Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Do you know that God speaks directly to His people individually? How do you know when you are hearing God’s voice, and not your own—or even worse, Satan’s?

God still speaks. The question is, are you listening?

In the time during which Eli was high priest, it was rare for people to hear the Word of the Lord. Eli’s sons “were scoundrels” according
to the NIV. They were treating the sacrifices
to the Lord with disdain, taking for them-selves the choicest pieces of meat, even before the fat was burned as required by God. 

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27 NIV).”

They were also committing adultery with women who served at the entrance to the temple. Eli knew about it and questioned them, but he did not discipline them for their sins. Thus, God was determined to judge Eli and his sons.

God first sent “a man of God” to Eli (1 Samuel 2:27). This man’s identity is not revealed, but his status is: he was a man of God. This was a common euphemism for a prophet. Because God is just, He sent Eli a message through the prophet to warn Him of what was to come to His family. Perhaps because God didn’t immediately carry out his judgment against Eli and his sons but instead gave them time to repent, they did not believe that God was going to actually do what He had said.

So they heard, but they didn’t listen.

Hearing is something you don’t really control. Today, with all the media and technology constantly barraging us with their messages, we can hardly help hearing. But listening we have control over. Listening is active, where hearing is passive. So Eli and his sons heard but didn’t listen.

Samuel was just a boy, living in the house of God and serving the high priest. One night when they were asleep, God called Samuel’s name. After thrice coming to Eli, thinking he was hearing the old priest, Eli suddenly realizes that God is speaking to the boy. He tells Samuel to answer God the next time He called.

“So Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place (1 Samuel 3:9 NIV).”

It was rare to hear from God in those days, and Samuel had not yet heard from God directly. Imagine being a young lad and hearing the condemnation of your boss the very first time God speaks to you! No wonder he was afraid to tell Eli the next morning!

God still speaks to His followers today. But with all the other voices constantly coming at us, how do we know when we hear His voice? Here are five ways God might speak to you.

1.  He speaks through His word. We can be absolutely sure that the written word of God is His voice. When you read a verse and it resonates with you, you’ve heard the voice of God. Next is to listen to what He is saying!

2.  God also speaks to us in our minds. We have a profound thought that surprises us. If it lines up with the word of God, that may be God speaking directly to our minds, especially if the thought deeply surprises you.

3.  Prophetic dreams are another way that God speaks to His people today. If you think that He only spoke that way in the Old Testament, 

then read Acts 2:17 where we are specifically told that “young men will dream dreams and old men will see visions.” (Prophetic means speaking forth the word of God, not necessarily foretelling the future.)

4.  God speaks through things that can only be attributable to God. Coming to faith itself is only by an act of God. Healing or being freed from bondage are also ways we know we are hearing from God.

5.  God answers prayers. When we petition God and He acts on our behalf, we have heard from God.

So how do we know for sure that it is God we have heard from? First, He is fully capable of bearing witness through something over which we have no control. He will confirm His word to us, often through the confirmation of elders who affirm God’s voice.

1 John 4:1 tells us to test the spirits. He says that we should test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false spirits have gone forth in the world. Don’t believe everything you hear, but as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11, examine the Scriptures every day to see if what you are listening to is true.

1 Corinthians 14:29 (AMP) says, “Let two or three prophets speak [as inspired by the Holy Spirit], while the rest pay attention and weigh carefully what is said.”

“Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]. But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 AMP).”

If what we have heard testifies that Jesus was resurrected from the dead (lining up with the word of God), we can rest in the knowledge that the word is, indeed from God. If it doesn’t, then the spirit behind the voice is not God’s Spirit.

So today I challenge you to actively listen to God in His word, in others you trust, and in your own mind and heart.

 

God still speaks!

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Ahavah

Ahavah

Word of the Week

Ahavah

 

Hebrew

In Hebrew, the word we translate love is a•ha•VAH (אהבה).

Interestingly, it is both a verb and a noun. The root of the word is אהב, which means to give.

In most of the English-speaking world, love is thought to be an intense longing for another person, a feeling that is crucial to our well-being. But that only begins to scratch the surface of what ahavah truly means.

Jewish people in the past regarded love as something you did, not as a feeling. In the most sacred prayer, foundational to Judaism, we are commanded to love God.

אוהב את אלוהים

It reads (in English): “Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is one.” It comes from Deuteronomy 6:4.

To pronounce it in Hebrew, you would say: Shema Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu Adonai ehad.

It continues by saying “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your might.”

 

Now God is not so capricious as to command us to have a feeling. We really have not much control over our feelings, but we have nearly total control over our actions.

That’s when ahavah ceases to be a noun and becomes a verb.

