Three Mental Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice

“Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” –  James 1:21 NLT.
We’ve all noticed that the reception quality on a cell phone varies widely. The same is true with you. You must be positioned correctly to hear God speak.

Sometimes we don’t give God a chance to talk to us. We’ve made up our minds. We want to do what we want to do, not what God wants us to do. Our hearts are hardened, and we’re unwilling to listen.

When you have a closed mind, of course he’s not going to talk to you!  But if you really want to hear from God — and what believer doesn’t? — you have to understand what is keeping you from hearing from God. Here are three mental barriers that keep your mind closed to God’s message.
1. Pride. If you think you don’t need God in your life and you want to handle things yourself, you’re probably not listening for God to speak. Pride keeps you from being open to the possibility that God might want to say something to you.

2. Fear. A lot of people can’t hear God because they’re afraid to hear God speak. Maybe you think that hearing God’s voice or sensing his leading makes you some kind of religious fanatic.

3. Bitterness. When you hold on to hurt, resentment, or a grudge, you’re not going to be able to hear God, because your heart is hardened. It has grown cold and made you defensive, even to God’s love.

Perhaps you have been hurt badly, maybe this week or even years ago, and you’re still holding on to it. I want to tell you that you’ve got to let it go. Not for another person’s sake, but for your sake. The resentment is killing you! Resentment is a self-inflicted wound that allows people from your past to continue to hurt you today. You need to let it go, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you need to get on with your life. You need to get rid of the bitterness, fear, and pride that keep you from hearing God’s voice and living out his purpose for your life.

James 1:21 says, “Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” (NLT).

“Humbly accept” means you let go of your pride and stop trying to figure it out on your own. This is the key to opening your mind and heart so that you can hear from the Lord.

Talk It Over
How do you hear God’s voice or sense his leading? In what ways has he spoken to you?
What changes do you need to make in your life so that you can get rid of the “filth and evil” and hear God’s voice?
Why do we sometimes equate hearing God’s voice with religious fanaticism?

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.

Going Against the Flow

Scripture: Psalm 62:1-6
A majority may rule in the culture, but in your personal life, there should be only one ruler—and that’s God. It makes no difference if 10,000 people tell you what you ought to do. Once you have decided to follow the Lord, it’s best to stand right where you are until you get marching orders from Him.

Does this mean we should never take godly counsel? Not at all. It simply means that when we know God hasn’t said to move, we shouldn’t yield to the temptation to please others by following their directives or timeline. In other words, while seeking scriptural advice, believers should also listen for the Holy Spirit’s promptings and warnings. For example, when dealing with your children, you may sense there’s a time to bring up an issue and a time to hold off (Eccl. 3:7).

Sometimes, however, a fear of failure may discourage us from doing things God’s way, making us think, What if things don’t turn out as I planned? What if I’m ridiculed by my peers? But ultimately, we must ask ourselves whether we’re going to listen to God or the world. Remember, you don’t have to fear failure when you obey the Lord. He’s the one who intervenes in times of hardship. And He promises to act in behalf of the one who waits for Him (Isa. 64:4).

Remaining steadfast takes courage. That’s why Paul said, “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10). All the pressure in the world can’t make you budge when you trust the Rock upon which you stand. With God’s guidance, you can act with complete confidence of a successful outcome.STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from InTouch Ministries.

Our Merciful and Faithful High Priest

Scripture: Hebrews 2:14-18
Sometimes when people are estranged, they need a mediator who comes between them to bring reconciliation. This is one way to think of the Old Testament priests. They stood between God and sinful man, offering sacrifices that would reconcile the two.

These earthly priests were a mere shadow of Christ, who came as both the Lamb of sacrifice and the final high priest. God’s Son left heaven to become flesh and blood so He could offer His life on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8). In that way, Jesus set free from sin and death all who believe in Him.

Our Savior was the perfect mediator. Because Jesus was fully God, He was the spotless Lamb the law required (Deut. 17:1). And because He was fully man, it was possible for Him to die. Unlike the earthly priests who repeatedly brought animal sacrifices for themselves and the people, Jesus offered Himself once for all to the Father in payment for the sins of mankind (Heb. 7:27). Then, having satisfied God’s justice with His blood, He was raised to life.

