to learn to recognize God’s love by spending time with him) is to learn about him.  There are several ways to do this. Continue reading

Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With Him–Part 1

Learn how to start Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With Him--Part 1

Recognizing God’s Love By Building Your Relationship With Him–Part 1

**Read Part 2 here

With any relationship, you need to build it by spending time with one another and learning more about each other.  This is how love grows.  Our relationship with God is no different.  We need to spend time with him and learn about him in order to cultivate and grow love in that relationship.  It’s also a process that doesn’t happen overnight or even in a week.

This week’s post is another response to a comment that I received on a previous post, “How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted”.  Some responses just take more than a quick reply if I’m doing them justice.  My prayer is that I can give this hurting person some hope and guidance to further recognize God’s love by learning how to build relationship with him.

Reader’s Comment:

“I’m 59, and to this day still feel unloved. I believe what you say about God’s love for us. I can’t seem to sit and really spend time with him. I do talk to Him all day here and there. I know in my mind He loves me but the rest of me doesn’t. I’m so insure from lack of feeling love I push people away. I hate it. I have five kids whom I love so much along with 9 grandkids. At this point I prefer to be dead, but I don’t want to give up. I want to know true love (not from a man at this point divorced twice) and happiness here on earth before I die. Are there places to go for a week or 2 for adults to get away and have bible studies or spiritual help?”

Quick answer…

As a quick answer to the question asked about getaways for bible studies and spiritual help… Continue reading

Praise Music Is a Spiritual Anti-Depressant

Praise Music Is a Spiritual Anti-Depressant

Praise Music Is a Spiritual Anti-Depressant

We recently talked about some of the benefits of praise and praise music and how we should always start with praise.  This week I’d like to continue discussing some of the benefits of praise music and of praising God.  Another benefit of praise is for actually for us not for God.  Praise music actually has the ability to make us feel better.  It can calm us down when we are anxious or angry.  It can bring joy and cheer us up if we’re depressed or upset.  Another thing it can do is alleviate fear.  Overall, it really improves our general sense of well-being.  Listening and singing to praise music is a great way to get through a hard time.

I jokingly said to my church small group members one time, “Praise is like spiritual Prozac!”  In all seriousness, I really do “use” it like that from time to time.  And…it works every time.  There may be times when I have to spend longer listening to and singing along to praise music, but it always changes my mood and perception. 

How it helped me

I can remember a specific time in my life (one of the lowest points in my life) when I used praise like a spiritual anti-depressant.  It felt almost like I couldn’t exist without it.  I listened and sang along to praise music morning, noon, and night (if I wasn’t listening to encouraging podcasts).  I had songs downloaded to my phone, and I used my YouTube playlists.  In fact, I had to recharge my phone battery several times a day because I played praise music and listened to podcasts so much!  I remember I was even tanning at a tanning salon at the time, and I would turn their music down and put my phone with my praise music at the top of the tanning bed near my head so that I could even listen while I tanned.

The praise music was continuously playing.  I would turn the radio down in the car and listen to praise music on my phone while driving.  Additionally, I would carry it around and listen as I cleaned the house, did the dishes, or did laundry.  I would take it outside and listen as I worked in the yard.  Basically, I listened to it nonstop.  I felt almost as if I would have a meltdown or go into a full-on panic attack if I didn’t have praise music playing.  As a result, it really helped me get through a very dark time in my life.

Biblical examples…

I think some of our friends in biblical times also understood the benefits of praise music during difficult circumstances. Continue reading