A verb is an action word, something we do. So when we are commanded to love, we are not commanded to feel. That’s a different verb.

The Jews see ahavah as a form of giving. We think that we give because we love. But in essence, it’s the opposite. We love because we give. We love our children because we give to them. We give them life, food, clothing, education, gifts, etc. We shower gifts on those we love, and we tend to think that we do it because we love them.

The Jewish perspective is different. To foster love, according to the late Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, we must be generous. If we extend what we have in our hands and our hearts, love will grow. He explains that giving to another human being is an extension of ourselves. Our soul (Hebrew NE•fish) becomes knit with one another. David and Jonathan loved each other, and their hearts were knit together.

1 Samuel 18:1 says “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

Giving ourselves to another creates a bond that in the spiritual is a real thing. The proof of that is the pain we feel when our soul is torn from another when relationships split up. We “become one flesh” when we marry. Divorce or the death of a spouse renders the soul in the most intense pain you can endure.

To love, we must first be generous. To be truly generous, we need to give without self-interest. If we give expecting anything in return (including love), it is a transaction. Yet when we transcend the selfish self and share or give something that is dear to us without any thought of recompense, it triggers love. It doesn’t matter what we are giving—it is the selflessness in giving that elicits a love response.

To give ahavah (which means give in its root form), we bridge the gap between souls and start the process of soul-merger.

That is the very definition of ahavah.

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Intercession: How to Pray So God Says Yes

Intercession: How to Pray So God Says Yes

Intercession How to Pray so God says yes

Is it possible to pray in such a way that you know God’s answer will be yea and amen? I believe it is. C.S. Lewis said, “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me.” Will you allow God to change your prayers?

For His own reasons, God has chosen to partner with us in prayer. But He is not a vending machine that automatically dispenses the things we ask for in prayer. He is sovereign. When He decides to do something, He moves His people to pray.

What would you do if God asked you to go to the foreign mission field? He asked me to do that nearly twenty years ago. I was so sure of His call that I left everything behind and moved to Russia. There was no doubt in my mind that He had a call on my life for a season of serving overseas.

It was easy to trust Him for the things I

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NIV)

needed during that time, because I knew I was doing His will. When I returned after seven years, I wasn’t so clear about what my mission at home was. I had to learn to hear Him all over again.

[bctt tweet=”The bigs things were easy. God was asking me to trust Him even in the little things.” username=”suzi59344978″]

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples (John 15:7-8 AMP).”

It was easy to trust God for the big things. Living totally dependent upon God in Russia was easy compared to living in the States where I had for so many years depended on myself for the little things. But God was asking me to trust Him even in the little things.

I needed to learn how to pray according to His will when things didn’t seem quite so clear. That’s when my prayer life changed—dramatically.

I learned to seek first to glorify God in how I prayed. I began to ask Him what was on His heart and how He wanted me to pray.

In every situation, God has a plan. He wants us to pray according to that plan, and the only way we know what to pray is to ask Him.

So what kind of prayers glorify God and produce fruit in our lives?

[bctt tweet=”He lives to make intercession.” username=”suzi59344978″]

God’s glorious light shows us exactly how we should pray. His light does four things:

1. It dispels darkness. Praying according to what is true glorifies God

2. It finds lost things. We know that the ultimate fruit is seeing others come into the kingdom. Prayer for the salvation of others is always according to His will.

3. It cleanses. God’s will for each person is to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

4. It heals. God wants us to be healed, physically, emotionally, mentally, and most of all, spiritually. And while it is not always clear why we don’t always see that healing physically manifest, it is still according to His will to ask for it. (See James 5:16.)

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25 NIV).”

Prayers that focus on what God says is important rather than what we think is important align with His will.

If the Spirit lays something on your heart, you can be 100% sure that He will hear you. And we can know that it is the Holy Spirit who moves us to prayer because what we feel led to pray for will line up with God’s word.

 

Our relationship with God is intimate. We have His Holy Spirit resident within us, and we have Jesus, the Word of God, to guide our way.

While we are petitioning God according to His will, Jesus is petitioning Him on our behalf. That’s a combination that cannot lose.

That’s  how we make intercession.

 

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Inspiring Posters to Download and Print

Inspiring Posters to Download and Print

Surround Yourself With Words of Inspiration

Colorful words in fun fonts that you can download, print, and hang!

Hello! I’m Susannah

(aka Suzi)

I wanted to share some inspiring words with you so you could download them, print them out, and hang them up. They’re sized at 11″ x 17″, but you can easily print them out half-sized so they are 8-1/2″ x 11″. Use them to slip into the cover of a loose-leaf binder to make a cheery notebook or hang them in your kitchen or craft room.

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