Thursday, March 27, 2014

#266 - Is it Possible to Hear from God?

Jeremiah 30:2 - Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book. 
Proverbs 31:15 - She rises while it is yet night and gets (spiritual) food...
John 10:27 - The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. 
Have you ever been curious as to whether you hear from God? Or if it is even possible to hear from Him? Is it Biblical to hear from Him? Let's take a look into the Word about this very subject. 

If we take a look at the Word, in John 14, Jesus is talking to the disciples and is letting them know that he is going to leave, the world will see Him (the person Jesus) no more. BUT, the even better news is that Jesus says that in His place, He will leave the Counselor, Someone who will be with us forever! Let's take a look in verse 16 and 26 of John 14, "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever ...  But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you."

I know there is a myth out there that we, as Christians, cannot "hear" from God, but the truth of the matter is, that is a wrong belief! If we are a believer, we CAN hear from God. More specifically, we can hear from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is one of the Trinity of God (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit the Counselor). When we get saved, it is the Holy Spirit of the Trinity that comes to reside inside of us. It is the Holy Spirit that is talked about in John 14:16, 26. The Comforter as it describes. Also Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Strengthener. As believers we are SUPPOSE to hear from the Holy Spirit. He resides in us to be that Voice to tell us, "No, turn right here instead of left today. There is an accident ahead that I want to keep you from." As we read earlier in John 10:27, the sheep (us!) hear My (the Holy Spirit's) voice. 

So, we have to get the 1st myth out of the way. Now that we believe we CAN hear from the Holy Spirit, GET OUT YOUR JOURNALS! Literally! Jeremiah 30:2, tells us to write down what we hear! 

I remember doing this for the first time. It was about 12 years ago when I first began to practice the art of listening and writing down what the Holy Spirit revealed to me. I was a teacher at a private Christian school and was on my prep period. I was sitting in the library reading my Bible and was determined that I was going to practice trying to listen to the Holy Spirit. I remember like it was yesterday as I sat at the table by myself. Often finding myself distracted by things or sounds, I had to try to make everything quiet. I closed my eyes and literally plugged my ears with my two index fingers. I pictured a big bulldozer or tractor with a cement wall on the front literally going through my mind and pushing all the thoughts out of it until I had a blank slate. My mind was blank, distractions gone and for the first time, I began my conversation with the Holy Spirit. It began like a simple conversation. I said, "Good morning Holy Spirit." He replied, "Good morning Amy." As our conversation continued, as it says in Jeremiah 30:2, to WRITE down in a book what He tells us, I had my journal out and began to write what I felt He told me. Interesting enough, probably just to prove to me it was Him, after journaling what I thought He was saying, I opened up my Bible to read. The passage of scripture that I read, went right along with what I had journaled. Confirmation! I was so JACKED! I HAD heard from the Holy Spirit! I was so excited. And THAT was the beginning of me practicing to listen. Granted, I don't have to go through all the steps I did at one time to get in a position to hear, but for a long time I did. Today, after practicing listening for so long, like John 10:27, I can hear my Fathers voice. I can distinguish between His Voice and the noise of the world or of the enemy easily, as long as I take the time to listen. 

I'd encourage you today, get a journal or notebook. Begin to WRITE DOWN as you hear from the Holy Spirit. Be confident that the Holy Spirit DOES speak to you and WANTS to! He was designed for that VERY REASON! To be our Counselor. It wouldn't be a very good counselor if he didn't give us any counsel, now would it?! That is why Jesus left! He said it is BETTER that He leave. Why on earth would it be better? Because as a man, he could only be one place at one time. The Holy Spirit on the other hand dwells within EVERY believer and can be everywhere! We have the Holy Spirit with us FOREVER! (John 14:16)

Friend, practice today! Listen and write down what you hear! Never go another day without conversing with the Holy Spirit!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Your Angel is on His Way!

Daniel 10:11-13 (Amplified / The Message) - And [the angel] said to me, ‘Daniel,’ he said, ‘man of quality, listen carefully to my message. And get up on your feet. Stand at attention. I’ve been sent to bring you news.’ “When he had said this, I stood up, but I was still shaking. “‘Relax, Daniel,’ he continued, ‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me…"
Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.  
Mark 11:24 - For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].  
Do you ever wonder why your prayers are not coming to pass? Do you feel that what you are praying is not only a true desire of your heart and something you feel strongly about, but also something you feel God really wants to happen? Something you have felt led to do. Do you feel like you are called to do this very thing? Maybe it is a business, a book, a relationship, a family, a move, a job, a specific direction in your life. "But GOD, WHY aren't you answering my prayers?"

