Tag Archive | The Voice of God

When You Just Don’t Understand (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 27)

This blog was temporarily overtaken In September by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge. This post is one of the final days I did not get to post until now.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

One of the joys of this journey is that I’m beginning to hear on a much clearer level than I have in a long time.  This is great.  The only problem is, what happens when you totally do not understand what you hear?  What do you do with those things you don’t quite get?

Case in point: I woke up this morning with a very clear word on my heart.  It was like God whispered it to me when I woke up.  He said, “I’m giving to you the books of service.” What does that mean?  I immediately began to recall the heavenly scrolls that God would give to his prophets.  These weren’t for reading, the scrolls (or books) contained heavenly realities that were being imparted to the prophets (Ezekiel 3:1-3, Revelation 10:8-10).  So, I guess I have a little bit of a grid for what God is talking about.

The other interesting thing is when I went to lunch today I was thinking about what I heard and was tempted to write it off as just something I dreamt.  But as I was eating, I read some of Nudge by Leonard Sweet.  I just “so happened” to be reading the the part of the book where Len focuses in on spiritual hearing being the main source where we become awake to what God is doing.  To paraphrase what I read, everything begins with what you hear and whether you are willing to listen.

So while I feel like the Lord is confirming what I heard, it doesn’t answer any of my more specific questions.  What is a book of service?  And what should I do with it? What is it supposed to impart to me? And how do I respond to this?  I’m asking Him these questions when I’m not listening.  I’ll let you know when I get a response.

As you were listening, did you hear anything you didn’t understand?  What did you do about it?  Tell us in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For all of September we spent 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asked us to do.  Then we blogged about the changes that were occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Loving A Brother (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 26)

This blog was temporarily overtaken In September by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge. This post is one of the final days I did not get to post until now.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

So today continued a string of hard days.  My “situation” still is not resolved.  But to make matters worse, instead of just not being able to workout the situation with my brother, I had to be in a social environment with him where it would have been inappropriate to bring the whole thing up.  If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know it’s hard not to stew on the whole thing and get really agitated.

The beauty of the day (which I’m attributing to my time of listening) is that the Lord gave me the ability to love my brother in reality.  In a similar situation in another month, I probably just would have avoided being in the same part of the building as my brother.  But today God gave me grace to not only be with him in the situation, but also to bring up the “elephant in the room.”—us getting together to deal with it. 

Now, I’ve been able to make decisions to do hard things before.  But today I did this because I genuinely cared about my brother.  That kind of love you can’t make up or manufacture.  It comes from Jesus, and I believe I got some of it by hanging out in the presence of God and listening.

How about you?  Have you noticed through the experiment God giving you virtue that isn’t normal to your character?  Tell us about it in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Walking In Obedience To Yesterday’s Leadings (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 25)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

If you’ve been participating with me and/or reading about this journey I’m on, you’ll know that there are days where you don’t hear anything.  Today was one of those days.  That doesn’t mean that today was a failure.  Part of the mystery about listening to Jesus and following His leading is that there is power in His voice and because of that there is power in your obedience.  Today instead of hearing a lot of new things, I obeyed a bunch of old things and it really seems like some positive stuff is going on because of it.

Positive Thing #1- We had our block party.  Here’s the fun thing about this party: We not only obeyed the Lord in having the party, we actually planned it the way He asked us to plan it.  We included a “person of peace” on our block in the party planning.  Now the day that our “person of peace” planned the party for ended up being one of the coldest and rainiest days all month, so instead of having it outside, we had in our neighbors’ house.  But the party was a huge success.  We got to know people we didn’t know.  We bridged some relational gaps on the block.  Everyone had a great time.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I was freaked out about the rain up until an hour before the party, but God helped us regardless.)  So we obeyed what the Lord told us and even when things looked terrible, following Him and obeying His ways paid off huge.

Positive Thing #2- My situation is still really eating at me.  I’m still having a hard time praying.  However, the Lord very kindly reminded me that He had spoken to me some things about this situation the first time around and that those things are extremely relevant still. The Lord is definitely leading because things He spoke weeks ago are even more relevant today than the were when I first received them.

