Sunday, April 6, 2014
Cultivating Ears to Hear and Eyes to See
“...He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they to not recognize a stranger's voice.” John 10:3-5 NIV
Our God is not mute nor is He absent. The Lord is our Shepherd, and He speaks to us. He said He would never leave us nor forsake us. He is kind and loving and He desires to communicate with us every single day. When we read the Bible, we saturate ourselves with His words. Many times He will speak directly to us through the Scriptures, but He also chooses to speak to us through His still small voice in our hearts. We can cultivate an ear to hear what He is saying. We can learn to see His vision within our hearts. He often will show us pictures that convey a particular meaning.
God is not dead; He is very much alive and He desires to talk to us. Paul said regarding prophecy that the words given should edify, exhort, and comfort the listener (1 Corinthians 14:3). This is a pattern for how God speaks to us personally as well. God's Spirit does not bring confusion or condemnation (1 Corinthians 14:33, Romans 8:1); these are from the evil one. God always speaks the truth in love. He does correct us at times, but He does so in a way that affirms our dignity.
Many have found that a good way to hear from God is through journaling. When I journal, I simply write my prayers down and listen for the Lord's response. I then write down what I believe He is saying to me (See Habakkuk 2:1-3). We can first write down what we are hearing and seeing and then test it afterwards. One of the ways to recognize God's voice is to determine if it is accompanied by peace in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). Again God's words to us will always edify, exhort, and/or comfort us. When we are discerning whether what we hear is from God, it is important to test it with Scripture. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth; everything He says to us will line up with the Bible. We can simply throw out anything that does not pass these tests, without feeling guilty that we did not hear from God clearly. Like a baby who is learning to walk, we will stumble. The Lord is always there to pick us up. He encourages us to try and try again.
Are you hungry for more of God? Do you desire to grow in intimacy with Him? Learn to cultivate ears to hear what God is saying and eyes to see Him. You will find that God is closer to you than you had ever thought possible.