Tuesday Tips: Just do it!

Just do it! …Like the Nike commercials! ūüôā

Well, except that I don’t really know what exactly the Nike commercials are trying to tell me to do, unlike when I hear from God. When we ask Him, He definitely likes to show us what He wants us to do! I love that so much. (Thank You, Jesus for promising to speak to us!) (John 10:27)

But the thing is…when He tells us what He wants, we are no longer ignorant. We don’t have any excuse to not do what He has told us to do, because we know in our hearts that it’s what we want. (Even if you try to explain it away– “No, God. You would never ask me to do that!…I mean…would You?”) There is no valid excuse; when He tells us what to do, you better believe that you gotta to do it!

Things like…confess sin to your spouse/mom/dad/friends/siblings. Or return that shirt because it’s too low cut (even if you didn’t realize it at the store!) Or…go overseas for a mission trip! Or…give up $100 to someone who needs it! Or stop playing that video game because it’s taking up too much time? Or quit reading those books because they make you wish for something you don’t have!

There is no end to what kinds of things God might ask you to do. Remember, Jesus asked that rich young ruler to give up all of his money to the poor. He didn’t do it…and didn’t follow Jesus. That’s a great example. We must be willing to give up (or do!) whatever He tells us.

The thing about disobedience is that it hardens your heart to hearing His voice the next time. One of the¬†reasons it’s so important to obey Him is found in this verse:

  • Hebrews 3:13,15
    But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‚ÄúToday,‚ÄĚ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin…¬†Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”

Disobedience is sin.

  • James 4:7 “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

And sin separates you from God:

  • Isaiah 59:2
    But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
  • 2 Chronicles 30:8
    Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the LORD

The harder your heart is, the more stiff-necked you become, the more you will be leaning to your own ways instead of the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the harder it will be to tell what He is saying.

So if God is telling you TODAY that you need to quit/stop/do something, I pray He will help you do it TODAY!!

Jen

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Tuesday’s Tips: Reading the Bible:Leading to Repentance

Hi all!

“How can I hear from God?”

“Read the Bible!”

So, yes, I’m stating the obvious. But have you ever done something that you just¬†felt was wrong, but you couldn’t really¬†prove that it was? And then you opened your Bible and *bam* His word hits you square between the eyes?!

Paul said this: (Romans 3:20)
through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

Although we may feel guilty about something, sometimes we have nothing to base our guilt upon. We don’t see how it was a sin, but we still¬†felt that it was wrong. Through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

–That’s all for today! I’m off to date night! May He bless you!

How to Hear God’s Voice: in Your Passing Thoughts

First, I just want to say how GLAD I am that Jesus has promised us that He will speak to us, that we CAN hear His voice. What a precious gift!

Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

If we couldn’t hear His voice, how on earth could we possibly follow Him? It’s so amazing that He has promised to speak to us and direct us and lead us!

Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

So today’s tip is about paying attention to what crosses your mind when you are asking God a question. For example, today I was asking Him about someone, seeing if He had anything to say about this person that would bless them. (This is one type of prophecy.) Very, very faintly, as faint as a memory coming to my mind, I saw my baby lying on the floor, removing a blanket from over her face.

I was actually ministering with a team, so the next person picked up from there. But what I thought of with this “vision” (yes, I would call this memory crossing my mind a “vision”) was a Scripture. (This is SO important any time you are hearing from the Lord. Knowing the Bible is so important because He will commonly draw my mind to a verse or a passage in order to explain what you see.)

So, what I thought of with this image of my baby taking a blanket off of her face was that in taking it off, she could see. Here are some of the verses I think of when I think of something being removed:

Matthew 27:51
And behold, the¬†veil¬†of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”

2 Corinthians 4:3-5
¬†“And even if our¬†gospel is¬†veiled, it is veiled¬†to¬†those who are perishing,¬†in whose case¬†the god of¬†this¬†world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving¬†so that they might not see the¬†light of the gospel of the¬†glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

2 Corinthians 3:16
…but whenever a person turns to the Lord,¬†the¬†veil¬†is taken away.”

The first verse is referring to what happened as Jesus died on the cross–the veil that separated the outer courts from the Holy of Holies was broken–and now we can draw near to God–there is nothing that separates us any longer!! (Praise GOD!) We now have access to His throne of grace– “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the¬†throne¬†of¬†grace, so that we may receive mercy and find¬†grace¬†to help in time¬†of¬†need” (Hebrews 4:16). The second and third verses may actually be more applicable. Paul was talking about removing the veil that satan has blinded us with as the god of this world, but when we receive salvation, “the veil is taken away.”