As I was reading and studying, I found something very interesting in the book of Daniel. An angel came to Daniel in response of his prayer. The things is, the angel began to come to Daniel the very time WHEN HE PRAYED. It took the angel 3 weeks to get to Daniel to answer his prayer. WHY? In laymen's terms, he was held up. He encountered a problem. "Houston, we have a problem." The angel ran into opposition. I looked up the verse in the Hebrew and here is the definition I found:
Withstood/Waylaid/Delayed: To take one's stand, Rise up Against 
The angel on his way to answer Daniel's prayer was hit with opposition. Who would oppose an angel? Demonic forces. A demon got in the way while the angel was on his way to Daniel. The angel was delayed for THREE WEEKS! Then was finally rescued by the angel Michael. I'm not making this up! Angels are real. Equally, demons are real. They are out there. We may not see them, but they are real. It's right there in Daniel Chapter 10.

What does that mean to you? Have you grown weary? Have you prayed and feel you are at a stand-still? Have your prayers not been answered but you really feel like what you are praying for is something led of the Holy Spirit?

Friend, if you believed when you prayed, like Daniel, one of your angels could have taken flight right when you prayed! Obstacles to answering your prayer could have come up along the way. That doesn't mean an answer is not coming. It just may mean you need to wait it out. Do not grow weary. Stand firm. Be steadfast. Once you have prayed, THANK GOD for the answer. Thank God for your answer coming to pass. As you are delighting in the Lord, seeking to please Him, it says that HE WILL give you the desires of your heart.

Take heart! Your Angel is on His Way!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Enjoy TODAY!

Good Morning! Today's post is a bit significant! Why? This is my 400th blogpost/devotion! Wow! We've been through a lot on this blog….3 kids to be exact. I started this blog shortly after Tyler Jr was born…continued it with Trinity…. and now, 10 weeks into Timothy's life it is still going. :) So… a big THANK YOU to YOU for joining me and being on this ride together as we study the Word of God! :)

HAPPY READING on today's


Eccl 3:1 - To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.
Matthew 6:25a - Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life... 
Do you ever get stressed about where you are at in life? How much you have or have not accomplished. Are you living a life of significance? Are you "Getting Things Done?" as the popular title of a bestseller rings in my head, "GTD - Getting Things Done by David Allen." 

I obviously cannot speak for you, but I know for me most days I like to feel like I am accomplishing things. So much so that most days I really have to STOP and remember to smell the roses along the way. With a newborn, I am reminded at how quickly this phase of parenting goes by. You know the phase of them snuggling up to you, falling asleep in your arms, breathing their "milk breath" on you as they fall asleep after being fed. Because once they are mobile, the snuggling without wiggling may be few and far between depending on the child. So…. now, knowing this, I have purposefully tried to slow down more with Timothy. Enjoying the moments. Taking those "snapshot pictures" with my eyes, when my camera is not around. Soaking in the moments when he is smiling or looking at me or simply sleeping peacefully.  There are also those occasions when I catch myself and am mentally reminded, "I need to stop and slow down to have fun with my kids." Put my list of "To-Do" things and projects aside, which can wait, and have a fun day with them (or even just 15 minutes of fun.) Go to the park. Jump on the trampoline. Chase them around. Focus solely on them without multi-tasking. It's funny, even 15 minutes of fun with mom or dad is a lot to a 4 year old! At breakfast and lunch, we have this habit of going around the table and asking, "What was your favorite part for today?" And wouldn't you know it, the days where I do spend 10-15 minutes jumping on the trampoline or playing outside, THAT 10 minutes of time, is Tyler Jr's "Favorite part for the day."

You have probably heard (maybe said) the phrase, "You know, time sure does fly." Or, "Before you know it, they will be grown up and out of the house." Or, "You better not blink, time will pass just like  THAT!" As the person snaps their fingers

Time does go by. I have been guilty almost of being scared of "missing it." Missing the time with my kids (even though I'm there for almost everything as a stay at home mom.) But I still catch myself being almost scared of them growing up. Not wanting them to grow up because I know that means one day this season will be over, they will be out of the house, married and having kids of their own.

