Category Archives: Voice of God

Discerning the Voice of God ~ We’ve Finished!

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 We’ve Finished the Study Discerning the Voice of God

We’re proud of you for completing the study of Discerning the Voice of God! Congratulations on your hard work and commitment to study and learn scripture. Many thanks to all who participated. You’ll want to celebrate your achievement with something memorable, such as:
- Spend time with a family member or friend
- Dinner date
- Manicure/pedicure
- Box of chocolates
- Favorite coffee or tea drink
- Whatever you choose . ..  Do it to celebrate the completion of your study

Below is a Wall of Way To Go! If you have finished the Discerning the Voice of God study, then simply post your name. .. And let’s celebrate your achievement!!

Final Lesson-
Discerning Tools (see extra post with this title today)

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami

 

Discerning the Voice of God Tools

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 Discerning the Voice of God

During out study of Discerning the Voice of God author Priscilla Shirer tried to help you more clearly be able to hear and discern the things that God is telling you. If you have begun to look inward to the Spirit’s impression on hour conscience and sought confirmation through Scriptures, I’m certain that you are hearing from God. What is the thing you sense the Lord is asking you to do today? What do you plan to do about it? My friend, when you hear God’s voice saying, “Follow Me!” I urge you to heed it. Choose obedience today! I guarantee that the results will be glorious.

One of the greatest discoveries of my Christian life has been that I can discern God’s voice. I no longer think that hearing the Lord’s voice is for others but not for me. Learning that I can discern God’s voice has filled me with a sense of anticipation I never had before. My life has become a glorious, supernatural adventure as I wait to hear from God day by day.

God’s voice resonates within us because it speaks in a language that we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can completely comprehend. It’s a personal dialect designed to reveal His character so that we can know His will, desire it, and have the power to carry it out. This is the essence of discerning God’s voice.

Listen, He’s calling to you right now. Do you hear Him?

At the end of each chapter  we wrote the key principles for the day. I really enjoy this aspect of the lesson. It allows us to go back and see what each day meant to us as we studied. Below are my favorite discerning tools that stood out to me each week. Your favorites may be different than mine.

Week 1 Key Principle:
* The process of waiting for a message from God is just as important as the message itself

Week 2 Key Principle:
* Desiring and doing His will is not my responsibility to discover; it’s His responsibility to reveal.

Week 3 Key Principle:
* God’s voice comes with such force and weight that it makes a resonating impact on my human conscience.

Week 4 Key Principle:
* When God speaks, He does so with power and authority.

Week 5 Key Principle:
* His word causes me to step away from the comfort zone of my natural abilities and into the realm of His supernatural possibilities.

Week 6 Key Principle:
* A life of obedience calls me to prepare for the adjustments God requires.

Group Discussion – Answer one or both question
1. Look back through you six-week Bible study and read the key principles you wrote down. Find a few of your favorites and share them here with the group.
2. What would you say were the three most important things we have learned together during this study?

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami

 

Discerning the Voice of God ~ Week 7

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Responding to God’s Voice (Week 6)

As we complete the sixth week of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, we were reminded that life is uncertain, made up of good days and bad, joy and sorrow, certain steps and misadventures, but one thing remains constant: God is God, He is our Rock and our sure foundation. He will never change. He is the Master of the universe, the Beginning and the End, the Creator of all that is and will ever be. We are his creation and He loves us. Since the beginning of time, He had a plan for our life — an eternal plan that will carry out His will in the world. He wants us to know Him so we can serve Him.

As we hear Him speak, we discover His attributes through the sound of His voice. Though He may choose to speak to us like a whisper on the wind, He is still speaking. But God doesn’t just speak to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed. His message is the same today as it was throughout the ages: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” John 2:5

God does not speak simply to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed. Obedience is discerning God’s voice. It not only keeps the doors of communication open between you and god, but it’s also the only appropriate response when He speaks. Being willing to obey begins the communication process; following through by actually obeying lays the groundwork for God to do incredible things in and through your life.

