hearing god / by tiffany stroud

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5:00 AM

The topic of hearing God and following the Holy Spirit has been surfacing around me. It has made me question how many people have yet to experience the voice of God, especially those who are in the church now, as well as those yet to set their hope in Jesus. I have been praying about what do to with this knowledge to bring about the awareness and beautiful intimacy that hearing God has on us and God lead me to some wonderful ladies I met through the Allume Conference, who are brave and bold and willing to share their story of how they have come to hear the voice of God through this series. It is not a list of "how tos" or of verses on hearing God or things of the sort. Just an honest, open discussion of the telling of their story. Of their journey to the place where God's voice is the one they listen to. You can find the entire series here. 

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Hearing the God who Remembers
This past spring and summer I read two books that made me long for a closer connection with God. I wanted so badly to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit. I wanted to know Him, like really know Him. After reading those books, I began praying that I would hear Him more often and more clearly. I prayed that I would be open to and aware of the Holy Spirit so that God could work through me.

One of the biggest ways God speaks to me is through His scriptures. What I have found, especially this past year, is how when I lean into God and ask Him to speak to me, He does. There have been so many times that I have been struggling in a certain area or with a certain decision, and when I open my Bible the verses speak to that situation exactly.

One of those times was in June of this past year. I was feeling incredibly discouraged by the darkness that seemed to be taking over the world. Just watch the news for a couple days and it's easy to feel this way. It was making me feel sad, sick, and overwhelmed. One day I was feeling especially discouraged and happened to be reading Leviticus 18 as I was working through the Old Testament.

"Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. ... And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you." -- Leviticus 18: 24-25, 28

After reading this, I was reminded of all the natural disasters that had happened recently, especially earthquakes. I felt fearful of what could happen -- of the land vomiting us out and how possible and even probable it is. I began praying after reading that scripture. I told God how sorry I was for all the things us humans are doing, accepting, and even celebrating in this place He created for us.

I asked God that if the land vomits its inhabitants that He would remember those of us who are trying to obey Him, trying to stand up for what's right, trying to have eyes focused on Him and clean, pure hearts. I asked that He remember us -- no matter how few -- and protect us.

A few days later, it was time for me to read Leviticus 26. I love verses 3-6, 9, and 11. But what really stood out to me was verses 40-42.

"But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors -- their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies -- then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land." -- Leviticus 26:40-42

"They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. But for their sake, I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord." -- Leviticus 26:43-45

I was amazed that I had asked God to remember me and those of us trying to please Him, and here just a few chapters later He told me He will remember. God reassured me. He told me He heard my prayer and He would remember.

I couldn't help but wonder if He knew back when He first said that in the Bible -- thousands of years before I even existed -- that He was saying it to me too. I think He did know that. Because He's big -- so big we could never even wrap our tiny minds around it all.

I began reading Leviticus thinking I would gain nothing, yet asking God to teach me. It just shows that when we really ask God to reveal Himself, ask His Holy Spirit to fill us -- well, that's one powerful prayer -- one He loves to answer!

I can't say I've ever heard an audible voice and known it was God. There's no booming, deep voice that speaks to me. That might be the case for some people, and that would make following God's guidance much easier. But I think God likes it when I take the time to truly listen, when I take the time to search for Him and dig deeper to see what He could be saying. I encourage you to ask Him to reveal Himself and see how He answers, because I guarantee He will.



Tiffany Stroud blogs at Seeing Sunshine about faith, family, military life, and homemaking. She is an Army wife, originally from Indiana, who just recently moved to Missouri. She works as a blogger, freelance writer, and virtual assistant. Tiffany loves Jesus, ice cream, and traveling, especially to places with a beach. Follow her on Facebook or Pinterest.
2 comments on "hearing god / by tiffany stroud "
  1. Thanks for letting me share my story Tiffany!

    ReplyDelete

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