hearing god / by sharon wooten

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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 and Recognizing the VOICE of God in My Life.

In James 3:14-18 we read:

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Just in the simple matter of being asked to guest post here was a case of hearing the voice of God.

Tiffany sent me an email on December 1st asking for me to guest post about this subject. I remember reading it and then flagging it in my email thinking I would get back to it later.

I forgot about it.

Completely.

I sat cleaning out my inbox and ran across it again.

On February 9th.

I quickly emailed Tiffany and asked if it was too late to submit a post and she replied graciously with an extended invite.

That reply was on February 10th.

I had no idea what I was going to write.

However, that evening as I sat in our Wednesday night Bible Study, though what was being taught was completely on a different subject, the Holy Spirit quietly whispered, "that thing I showed you in James a few days ago, THAT is what you are to share in that post on Tiffany's blog."

On February 2nd, I had one of those times in my morning devotions that I knew it was all God and I was just writing what was coming to mind. Wisdom that was not coming from within me. The Holy Spirit revealing the meaning behind the words as I read them, an understanding and application of the passage, so much clarity and I couldn't write them down fast enough.

Ever have a time like that?

It's like an "ah-ha" moment that you KNOW didn't come from your own brain.

I remember writing it all down and then sitting back and going, "Wow, God. What is this for? What am I to do with this?" Though much of it was gently correcting me spiritually (I had a bad attitude about something) but it is also a good lesson to pass on.

Certainly we all deal with this, it isn't just me.

So, back to James chapter 3.

Here is what God gave me.

Let's start with verses 14-16.

When my thoughts are critical and judgmental and hypocritical, they are not from the Lord, they are not Holy Spirit led. They have not "descended from above." They also tend to be loud and consuming thoughts.

Then in verses 17-18, God describes that which has "descended from above" as "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." When I am listening and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit is truly speaking, then those thoughts are pure and peaceable, gentle and "easy to be entreated," full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Not sure what "easy to be entreated" means? According to Noah Webster's 1828, my second favorite book ever, "entreated" means:

Prevailed on by urgent solicitation; consenting to grant what is desired.

It is easy to consent to. It is not asking the impossible. God does not ask the impossible of us and he gives us the ability to do what He asks of us.

They are thoughts that in the end will lead to peace, they are merciful thoughts and thoughts that will produce "good fruits" and "righteous fruits," if they are applied.

They also do not contain the sins of partiality and hypocrisy. Also these thoughts are usually corrective thoughts, correcting my own behavior or attitude.

The Bible refers to the voice of God as "a still small voice" in 1 Kings 19:12. It is a quiet whisper. He whispers it and then leaves you with it to ponder.

It is NOT a loud and condemning thought that puts itself on repeat in your head, that wears you down, and piles on the guilt, making you miserable.

What a blessing that God, through the Holy Spirit living within us as Christians, is so loving and gentle with us. He teaches us in gentle ways much like I imagine how Jesus took little children on his knee and spoke lovingly to them. I don't think he grabbed them forcefully, got in their face, and yelled at them.

Is God whispering something to you today?

Be still and quiet and listen because he will not yell at you above the noise in your life. 

That is simply not his way.




Sharon writes about her hike through life at her blog Hiking Toward Home. She enjoys sharing what her Trail Guide teaches her along the trail toward her home in Heaven while capturing the view in pixels, paint and pencils. As wife to the love of her life, whom she met in a college photography darkroom and home educating mom to four fabulous kids, her trek often feels more like a marathon sprint up a mountain than a leisurely hike. Her writing has been featured at (in)courage and in Holly Gerth's book You Were Made For A God-Sized Dream. Hike along with her through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter

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