When god speaks to you, He is asking you to make a commitment. He wants your unquestioning, immediate commitment to obey what you hear.

I don’t know about you, but I want to see God’s supernatural activity in my life as well. I don’t want to just hear about it in other people’s lives and watch it from afar. I want to experience it. Over and over again, Scripture makes it clear that the prerequisite for experiencing God is obeying God. We must make obedience a habit.

This kind of complete, obedient response to God’s leading allows Him to do incredible things in our life and all those who respond in this way. Are you willing to respond to God in complete obedience, no matter how strange or absurd His instructions may seem? Often we are willing to obey God, but we want to have a fallback plan — just in case! He asks us to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into doing what he has asked of us. This requires radical faith and trust in God.

When the Lord gives me instructions that I don’t particularly care for, or am afraid to carry out, the last thing I want to do is get up early in the morning to do it. I procrastinate. I often find myself thinking about it, praying about it, talking to friends about it, or even trying to ignore it. When instructions from God are difficult, as they often are, I’m often slow to obey.

What might the Lord accomplish in and through you if you respond immediately to what He is asking you to do?

Why do we struggle against the leading of the One who knows exactly where we need to go and how we need to get there? Often it’s because we think that we know better than He does. We’re not willing to let go of the reins, so we struggle and pull and fight to go our own way. If we want to see God operating in our lives, we have to make a commitment keeping in mind all the other people our decision can affect.

I know God is speaking to me when in spite of my initial struggle, there is an undeniable release and peace that follows when I have obeyed His voice. When I finally do the thing He has been nudging me to do, whether it’s letting something or someone go, or taking a step toward the unknown, there is a deep calm in my soul. Where my heart and mind were once filled with terrible angst, I am now filled with a supernatural peace. 

Prayer Requests
My prayer for you is that you have opened your heart completely to what the Spirit wants to teach you and the way He wants to teach it to you. Pray about the next Bible study you want to be involved in.

Priscilla Shirer Quotes-
- Obedience is not only the key that keeps the door of communication open between you and God but the only appropriate response when He speaks.
-  We must learn to make obedience a habit regardless of our feelings.
- Obedience will always produce benefits that far outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
- The higher the price you pay to obey God, the greater the reward you can expect from Him.
- The Holy Spirit is at work in you to change your desires to  match up with the Father’s desires. We must keep our life plans flexible. Never make concrete plans without leaving room for God to do something different.

My Favorite Things-
- How you choose to respond to God is more important than hearing from Him. He doesn’t just speak to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed.
- Whatever He says to you, do it!!

This Week’s Scripture Verses-
- Matthew 7:24-25
- John 21:19
- Psalm 119:60
- Exodus 34:14

Final Lesson-
Listen to Session Seven Video (optional)
Take the week to think about, ponder and finish any part of this study.
Next week I will ask you to look at your Key Principles (Discerning Tools)

Group Discussion – Answer one or both question
1. Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed shocking and unreasonable? (page 105)
2. What adjustments would you have to make for your plans to align with God’s plans right now? (page 112)

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami

 

Discerning the Voice of God ~ Week 6

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God’s Voice Reveals His Plan (Week 5)

As we complete the fifth week of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, I felt like we could look at our life like a box containing all the pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and only God can see the picture on the lid. He sees the entire layout and knows just how and when all the pieces need to come together. We can be certain that God knows exactly the right time to speak and act.

In every detail of your life, He has predetermined goals for you and desires to reveal them so that you can join Him in yielded obedience to accomplish them. When God allows your spiritual eyes to be open and become aware of His activity on this earth, this is your invitation to join Him in His kingdom agenda for your life and this generation. Seeing God’s hand is hearing God’s voice.

