How do we hear the voice of the Lord?

How do we hear the voice of the Lord?

Job 33:14
For God does speak– now one way, now another– though man may not perceive it.

We all are wired differently. How one person hears maybe quite different to how someone else hears. It all about perception. How we perceive, hear according to our history, passion, social adjustments / growth, spiritual maturity, and emotional stability  /makeup. Positioning ourselves to be with Jesus to hear His voice is intentional. Practicing listening enables us to develop a lifestyle of responding to what we hear.

We all hear by Faith.
Rom 12:6 NAS Every man has a measure of faith…

Faith is the inevitable consequence of hearing God’s voice.

James Ryle

Jesus our example:
Jesus had amazing faith and the ability to see (seeing is hearing) what the Father was doing.

John 5:19 NAS
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing ; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

Jn 8:28; Jn 12:49; Jn 14:10; Jn 14:12

That God speaks today is an issue forever settled on the authority of the Scripture and validated in the lives of countless men and women throughout the world. God is light and will reveal Himself to anyone who will look; God is love and will communicate to anyone who will listen…
James Ryle Hippo In The Garden

Rom 10:17(NAS) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Heb 1:1-2 NASB
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

Heb 2:1-4
Heb 4: Today if you hear His voice…respond in faith.

1. God Speaks Through Scripture…
The Word of God. it stands alone as the final authority for all revelation. Our first thought should be…Does what I am hearing line up with the nature and character of God revealed through His Word?

He speaks to us on two levels through the Bible.
1. Historical Truth… the main and the plain. Undeniable instruction. Principles and precepts that apply today. i.e.  Having a renewed mind is the will of God.

  • Romans 12:2 NASB And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

2. Personal Revelation… living words to our hearts as we read.Points us to Jesus, the Father, through the Holy Spirit. (See John 13 – 16 to glean what the Holy Spirit’s role is. i.e. He will guide us into all truth… etc.)

Don’t try to force what you are reading into your life…If it is revelation to your heart and life it will fit. Usually what you are reading will be a confirmation or as a precept, concept to help you grow.

This week I read about renewing of the mind. I was curious and intuitively knew I needed to investigate this concept further. I searched for thought connected passages. As a result of my search, I discovered the Holy Spirit has a major role in renewing my mind. Therefore, I am now leaning into the Holy Spirit asking Him to renew me in the spirit of my mind. I am also reading three books to help me grasp the concept,

Three safeguards…
a. Is it Relevant to my situation without attempting to make it fit?
b. Does it bring Revelation or Clarity to my situation?
c. Is it Redemptive or bring me and others closer to Jesus and to His Church?


 

Bowen News, Encounters.


Christmas is fast approaching. I love this time of year, winter, snow, lights, and family. We will be heading to Birmingham to be with Pattie’s family. We call ourselves the Gisbo’s on Christmas Vacation.


Guidance and where we are heading. We traveled to Pensacola a while back. We were testing doors and seeking to find our path on this adventure. While we were in Pensacola it became very clear we had to return to Ohio. We knew we had a few loose ends to take care of before we could fully step into what God has for us. My sister was one of the take care of’s. My sister who has lived with us for three and a half years moved out this month into her own place. We are so glad she is taken care of and her future is now secure.
We are still finding our way forward. We are investing in a couple local churches and a non-profit in the area. Pattie is still working at a school in the area. In January I’ll be speaking in a couple of conferences and in the new year leading a couple of teams outside the USA.


Encounters… I’ve been thinking about Encounters…those special moments in time when the Holy Spirit makes His tangible presence known.

In Luke, Jesus is about to breathe his last breath. Just before He declares,”It’s finished!”, the sixty by thirty, four inch thick veil in the temple is rent from top to bottom. The renting of the veil signified the finished work of the cross. What 

Jesus did for us now gives us confident access to the Father.
What’s more amazing… He now, because of what Jesus did for us, …has access to us.
Ephesians 2:13;18 NIV
 

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Eph 3:11;12 NASB the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
(See Hebrews 6,8,9,10)


His Presence Saved Me. Years ago when I was a troubled teenager. I went into the chapel at St. Joseph’s to talk to God. My parents were divorcing. I was broken. As I was talking to God, suddenly His Presence came into the room. I remember I left the room in a hurry.

