Hearing God – The God who speaks

For most Christian professionals, the hustle and bustle of everyday work life and the daily grind of our family life can leave us feeling spiritually disconnected and  isolated. When It comes to hearing God, two  problems arise –Is God speaking? Secondly, am I hearing?  God spoke to  His people decisively.

When Abraham began his  migration  from Ur to Canaan, he stopped at Harran. Abraham got to know about the God who speaks, he also got the plans and purpose which God had for him and  the world ( Gen 12:1-3).  Abraham  believed and obeyed  what God spoke (Gen12:4-5). The world would never be the same again.

God speaks to His people in diverse and   mysterious ways. Joseph came to know about the plans and purposes of God for Him in his teenage through  dreams, to become a great man in his entire family (Gen 37:5-10).

When Moses heard God speaking to him for the first time through the burning bush, he received God’s  plan of redeeming His people out of Egypt and lead them into the land of Canaan. (Exodus 3 & 4). Thereafter, Moses heard God every time he looked upon Him for any problem, knowing Him face to face. (Deut 24: 12)

Paul who was religious zealot who heard God for the first time on the road to Damascus. He   immediately obeyed the heavenly call (Acts 9:1-10). The tent maker also became a missionary for the Gentiles which became  his primary calling. Before his death, he boldly proclaimed that he lived for God’s purpose (II Tim 4:7).

Individuals heard the plan and purpose of God for them only by hearing Him and lived for the revealed the mystery behind their lives successfully.

If you have not been hearing from the God who speaks, today is the day to  commit your life to hear from God. He’ll reveal His plans and purposes for your life.

O Lord, I believe that you are God who speaks and I commit my life to hear you. Please speak to me about your plans and purposes  for me so that I am completely aligned to do your desire.

CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional of CIM.

Hearing God – The Shepherd’s Call

The sheep follow Him because they know His voice – John 10:4

We may know about the God who spoke in history and  that He spoke through His prophets and leaders.  That He speaks even today and that too  in a personal way is seldom thought about or may be seen suspiciously. Many don’t think about relationship with God in those terms.  Jesus spoke about how the sheep  hear  the shepherd’s  voice  which is metaphor used to describe our  listening experience with God.

The sheep knows the voice of the shepherd and the shepherd knows the names  of every  sheep. Similarly, God knows us by our names individually and hence he  calls each individual by name as it is written in Isaiah 43:1.   When any of the sheep is lost, the shepherd is eagerly searching by calling out the name so that he can find them.

The  sheep can identify their shepherd’s voice distinctly even when other voices clamor for  attention.  But sheep do have a reputation for being dumb and  stupid. They can get easily distracted and wander off. It’s a good shepherd  who  gently restores, even carries the wandering sheep. When God calls us by name, are we able to listen to Him?

Jesus said that there many sheep which are not of His fold and  He even knows them by name and wants  to bring them into His fold. Some sheep may belong to other  folds, they may respond only to their shepherds. There are so many false shepherds, false voices who gather their flock. There’s also the proverbial  wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing among the flock.

Hearing the voice of the Good  Shepherd can only happen if you’re one of His flock.  Do you know His voice?  Are other voices,  including your own inner voice preventing you from hearing the Shepherd?   If not, don’t delay and decide today itself to accept Jesus as your true Shepherd and get into His fold to listen to Him for a joy filled and peaceful life.

Dear Lord, I commit today that I am your sheep in your fold and help me to let go of all other distractions which prevent me to hear or ignore your voice.

CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional of CIM.

Hearing God – How do I know

Many times we are uncertain that whether we have heard the voice of God. The Bible gives us seven basic keys to come out this uncertainty.

Scripture: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17). This is simple way of hearing His voice.

Holy Spirit speaks in our heart: “For this is the covenant…, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts… (Hebrews 8:10-11). When we have word of God written in our heart, the Holy Spirit is speaking to our heart.

Prophetic Utterances: “…Do not despise prophetic utterances (Word of Knowledge or Wisdom, and Prophecies). But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:19-21).  God uses people who have been divinely gifted to speak on God’s behalf on some specific issues.

