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The soil of Your Heart – God’s Voice

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Sound wave, voice, God's voice
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said,
“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10

It is vitally important for ever Christian to grow spiritually. We ought to seek growth in our relationship with God. We do this by preparing the soil of our hearts. That is the theme of this post – prepare the soil of your heart. Today, we look at God’s voice and how God’s voice helps prepare the soil of your heart.

Scripture: 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13

God’s voice

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There is nothing sweeter and more delightful than a continuous conversation with God. We are meant to commune with our heavenly Father, to be in conversation with him throughout the day concerning all that’s going on around us. For a long time, I held the belief that God doesn’t like to talk. I thought you found out how to live the Christian life solely through reading the Bible, going to church, listening to sermons, etc. I thought prayer was just asking God for stuff and waiting to see if he said yes or no through circumstances. God does speak through circumstances and his word, to be sure, but he also loves to speak directly to his children. He longs to be in conversation with us. 

What the Bible Teaches

The Bible clearly teaches that God speaks to his people. Jesus teaches us in John 16:13 that “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” In John 10:27 God tells us, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” God promises to speak to you as his child. He longs to tell you his love for you even more than you long to hear it. He longs to tell you his plans even more than you want to know them.

Effective Listening

There hasn’t been a single thing more impactful in my life than hearing the voice of God. His voice is so tender when I need tenderness, corrective when sin constricts my life, and powerful when only he can make the changes in my life that need to be made. He speaks perfectly, never a word out of place and always at the perfect time. You might hear God more than you think. I’ve never heard him speak audibly to me, but every day he whispers to my heart what I need to know – I need just tune in and listen. There are days I don’t stop to listen. There are times I allow the weight of the world to crowd out his voice. But as I turn my heart back towards him, I find out that he was there—speaking all along. He whispers of his love for me when I feel crushed by the opinion of man. God tells me he’s proud of me when I feel like everything I’m doing doesn’t measure up. Abba Father whispers of his plans for me when I turn and go my own way. It’s not because I’m gifted in some certain way that I hear his voice, but rather because God in his grace loves to speak. 

Effective prayer is a process, but it is a process completely worthy of your efforts. Pray when you feel like it but most importantly, have appointments with the Lord and keep it – appointments in secret where it’s just you and God. We are more powerful on our knees than standing around moaning and groaning about everything. Make a daily time to set aside for prayer. Fight to keep it at all costs. Connecting to God through prayer, hearing his voice, and experiencing his presence will lead you to a satisfied life. The Christian life without prayer is no different than a relationship with a person without communication. While your God will never fail you as people do, abundant relationship with him requires constant communication.

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Time and space

God has never made a spiritually deaf person. You can hear God because his voice is immeasurably more about his love than your abilities. You are his child; his love for you is vast, unchanging and unceasing. All it takes to hear him is simply inclining an ear to him and allowing his words to take root in you. As he speaks of his love, you will feel the chains of the world fall off. As he tells you of his purpose, you will discover that a plan has been in the works for you since before you were born.

Choose to listen to his voice today; let it drown out the cares of the world and create a soil in you receptive to his seed, fertile and filled with the fruit of the Spirit. 

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Prayer guide

1. Meditate on the truth of what the Bible says about hearing God.

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:13

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2. Now take time to listen to God.

Ask him how he feels about you. Talk to him about anything that’s bringing you stress. Listen for a whisper of his voice or an inclination that seems to be of God.

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3. Let the truth of what he’s speaking settle into your heart. 

Pay attention to inclinations, to longings or urgings of the Spirit. Ask him for greater understanding of what he’s speaking to you. Choose to trust that he will speak and guide you into the fullness of life if you will simply follow him.


Practice

There is a practice to hearing God’s voice, but it’s more a practice of casting off the things of the world than anything else. Sometimes, it takes time to quiet your soul and focus on God. Don’t be frustrated if you feel like you aren’t hearing anything. The weight of all of this is on God. God speaks in any and every way he can. He loves to speak through the Bible and through circumstances so listen for his voice and continually seek him. There’s no pressure from God. He desires to take weight and burden from us instead of putting it on. He just wants you to live in relationship with him.

Let his voice settle in your heart today and become a refreshing source for you in every circumstance.

