Tag Archives: wisdom

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!

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Including God in Everyday Living

While sitting with Jesus yesterday, we began to talk about the importance of trust. He and I talk about this often, probably because I desperately need to be reminded of it every single day. And I do want to include God in everything; I’ll take the path He leads me down over over the crooked mess I can make of my life by leaning on myself every day of the week.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reveals a ton about the nature and character of God. As we see in our dissection of verse 5 in yesterday’s post (“Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”), leaning on our own reasoning alone really isn’t a wise thing to do. More importantly, we also see that God truly is interested in the details of our lives. Because He is asking that we depend on Him and include Him in every part of our hearts (the core of our being), He goes on to attach a promise in verse 6:

“…in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

 Just as we did with verse 5 yesterday, we will break down this line of scripture word by word:

“…in all (in everything) your (personalized, individual responsibility) ways (decisions, courses of life, methods, manners, processes, plans, habits) acknowledge Him (recognize, include, and seek God) AND He will (God promises to) make (create, shape, alter) your (He is talking to YOU) paths (decisions, circumstances to decisions, direction of life, priorities, focus) straight (to be pure, just, proper, and honest).”

Also interpreted as….

“In every area of my life, including my plans concerning my present and my future, my habits in the way I spend my time, and my decisions, I will include God. By doing so, He is going to alter my very life circumstances to be right, in order, and incredibly fruitful.”

Wow. When you really dive into this scripture, you can begin seeing why including God is so important. Not only does He want to be involved; we actually need Him to be involved. We can’t make our paths straight; only He can. For me, this verse has been an extraordinary epiphany by revealing when and how I think I should include Jesus in my life.

What I find most interesting about this piece of truth is that it completely (not partially, but fully) rejects our modern approach to Christianity. In our fast paced world, even those with heart-felt devotion to Christ can find it easy to merely include God on Sunday, but then live for themselves the rest of the week.  Monday is when we return to work, and mixing Jesus and work can be complicated. We start thinking that we can handle our jobs, and that we only need to include God in the more “spiritual” areas in our lives.

Yet God cannot be compartmentalized, beloved. When we apply scripture to our lives (through His grace), we can no longer divide our load between what God controls and what we control. Because He is God, He needs to be treated like God. He deserves everything that we can give Him. After we surrender our life circumstances to Him first, and then we can see how our decisions will best be handled.

Such a mindset is really the manifestation of the statement “Jesus is my Lord.” Jesus is more than the Savior that died on a cross; He is a leader and a guide for every aspect of our lives. By willingly choosing to include Him every single day, we come to truly recognize Jesus as Lord. As you seek Him, beloved, you will always find Him. Always.

May your heart be encouraged and challenged to include this Righteous King into your everyday world.
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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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