Godly counsel: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).  When we listen the counsel of the Godly, sometimes God opens our hearts to understand His voice.

Peace of God: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. (Col3:15). When we hear God, there will be peace whatever may be the situation.

Circumstances/Timing: Acts 18:1-3 narrates how the circumstances, timing and profession (tent making) connected Paul and Aquila & Priscilla which resulted in soul winning and ultimately in church planting.

Confirmation: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed” (Matthew 18:16).  Either the vision or spontaneous thoughts or insight received while reading Bible, may be confirmed by prophetic utterances or prayer or counsel of the Godly.

Many times the Lord will confirm His direction to us through three, four or more of these areas, when we earnestly wait upon Him to  hear from Him.

O Lord, grant me the grace to listen your voice carefully through these 7 areas and to walk my life in deep  fellowship with you.

CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional of CIM.

Hearing God – Hindrances to Hearing God

Being involved with several other Christians in professional networks, I’ve come to realize that so many of us struggle with hearing God. There are hindrances to hearing God.

The Word of God is given to us not just for reading but to listen to what God speaks through Scripture.  The problem is  reading  God’s word becomes  daily obligation or a spiritual ritual so that God can be assuaged or pleased by our efforts. Secondly, we read in order to gather  biblical information. It’s a rather  intellectual  approach, where we process biblical truths and arrive at some interesting cognitive conclusions. For  eg. I may have analyzed  about Simon the Sorcerer’s bitterness of heart in Acts. But would I hear God speaking to me about my own bitterness locked in my heart.

Some of us read the word of God but are not able to listen / understand what God speaks through those verses.  Bible talks about circumcision of ears (Act 7:51), which indicates our preparation to listen to God’s voice in our heart and mind.   When Paul was speaking, the heart of Lydia is opened up to receive the message. (Acts 16:14)

After making known  our prayers and supplication to God, even before we listen to Him and record the action items (Habbakuk 2:1),  we sometimes hasten for action. This leads to a situation where we are just going by instinct  that God will take care instead of receiving the authentic message of God’s guidance. We tend to merely quote the verse with our legalistic  mindset rather than to apply the revealed wisdom of God on a given  situation.

When Saul was not looking for kingship, God spoke through Samuel and he was anointed as king and thereafter whenever Saul looked for God’s direction, he got the answer. But when he disobeyed (I Sam 28:6), God did not respond even when Saul inquired of  God earnestly.

 Our Father, please remove every obstacle from my life which is stopping me to hear you.  Please grant me an  opened heart and ears to hear you every time you speak to me.

CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional of CIM.

Hearing God – Inquiring God for my Work

It gets a little tricky when I want to hear from  God for my professional or business problems. Bible illustrates how the men and women inquired of God for their direction in their professions and businesses. Psalm 24:6 says, This is the generation of those who seek Him (who inquire of and for Him and of necessity require Him) who seek Your face, O God of Jacob. Hearing God through inquiry is different from receiving a command or revelation.

When the Philistines came against King David (II Samuel 5:18-25), David is making the situation known to God and inquiry with God . David could very well have made a prayer for victory and went in faith that God would give him victory. But he waited upon the Lord for clear-cut strategies, directions and actions. God given war strategies made David victorious. Also,  in the time of great famine (II Kings 21 :1-14), which is similar to our current situation of weakening economy and high inflation, David inquired God to could find out the reasons so that he could immediately implement the corrective actions and the nation became prosperous.  In I Sam 28:6 we  read that when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, not by dreams, or by Urim or by prophets.

Habakkuk 2: 1 says that I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint. When inquiring of God, we may to have to wait upon God. In a practical work life situation, we may not able to get time and place to seek Him in solitude all the time. Hence it looks like an impractical option many a times. But Psalm 145 :18 says  The Lord is near to all who call on him , in truth; Hence our closer walk with God make us heard and receive answers us. Also, His word will be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths (Psalm 119:105)

Dear Lord, please grant me the grace to walk closure with you and make inquiring of you so that I would make right decision in every work like situation. Amen.

CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional of CIM.