Tag Archives: Encouragement

How to Effectively Hear God’s Voice in Another

“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Isaiah 50:4 NASB 

Have you ever heard someone tell you that they have “A word from the Lord”?

In the past you may have been the recipient or a giver of such a word inspired by the Holy Spirit that was meant to admonish or exhort another. Today I want to encourage you by sharing what I have learned (through His grace) about effectively presenting such words in order to bring God the utmost glory. May you be further equipped to present yourself as an ambassador for Christ when sharing a message with others.

First, I’d like to review a few important prerequisites that you and I should observe in an individual providing a word from the Lord:

1. The messenger should be a God-fearing Christian. They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s extremely wise to ensure that the person providing a word from the Lord is a believer and not a follower of mysticism, new ageism, or any other deceptive form of religion.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28 ESV

2. The messenger should read, know, and believe in the Bible. The word that they are speaking should align with the Word of God. Be wary of a message from anyone who spends more time reading books by Christian authors than the Bible that God Himself has authored.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV

3. The messenger should live a life worthy of the admonishment given. When we obey God’s commands, there is no room for sin to dominate any area of our lives because Jesus occupies every space. If a person is knee deep in a particular sin and tries to provide exhortation to another in the same area of sin, it can result in confusion about the righteousness and justness of God and apathy towards that sin. For example, I would recommend being wary of any individual that gives you a word about seeking a life of sexual purity who is openly involved in sexual immorality (meaning they refuse to obey by that same admonishment). No one but this person who gives the word is glorified.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

Next, assuming that all of the above characteristics can be seen in the messenger, here is how the message can be communicated to best glorify the Lord.

1. The messenger must come from a stance of humility. They understand the word is from God and therefore make no attempt to add or remove anything from it, no matter what the associated cost may be in giving the admonishment. The messenger must keep in mind that they are merely a vessel being used by the Almighty, not because they deserve it, nor because they are His favorite (He has no favorites). Only in His great wisdom has He decided to use them, and they have obeyed (which is still by His grace).

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Psalm 16:8 NLT

2. The messenger must communicate the message in gentleness and in truth. Not only should the word align with Scripture, but it should be gently spoken. Beware of speaking harshly or using coercion to persuade someone to hear what you have to say. Also, beware of using force or manipulation to get the person’s attention. The messenger’s role is not to control the actions of the receiver; that is the pure right and duty of the Holy Spirit. Use extreme caution when speaking on behalf of the Lord. As His ambassador, it is a great privilege, honor, and duty to represent Him well.

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 ESV

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 ESV

Join me tomorrow as we discuss two more real-life examples to demonstrate how to practically apply today’s teaching. You will not want to miss this. May your hearts be encouraged, and may God’s will be done in each of your lives. To God be the glory!

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

 

 

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A Simple Call to Trust

While sipping on my hot green tea and basking in the morning sunshine as it gently filters through the slits in my living room blinds, I’m reminded of a simple nugget of truth. It’s a passage of scripture that I hope to cling onto for the rest of my life and pursue with ferocious intentionality.

Like me, you have probably read this passage time and time again, but today my eyes have been opened to its one, true  meaning. Allow me to both briefly share what God is whispering into my heart this morning and encourage you in purposeful meditation on the power of this passage.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5

Here’s how I interpret this:

“Trust (rely, depend, hope, expect, fully rest in, be completely assured) in the Lord with all (whole, entire, full, completely) your (emphasizing importance of individual, personal responsibility) heart (the core of who you are)…”

Allow me to break this down a little bit more:

As individuals, we should be fully and completely assured by taking full confidence in the Lord (instead of people, circumstances, or tangible items) with the entire core of who we are.

You see, God does not long for just a portion of our hearts; He wants it all. What does this mean for us as modern-day believers? For starters, He wants us as His children to trust Him for our eternal salvation. But it goes even further: God wants us to trust Him in everything. Everything.

That means we can take full confidence in God’s ability to help us with our jobs, our marriages, raising our children, our finances, our health conditions, our friendships, our callings, our personal hobbies, our education, our businesses, our decisions, our homes, our cars, our mission work, our relationships in all areas (work, ministry, business,etc), our hurts, our beliefs, our fears, our longings, our desires, our addictions, our sin, our past, our present, and our future. God wants it all. And I believe this is the statement He is conveying here, because of these two words: “trust” and “all”.

Let’s continue through the passage:

“…and (indicating a direct link between this clause and the prior) lean not (do not shift weight, turn to, or depend) on your (once again indicating personal responsibility) own understanding (the reasoning, perspective or comprehension that you possess).”