Death did not end the Savior’s role as our High Priest. After the resurrection, Christ ascended to heaven, where He sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for us. Having lived on the earth as a man, He understands our weaknesses and gives mercy and grace to help us in times of need (Heb. 4:16).

There’s great comfort in knowing we have a merciful advocate in heaven. His prayers are according to God’s will, so we also have the assurance that the Father will answer every intercession Jesus makes on our behalf.

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from InTouch Ministries.

God’s Word is Food for the Soul

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ – Matthew 4:4, NIV
There you have it. If we are going to experience a true spiritual life renewal, we need to know and receive the Word of God, “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10, NKJV)
Without God’s Word we are weak, ignorant vessels, losing our way in this complex world system dedicated to keep us from discovering and living the truth.

Why do you think Job said he treasured God’s Word more than his necessary food? Why do you think Jeremiah said he ate God’s Word when he found it? Why do you think David said God’s Word was more valuable to him than thousands of pieces of gold and silver?
David said, “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” (Psalm 119:50, NKJV)
Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63, NKJV)

The critical message in these passages of Scripture is, “know and live God’s Word.”  We cannot live without it. God’s Word is food for our soul.

Peter tells us, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19, NKJV)
It is through the Word of God that our mind is renewed, enabling us to discern what the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God is for our life.

Today, ask yourself:
Do I understand that I need God’s Word as much as physical food in order to live properly in this world?

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Kingdonomics

Loving God

Scripture: John 14:21-24
If you ask a young man how he knows he’s in love with his girlfriend, there’s a good chance he won’t be able to explain but will simply say, “I just know it.” And those of us who have experienced the joy of falling in love will understand what he means.

But how do we know if we love God? Even though we can’t physically see, hear, or touch Him, our life should contain evidence that testifies to our love for Him.

Jesus’ love for His heavenly Father was perfectly demonstrated by His obedience. Every word, thought, and deed—from the time He left heaven to be born as a baby until His ascension—was done according to His Father’s will and instructions. Their relationship was so intimate that Jesus not only knew exactly what His Father desired but also delighted in obeying Him. (See Psalm 40:7-8; John 6:38.)

If we want to grow in our love for the Lord, we must draw near to Him through His Word. As we learn to know Him intimately, our love will increase and we’ll desire to obey. Unless we invest in Scripture, our fervor for the Lord will fall short of what it could be.

What does your lifestyle reveal about the depth of your devotion to Christ—can others see it clearly in your conversation, character, and conduct? And if you ever feel disappointed that your love for Christ seems small, open the Word of God and obey whatever He says. He will abide with you and disclose Himself, thereby increasing your capacity to love and know Him more.

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from InTouch Ministries.

Known by God

But now, this is what the LORD says–he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”Isaiah 43:1-2

Reflect:

  • Do I believe that God has summoned me by name, and that He will be with me when I feel spiritually lost?
  • Do I believe that God has a specific purpose just for me on this earth?
  • Why does God guarantee that He will be with me during life’s trials, but doesn’t necessarily prevent those trials from taking place?

Sometimes we assume that because we believe in God and have faith and trust in Him that He will protect us from grief and hardship. But that isn’t necessarily true. We live in a broken world, and that means that most of us will not walk through life unscathed. We must remember that God walks with us–He doesn’t send us off alone to forge through the wilderness. He accompanies us every step of the way–through deep waters, through the blazing fires of life. He knows each of us by name, intimately and thoroughly–our fears, our flaws, our deepest desires. And He guides each of us on our own, individual path … going before us and coming behind us as we navigate the hills and valleys of life.

Respond
Ask for change: Lord, help me to trust that You are here, right here with me. Help me to know with utter confidence that You will never leave me alone.
Consider what’s real: It’s easy to trust God in good times, when life rolls along smoothly and our worries are few. The key, of course, is to know that He is with us even when we feel alone, even when we might feel abandoned in the midst of our spiritual wilderness. The next time you are in such a desolate place, take a moment to reflect on other difficult times in the past that you survived with God at your side. And know that He’s got your back today.Source: Culled from Crosswalkmail.
STAY BLESSED