Positive Thing #3- Finally, the book I received as a sign a few days ago I finally gave to the couple I was sensing it was for all the way back at the beginning of the month.  I don’t think I would have had the courage to breach the conversation with the couple if I hadn’t had the Lord speak to me several times about all of this.  But tonight, I started the conversation.  There will be more to come, I’m sure and I’ll need to be bolder than I was, but I started the conversation and I’ll report back on the fruit as we go.  As I was contemplating starting the conversation tonight, I was reminded that I had heard a similar thing for this couple several years ago and I could have spoken it then and possibly saved them some heartbreak.  Instead, I disobeyed.  I’m rejoicing in the fact that God is merciful and speaks more than one time and that tonight I was obedient to His voice.

All of these positive things came from something the Lord had spoken days, weeks, or even a month prior.  I know sometimes it’s hard to obey a word that you haven’t just heard recently, but if you sense the Lord stirring that word in your spirit, don’t be afraid to step out.  Obedience to Jesus’ voice powerfully affects the world around us for good.  Don’t wait.

Do you have things that Jesus has spoken to you about doing that you haven’t done yet? It’s not too late.  If you’ve obeyed something recently that God spoke to you about a while back, leave a comment, tell us the story, and encourage the rest of us to be obedient to the voice that is always speaking.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

The “Situation” (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 24)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

So today a situation came up.  I’m going to apologize up front for my vagueness, but several passages in Scripture prevent me from being more specific.  The short, internet appropriate version of the story is that this situation that came up kept me upset most of the day.  The result was that I was unable most of the day to focus on what the Lord was speaking.  This in itself is a lesson for me.  I need to guard my heart.  I need to make sure I don’t let issues of the day distract me from what Jesus is wanting to do.

Here’s another thing I think I’ve learned from this distracted, unproductive day: Jesus is perfectly capable of dealing with situations that arise.  This situation that came up today is somewhat related to an earlier situation that came up this month and I blogged about it here.  Really that post was about two different situations.  One has completely fallen off the radar with no work from me required.  The other, the one related to today, I knew probably needed to be addressed but I didn’t know how.  And now, here it is again.  I’m not discouraged by that.  In fact, I’m somewhat encouraged that Jesus knew how to bring the right factors together so we could deal with this situation a different way.  I still haven’t heard exactly how to deal with it but it obviously is not of His radar.  We’ll see what He has to say tomorrow.

How have you experienced Jesus leading you throughout this experiment?  Has it changed how you handle situations that need your attention? Let us know in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

I’ve Stopped Arguing (Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness, Day 23)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

When you sit and wait for the voice of the Lord, two things will surely happen.  The first is that you will have some dry, boring, seemingly ineffective days.  The second will be that there will be days where the Lord breaks in with His voice and totally changes things because you’ve purposed to wait for Him.  Today was more like that.  This was probably the second most powerful day of the entire challenge so far and it’s leaving me hungry for more and totally committed to going through more of the first type of day in preparation for days like these.

Let me explain.  The last week has been hectic and hurried.  We have a block party coming up on Saturday along with a host of other things that needed to be taken care of or completed.  So up until today I’ve been tired and lacking some spark, even in my walk with the Lord.  My good buddy Sean even lovingly hit me alongside the head for being too busy this morning.

I had some free minutes for lunch so I decided to lock myself in my office and do a couple of things on the internet and then wait on Jesus.  The last thing I did before I waited on the Lord was I watched a video about the history of Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll’s leadership of what has become a church planting movement that sprung up from there. One of the things that stuck out to me in the video is the inconspicuous comment he made about the supernatural calling he had received from Jesus.  Already tired and needing to spend time with Jesus, I put away the computer feeling a little bit defeated at not being more like Driscoll.

As I sat and waited I had this question that was forming in my spirit: “Lord, why can’t I be more like that? I’ve had similar encounters, what’s different from Mark’s life that is not going on in mine?”  As soon as I asked the question, the Lord thundered in a way that I haven’t heard Him in a long time.  It was imperceivable to the human ear but was forceful and alarming to those who were listening to the Spirit. “You need to stop arguing with me about your calling.”

Those words thundered through me and when He spoke I saw all the times that I had told Him that I wasn’t qualified for the thing that He has called me to do.  I saw all the times I had said that I don’t have the right personality for my calling.  I saw all the times I said that my situation in life was wrong for my calling.  The list could go on and on. And as I saw all of those arguments against my calling I had participated in with Jesus, I began to see the shallowness of my arguments in light of who He is.

