Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Numbers 7:89

Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle
to speak with the LORD, he heard
the voice speaking to him from between
the two cherubim above the Ark's cover
Numbers 7:89
Imagine that you have to choose between two job opportunities: Do you stay where you're at or do you move your family across the country? Don't you sometimes wish that you could hear from God like Moses did?! All you'd have to do is walk into a holy place, and you'd hear his voice with the clarity of HD radio.
The question that people ask all the time is: How do I hear the voice of God?
It's more doable than most people imagine. Here's the process:
  1. Read the Bible a lot. Why? Because the Bible is God's Word. If God speaks to you, it will always agree with the Word of God. So the better you know God's Word, the more likely you are to know if "a word" is from God.
  2. Pray a lot. There are two parts of prayer -- speaking and listening. Spend more and more time doing both.
  3. Ask God. Actively seek God's wisdom and will.
  4. Ask other godly people. This comes with a warning. Asking other godly people does not mean go fishing for advice until you hear the advice you want to hear. It simply means that part of listening is using the good, honest, faithful, God-honoring resources that God has put around you.
  5. Cleanse Yourself. Cleansing occurs first through the confession of sin. But there's another kind of cleansing needed in order to hear God more fully: We have to free ourselves from our personal wants and desires. Jesus did this in the Garden just before his death, praying, "Not my will, but they will be done."
  6. Listen. Now comes the time in prayer to listen. When you're new to listening, you may need to take a retreat to silence the world and hear more clearly.
  7. Test the Advice. Our own voices in our own heads are so strong that we need to test whether the "word we hear" is from ourselves or from God. If it's from us, it's more likely to disagree with the primary directives of scripture. If it's from God, it will always agree with the main calls of scripture.
  8. Repeat. As we do this again and again -- ground ourselves more and more in God's Word, empty ourselves, and take time to listen -- we'll get more and more familiar with God's voice.
  9. And here's a hint: God usually calls you to do things you wouldn't choose to do on your own. He wants to stretch you in godly ways. Why? The more pliable we are, the better we can serve him.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wants rabbit ears
(and a sloth's willingnes to just sit there)
I want to be silly putty ... pliable, yet able to copy images.

These steps sound simple, but they are anything but easy.
- Reading the bible alot - I am reading 'Daily Promises' every day and culling verses from it. Right now I can't handle some of the situations in the bible. (esp the old testament).
- Prayer - I am so uncertain how to pray, much less listen. Scared of doing it wrong. Having been reprimanded for my prayers in the past - I fear that happening again.
- Ask - I ask God and Godly people. I have been guilty of asking until I get the answer I want, but to be honest, last time I did that, everyone gave me the same answer ... and it wasn't the one I wanted! (but ultimately they were telling the truth!)
- testing advice - I am still working hard to counteract the negative voices in my head with the truth. The lies are still very loud and domineering.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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