How God Speaks To Us…Are We Listening?

How God Speaks...Hearing From God

Hearing From God

Have you ever missed an appointment with a friend or colleague?

I mean, a time when you really blew it; scheduled the lunch with a buddy at 1pm on Wednesday, confirmed on Tuesday and then simply lost track of time and was a no show/no call?

I have.  In fact, I remember such a time when I found out later that I left someone waiting on me alone in a restaurant for over 45 minutes until they finally ate lunch alone and left.  I remember that feeling when I remembered and then again the feeling when I found out how bad it was for them to wait so long, feel stupid, then get mad and finally leave.

In my case I really like the person that I accidentally did this too and it really hurt (and was REALLY embarrasing) to appear that irresponsible and flippant.

Or what about a situation where someone is talking to you but you don’t realize it and you appear like you’re ignoring them until finally somehow they get your attention (usually in an unpleasant manner I might add) and you realize what’s happened.

So have you?  Remember the situation, circumstances and feelings for either or both of those types of situations.  Remember if you can how you felt, and how the other person felt.

Got it?  OK.

Now realize this.  The Almighty God, creator of the heavens and the earth, everything that ever was, is and ever will be, maker of the universe and everything in it communicates with and speaks to you all the time – or trys to.  There has never been a time or point in history when God stopped speaking to His children.  From scripture we learn:

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (NIV)
10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Now don’t just read over that quickly or skim it…seriously you DON’T want to miss this so read it again, slowly and let the words sink in!  Do you see it?  God has FREELY revealed His mind, His thoughts, “even the deep things of God” through the Holy Spirit (God) living inside us – or put another way…He wants you to know what He’s thinking.  He wants to reveal His innermost mysteries…His deepest thoughts.

Even the definition of the word reveal is helpful to contemplate here.  Here is the definition of reveal, thanks to the good ole Webster’s dictionary:

Reveal
To make known through divine inspiration

To make known (to tell you), through divine (of God or Godly) inspiration (influence).

Also, just to be clear, all who are born again have the Holy Spirit in them working as an “advocate” or “one that pleads the case of another” according to Jesus in John 14:

John 14:16-17 (NLT)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

Jesus then defines the role of the Holy Spirit living within us as leading us into the knowledge of God:

John 16:13 (NIV)
13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

So let me get back to the question we posed in the title of this post which is this…

Are We Listening To God?

We have clearly seen that the question isn’t does God speak, but rather are we paying attention and listening.  Are we fellow-shipping with the Holy Spirit.  I know I haven’t been nearly enough.  As bad as it felt to stand up my friend, it feels INFINITELY worse to know that God’s been trying to talk to me and I’ve been ignoring Him.

I said in my first blog post that I was going to try to “show up” for God cause He’s always there and that this blog would be a detailed record of my journey as I go through the process of seeking Him like I’ve never sought after God before.

As you can probably tell by the dates of this “day 2” post I’m not doing so hot in my attempt to stay faithful to daily posts, insights and, being totally transparent, even my daily devotional time with God.

But what I cannot do and what none of you can do is to give up.

As Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14:

Philippians 3:13-14
…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

First he says “Forgetting what is behind”…don’t let your past, failure, or sin become the biggest obstacle for your future.

Second he says “straining toward what is ahead”.   AKA, this road isn’t gonna be easy, but Jesus didn’t say it would be easy, just that I wouldn’t go it alone.

So that is what I intend to do…forgetting what is behind, straining toward what is ahead which is Day 3 and more time spent with the Lord learning and sharing.

How To Find God, But Are You Looking?

The Way Of A Worshiper by Buddy Owens

The Way Of A Worshiper by Buddy Owens

Are You Looking For God?

That is the first line of a book I just read entitledThe Way of a Worshiper by Buddy Owens.  It’s a question that I would propose most born again, bible believing Christians would answer instinctively and adamantly, YES!  And as Buddy Owens points out, the pursuit of God has been going on since the day you were born and lasts a lifetime, that’s for sure.

