Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How I hear from God?

One of the super amazing and cool benefits of giving your life to Christ is this...
You get to hear God speak to you!
That's right, God wants too, to not only speak, but for you to hear His voice.

Why do you need to?
Life is pretty good and pretty challenging on varying tips of the scale. God makes all the difference for me. When I need it, He speaks direction, inspiration and more, and it changes the balance of life for me.

Each year for the last 9 years I have been in a position to be able to head to Auckland for our annual Elim One Conference. And every year I have found God speak clearly to me in ways I have needed. The timing is always perfect. How I felt before going is always countered by what He encourages me with while I am there.
Because it has happened so consistently I now have a healthy expectation of hearing from Him over those few days.

As I was thinking about this amazing privilege this morning, I couldn't help wonder if there were some keys for me that could be keys for you?

Here are few I have jotted down...

Removal of Distraction
The more I am locked into a routine of business.
The more I am controlled by social media curiosity.
The more my heart is drawn to simply be entertained.
Well the more I distracted...
I even wonder if the noise of life is normally so much I couldn't hear God even if he was speaking clearly.
Conference for is more than a venue or a speaker, it becomes for me a place where I am not distracted by life and can simply focus on listening.

Expectation is Key
As I hinted in my intro I expect to hear God speak.
It is not an arrogance thing but a simple child life faith thing.
God is my Father in Heaven and I am His kid. Good Fathers communicate with their kids, God came up with that idea! So I go expecting and to this point, I have never been let down.

Take Notes
Human beings have a habit of hearing and then forgetting the conversation details.
So I take note of what I believe God is saying immediately. I write it down wherever and whenever.
Over the following few days and weeks I go back over it, meditate over it, pray over it, ask God more questions around it.
In doing that, I have discovered the conversation is not lost and the impact is immeasurable.
I figure that if God spoke I should take notice.
I also never want to skite that I hear God but not be able to say distinctly what it was...

Listen to me;
    listen, and pay close attention.
Isaiah 28:23 NLT

...You’ve opened my ears
    so I can listen.
Psalm 40:6 MSG

Something to think about...

Monday, September 24, 2018

You probably won't like this one?

This will be one of my least read blog posts, simply because it is not what people want to hear.
After over a decade of blogging every single week pretty much, the stats show that the posts that encourage and build up, that are funny of light and tasty are my most popular. Nothing wrong with that on some level. 
It is just that I have noticed that the posts which share a challenging truth from scripture are by far the least popular.

But maybe the best thing for me is to hear what I want to hear the least?

You have probably had moments like me?
Where we have had a parent, a boss or a mentor tell us about an area of our lives that needs attention.
And we are all the same, it is hard to hear, we sometimes bite back in self defence, but ultimately they were right and we needed to change and grow.

Jesus always taught what people needed to hear.
Needed to learn.
Needed to understand...
Never just what they wanted to hear, learn and understand.

He taught to change a life and not simply to make people happy and grow a crowd.
To those trying to live their faith by their own measure He shared God's measure.
To those trying to justify themselves and He called out their self sufficient insular faith.
To those trying to manufacture a result He pointed them back to God, his timing and his provision.

I could be more specific but I am afraid I would offend you, so will leave to the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about your specifics.

Every single day God points out areas of my heart He would like to continue His work on.
Every single day I apologise to God. 
Every single day I try and lets His word challenge me and change the core of me for the better.

So if you as awesome a follower of Jesus as you think you are...how about putting on your big boy pants and check out the teaching of Jesus that challenges you the most.
To be honest it is probably what God wants you hear, learn from and understand.

Something to think about...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Great Quotes : Rich Mullins

“Save me from trendy religion that makes cheap clich├ęs 
out of timeless truths.” – 

“I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity, but because there were people willing to be nuts and bolts.” 

“When you stop being so afraid of failing 
you become much more free to succeed.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

And now it is time for the news...

When I was growing up the 6 o'clock news on our TV was a massive deal in my house.
If it was on, as a child you were expected to stay quiet until at least the next ad break. It was a big deal. It was generally seen as a key time to gather news on local and international events.
The same went for the newspaper. Dutifully delivered each day even though we lived in the country side, on a farm. If Dad was reading the paper he really wanted to read the paper.

My point is you go two shots per day at getting information on what is happening in the world, so they better be good...

Today I get news 24/7.
Newspapers have an online presence and present news all day long.
Social media users pass on bits of news all day long.
Radio stations give me news every 30 minutes.
Commentators post and share their views on the same news just as quickly.
Headlines, thoughts, analysis, opinions...on and on it goes...

What I am noticing is that the 'news' has changed.
While having it more often and generously presented may seem like we are better informed, I think the opposite is now true.
When a 'story breaks', there is no time to investigate it, be subjective, ask more questions, dig a little deeper. When a 'story' appears, it is only a headline or a snippet. In fact by definition there is no actual story many times simply a statement or merely an opinion.
I say to people all the time when a new story comes forward, "just wait a few more days" and you will probably have a more truthful story (well hopefully?).

The Good News about Jesus is nothing like the news of today.
It was researched and presented by people who were there and weren't there.
It has been critiqued for several thousand of years including by those who didn't think it was true. And yet this news has impacted me and many around me like no other headline could.

The Good News about Jesus is not merely an attention searching headline. It is not just another hashtag away from creating another short term trendy movement.
The Good News about Jesus will change your life and your world.
Take a moment to check it out for yourself today.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

God wants you to...

I wonder what you might finish that sentence off without thinking too much about your answer?
What is the first thing that comes to mind?
Maybe one of these is your first answer?
God wants you to work harder at your faith...
God wants you to just stop doing dumb stuff...
God wants you to be a better believer (whatever that might mean)...

Can I suggest to you today that that is maybe not what God wants for you?
Here is my simple thought for you...
God wants you to grow.
That's it. Just simply grow and keep growing...

2 Peter 3:13 encourages us to grow in grace.
1 Peter 2:2-3 encourages us to crave spiritual milk so you can grow.
Colossians 2:7 talks about being like a plant growing with spiritual roots in Him.
In John 15 Jesus said we are to grow bearing amazing fruit.

Check out this cool bit of encouragement from one of the Psalms...

Psalm 92:12-14 niv
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green

Maybe today you could think of yourself as a plant?
Plants can't make themselves grow just by thinking about growing.
They know instinctively they need the right environment, the right stimuli, the right nutrients, the right protection and direction.
They simply focus on growing and let God sort out a lot of the details.

Maybe you should just be like a tree and grow?
Just put yourself in the right place and let God continue to grow you in the faith.
God wants you to grow!

Something to think about...