I have frequently had to ask myself if I really want to hear what God’s plans are, or if I just want to pursue my own and hope that He will bless them. Our continued prayer should be, “Lord, open my eyes to see where You are working.” When the indwelling Holy Spirit allows you to see God’s movement, you have heard the voice of God. This is His invitation for you to join in and participate. However, accepting God’s invitation means that you must be willing to give up your own plans and follow Him. That means always leaving room for God to ask you to do something different – even if it seems frightening or risky. The truth is – God’s invitations are often intimidating but knowing that God is with us will give us the confidence to take on any task.

The worst thing you can do – the quickest way to become insensitive – is to ignore an impression. So you must commit yourself to listening to your Lord for the purpose of responding to what He says, and you must not allow yourself to hear without responding. As you seek to respond appropriately to God’s voice, you must make a decision today to be willing to conform your life to God’s plan.

He invites us to participate in His kingdom agenda, but there’s one stipulation: we have to forsake our agenda for His. We can’t cling to our own plans and expect to accomplish God’s purposes for us. We have to embrace His plans in order to experience His blessings.

When God gives you instructions, trust that He has given you everything you need now. When the time is right, He will give you more. Moving forward before you hear from God could be extremely detrimental to you and all that God has planned. God will provide where He guides. It is better for you to choose the more challenging road, if God is in it, than to select the route that is easier and more convenient, but lacks the presence and power of God.

Today, choose not to fear God’s challenging voice and the plans He has for you. Instead, prepare to obey and walk in the fullness of the supernatural abundant life that he has called you to live.

Prayer Requests
My prayer for you is that you will open your heart completely to what the Spirit wants to teach you and the way He wants to teach it to you. Ask the Lord to remove any barriers or preconceived ideas about how God communicates, so that you can really start to discern His voice.

Priscilla Shirer Quotes-
- As I seek to hear God’s voice, I really desire to hear what His purposes are, or do I just desire to pursue my own and hope for His blessings?
- We have to recognize and believe that God has a plan. He has written a script we are to follow. He doesn’t want us to create our own, write new lines, or change His to suit our agendas. He just wants us to recognize and trust that His plans are best.
- Never think your circumstances are disconnected from God’s leading and His will.
- Ask Him to open your spiritual eyes to see His activity. When we see it, we need to immediately desert what we are doing to join Him. When God allows you to see His activity in the circumstances of your life, you have heard the voice of God.
- When it is time for us to know, we will.
-When God gives you instructions, trust that He has given you what you need for now. He will give more when the time is right. When we feel rushed and hurried to make a decision not rooted in a deep confidence of inner peace, God probably has not spoken.
- If God calls you, He will equip you.

My Favorite Things-
- He already has an agenda for your career, ministry, finances, and family; and His plans should always take precedence over your own!
- God makes His desires known to those who stop at His Word, look in with a sensitive spirit, and list to others. When we go to His Word, we stop long enough to hear from above. When we look, we examine our surrounding circumstances in light of what He is saying to our inner spirit (perhaps you prefer to call this your conscience). And when we listen to others, we seek the counsel of wise, qualified people. –Charles Swindoll
- The Enemy’s voice says: “You don’t have enough. You are not able. You can’t!”
- The voice of the Holy Spirit says: “I have enough. I am able through you. I can!”

This Week’s Scripture Verses-
- Ephesians 2:10
- Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
- John 16:12
- 2 Peter 3:9

For Next Week-
Read Week Six, pages 104-121 in the workbook
Listen to Session Six Video (optional)

Group Discussion – Answer one question or as many as you like
1. What have you learned to help you avoid the trap of proceeding with your own plans and asking God to bless the result? (page 85)
2. Describe a time when the circumstances of your life confirmed God’s leading and steered you in His direction. (page 90)
3. What do God’s pre-planned purposes suggest about pressure to rush decisions? (page 94)
4. How might the decision to choose a more challenging road make room for God’s power to be seen in you? (page 97)

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami

 

Discerning the Voice of God ~ Week 5

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God’s Voice Reveals His Character (Week 4)

As we complete the fourth week of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, we looked at if we press into God, we will become more acquainted with His character. The more you know and believe to be true about who God is and what He is able to do, the more willing you will be to be obedient to what He is asking of you. We come to know God through seeing His character revealed through our experiences with Him, through His Word and His Spirit.