But the real question is this…

Are you the hunter or the prey?

The Danger of Making This Blog

I am not an extraordinary Christian or person.

The danger in producing a blog with the theme of “helping you…” do anything is that you’ll think that I’m writing from a place of having “arrived” to where you desire to go spiritually – that I’m something special and you’re not where God is concerned; or worse yet that it will sound like I BELIEVE that I’ve arrived.

But knowing that neither is true I’m willing to take this risk.

The truth is, I haven’t “arrived” anywhere that God Himself didn’t want me to go nor have you.  We are all on a journey and it’s that journey and process where we find Him.  Not at destinations or merely certain points along the way.

And that, in essence, is precisely why I’m creating this blog/site.

I believe that a lot of well meaning, good hearted, even passionate Christians might feel disconnected from God – like He’s turned His back on them.  Or maybe they feel connected to Him, yet wonder where the power to “do even greater things than these” has gone.

John 14: 12
When Jesus tells the disciples that anyone who has faith in Him will do all that he has done and even more

The truth is, God NEVER turns His back on anyone.  In fact, that pursuit of a lifetime I mentioned in the first paragraph begins with Him pursuing us…relentlessly.  We’ll sense the presence and manifestation of God to the degree that WE show up, not to the degree that He shows up in our life.  Said another way, the Lord shows up…even when we don’t.  And that is good news, cause we can choose or decide to show up or not to…it’s up to us.

There’s a video that illustrates and models this in such a simple and powerful way that I can’t begin to tell you how it affects me every single time I watch it.

Pay special attention to the character representing God at around the 1:36 point in the video.

Want some more good news? 

He takes great pleasure in you, me, us being present with Him.  Now like Buddy Owens says in his book, I know me.  Why God would take pleasure in me is hard to fathom, but He does.  In spite of you and in spite of me and in spite of all that we are and are not without Him, He takes pleasure in us and I thank God for that fact.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 25:14
The friendship of God is with those who fear him

And if that wasn’t enough good news to blow your mind, then try this on for size.  You can live in God’s pleasure, having nearly continual dialog with the Holy Spirit indwelling you and experiencing His power in your life.  God doesn’t play favorites when it comes to His children.  It’s the ultimate in equality…we all have access to the same Father, the same Kingdom, the same friendship.

So what do we do with this information?

I am making a commitment in my own life to press into what God has for me and daily seek Him and walk with Him and dialog with the Holy Spirit and learn about the power through the spiritual gifts that I have access to to “do even greater things than these”.  I am doing this for many reasons not the least of which is my deep realization of my need for Him and friendship with Him on a much deeper level than I have now. I am also attending a home group bible study that is centered around the spiritual gifts.  With all of this I am anticipating, trusting and expecting that as I show up more, God will reveal more of Himself to me and thereby transforming me by the renewing of my mind

Romans 12:1-2
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is my sincere hope that as He does and I remain faithful to record it here, He will use it to bless, encourage and build up others.  In addition, I don’t want to miss anything and so I want to leave a record of what He chooses to do.

So this is Day 1.

What = To be transformed to the likeness of Christ.  To become an unstoppable force for the Kingdom of the Lord.

Why = It’s our reason for existing.  Read this post for the why.

How = By presenting my body as a living sacrifice, by not conforming to the patterns of the world any longer by claiming I don’t have time to press in, by being transformed by renewing my mind, …in essence I’m going to show up.

So back to my initial question…are you looking for God?  Buddy Owens closes out the first chapter of his book by saying this…

“Jesus said in John 4:23 that the Father is looking for worshipers.  So if you’re looking for God and just can’t seem to find Him, stop what you’re doing and worship Him – and he will come find you.”

Let’s find God together by sharing our experiences on this blog and become an unstoppable force for the Kingdom together!