Jesus spoke in parables often in the Bible–why would He not do so now too? When His disciples asked Him why He spoke in parables, this is what He said:

And the disciples came and said to Him, ‚ÄúWhy do You speak to them in parables?‚Ä̬†Jesus answered them,¬†‚ÄúTo you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.¬†For whoever has, to him¬†more¬†shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.¬†Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while¬†seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand…But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” (Matthew 13:10-13, 16)

Jesus told parables to prevent¬†people from understanding! He told them stories they could relate to, but they had trouble understanding the spiritual meanings. So God speaks to us through what we know. I know my baby, I know how she takes blankets off of her face now. But only the spiritual will be able to figure out what He means, because “everyone who asks receives, and he who¬†seeks¬†finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:8) So He brought the memory of my baby taking the blanket off her face and used that to remind me of His Word, because I have sought Him and come to know His word. It’s so cool!

So to summarize, when you randomly think of something (seriously this probably happens way more than you know it does! And¬†it’s probably God speaking¬†more often than you think! ) Romans 12:6 says, “Since we have gifts that differ¬†according¬†to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them¬†accordingly: if¬†prophecy,¬†according¬†to the proportion of his¬†faith;“. ask God to increase your faith, because the more faith you have, the more you will trust that it IS Him speaking to you in this way and so many others!

He is so awesome!!!

Tuesday’s Tips: Write it Down for the Future

As I said in a previous post, I like to set a timer when I sit down and spend time with the Lord. It probably sounds cheesy at first glance, or maybe even presumptuous to think that God would speak when I give Him limits, yet it’s probably the most awesome thing I’ve ever done in making time for God. What I mean is, setting a timer for ten minutes reminds me that yes, I do have time for Him. (Even if it’s only ten minutes!) And I’ve learned that wow, God sure has a lot to say when I give Him just a few minutes! I usually end up with pages of Scripture written down in my prayer journal just from the first five minutes! It seriously has proven to be an awesome practice- setting the timer to listen. And ten minutes is really just the starting point. As I mentioned in that same post, the time I spend sitting at His feet more often than not ends up being closer to 20 or 30 minutes! (That is,…if the baby is still sleeping!)

So, my tip today is get a journal. Okay, so many of you reading this are already writers, and that probably means you have your fair share of journals. But, then again, maybe not. So, today’s tip is to WRITE IT DOWN.

A few days ago, I was reviewing a time of ministry that I had with someone. I was on the receiving end of ministry/prayers/prophecy, and it was a great time. However, it was done in a chat room and I honestly didn’t have much time to think about what was said, because immediately after it was over, my husband came home and it was time for dinner. But for some reason, a couple of days ago, I decided to re-look at the time of ministry. (Thank God I saved it!) As I read through it, the Lord highlighted a few very key words to me. There was even a parable that He spoke through, using that same key word! I later remembered a dream I had in 2007, and it pertained to the exact same thing!

I was amazed.

In the Bible, Timothy received prophecies, presumably about His calling. Paul told him:

This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18)

In following his example, I recommend that whenever you hear God’s voice, or when someone else tells you they heard God’s voice for you, write it down. Here are some reasons why:

  • It’s encouraging for you.
  • We see in part and we prophesy in part. (1 Corinthians 13:9) In other words, when you receive something from the Lord, whether it’s in a dream, or through another person, it is not always complete–one prophecy will not give you the big picture. Only God knows exactly what He has prepared for you, and He is likely going to reveal it over the years. For example, God told Moses to lead the people out of Egypt. Where was he going to take them? Moses had no idea. But God knew, and He revealed it step by step as they followed Him daily, whether He was in the shape of a cloud or fire.
  • You never know when you might flip through that journal and read something He spoke years ago that is suddenly relevant for your current situation too!
  • It definitely helps us fight the good fight of faith (as Paul told Timothy!) Revewing what God has told me in the past gives me faith for the future.
  • We forget! What good is it to hear God’s words once but then forget them? Honestly, if I didn’t write them down, I would have no recollection of what He told me in the past. At the very least, write it down because you will forget SOME of it.