When God speaks, His voice will be revealing for He passionately desires for us to know who He is. God doesn’t want you just to hear about Him or from Him; He wants you to experience Him in your life, so you will know Him. When God instructs you to do something and you obey based on what you already know about Him, He moves your relationship with Him from a mental one to an experiential one that reveals even more about Him. As you move from knowing about God, to experiencing God, to knowing God, the more clearly you will discern His voice.

Those in the most challenging situations can expect to learn the most about God. The more you know and believe to be true about who God is and what He can do, the more willing you become to obey what He commands.

God wants our relationship with Him to be so close that Satan’s voice can never deceive us. If we focus on the priority of knowing Him, an automatic result will be that we more clearly hear God, discern His voice, and receive divine guidance for our lives.

If we wish to discern God’s voice, we must make His priorities our priorities. When you make knowing God your priority, He will reveal truths about Himself that will point to the path you should take, and when you take it, His blessings will follow.

When God speaks to you, you’ll recognize His voice because the Holy Spirit will release a peaceful assurance as He leads you to make God-honoring decisions. As you learn to discern God’s voice through His character, one of the ways you will know He is speaking is when you sense His peace about the things that He is asking you to do. Even when you step out to do something that seems impossible, if it’s God’s will for you, His peace will accompany your actions. You may not feel confident in your own ability, but you will feel confident about His.

I know the Lord is speaking to when I have a complete sense of peace, a sense of rightness at the very center of my being. Although I don’t hear an audible voice, I feel a definite ‘yes!’ in my spirit. Not only will His unspoken words ring true, spiritually and emotionally, but they will also stand in total agreement with His written words in the Bible. For confirmation that it’s the Lord’s voice and not my own fleshly desires leading me, I pray, search the Scriptures, then share what I believe God has revealed to me with someone I trust. If their immediate response is, ‘Yes, absolutely!’ then I can move forward with confidence.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of God’s voice is that it is completely truthful. It will never contradict His written Word or His character. God is “the God of truth” (Psalm 31:5), so when you hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit and the Word, you can be certain it will always lead you in the direction of truth.

If you are currently struggling with a decision and are confused as to whether the voice you are hearing is coming from the Spirit of Truth, ask yourself these questions:
* Will it contradict the truth found in Scripture?
* Will it cause me to indulge in sin of any kind?
* Will it encourage me to hypocritically cover up my sin?
* Will it give glory to God by magnifying His truth to the people involved?
Filtered through the truth of God’s Word and His Spirit, you should be able to determine if you are acting according to God’s will.

When you are filled with self-doubt, unsure what to do, what to think or who to believe, it is a great comfort to know that you can count on God’s Word. When God speaks, He is bound to do everything He says. His promises are sure. Please know that when you choose to rely on His standards instead of your own and follow His leading in obedience, He won’t let you down. You’ll see the glorious results that come only when you rely on God’s absolute truth. Remember that the Holy Spirit speaks in order to glorify the Father. That is His goal. We can recognize that God has spoken when there is an obvious change that leads us and others to focus our attention on Him, learn more about Him, and praise Him.

God’s voice is powerful, and He wants you to call upon Him expecting to see His greatness revealed. He alone has the authority to accomplish what we need. As you come to recognize the power of God’s voice, you will be more willing to seek it, wait for it, and obey it. His voice has the power to keep you from sinking in even the worst of life’s storms.

Prayer Requests
My prayer for you is that you will open your heart completely to what the Spirit wants to teach you and the way He wants to teach it to you. Ask the Lord to remove any barriers or preconceived ideas about how God communicates, so that you can really start to discern His voice.

