The following guest article by Ginger Harrington is adapted from her book “Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life.” Kathy & Ginger will have a LIVE conversation December 17th at 12 pm EST on Ginger’s Facebook Page. Join us!! THIS POST IS ALSO A GIVEAWAY!! CHECK OUT THE DETAILS AT THE END!
Have you ever caught yourself approaching time with God as an activity rather than a relationship? Hearing God through the Scriptures is about relationship. Longing to hear God’s voice draws us to deeper intimacy with God.
Learning to recognize God’s voice breaks through the barrier of our misunderstanding and skewed expectations. Isaiah 50:4-5 shows us simple truths about listening to God that can ignite our faith.
“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.” Isaiah 50:4-5 NASB
Expect to Hear from God as You Read Scripture
Hearing God is easier when we come with the faith and expectancy that He will speak to us through His Word. It is tempting to approach having a devotional time with God (Quiet Time) as one more good thing to cram into an over-loaded day.
We attend to God’s Word because we are holy, not to become holy. (Note from Kathy: We are made positionally holy -justified – before God when we enter a saving relationship with Jesus. We receive HIS holiness.)
Without the Holy Spirit awakening our attention, we wouldn’t care, but roll over continuing our slumber. When we’re unresponsive, truth fades into the fog of a sleeping spirit. Meaning is lost in the murmur of countless thoughts muttering in our minds and a lack of concern.
Hearing God strengthens our souls and deepens our relationship with God. Christian women benefit from developing the holy habit of discerning God’s voice.
5 Simple Truths About Listening to God to Ignite Faith
Here are five simple truths about listening to God we can gather from Isaiah 50:4-5.
- Consistency is spiritual discipline. Morning by morning echoes the constancy of a daily habit opening the day by listening to God. He nudges our attention. He opens our attention to hear, understand, and respond. I prefer to begin my day in God’s Word, but some days it doesn’t happen and that’s okay. God knows your schedule and your season. Ask Him to show you how to make it work during this season of your life. Friend, please remember this: Aim for consistency, but walk in grace.
- Listening begins with God. Isn’t it interesting that most of the activity is on God’s part? He gives. He awakens. He instructs disciples. He opens. When the Spirit impresses God’s Word on your thoughts, it strikes a chord. When a concept or phrase resonates or stands out, the Holy Spirit speaks the Word of God to accomplish God’s purpose. When God speaks it always agrees with His Word and His nature. As we learn more of God through regularly reading and studying the Bible, the more easily we discern His voice.
- Listening to God prepares us to bless others. When we listen, we are prepared to encourage the weary. Not just any word. This isn’t a pat your hand and bless your heart kind of word. Who needs that? And it isn’t a preachy, I know best kind of word. Sometimes the weary one is someone else, but it’s often ourselves as well—we all need to hear God’s life-giving words. The Holy Spirit often brings a person to mind with a purpose, prompting us to pray, encourage, or help. As He speaks to our attention (putting it on our mind) we are hearing Him.
- The more we obey, the more we hear God. I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back. In this passage, hearing means to listen with the intention to obey. When the Spirit speaks God’s truth, it has the power to change us—to turn us from rebellion to obedience. As we listen to the truth He speaks and then obey, we move forward, trusting God to bring it into our experience. It only takes a step in the right direction to start. As you give God your attention with a desire to listen, trust Him to teach, guide, and empower you.
- When God speaks through His Word, we are experiencing God. In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby writes, “Understanding spiritual truth does not lead you to an encounter with God; it is the encounter with God.” For too long, I read the Bible to learn about God, but storing up facts about God didn’t change my heart. It was more like arranging knick-knacks to admire from a distance in the living room of my life.
Reading about God can’t compare to knowing God by experience as you recognize His voice. Beyond the borders of the page of the Bible, the Holy Spirit also speaks through our thought, intuition, and conversation, as well as through the preaching of His word and the wise counsel of other Christians.
Nothing ignites deeper faith like holy moments of hearing God speak to our hearts.
When was the last time you heard God speak to you through His Word? What passage were you reading and what did you learn?
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ABOUT Ginger Harrington
Selah-Award finalist, Ginger Harrington is the author of Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life, as well as the publishing director for the non-profit organization, Planting Roots: Strength the Thrive in Military Life. A dynamic speaker, Ginger helps women learn practical ways to deepen faith with wholeness and healing in Christ. Read more or get a free Christmas ebook from Ginger at GingerHarrington.com. Connect with Ginger on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Want to discover how to experience healing and wholeness in your daily moments? Ginger’s book, Holy in the Moment includes her personal journey in finding help and hope for anxiety, people-pleasing, perfectionism, discouragement, and insecurity as well as biblical insights and simple ideas to enjoy a deeper life with freedom in Christ. Bring the reality of grace, healing, and holiness into your daily experience with intentional choices.