Our understanding is finite, while His is infinite. God isn’t telling us to stop thinking or reasoning; after all, He created us in His image with these abilities. Rather, He is cautioning us against becoming so confident in ourselves (finding assurance in what we know) that God becomes neglected and not depended upon. Without His leading in our lives, He knows that we’ll end up making dire mistakes. In His love, He wants us to avoid those.

God also knows that trust is required to form deep, mutually-loving relationships, which is what interests Him the most. He created us to be in a relationship with Him, not merely to do things for Him. In fact, because He is God, He doesn’t actually need us to do anything for Him. God doesn’t need our works. Yet, when works flow naturally from a heart that is trusting and abiding in Him, they simply become a form of beautiful worship, rather than the focus of the relationship.

In order to work for Him, we don’t necessarily need to trust Him fully. But if we desire a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus, there’s no other way around it: we must trust Him with all our hearts and allow Him to be Lord. By not leaning on our own understanding, we are giving Him permission to faithfully guide us in the way we should live.

This post is written for the glory of the Lord. Jesus Christ deserves all the honor and renown as the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Great I AM. May His spirit instruct you as you read this today, and may you be blessed with a deeper, more abundant walk with our Sweet Savior.

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Sexual Purity vs. Virginity

“This desire for heart purity is a creation of the Holy Spirit at work in the heart.” ~ Duncan Campbell

In the past, I’ve heard others brag that they still had their “V-card”,  meaning that they were technically still virgins, even though they had  unreservedly explored sexual activities outside of intercourse. Because they weren’t having intercourse, in their minds they were in the clear.

But is this actually true?

Today may you be challenged to raise your own personal standards to the heights of our glorious and holy King Jesus. To God be the glory!

Is there really a difference between virginity and sexual purity?

Many people view purity and virginity as synonymous terms, using them interchangeably to convey the same point. But in truth they are not the same. For example, consider the following: Can an individual remain a virgin (by refraining from intercourse), but tarnish their sexual purity through other immodest behaviors in their lives (such as pornography or achieving orgasm outside of intercourse)?

Really think about this for a moment.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 ESV

What is sexual purity exactly? And what is virginity?

According to Websters, purity is defined as the lack of dirty or harmful substance; and a lack of guilt or evil thoughts. Virginity is defined as the state of never having had sexual intercourse.

While virginity is deeply connected to the physical act, purity is much more of a mind-set and belief system. As a Christian, we must be aware that our body belongs to God, and it is to be used for His glory. It’s a lie to believe that we can do with our bodies whatever we deem permissible in our own eyes. This is leaning on the understanding of man, and it can get us into a lot of trouble. There are, in fact, safe practices and danger zones in the context of a dating relationship.

“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 NASB

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 ESV

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Psalm 118:8

Allow me to be candid through the tender love of Christ.

First of all, we all know what can happen when a man and a woman share a bed. So sleeping (whether overnight or as part of an afternoon nap) in the same bed with the opposite sex (especially while in a dating relationship) is dangerous territory. This act alone is cultivating an intimacy that belongs only in marriage. Unfortunately, such intimacy is very challenging to dissolve after a dating relationships ends. After all, even the act of sleeping by itself (a place of extreme vulnerability) can foster a premature sense of trust in a person (that otherwise wouldn’t be granted until the relationship presents itself as ready).

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14 ESV

It would be extremely prudent on your part to avoid this behavior, both to guard your own heart and to protect your witness to other believers. By maintaining strong physical boundaries in relationships, you are allowing no room for presumptuous thoughts to manifest concerning your purity. We are called to be a light to the world, and to walk in a place of purity.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 ESV

Secondly, until marriage it would also be very wise to avoid engaging in any sexual act that leads to orgasm. This can include manual stimulation, oral sex, or anything else that could produce intense sexual pleasure. This type of enjoyment should be shared between a husband and wife alone. Here’s why: in marriage God receives the glory through the formation of a deep, intimate bond between husband and wife (intended to strengthen the marital union).

In marriage, sexual activity is performed without fear of future rejection, trepidation, abandonment, and/or shame. When done on His terms, all sexual activities will bring incredible enjoyment that is rich in genuine love and pleasing to God. The marriage bed is lavished with peace and joy, rather than shame and condemnation. It’s your choice to make, beloved. My hope is that  you make the right one through the grace of Jesus Christ.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 ESV

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:37 ESV

 Join me tomorrow as we discuss the issue of sexual purity when living as a single person. To God be the glory!

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