Then came the same voice in the same style a second time. “I’m removing the words I can’t from your vocabulary.” And when he said that I saw the numerous times where I’ve looked at my own ability to do something and passed on an opportunity because of my weakness.  I also saw how I had become accustomed to filling up my schedule with commitments and then used my busyness as a way to say no to others but not make them feel bad. “I can’t. I’m just too busy,” would be my typical line.  Now, however, the Lord has removed the words “I can’t” from my vocabulary.  As I saw this, spontaneous wisdom came from my spirit (a very distinct way of hearing, different from the voice  of the Lord before) and I began to see that I would need stop saying “I can’t” because of busyness. That is no longer an option.  But I can say, “I won’t” which is something I hardly ever say.

Those of you who know me well know how huge of a struggle some of these issues have been for me.  Today in the span of ten minutes the Lord corrected them with His thundering voice.  I’m reminded of a line from a book I bought for my daughter before she was born: “The things which have happened to me are so strange, but although they seem silly they’ve caused a great change…” This was my day today.  After enduring some dry times, I’ve heard something powerful and I’m going to live it out.

Have you endured a long dry spell? Maybe it’s time to get back in the place of listening again. Have you encountered the Lord during this journey in a way that has encouraged you not to give up?  Share with us about it in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Letting Go (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 22)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Today I had another one of those days when I heard something while having a discussion with someone.  The interesting thing is this time I had a serious shift internally when I heard what I heard.  Today it wasn’t so much information, as it was the Lord both speaking something to me and using that word to change my inner man based on what I heard.

I have a friend who is in a different stage of life than I am.  My friend has very little commitments and because of that has lots of stories about what he is able to do with his time.  My dream for my friend would have been that he could have joined us on our journey as a house church but that hasn’t really worked out.  In addition to that, my friend seems to be more and more living for the moment.  Sometimes I’m annoyed by that.  Sometimes I’m bewildered.  Sometimes I grieve, because at least from my perspective, he may be loosing out on some eternal rewards.

Regardless, today I was talking with my friend. I’ll call him Scott.  Scott was telling me again about some of the things he’s doing with his time and how great it’s been.  Then Scott asked me how things have been in my life.  And as I opened up my mouth and began talking, I heard the Lord speak to me that it’s time to release Scott.

To be honest, I have no control over what Scott does or doesn’t do nor did I ever pretend to.  So when the Lord spoke to me that it was time to release Scott, I gave Scott back to the Lord.  I gave the Lord all of my concerns about him.  I also gave him the hurt that I had carried because Scott couldn’t be more involved in where we’re going.  I basically made Scott the Lord’s responsibility.

And, while nothing tangible happened from that point, I feel like I was able to enjoy Scott more after that point.  My love returned in a new way for him, and I think that may be the most important thing that came out of this encounter.  I can love Scott without receiving anything from him now.  And that’s the way it should be.

How has the Father spoken to you about people in your life during this challenge that has changed your relationships with them?  Has it helped?  How did the relationship change?  Let us know in the comments section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

The Word of Knowledge (Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness, Day 21)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

The day had an interesting twist to it.  It seems the longer I spend listening to Jesus, the more I can actually hear His voice when I’m dealing with people in real life situations.  Today that emerged as a word of knowledge.  I had caught up with another believer that I really like.  I had just finished asking him about this ministry of his that I love and wish I could do more of.  I genuinely love to hear about the type of ministry this guy is doing.  He then turned and asked me how the house church was doing.  I began to talk to him about house church, but almost immediately Holy Spirit spoke to me.  “Keep it short, he’s just asking to be polite,” was the phrase that came to me quickly.

So I did. And while I didn’t poll my conversation partner later and ask him whether he was really interested in our house church or not, I did get the general sense that what I heard from Jesus was true.  What’s great about this is not that I didn’t spend a long time talking about something to someone who didn’t care.  What is important is that I’m beginning to know things by the word of the Lord while I’m talking to people, just like Jesus (Luke 6:1-11).  This will be key in the days ahead even if it’s just over a silly thing right now.

How has Jesus been speaking to you while you are with others?  Tell us in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams