When Moses met with God learn the laws, God said to him, Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20) He did indeed lead them as a cloud by day and fire by night. It was an extraordinary display of presence that must have been awesome and comforting.
David understood that and wanted it, Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. (Psalms 25:4-5) Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. (Psalms 27: 11) For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me. (Psalms 31:3)
When God prophesied to Israel about His promise of salvation, He said. For He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them. (Isaiah 49:10) And Jesus, in the prayer that He taught us said, Lead us not into temptation. (Matthew 6:13) It was a prayer knowing that God will lead us and make a way, but we must want to be led in righteousness.
The Holy Spirit is here for us to do exactly that. He will lead us and make a way where there could be no way. It is as it has always been. God is for us and He goes before us. If we will listen and follow Him, He will always lead us and make a way.
Do you remember the old saying, living in a garage does not make you a car just as attending church does not make you a Christian? Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt 7:21-23) I can’t imagine a scarier thing to hear.
How do we ensure that we don’t ever hear those frightening words? By listening to God. He who is of God hears God’s words. (John 8:47) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27-8) The key to knowing that you are saved is knowing that you hear the voice of God.
What does God sound like? He usually sounds a lot like how you think to yourself. When we have Jesus living in our heart, He uses our own thoughts to communicate to us. How do you know it’s God? Practice. If you pray and ask God a question and a new thought comes into your mind that surprises you, then believe that He is speaking to you. Sometimes you’ll hear a friend or read something in a book and your spirit will know. God has many languages to speak in. Expect to hear Him and He will be heard.
The important thing is that you hear His voice. Let Him convict you of habits and lifestyle that you need to let go of. Let Him give you insight and ideas that will help you in the things that you do. Let Him tell you how much He loves you. Be a sheep that knows the voice of the shepherd. “I never knew you” is terrifying. “I love you with all my heart” is wonderful.
God is not the God of Sunday mornings, He is God of our lives. When we begin to live in the kingdom as we are called to, we get to enjoy the benefits of our relationship with the One who loves us best. He lives in us and He just happens to know everything. Learn to draw from that.
Set aside the stress so you can hear God.
I recently started a new job and have been stretched in areas totally new to me. At first, I was pretty stressed about it. I went home at night and had to vent my frustrations at not knowing the things I needed to know. But this made me realize something about myself that I wasn’t aware of before. When I’m stressed and upset, I don’t hear God. I literally block Him out, so all I can hear is my own frustrations.
Life got a lot better when I learned to claim His peace. It takes an act of will to live in peace when you don’t have a natural reason to feel it. I declare that I will not live in fear and I receive the peace of God, then I relax. In that place of rest, I can hear Him. I talk to Him about the things that are difficult and, lo and behold, I figure it out. I don’t always hear specific words, but I do work through thought processes that get me to where I need to go. It’s a great help!
Lean on the Holy Spirit for help. That’s what He’s there for. He’s a genius and the kindest and most patient Teacher you’ll ever have. If you’ve had a situation where God literally helped you figure out stuff at work, share. It will be a blessing to people trying to learn that.
Reading the Bible should be part of your daily routine. The word of God gets into your spirit and changes you, if you let it. There are many books and programs on reading the Bible through in a year so you cover all the Old and New Testaments. Personally, I’m not a big fan of those. Here’s why.
When you approach your Bible reading to check off the chapters you have to read for your daily quota, it’s very easy to miss what God may be trying to teach you because you’re just trying to finish. The daily quotas for a year-long program take a bit of time. What happens if you don’t have time that day for all that reading? Now you’re behind and not actually looking forward to catching up. And do you really need to read through all the genealogies?
Personally, I think your Bible reading should be personal. Read through the Bible yes, but at your own pace. Don’t put pressure on yourself to finish in any time frame. Why? Because you don’t know how long the Holy Spirit will take to teach you what you need to know. When you discover scripture that speaks to your spirit, that’s the time to stop and absorb what’s being taught. Don’t think about it and go on, camp out for a while. Find out everything there is to learn. That may mean going back for several days until you’re ready to move on.
Reading through the genealogies? Why? Unless you’re really interested in them, I say skip them. If you are a new Christian, start with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. See the all different aspects of the story of Jesus. Then work through the rest of the New Testament. After you have a good grounding of the New, go to the Old. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you as you do. It will unlock a wealth of wisdom.
After you’ve read through the entire book, you’ll find that there are certain books that really speak to you. For me they are Isaiah and the Psalms. I could just read them over and over again. And that’s ok. Let the word speak to you and enjoy it. It’s one way that God is talking to you.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4) We hate to wait. We hate it. We’d rather figure out another plan, or drop the whole thing if we have to wait one more hour, one more day, week, month, year. But God said to let patience have its perfect work. Why? If you short cut your way to your goal, you may or may not get there. And if you do, it won’t be what it would have been if you’d been patient. In other words, if you can’t be patient, the thing you’re waiting for won’t be what it was supposed to be.
God always knows right where our impatient button is. It’s different on everyone. He may hold out your answer just past you’re comfort zone just to see if you’ll wait for Him. If you can’t be patient, you lose. If you can, you’ll be amazed at what comes your way. Patience aligns you with God’s timing and His plans for you. Yes, you may be able to achieve something passable without waiting, but if you do wait, you’ll see how much better God’s plans for you are than what you’d plan for yourself.