Today's scriptures are a great reminder, To EVERYTHING there is a season. STOP begin uneasy, anxious and worried! Sure, my kids are going to grow up, but I can ENJOY each season as they are growing. Just this week, as I was getting Trinity up and ready she said, "Mommy, God wants to eat your hair." I obviously laughed and then I asked her, "Why?" She proceeded to say, "God loves you Mommy. God loves Mommy." Ok? Not sure where the logic comes from, but straight from the mouth of a 2 year old. :) Moments like that! Moments with a 2 year old.

As I am encouraged to just LIVE IN THE MOMENT, LIVE IN TODAY, I encourage you to do the same. Now sure, that doesn't take away from planning, preparing, accomplishing goals, living out your assignment and the calling on your life. That is a talk for a different time. But as you are moving through life, discovering and living out your purpose, ENJOY TODAY! Enjoy the silly moments, the sunshine, the opportunities to go to the park. I'm reminding myself not to be so tied up on "projects" that I miss those memory making moments.

Go make some memories today!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

From Vodka to Vanilla

Phil 4:13 - I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
Philippians has always been one of my favorite books in the Bible. When I was in High School, Philippians 4:13 was my favorite verse, we even included it on the back of one of our cross-country shirts. Though there are the other great verses in the book, Phil. 2:13, Phil 3:14, Phil 4:8, Phil 1:6, just to name a few of my favorite.

This morning, for the first time ever, I read Philippians 4:13 differently as I read the amplified version. I noticed that in the amplified, it used the word "infuses." It says, "through Him Who infuses inner strength into me." 

You see... my recent "Martha Stewart" skills over the last 2 years caused me to try and learn how to make Vanilla Extract. I bake enough that I use vanilla extract A LOT! Not to mention my theory with vanilla... "If a little vanilla is good, a LOT is better!" When baking, I think vanilla makes everything better. If a cake or cookie recipe calls for 1 teaspoon, I add 2-3 teaspoons! But, vanilla is not cheap for the normal person! A small 2 ounce bottle may cost $4-5. That doesn't go to far with as much as I use it. So, that brings me to this eye-opening new way of seeing Philippians 4:13. I looked up the definition to the word "infuse." This is what it said:
infuse: to steep or soak (leaves, bark, roots, etc.) in a liquid so as to extract the soluble properties or ingredients.
In order to make vanilla extract, you need vodka or rum. You cut the vanilla beans, scrape out the "caviar" from the center, and both the bean and the "caviar" soaks in the vodka or rum. Then what happens, the vanilla flavor is infused into the vodka creating Vanilla Extract. The vanilla flavor is extracted into the vodka creating that super yummy ingredient for all your favorite baked goods. THE SECRET?!?!

Infusing takes TIME. 

For the vanilla beans to change the vodka from simply an "alcohol" to "vanilla extract" takes TIME. At least 6 months to be exact, and like wine, the longer the vanilla infuses into the vodka, the greater and richer of a flavor it will be. Like wine fermenting over time, vanilla beans will continue to extract their flavor and infuse into becoming a delicious ingredient that could make world renowned cookies! :) (If you know me, you know that I have been in a few chocolate chip cookie bake-off's, so I take my cookie baking and ingredients seriously! Ha!) 

The amplified version of Philippians 4:13 reads, "I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency."

The Holy Spirit will INFUSE INNER STRENGTH within you! But this infusing process takes time. It's going to take you and I steeping and soaking in the Word of God so that the Word of God can be extracted into our lives! So that the Word of God can begin to change our flavor, change our make-up, renew us, change us from the "vodka" (the world & flesh) to the "vanilla extract" (the good things, the God-nature, the Christian who walks in and by the Spirit). As we steep and soak in the Word of God, not only are we strengthened as it says in Phil 4:13, but our literal make-up begins to change. The cuss-words that were a part of our sin nature, as we steep in the Word of God, over time, those same cuss words begin to sound like nails on a chalkboard. Some of the movies we watched at one time, now seem to not be appropriate. As we steep, we are changing! The Holy Spirit is infusing us with INNER STRENGTH! When things come at us, we are stronger to handle them, where the previous us would have broken, the INFUSED US rises up with STRENGTH!

Friend, I encourage you.... take the time now steep and soak in the Word of God. Allow the WORD to get infused into your very being, so that when strength needs to rise up on the inside of you, that is exactly what will happen. You will be filled with inner strength and able to conquor anything!

Social Sharing