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Light my path and search me, oh God

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Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Light on my path

Life is truly a journey, but sometimes while on the trip we are faced with turns, stops, and forks in the road where we desperately need God’s divine guidance. In the middle of the indecisive moments in our lives, we must do our part in seeking God’s will.

The word of God is designed specifically for the believer to utilise in reading, studying and meditation regarding any situation. God additionally provides his children with the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth and revelation concerning our life’s purpose, plan, and assignment. Frustration often occurs when we independently choose our own plans apart from God’s word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13-14: 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

Similarly, irritation attempts to creep in when we follow God’s word and heed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and change in our situation doesn’t happen instantly. During those waiting periods, I encourage you to wait some more, trust, pray, and praise the LORD because additional guidance and revelation is on the way.

Hebrews 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God and sometimes He doesn’t provide the entire picture of your life’s plan, just one pixel at a time. When you feel like you don’t know where to turn, remember God’s word is the light that guides you and illuminates your path.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

God continues to reveal, speak, and guide his children. Be encouraged today and make sure that you are in alignment with his will, word, and way. Then you will begin to notice God’s divine guiding power in your life.

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Search me, oh God

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

If we’re not careful, our hearts can become like double-sided tape, picking up slights and hurts with increasing ease. And God is never duped by our outward appearance. He, better than anyone, knows that no human being is exempt from needing to declutter our hearts.

Even David, described as a man after God’s own heart, asked God to examine the contents of his soul in Psalm 139:23-24

His prayer gives us three practical steps to follow in decluttering our hearts.

1 Ask God

David courageously asked God to conduct an internal excavation. This was a brave request considering God knows all things, even that which we hide from ourselves.

And though the combination of our mind, will, and emotions may look like a long overdue garage sale, He is not hesitant to delve inside. He is not repelled by the complexity of our soul. Fully aware of the sum total of who we are, He delights in us.

2 Listen to God

David not only asked, but was prepared to listen to all that God would reveal to him about his heart. This was evident by his asking “See if there is any offensive way in me,”. David wanted to know God’s opinion of who he was at his core.

If we choose, like David, to declutter our hearts, we need to be prepared for what God has to say about us. He may ask us to part with a piece of ourselves we feel intimately connected to. Though it may be difficult, we can rest in the truth that God loves us extravagantly.

He is a master heart pruner, who purges because He knows it will make us better. Gently he persistently prompts us to release the jumbled hodgepodge of clutter we’ve piled up in our hearts. As our Creator, we can trust He has a purpose when He says “Let it go.”

He alone knows what needs to be kept or discarded.

3 Follow God

David ends his Psalm by saying “. . .    and lead me in the way everlasting.” If you are like me, sometimes I think I am a shepherd instead of a sheep. Foolishly, I get confused into thinking I can do a better job leading myself; but I can’t.

This is futile because a self-led person is headed for ruin. It is better to be led by God who sees our beginning and our end. If He can speak to the waves and bring peace then he can speak to our cluttered souls and bring order. We must surrender to Him: believing His infinite understanding of who we are is far superior than our finite perspective.

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Love each other deeply

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1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Christians ought to work hard at loving each other. The Greek word translated as “deeply,” “earnestly,” or “fervently” is ektenē, used to describe the muscles of an athlete straining to win a race. Peter writes that Christians should do this above all. A follower of Christ must make demonstrating the love of Jesus to others his or her first priority. This is always a requirement, but especially crucial during seasons of suffering.

Loving each other is also a proper response to the realisation that the end of all things is near, as mentioned in 1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” Knowing that the Day of the Lord could come at any time should cause believers to double down on our commitment to each other.

Finally, loving each other in this way covers a multitude of sins. We need to be careful with this statement. This doesn’t mean that our acts of love for each other can earn God’s forgiveness. Nor does Peter mean to imply that we are paying our sins off through good works. That would contradict what Peter and other New Testament writers clearly teach: that our sins are paid for by Christ’s death on the cross, and forgiveness for sin comes only through trusting in Him.

Rather, the idea that our love for each other covers a multitude of sins relates to our imperfection. Christians are not yet sinless. We are not perfect. We have set the course of our lives away from sin, but we still fail to obey sometimes. We make mistakes, even when we mean well.

Love for each other includes forgiving each other, overlooking past hurts, and building each other up when we fall.

It is difficult for sin and resentment to flourish in a community rich in Christ-like love.

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