Priscilla Shirer Quotes-
- One of God’s greatest desires is to make Himself known to us and lead us into a more intimate relationship with Him.
- Often we seek to know God’s direction more than we seek to know God.
- When the Enemy speaks to you he will distort the character and Word of God. Anything that doesn’t reflect the character of God is not a message from Him.
- We move from knowledge about God to experience with God when He reveals a characteristic; we then experience that characteristic as we step out in obedience to Him.

My Favorite Things-
- I know the Lord is speaking to me when what I hear and am led to do cannot be done without His assistance, protection and guidance. He only speaks what brings glory to Himself!
- Why do we have to explain everything that happens? Why can’t we just admit it was God in it. It wasn’t luck, timing or coincidence, it was God! Don’t explain it, just say thank you God!
- A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about Him.

This Week’s Scripture Verses-
- Jeremiah 24:7
- Jeremiah 31:3
- John 16:33
- John 14:27
- James 3:17
- 1 Corinthians 2:10-12
- Psalm 33:4
- Romans 8:26

For Next Week-
Read Week Five, pages 84-82102 in the workbook
Listen to Session Five Video (optional)

Group Discussion – Answer one question or as many as you like
1. How has your obedience fostered experiencing God personally? (page 68)
2. How has the peace of God helped clarify His leading in your life? (reference page 75)
3. Recall a time when God’s word produced change in your life. How did this change bring glory to God? (page 81)

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami

 

Discerning the Voice of God ~ Week 4

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The Voice of the Holy Spirit (Week 3)

As we complete the third week of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, we looked a little more closely at the things that often characterized the Holy Spirit’s leadings and how He works to cause us to recognize His promptings.

The primary way God has spoken to His people has been through the person of the Holy Spirit, who confirms God’s written Word and applies it to our life. The Holy Spirit and the Bible go hand in hand. Richard Blackaby says, “When God speaks, He does not give revelation about Himself that contradicts what He has already revealed in Scripture. Rather, God speaks to give application of His Word to specific circumstances in your life. When God speaks to you . . . He is applying to your life what He already says in His Word.” God alone chooses how to speak to us. Isaiah 43:18-19 (MSG) says “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert; be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is!” John 16:13 says, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard.” The Bible is the standard against which to measure anything you hear from God by other means. Anything the Holy Spirit reveals to you will always match up with the written Word. Why? Because the Holy Spirit was the One who gave us the Scriptures in the first place (2 Timothy 3:16), and He will never contradict Himself.

The Holy Spirit is a guide who can see what we cannot. He seeks to guide us through this life in order to get us to the Father’s desired destination for us. He sees the whole picture and knows what is going on in our life; big or small. If we don’t have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we will not be connected with the Source of information that can steer us accurately. To hear God’s voice and be guided into His will for you, you must have the Holy Spirit. If you experience conviction in your life, celebrate! That means the Holy Spirit is there. He’s working, guiding, and changing you! Even if His direction may sometimes be momentarily uncomfortable, He can see the entire picture of your life and will save you true disaster in the long run. He is steering you into God’s will.

Have you ever wondered how you can be certain that your desires aren’t leading you in the wrong direction? It’s really very simple. Get into the Word and expect the Holy Spirit to speak to you through it. Through Scripture, you can verify if your intentions are in line with His. While you’re reading the Word, the Spirit will be reading you! I have learned that if I take time to seriously read, contemplate, and meditate on Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will supernaturally illumine them to cause me to know what God wants me to do. If I’m in a situation that’s particularly taxing and I’m not sure what to do, I begin my Bible reading with a prayer that clearly explains my need and asks the Holy Spirit to give me clear direction as a result of the time I spend in God’s Word. He doesn’t always respond as quickly as I would like, but He always honors such requests from his children, in His own timing. When He does reveal His will, we want to be sure we are listening and focusing on hearing His voice. Turn up the volume in your spiritual ears to catch the moment when a passage captures your attention, in an almost shocking way, and immediately draws your thoughts to how it applies to a specific situation in your life. When this happens, the Holy Spirit has orchestrated it. God has spoken.

