Tag Archives: Christianity

Debunking the Myths About Hearing God (Book Review)

Many of us have confusing ideas regarding what it means to hear from God. We think of audible voices or outlandish experiences. We think we’ll hear Him as obviously as if fireworks had been set off and doubts will not exist when He speaks.

We all know what really happens though: We doubt, we hear subtle things we aren’t sure are God. Meanwhile, another Christian seems to have those fireworks encounters and we feel like something must be wrong with us. Perhaps we just aren’t as spiritual as the people around us. Continue reading

Effective Prayer: Praying God’s Word by His Spirit

One of my passions is prayer and helping others grow in prayer. I want to share two keys to effective prayer.

There are many resources such as prayer journals to help us pray more. But with these resources in hand, how do we pray effectively? How do we engage in prayer that is also enjoyable? After all, a simple “save Richard” or “help Susie not to doubt” gets repetitive and even boring after awhile. We want to pray specifically and with our hearts all in.

Beyond any other tool, our greatest resources for prayer are God’s Spirit and God’s Word.

We must pray in agreement with God. We want to avoid praying our own opinions, agendas or ideas. Instead, we must follow the leadership of God’s Spirit and seek His Word.

It says in 1 John 5:14-15 that we have confidence in God if we ask according to His will. We can actually know that He hears our prayers and that He will answer them. So how can we learn to pray His will? Continue reading

God’s Answer When We Feel Nothing

Perhaps you’ve experienced seasons where you were feeling little or nothing at all. You may even feel this way now: numb, empty, wondering why.

Maybe this is simply while spending time in God’s presence. Or it could be what you feel most of the time, in every situation. I’ve personally been in such a season recently. Emotions have not been felt as deeply—especially the positive ones such as joy, excitement and enthusiasm.

This has bothered me because—even in this trying season—there is still plenty to be joyful or excited about! New things are on the horizon for our house of prayer; promises we have long awaited are being fulfilled. And when events worth celebrating happen, we all want to share in the excitement, don’t we?

In response, God recently brought a life-altering revelation. I knew that this was something others also needed to hear because this revelation came with the potential to greatly change our perspectives, and even increase our pursuit of His heart.

God’s Answer

Be encouraged, beloved, God has an answer that might just be for you right now.

God impressed upon my heart that feeling nothing can be a good thing. Instead of causing discouragement, a lack of emotion is like a clear canvas awaiting a masterpiece. It is an opportunity that holds great possibilities!

Upon the very canvas of our souls, God can paint our souls with His own emotions and thoughts. All we need to do is ask Him what He is feeling and thinking, and to allow us to feel these emotions as well.

What a beautiful thing! His excitement, delight and other emotions about us and the events of our lives are far deeper, fuller and more alive than any human feelings we could ever have!

Perhaps this is why God allows us to experience seasons where we do not feel as deeply if at all. Now, if we are open to it, He can give us something higher instead–His own thoughts and feelings, His very heart.

My perspective has shifted completely and I pray this revelation shifts yours as you read this. Is this not yet another way He turns ashes to beauty? Our Abba is beyond amazing.

“…He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair…” Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)

In Times of Testing, Jesus Is So Worth It

Have you ever felt as if everything was going opposite the Lord’s promises? Have you felt like throwing in the towel, wondering if you’ve missed it because nothing worthwhile seems to be happening anymore?

These are the times when our true motives and resolve are tested. What is truly in our hearts is brought to the surface and God wants to bring beauty out of the ashes.

What comes to the surface can lead to a valuable searching of our hearts. As the house of prayer where I lead worship goes through a challenging season, God has brought some motive-searching questions to mind:

  • Are we doing this to exalt God who is worthy of worship or to grow in number?
  • Will we pray and serve simply because we want His will to be done and His Son to be glorified?

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Vessels of the Father’s Love

Father God has given us each a free will. He has given us a beautiful choice to show love and honor to Him and others. Most often, we think we do this pretty well. Nonetheless, our hearts still contain impurities revealing self-focus and unhealed wounds.

Learned behaviors we thought were normal affect our daily lives. Ingrained habits plague us. We raise our voices at our children or siblings. We avoid those who rub us wrong. Or perhaps we find ourselves doing things to fulfill the need to be useful, or we assert ourselves wrongly to feel in control. Maybe we busy ourselves to avoid painful emotions.

Even in the many struggles we have, Father God is working to refine us into vessels of His love as we yield to Him.

We want to be ones who seek the heart of God, showing selfless love to all who we come near. Jesus confirmed this call. When asked about the most weighty of the Commandments, He said that loving God with all and loving others are the two from which all others stem (Matthew 22:36-40).

We realize our attempts to love remain tainted with self-serving. Showing love and honor is not automatic. Because of our tendencies toward selfishness and sin, we must seek to be intentional. We must be mindful of those around us.

If we ask, Father God will reveal ingrained behaviors and help us replace them with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We must seek to be a blessing in every situation. It will take allowing Him to show us the depths of our souls.
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