I can’t believe I’m almost done with my 59th prayer journal. I mean…what? I really write that much?? If you know me in person, you know I’ll never been seen without my journal ūüôā There’s ALWAYS something to write!

Tuesday Tips: Taking Time

I have a picture frame on my fireplace mantel, and inside of it is a¬†piece¬†of paper that says, “God still speaks to those who take time to listen.” I got it last summer at a random garage sale. I thought it was perfect. So many people believe that God doesn’t speak to them today–He gave them the Bible, and that’s enough.

While that WOULD be enough, (it reminds me of the Passover Seder meal song– “Dayenu” which speaks of all the Lord had done in the history of the Hebrews. It explains each of God’s past blessings and says that each of those blessings would have been “Enough.” “Deyenu” means “Enough.”) Jesus has promised that we, as His sheep, can know His voice and follow it. Anyway, I’m not going to get into the details of why we should listen for His voice in this post, but maybe next week!

When I was reading through the Old Testament a while ago, I noticed the emphasis on celebrating the Sabbath, which for them was Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset. It was a time of rest and relaxation, growing in relationship with both God and family. This time refreshed them for the next week.

In the same way, we need time to simply rest in the presence of the Lord, to stop what we are doing, to sit with Him. I’m not talking about a time of “praying and reading your Bibles.” Just being quiet and¬†listening.

So often this is the exact opposite of what we do in order to seek God. We usually turn on our music, sit down, take a deep breath to read what was assigned for that day. Then we finish in record-time, remember nothing of what we just read, say something like, “Thanks God, for Your Word! Bless my day and Rick’s day and Lila’s day and Paul’s day and Eric’s day and mom and dad and…” etc, etc.

As I had half of this post written, I heard a discussion at the end of an album I was listening to. Actually, I heard this line:

All He asks is that you listen.

Awesome. Thank You, Lord.

Father, I ask that You enable us to rest with You, to sit in silence and listen to You. Help us to push aside every hindrance and step into a more serious relationship with You today, to see what You have to say that will encourage us, lead us and guide us into all You desire for us to do. Thank You for promising to speak to us! We would be no where without You! Amen ūüôā

Set aside 10 minutes to listen to Him.
Thank You in advance. You are holy. You are worthy. I love You, God. Holy Spirit, You are so good to us. Help us to listen.

Tuesday Tips:Phrases from the Bible…

Hi folks ūüôā I’ve got another new category. (It’s so beneficial for me to put things into categories!) Every Tuesday I hope to give you some sort of “tip” (idea) for how to recognize God’s voice and help you grow closer to Him in your life, instead of what we usually hear “Just pray and read your Bible!”

Today’s Tip for Time with God

Have you ever been thinking, reading, praying, or just doing whatever when you suddenly think of a verse from the Bible? When this happens to me, I find that God is trying to tell me something from that passage…but I don’t remember the entire passage. So often, I think, “Oh, I know just what that’s about. I know that already, Lord! What does that have to do with anything?”

The times that I’ve ignored the thought of that particular Bible verse have never profited me. (Not a surprise!)

But when I’ve chosen to go and read the chapter that that phrase is in, I have found that He speaks directly to what I was thinking about! And then my relationship grows with Him because I’ve heard His voice. Not only that, but it’s beneficial because then I have direction or the wisdom or the answer I was looking for! This happens to me a lot. I love reading what the verse¬†actually says instead of what I¬†think I remember!

So what’s my point?

If you think of a biblical phrase and you think you remember it perfectly, don’t let that be the end. Instead, grab the closest Bible, Bible app, or go to http://www.biblegateway.com, find that phrase and read the whole chapter, seeking what God wants to say!

Psalm 119:105
Your¬†word¬†is¬†a¬†lamp¬†to my feet¬†And¬†a¬†light to my path.”

Psalm 18:28
“For You light my lamp; The LORD my God¬†illumines¬†my darkness.”¬†

Proverbs 3:6
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

He won’t steer you wrong. ¬†There is always more to discover! ūüôā