If you are having trouble discerning God’s voice, could one of the problems be that you know what you should do but still wrestle with being obedient? If so, know that you are not alone. All believers have this same struggle. Even the great and faithful saints of the Bible found difficulty in always doing what they knew was the right thing. Paul talks about his struggles in Romans 7:15-19, look it up.

The Holy Spirit is using the Word to gradually purify our soul (mind, will, and emotions) to make us want to do what pleases God and brings Him glory. Often the Spirit prompts you to do something you don’t want to do, and it just doesn’t sound like a reasonable idea or something you feel like doing, but if you stay in the Word, the Holy Spirit will bring us around to God’s way of thinking. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work sanctifying you and changing your personality to suit His design for you. The more you surrender to Him and are conformed to the image of Christ, the less of a gap there will be between what He wants and what you want.

If you are serious about learning to discern God’s voice, you must get serious about studying His Word. It has become almost cliché in Christian circles to encourage one another to have a “quiet time,” but this is far more serious than you might think. The more we immerse ourselves in the Word, the more closely our thoughts, emotions, and decisions will align with what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. Every day, from every conceivable source, we’re saturated with messages that contradict God’s truths. If we don’t consciously attempt to combat those messages by saturating our minds with Scripture, our souls will be conformed to the world’s standards instead of God’s. The more Scripture you have hidden in your heart, the more opportunity the Holy Spirit will have to bring it instantly to your mind to verify how you should proceed.

I’m continually in awe that this very old book can give me such clear instructions for the present. If you truly want to know how to discern God’s voice, you must verify whatever you think you hear from God in light of His written Word. The Bible isn’t just an old book that has a lot of theology for us to digest, it’s the living Word of God. When you read it, you should feel the warmth of God’s breath on it as the Holy Spirit applies it to your particular situation, regardless of how specific and personal it is.

When God speaks to you within and confirms it without, be on the lookout for His direction. If you notice a consistent message confirmed through the leading of the Holy Spirit, Scripture, circumstances, and other people, pay close attention. God is repeating Himself to make sure you get the message. Aren’t you thankful that God never gives up on you, even if it takes you a while to recognize that He is the One speaking? I’m so glad that God knows that we’re just dust. He knows that as long as we’re clothed in the flesh, we aren’t always going to get it right; and when we do, it will have taken us many tries. But God uses each mistake to teach us a little more about how to recognize when He is speaking.

God is the God of right now. He doesn’t want us to regret yesterday or worry about tomorrow. He wants us to focus on what He is saying to us and putting in front of us right now. The Enemy’s voice will focus on the past and the future, but the voice of our God will focus on today. God’s voice tells us what we can do now. Satan’s voice tells us what we could do “if only.” You aren’t where you are today by chance. Sometimes God’s voice is clearest when we are in circumstances we don’t prefer. There’s something in your current situation that God is going to use to draw you closer to Him so He can tell you something about Himself and His plan for your life. No matter what tight spot you may find yourself in, ask God to open your ears to what He is saying in your circumstances.

Prayer Requests-
My prayer for you is that you will open your heart completely to what the Spirit wants to teach you and the way He wants to teach it to you. Ask the Lord to remove any barriers or preconceived ideas about how God communicates, so that you can really start to discern His voice.

Priscilla Shirer Quotes-
- The Holy Spirit works in our hearts, in the hearts of others, and in the events of our lives to point us in His direction. He uses all these things to cause us to hear and heed His voice.
- When the Holy Spirit leads, He does so personally and individually.
- As God leads us un our journey toward Him, we each follow different avenues. The Holy Spirit draws us individual maps to follow.
- When the Holy Spirit speaks, His words come with such sudden, passionate authority that they will produce a holy amazement in you. The authority of His message will strike your inner man with such a blow that it will shake loose your old agenda and replace it with His new one. 