And there’s more. Not only will you see God do more for you than you could do, you’ll be made perfect and complete, lacking nothing. That comes by setting down your own desires for instant gratification and submitting yourself to God’s timing. It changes you. Patience becomes easier every time you submit to Him. You are made more and more perfect.
Because patience is so powerful to bring about the changes we need, impatience can be deadly. The enemy knows exactly what God will do through a patient person, so he works hard to get you to act now rather than wait. He wants to rob you of the blessing that patience will bring. When you see that happening, resist the devil and he will leave. Embrace patience and wait for the fullness of what is yours. Allow God to change you in the way only patience can. You’ll be so glad that you did.
Being born again does not make you perfect. You’re still walking around in your human suit. But that doesn’t mean that you stay in your old mindsets. The very minute you commit to Jesus, He begins whispering for you to draw closer to Him. You are changed by proximity to Him.
Allow God to change you.
But that change is not over night. It’s a continual progression to holiness through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5) Notice the verb tense? It’s current and ongoing. When you learn one lesson, you’re on to the next one. Over time, your old attitudes of anger, resentment, fear, selfishness, and hurt are replaced by love, peace, joy, and kindness. He will make you into the real you.
Nothing happens, however, until you ask. That amazing gift of salvation comes fully loaded with everything you need to be renewed inside and out, but only when you dive in. You have to open yourself to the Holy Spirit for Him to regenerate and renew you. If you don’t believe He is active to do that, then you lose.
If you will put yourself in God’s hands, He will heal and bless. He loves you fully and completely. He wants you to be happy and blessed. Give Him a chance. Allow Him to do what you haven’t been able to do your whole life. Let Him make you truly happy. It’s your decision.
Patience, kindness, and self-control are all belong to us when we have when the Spirit of God living inside us. Want to know how well you operate in them? Pay attention to how you treat other drivers when you drive.
For some reason, when we are behind the wheel of a car, we feel justified in voicing, and/or showing, some pretty ugly attitudes when we don’t like how other drivers behave around us. Kindness should become second nature to us. Being behind the wheel, or on the phone with customer service, should not dictate how we treat people. Even if we don’t voice our bad feelings, we should not be thinking them either.
We’ve been given the Holy Spirit to shine through us, but you must be engaged with Him for that to happen. You have to want Him to change you from the inside. You have to want to be kind, patient, self-controlled. Ask Him. Then thank Him for what He has already done in you. You can continue to be changed everyday. Never stop pressing in to be more and more like Jesus.
Pretty soon you’ll realize that you’ve been driving in traffic in perfect peace, and it will be a miracle from God that changed you! We need more drivers like that.
How’s it feel to know you possess all wisdom? (Ephesians 1:8) Yep. All wisdom belongs to us. All. When we receive the Holy Spirit, He comes fully loaded. We don’t get downloads as we need them, we get the whole enchilada.
However, that doesn’t mean that we function with all wisdom. We learn to walk in as much as we can handle. Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little. (Isa. 28:13) The more willing we are to be taught, the more we absorb and receive.
Wisdom is an awesome gift to have. And divine wisdom is the best kind. You have an unlimited supply that has been freely given to you. All you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it. Be serious about it and press in. Wisdom will give you insights into the nature of God and how He works in your life. That will affect your family, your job, your hopes and dreams.
What you carry is priceless. Thank God for it, and be wise!
Are you seriously perusing spiritual gifts? Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (I Cor 14:1) This is not a suggestion. God made all the gifts of the Spirit available to us. It’s our responsibility to ask for them and use them.
There’s a reason for that. God wants you to hear Him when He talks to you. He’s got a lot to say about your life and what you should be doing in the kingdom. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor. What better guide through life could you have than God Himself?
Desire His gifts. Desire the ability to prophesy, which blesses other people. Desire the word of knowledge, which makes others aware how much God knows them and loves them. Desire the ability to speaking healing and deliverance.
Salvation is not just about securing a ticket to heaven. It’s receiving citizenship in God’s kingdom. That citizenship requires participation and fellowship with other citizens. We’re meant to help each other. That’s what the gifts are all about.
If the Holy Spirit and the gifts are foreign to you, sit down and read the Bible. See what it says for yourself. Then desire the things He tells you to desire. It’s for your own good.
We have to stop making God into our own image. He is not limited in any capacity. He can do anything we ask, if we just believe. Because we are human, we tend to think of everything in terms of what we can do. We don’t always believe that God is capable of doing what He says He can, because we can’t conceive how that could happen. That’s because we’re human.
God is greater than any sinful or diseased condition that we can possibly imagine. Just remember that He is a great big God and we have little bitty problems. His Spirit in us is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. God does not give the Spirit by measure. (John 3:34) That means that there is no limit to how much of His Spirit that He has given. He didn’t let us have a starter pack or limited time usage. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2Pet 1:3)
What will you do with that power that God gave you?
God not only provided a way of salvation, He provided everything that we need to live in the power of the Spirit of God Himself. You must choose to live in it, or you will not experience everything that has been given to you. You’ve been given a powerful sports car. Will you drive it, or just carry the keys around?