Watch and Pray

This simple blog is devoted to the greatest privilege that man has ever been given; PRAYER.

Hearing God’s Voice

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Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
—James 4:8

Communication is the life-giving blood that sustains all relationships. Without blood, the body dies; without communication, relationships die. When we communicate, we listen with our hearts to the one who is speaking and then respond. To know and recognize a person’s voice, you must spend time with that person.

After 43 years of marriage, I have spent so much time with Floyd that I can usually read his body language before he opens his mouth to speak. I know Floyd’s voice; I also know his ways. For example, when Floyd is going to broach a serious subject with me, he swallows three times. When he’s irritated, my name is stretched over a long Texan pause…Beetthhhhh—this prepares me for what’s coming next. I can identify his footsteps before he even enters the room. And the way he fluffs his pillow at night tells me we need to talk. Yes, I know Floyd.

Similarly, we can know God. We know Him through the person of the Holy Spirit. We learn His voice by spending time in prayer, and we learn His ways by studying His Word. We are never too young or too old to know God.

When my grandson Christopher was small, I would spend time talking to him about the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit lives within him. One day after returning from a trip to Germany, I picked up Christopher and took him with me to run some errands. When we arrived at my office, the secretary gave him some chewing gum; then we stopped at the travel agency, and the travel agent gave him some candy. As we crossed the parking lot, I noticed his little cheeks were so stuffed with goodies that he looked like a chipmunk storing up for winter.

It was a scorching summer day and the Texas sun had turned my borrowed car into a slow baking oven. As I began to fasten Christopher into his seat, I realized that not only had all the candy been consumed, but all evidence of the gum had also disappeared. I thought Oh no, I hope he didn’t leave that gum on the seat of my dear friend’s new car!
I asked, “Christopher, what happened to your chewing gum?”
He replied, “You know.”
To which I responded, “No, I don’t know.”
He insisted again, “Yes, you know, Nonnie.”
And again I responded, “No, Christopher. I don’t know.
What did you do with that gum?”
“I swallowed it!” he exclaimed.
“Why did you do that?” I asked.
He innocently explained, “You see, Nonnie, Jesus lives inside of me and He wanted to chew it for a while. You know, Nonnie, sometimes He talks, sometimes He sings, and sometimes He just wants to chew gum!”

God Is Not a Silent Friend

God wants to speak to you personally; He wants you to hear His voice (see John 10:3-5). Drawing near to the Lord opens the door for Him to fellowship and communicate with you. His desire is to teach you (see Ps. 32:8). lead you into the truth, and show you things to come (see John 16:13-15).

The Lord speaks to you through the person of the Holy Spirit (see Ezek. 36:27; John 14:16.17). Jesus calls Him the Counselor (see Isa. 9:6; John 14:16,17; 2 Tim. 3:16). The word “counselor” comes from the Greek word parakletos, which literally means “one called alongside to help.” It also means “comforter, strengthener, helper, advisor, advocate, intercessor, ally and friend.” You need not be afraid to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit; He never moves outside of the character of the Lord and is always in harmony with the Word of God. He is your friend who is called to walk beside you and communicate with you. His is not a silent friendship (see Pss. 28:1; 37:3; John 12:49; 14:26).

God leads; Satan drives. God convicts; Satan condemns and brings guilt. God woos; Satan tugs hard. God wants to instruct you and give answers to your questions (see Pss. 21:2; 119:169).

You cannot depend on another person to hear Him for you. Hearing the Lord’s voice becomes an everyday occurrence as you willingly spend time with Him and study His Word by meditating upon and memorizing Scripture (see Josh. 1:8; Ps. 119:11,16).

Then when you hear His voice, you know that it is the Lord because it is in agreement with the Word of God. The more you know His Word, the more you will also understand His character and His ways (see Exod. 33:13; Pss. 25:4; 103:7).

One test to determine whether you are hearing the Holy Spirit is to ask: Is the voice gently leading, or is it commanding and harsh? God’s voice gently guides and encourages, giving hope (see Ps. 18:35; Isa. 40:11; Jas. 3:17). God leads; Satan drives (see John 10:4,10). God convicts; Satan condemns and brings guilt (see John 16:8-11; Rev. 12:10). God woos; Satan tugs hard. When God speaks. He does not use fear to motivate. If fear overcomes you. it is the enemy speaking, not God (see 2 Tim. 1:7).
Proverbs 4:20,21 says, “My son [or daughter], give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.”

Excerpt from Chapter 4 (Hearing from God) of “Becoming a Prayer Warrior” by Elizabeth Alves

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This entry was posted on May 10, 2013 by in Excerpt from Becoming a Prayer Warrior and tagged , .

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