My Favorite Things-
- Never think that the circumstances of your life have nothing to do with God’s will! They have everything to do with it. When you’re seeking God’s guidance, you should always reflect on the events the Lord is allowing to occur in your life.
- “I know that the Lord is speaking to me when He impresses something on my spirit internally and confirms it through a person or circumstance externally.” Tony Evans
- “When what I hear is confirmed by godly people in my life, I know the Lord is speaking to me. I also know He is speaking when what I hear and am led to do cannot be done without His assistance, protection, and guidance. He only speaks what brings glory to Himself!” Bishop Kenneth Ulmer
- “When I hear the same thing from two or three different people in a very short period of time, I know the Lord is speaking to me. It’s as clear as a Fed-Ex letter.” Steve Farrar

This Week’s Scripture Verses-
- Job 37:5
- John 16:13
- Romans 8:9
- Psalm 119:11
- James 1:25
- Psalm 62:11
- Proverbs 3:5-6

For Next Week-
Read Week Four, pages 66-82 in the workbook
Listen to Session Four Video (optional)

Group Discussion – Answer one question or as many as you like
1. How has God used multiple means to confirm what He was saying to you? (page 48)
2. What grief’s might the Holy Spirit spare us by warning against seeking attentions? (page 58)
3. Describe a time when God’s voice was evidenced by the impact it had on you. (page 63)

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami

 

Discerning the Voice of God ~ Week 3

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The Holy Spirit (Week 2)

As we complete the second week of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, we continued to learn to listen to Him. Have you ever sat forward in your chair and said, “God, please turn up the volume. I can’t hear You!” The Father hears our plea and responds with an eternal answer, “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen. . . .” (Isaiah 55:3)

God’s voice is selective. Most often he chooses to speak to those he knows will listen. This is God’s word to you today. He is asking you to focus on listening to Him. Right now, open your spiritual ears. Take time to listen to God and discipline yourself to discern his voice through prayer, meditation, and worship. This will stretch your capacity to hear what he has to say to you. God always speaks loudly and clearly enough for wide open ears to hear.

It says in Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” Carve out time to be still and listen for God’s voice. Spend time with the Lord in prayer in a secret place, listening in silence for Him to speak.

Have you ever gone out to lunch with a friend and had a problem to share with her and wanted her advice? As you arrived, you began to share your concern. You talked incessantly from the beginning of your lunch date to the end, explaining every detail. When the lunch was over, your friend got up and said it was time for her to go. You say “Wait, I needed your advice. Why haven’t you given it to me?” Your friend smiles and kindly says, “I had many things to say, but you never stopped talking long enough to listen.” This makes me wonder,, how many times have I approached God in the same way? I often come away from my prayer life feeling empty. God reminds me in this story of my friend, “I have many things to say to you, Kami, but you haven’t taken time to listen.”

To be able to discern God is speaking, we must deliberately turn our attention inward to consider who the Spirit is working in our conscience and causing Scripture to resonate in our hearts. This is what it means to truly listen. It says in Ezekiel 3:10, “Let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.” According to this verse, our “words should be few.” This seems to imply we should spend more time listening than talking. Perhaps that’s why God gave us two ears, but only one mouth. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t express our needs, requests, and desires to God. We should. But it does mean that we shouldn’t allow what we have to say keep us from hearing what He wants to say.

