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?


 

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. 


Intention… His Kind Intention


God is kind…His is intentional…
The kind intention of HIs will. Kindness is part of his overarching will for man.

Ephesians 1. NASB
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 

In love
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace
which 
He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
 
In Him 
we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of His grace 
which 
He lavished on us.

In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him Jesus (God was in Christ Redeeming the world to Himself)

with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

In Him

also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
 
to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 
In Him
you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 
 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.


He bestowed grace upon us in the Beloved.(Jesus)… and He lavished grace upon us according to His kind intention.

What does bestowed grace and lavished grace look like

 

I think it looks like this.

                   

                     But it really looks like this!  

Kind intention… flows from His grace, from His nature.

The Point:  Kindness is more than a principle. Kindness is an attribute that flows from the very nature and character of God. 

God is Love… God is kind.

Not surprising… The word kind, is a humble word…

Bible dictionaries often define kind by simple word, like good, gentle, easy, useful and gracious.

Kind Intention…
Kind: being of a good or benevolent nature or disposition; characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings:a benevolent attitude; desiring to help others; charitable; patient, considerate, or helpful; to be kind to another; mild; gentle; loving; affectionate; having an intention to benefit another
 

Intention: purpose; an aim or plan; a goal to accomplish; what a person intends to do; a moral decision; an attitude to propose to benefit another; a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action, in the present or in the future; an aim that guides ones actions.

British Dialect. loving; affectionate.

Kindness is an action.  

She is a kind person. 
He is a kind man.  
Why? How do you know when a person is kind? There is evidence… There is something  about their character that is reveled by their actions. 
They are defined as being kind by what they do: what they say, and how they act.
God is kind to all…

Ps 145:17 NASB
The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.
 

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (Luke 6:35)

God is Love…

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. (1st Corinthians 13:4)

Kindness draw us out of our stuff and into His light and love.
 
Romans 2:4 NAS
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
   

Hosea is an amazing study of the goodness and kindness of God.
Hosea 2:14-15 NASB
His previous statements of Israels waywardness leads Him to respond in a way that reveals His mercy and kindness.
What am I going to do?
 

“Therefore, behold, 
I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.

Then 

I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”

Joseph, in spite of his difficulties, experiences the Lord’s kindness… 
Here is the repeated phrase that followed Joseph
But the LORD was with Joseph 

and 
extended kindness to him. 

The act of kindness expressed to Joseph, was the blessing of extreme Favor upon Joseph‘s life… He found favor where ever he went. Pit, Palace, Prison, to Prime Minister.

Kindness, Loving-kindness was the foundation of all David understood and knew about God. 

When he committed unthinkable sin, and was exposed, in the midst of his greatest failure he knew (by experience) God was kind. He humbled himself and prayed asking forgiveness (according) to what he knew about the goodness and kindness of God.
 
Ps 51:1 NASB 
According to your loving-kindness have mercy on me.
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.


A lot of people are boasting about many things. Jeremiah discovered what to truly boast about.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV

This is what the Lord says:
Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or 
the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but
let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,(that he knows me)
that I am the Lord, 
who 
exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”declares the Lord.

He exercises, releases the action of His grace and kindness on earth… or in our earth.


Lord’s prayer… Your kingdom come, your will be done, on(in us) earth, as it is in heaven.

Kindness is found in our earth, in our being. We have the fruit of the Spirit… Love, joy, peace, kindness… within us.

Kindness is so important…

Proverbs 3
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
            But let your heart keep my commandments;

      2 For length of days and years of life
            And peace they will add to you.

      3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
            Bind them around your neck,
            Write them on the tablet of your heart.
  
      4 So you will find favor and good repute
            In the sight of God and man.

The Point:
As believers we should be reflections of the kindness and grace He has bestowed, and lavished upon us.  

How?

By practicing being kind and doing acts of intentional kindness; by having kind attitudes and speaking kind words.  

We need to have intentionality. 
 
His kind intention is for His world.  

We can join His intention by being intentional to reach the people He loves within our sphere of influence.