Hearing God

I’m not sure about you but I cannot survive in my Christian walk without hearing from God. If I am not getting any whispers or gentle nudges from God then after a while I begin to get antsy, a bit fidgety.

There are plenty of voices in my world shouting for my attention but there is only one that really counts (even more than the wife’s) and that’s Gods voice.

How do I make sure I can hear from God? I determine to.

I clear the clutter. If needs be,  I will leave the rest of the family, remove distractions and just grab a few moments with God.

I read the Word, every day. Some days I read huge chunks, others days just a few verses. Either way, it is always done with an ear to hear what God is saying to me through it.

I pray, every day. To hear God speak you have to be in conversation with Him. You have to nurture the relationship. Get past the ‘bless me’ prayers and allow the Holy Spirit to lead your prayer time.

I position myself right. Now I’m not perfect, just ask my kids, but I do know this, if I want to be a person who hears from God I have to put myself in the right places. Therefore, going to Church is not just a habit, it’s a non-negotiable for me. It’s one of the prime places I go to where I know I’ll hear from God.

How about you – where is your place to hear from God? What was the last thing that God said to you?

God Never Forgets

I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family

Jacob knew God had spoken to him in his dream, who wouldn’t with angels ascending and descending between heaven and earth. That experience caused him to respond and make a vow that day to honour His God. He made a promise to return and worship God in that place.

Like Jacob, I can look back and see significant occasions when I know with absolute certainty that God has spoken to me. Times when I have received revelation straight from God. Moments when I have seen God in a new way, with freshness, with clarity, all of which have provided me with renewed confidence to move forward in something or  to just continue doing what I already knew I should be doing. In my walking with God, I desire revelation.

Revelation from God changes us.
Revelation is essential if we want to grow as a Christian.
Revelation is encouraging and builds our faith.
Revelation is for the now.
Revelation is for all the time.

Here’s what I love as the story of Jacob and God unfolds. Jacob gets on with life, he is working hard, we can see that God is with him and blessing him. All the time God has not forgotten. The revelation He gave ‘back then’ is still true ‘right now’. It’s often our response that is slow in keeping up.

God has no problem in reminding us of the things we have said to Him in moments of spiritual revelation. Personally, I am glad that He does. I need reminding more often than I want to admit.

I need reminding that…
God is always with us. How easily I forget this simple truth and think that life is just up to me.
God never remembers my sins but never forgets His promise. When He has spoken revelation into our hearts, know that its time for fulfilment will arrive at the right time.
Gods word stands the test of time. It always accomplishes what it says it will accomplish.
God is faithful and true. People may not be but God definitely is.

I wonder if like me you have received revelation. A moment with God when everything changed and I wonder if like me there are promises you made to God as a result of that revelation that you have not yet kept your word on. Like me you would ask the question…what am I not doing that I promised God I would? Please Lord, remind me.

Have You Heard?

When I read about Noah I see a man who was just trying to do what he knew was right. To live a good life. To maintain his integrity while everyone else cared less about such things.

What I really love most when I read about Noah is the main thing that seems to have got him noticed was the simple act of walking with God. That’s how he was known and the rest of his life was a by-product of that choice. And that saved him. I’m convinced I can do this walking with God thing too.

More than that, walking with God, living from a position of close relationship with God, meant Noah heard the voice of God. Not only did he hear Gods voice but he followed through on what he heard and that is the kind of life I definitely need to keep working on.

Walking with God positioned Noah to hear from God.
Hearing from God meant Noah had to be willing to listen to God.
Listening to God meant Noah had be determined to respond to God.
Responding to God meant Noah had to show commitment to doing what God said.
Doing what God said shows that Noah was disciplined and it produced a life of blessing.

Maybe I’ve over-simplified. However, simple or not, I know I don’t get it right all the time. If I don’t feel like I am hearing from God then I need to check my position. Get back to that first question: how’s my walk with God? I’m confident that if I stay close to God, walk with Him, then I am more likely to hear Him speak. Strikes me as not that complicated. Just put yourself in the right space to hear God’s voice.