Years later, I was messed up. I had overdosed the night before. I was driving back to Pensacola when suddenly Jesus began to speak to my heart. He said, “Steve, this is your last chance.” I knew if I prayed and asked for help  I was going to have to leave my past and press into following Jesus. I prayed, “God help me!” When the words left my mouth, suddenly His presence filled my car. I knew at-that-moment everything was going to be ok.


Recent Encounters. Throughout the years I’ve had more that a few suddenly’s.
A few months ago a friend and I were in Virginia. We were walking up a staircase to go into a meeting when we both felt the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. We suddenly encountered His Presence. We paused and stopped for a moment in the stairwell and looked at each other in amazement. The awareness of His presence and the sense of His love for us was wonderful. We walked to the top of the stairs. When we opened the door, the door ahead had a simple handwritten sign that said … Encounter Joy!

The meeting was beyond awesome! A lady who had been in a wheelchair for years walked out of her wheelchair! Last reports she is doing well and the doctors are dumbfounded.

Yet, my heart wondered about the staircase encounter. I wondered what would have happened if we had chosen to stop, pause, listen, and receive? I wondered what would have happened if we had laid aside our hurried agenda? I wondered what would have happened if we had slowed down and sat on the steps to be with Him and had taken some more time to linger in His presence? I wondered.

Communion was Communion. A week or so ago I was meeting with a leadership team. We talked for a while, then dove into the whiteboard. Arron Simmons, who was leading, suddenly stopped writing and said,  “We are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s wait a few minutes before we dive into our work for today. Let’s pause, listen to some worship and take communion together.”

As we were taking communion suddenly His tangible presence touched all of us at the same time. We were filled with awe and wonder. We did press pause. We put the planning meeting on hold. We lingered in His presence. His presence did increase and we were all very encouraged.

Our work flowed and we accomplished what we came to accomplish. I later thought, “The moments of worship and receiving was the most important part of the meeting.”

I also wondered, “What would have happened if we had laid aside our work for another day, and had taken full advantage of our advantage?”

These two recent encounters with His presence made me want to create space in my life. When I notice His presence I want to intentionally pause. I want to learn to seize those moments in time. I want to slow down and enjoy His suddenly’s, His access to my heart.

Thanks again for your friendship and partnership.

Steve and Pattie
People have asked how we are making it. Pattie is working and we have a few gifts that come in to help cover living expenses. We are amazed at His faithful people who care for us.

UK Trip Prophetic… fun.

While in England preparing before a meeting I wrote, page, writer, stuck. 

In the meeting I asked if anyone was in the room named Paige, not a common English name. The Paige person didn’t show a hand. I told everyone that I was practicing and sometimes I get things mixed up, or I am just wrong.

Noticing is important.

I had a word for a girl and I asked her to stand. The word was about dreaming a new dream and she was in process of moving into the dream. I later found out she was moving into developing some strategy for their group. I received the word for her because I saw a girl that day who looked like her and had “dare to dream” tattooed on her neck. 

I then moved on to find the writer who was stuck. The stuck writer was the girl sitting next to the girl I had just had the word for dreams. I thought that was interesting.


When she stood, there was suddenly an amazing flow of Jesus love for her. Seems she uses Mac to write her poetry, songs, on… pages. She felt stuck. Some who knew her were laughing and crying as I spoke over her. She was crying and laughing. it turned into an impartation and a very encouraging word to her for what was ahead

There was a sudden shift in the atmosphere and I knew I had tapped into Jesus’s heart for the people in the meeting. A few other encouraging words flowed.

Later, the dream girl came up to me and told me her middle name was Paige. So, Paige, dream girl, was sitting next to the writer who was stuck. How good is that? Bye the way, they had traveled the longest to get to the meeting.

I also, found out the writer had written and presented some pretty amazing poetry in the church. Which, when presented was powerful, not just in the writing, but how she presented her poetry.