God wants us to seek His direction first. And that means carving out some time for stillness. We allow the Enemy to win a victory every time we let interruptions keep us from listening to God. I begin my quiet time, but then the phone rings and I answer. Satan cheers. I wait until the end of the day to listen to God, but then find myself too tired to stretch my spiritual ears. Satan applauds. In the stillness of the morning, I lean my elbows on heaven’s windowsill to commune with the Lord, but then I decide to read my e-mail first. Satan laughs. Satan is thrilled with every new satellite TV option, magazine subscription, Internet group, and cell phone upgrade. Each “improvement” plunges us farther into the abyss of busyness that makes God’s voice sound like a distant echo. Busyness turns our prayers into mindless requests and meaningless babble. It says in Mark 4:24-25, “Be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand – and even more, besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given.”

He wants to speak to those who actively listen. Unfortunately too often, we are passively listening. Passive listening is when we hear with our physical ears, but don’t really attempt to digest or act upon the truth of what is being said. However, this kind of listening won’t allow us to discern God’s voice. That’s because He isn’t inclined to speak to someone whose body is there but whose interest is elsewhere. God wants to speak to active listeners who look intently at God’s Word and listen intently to what He has to say. Active listening is purposeful activity, and it takes work. If you want to become an active listener, you need to engage all the parts of your being – your body, soul, and spirit. You must control your body’s urge to move around and your mind’s urge to wander, so your spirit will be open and receptive to the Lord’s voice.

The Lord delights in us, and He longs to spend time with us. He has words of infinite wisdom and personal guidance that He is eager to share. He is always there waiting, in the secret place, to listen, offer comfort, peace, hope, and direction. For all who belong to Him and long to know Him will, God invites us to draw near, so he can speak to us.

Prayer Requests-
Pray that the study Discerning the Voice of God will profoundly affect your life.

Priscilla Shirer Quotes-
- The primary method God uses to speak has changed, but His goal has not. He wants His children to hear, recognize, and obey His voice.
- We must develop spiritual ears to hear the Spirit’s leading. He allows the Holy Spirit to speak to me and verify His message through His written Word, circumstances, or even another person.
- The Holy Spirit will never tell us to do anything that isn’t in God’s will. He begins to influence our minds, will, emotions, and bodies to desire what is pleasing to God and will bring Him glory.
- Often the Spirit’s leading will contradict our logic and feelings; but when we submit, we will experience a deep-rooted peace about our decision.
- Desiring and doing His will is not our responsibility to discover; it’s His responsibility to reveal. 

My Favorite Things-
- ‘O God, give me grace today to recognize the stirrings of Thy Spirit within my soul and to listen more attentively to all that Thou has to say to me. Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear Thee speak.” by John Baillie
- When God does choose to speak in miraculous ways today, they will serve not as the foundation for us to hear from God but as confirmation of the Holy Spirit’s leading and the message of Scripture.
- ‘I know the Lord is speaking to me when I stop listening to sounds from the world that feed my sense of pride and ambition. Instead, I fall quiet, tune in to God’s great world around me, and actively listen. Sometimes nature speaks; telling me of God’s majesty and glory. Sometimes God’s Word speaks, reminding me of what God wants me to know. And sometimes the Spirit speaks, awakening my conscience, reminding me of failures, stirring my compassion and sense of justice, aligning me with God’s will. I cannot control the voice of God or how it comes. I can only control my “ears” – my readiness to listen and quickness to respond.’ by Philip Yancy
- The more you develop your relationship with the Lord, the more you can rely on your conscience for guidance. The more you recognize God’s voice and practice your ability to discern God’s leading, the easier it will be for you to know when God is talking.

This Week’s Scripture Verses-
- Isaiah 43:18-19
- Proverbs 1:5
- Ezekiel 3:10
- Mark 4:24-25
- 1 Timothy 4:7-8

For Next Week-
Read Week Three, pages 46-64 in the workbook
Listen to Session Three Video (optional)

Group Discussion – Answer one question or as many as you like
1. Why is God’s Spirit better than His speaking through sensational means? (page 30)
2. In what areas do you struggle with the battle between flesh and spirit? (page 38)
3. How would you describe the difference between seeking God’s will and seeking Him? (page 42)

Have a great week!
Blessings,
Kami