Be in the House of God. 
Get planted. Remove distractions. 
Read the Word. Pray. Give
Hang out with other Christians. 
Get actively involved in building local church.

My summary for Noah would be just 5 words: Walk. Hear. Listen. Respond. Do. When I read about Noah I think that was all he was really concerned about and he managed it without anyone else having the same conviction. Plus, he didn’t have access to many of the tools we have that help us in our relationship with God.

So, my prayer is easy. Lord, don’t let me get distracted. Help me to keep walking with you, to be able to hear what you want to say to me and then give me the courage to respond and to do what you are asking me to do. Amen

How about you?

How Was It For You?

So we have just completed 90 days of reading the Bible. How was it for you? Did you manage to stay the course?

One thing I have learnt from reading the Bible is that as well as ticking off the days worth of scriptures, I MUST give some time to reflecting on what I have read. Maybe these questions will help…

Which scriptures have jumped out at me?
What questions do I have after all that I have read?
Where do I want to spend more time digging a little deeper?
How have I been challenged & how will I respond?

Tell us your story. What has God been saying to you…

Reasons to Never Assume

Interference.

Interference messes with the signal.
STORMS, PEOPLE, THINGS – they can all have an effect on your signal with God. With your ability to hear from God. To recognise His voice.

All are legitimate.
All happen to everyone.
All are normal in doing life.

But here’s the thing. We don’t know what interference people are dealing with, so never assume that just because people look okay that everything is okay. Never assume that they are NOT at Church because they are on holiday…maybe there is some interference. Maybe a STORM is hitting them hard, maybe PEOPLE are pulling them in all kinds of directions, maybe THINGS are becoming a distraction for them and filling their life.

If we don’t learn to recognise the interference for what it is then we will get knocked off course. We will find ourselves somewhere and wonder how we got there. Interference undealt with can see an individual end up in a DEAD ZONE and eventually SWITCHED OFF to God completely. Mature Christians should have enough about them to cope with interference. To hold on to their faith. To stand on a strong foundation, using the Word, moving forward, staying close to God. Younger Christians may struggle.

So here’s the challenge:
Watch out for others. Make a call. Send a text. Notice that people are missing. Never assume that someone else will contact them…YOU DO IT!! Help people travel on the journey. This is the responsibility of those further on in the faith. You may not be leading many to the Lord but you can help those who have made that great decision to stay on course. Think of someone who you haven’t seen for a while in Church and give them a ring.

I think if we do this the stories of people’s lives made stronger in God will demonstrate the power of such a simple act of connection. I wonder what the knock on effect to the local church might be…share your experience here.

Making Breakthrough…[Day 53]

Looking back…I talk a lot about breakthrough.

Sometimes I do feel like David in the Psalms when he asks of God ‘How long?’

Had a thought today though…my job is not to reason with God about the breakthrough but to just keep standing on the Word, to keep trusting in His statutes, to remain blameless before Him, to seek after God and right standing with him.

The small words will then become my experience. Words like…
…therefore…
…suddenly…
…it came to pass…

‘Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord’ (Ps 119:1)

This week as I have been praying my level of expectation has increased. The confidence that God is about to do something incredible…I am becoming slightly giddy at the prospect. I cannot underestimate this Sunday at Xcel Darlington. The ‘coincidence’ of preaching a new series ‘Turning Points’ and then in your prayer times feeling like God is saying that this is a ‘turning point’ for Xcel Darlington cannot be missed. I am not one for ‘spiritualising’ stuff for the sake of it. But I cannot escape these thoughts.

Xcel Darlington partners…don’t miss out. This WILL BE a history making weekend. I realise that we plant, others water and it is God that brings the increase but, hey…we still have to play our part – right?

What do you think?