Scotland, prophetic was also flowing again. 

I found myself moving down a intuitive prophetic path as I was speaking and suddenly knew, “Oh know( it was an… oh know) I knew spoke too fast and too far.” If you’ve been doing this for awhile you will know that feeling of how do I correct myself in this situation. I had to back up, apologize and reminded the person of the first part which was the main Father’s love connection. 

Yesterday, I emailed the person and asked for forgiveness.

Shawn Boltz book Translating God is so helpful. I’ve read it twice so far. 

The book has a section about being accountable for our words, attitudes, actions. He encourages the reader, when we give direction, times, or dates to track what we have said and see if what we have said comes into being. If not, then we may have some cleaning up to do. He encourages people to have self-awarness, to be emotionally intelligent and to ask for honest feedback. John Paul Jackson was the forerunner of this concept and made moves to establish this in the prophetic movement. 

So glad I asked the leaders for feedback. I knew in my knower I was heading in the wrong direction. Self correction, is so important.

3D Rendering
Joel Menken Imagine Media Facebook did an amazing job videoing and 3D photo of Overtounhouse.com.

Use Crome and this link https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=LKm2aTYeep3 
a 3D rendering of a castle we shot. 

I think churches will begin to use this as a virtual window for websites. Cutting edge technology. If you are in the Dayton Area grab Joel. He’d be glad to give you a price for your business, church etc.


Here is a short video of my time in the UK. 



All in all it was a great trip. Thanks to all who support us.


God speaks to us …Dreams


During an outreach one of our guys helped a lady with her groceries and walked her to her location. When they arrived he simply asked, “How can I pray for you today?” 

She replied, “I had a dream. My father was a pastor, he passed away years ago. In my dream my dad visited me. He stood still silently looking at me. In the dream I asked, “What do you want. He didn’t speak. He just kept looking at me. I woke up.”
 

She asked, “What do you think the dream meant?” He replied, “What do you think your dad was wanting to say to you?” She replied, “I think he was asking me to get right with Jesus. Can you help me?” 
What a dream, and what a question!

She wanted to be forgiven and to follow Jesus. My friend encouraged her, prayed with her and introduced her to Jesus. He later told me it was the shortest discipleship course he had ever explained.
I find it interesting. God was at work long before we arrived. 

Her dream reveals God’s passion and love for people. It also reveals how God never forgets our prayers for our family and our friends. Years had passed; the father had died, now the Holy Spirit was beckoning this daughter to Himself. He used a dream that opened her heart to the good news.

Dreams speak to the heart. Dreams give direction, encouragement, warning, and insight. There are many biblical examples. Daniel, Joseph had amazing dreams that saved nations and changed the hearts of men.

For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword. Job 33:14-18 NIV

I was in Costa Rica last week. For some reason I found myself struggling mentally, and spiritually. I was concerned. I turned inward looking for the reason why. Had I done something wrong? What is this feeling? I felt insecure, troubled and slightly fearful. I wrestled most of the day. Most people would not have known I was struggling. I knew.

That night I had two dreams. The first: A well known prophetic person was walking with me. I had a talk thanking him for his patience with me. He looked at me with a smile and kindness and put his arm around my shoulders as we walked. I wasn’t afraid. I felt secure. I was at peace. Confidence claimed my heart. 


The second: The dream was long. I was dropping in on a skateboard. It was fun. When I couldn’t find my helmet I was frustrated. The last scene I was up on the ramp thinking I could put my helmet on. It was another persons and It was too small. I was frustrated.

I woke up. I knew the first encouraged me in my walk with the Holy Spirit. He was near me, walking with me, encouraging me.

The second dream encouraged me to put on armor. Fix my helmet firmly upon my head. Only my helmet over my mind would work. My battles were my battles, and the battle was in my mind.


In response I shifted my mindset and my heart set. I literally placed a new helmet upon my head and leaned into the Holy Spirit. I was set free… Two dreams strengthened my heart. The rest of the trip I was more confident and secure.

Dreams encourage the heart. I’m a visual person. I am so glad for the movies I receive as I sleep.