Job 33:14 says, “God does speak — sometimes one way and sometimes another — even though people may not understand it” (NCV).
“God does speak — sometimes one way and sometimes another — even though people may not understand it”
A lot of us think we’re too busy to listen for God’s response. But we have to take the time to tune in and listen because God is speaking.
The question is, “How do I understand it? How do I tune in so that I can hear God’s voice?”
Here are four of the channels that God uses:
1. God speaks to us through the Bible.
It’s your guidebook for life. It shows you the right step to take. That is why you need to read God’s Word every day. If you’re not having a daily quiet time and reading the Bible, God is getting a busy signal when he wants to speak to you. You have to keep a constant connection, because God’s will is found in God’s Word.
2. God speaks to us through Preachers.
Have you ever been in a church service and felt like the teacher was delivering a direct message from God to you? There’s no way I or any other teacher could figure out exactly what to say to meet every need. But God knows. So before every service, I pray, “God, you know the people and the needs out there. Give me the right things to say.” Somehow, in the way only he can, God uses my teaching and the teaching of other pastors to meet the needs of people who are listening.
3. God speaks to us through dreams and visions.
God speaks to us through the dreams of the night, and we can see some of the examples in the scripture when Jesus was born, it was through the dream that Jesus warn the three wise men not to return back to Harold and also warn Joseph of the coming danger to run away to Egypt to safe the Child Jesus.
4. God speaks to us through our chastisement.
Job 33:19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
In pains and suffering of sickness or lost of things, sometimes God is looking for you to turn away from your evil deeds but when you have never obeyed God, you cannot understand what God is saying. God has to make constant course corrections, and one way he does that is through the circumstances that come into your life.
When you start to listen to God through bible, preachers,chastisement, dreams & Vision, or the Bible, sometimes he’s going to lead you in ways that you don’t understand.
Hang in there! Following God is not always easy, but it will reap more blessing in your life than you can imagine.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT).
God uses our talents to test our unselfishness. You have to decide in life for whom or what you’re going to live. You’re either going to live a self-centered, miserly life or you’re going to live for something greater than yourself — the Kingdom of God.
Faithful people don’t live for themselves. They realize that the talents God gave them are not for their own benefit; they’re to make the world a better place.
When God made you, he gave you all kinds of gifts, talents, and abilities. We call it your SHAPE: your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. These five things make you you. And God made you you. There’s nobody like you in the whole world, and he wants you to be you for his glory.
God shaped you to serve him, and there’s only one way to do that: by serving other people.
Faithful people realize that their talents are not for their benefit. You may have a talent for art and say that you do it “just because you love to do it.” That’s nice, but that’s not a good enough motive. God didn’t give you artistic ability just so you can love to do it. He gave it to you so you can use your art in some way to help other people.
Some people have an ability to fix things. Some people are good at math. Some people are good at closing deals. Some people are good at music. Some people are good at organizing. And some people are good at trimming and gardening.
God made us all different so that everything in the world gets done. If we all liked to do the same thing, there would be a whole lot left undone.
You are the steward of your talents, and God is watching to see if you use what he gave you effectively on Earth. If you use those talents effectively on Earth, he’s going to give you more responsibility in Heaven.
Have you ever thought about why didn’t God just create us and take us to Heaven? Why does he put us here on a broken planet for 70 or 80 years? He put you here because life is a test and a trust and a temporary assignment. He’s watching to see if you are faithful to use what he gave you here on Earth to bless other people.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (NLT). God gave you talents, and he wants you to be faithful with them.
“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him” (James 1:5).
If you want to know God’s will, you need to do a couple of things:
1. Admit that you need guidance.
We don’t really like to admit when we’re confused. Men especially don’t like to do this! It’s not in my nature to say, “Hey! I’m lost!” and stop and ask for directions. That’s why, when it comes to knowing God’s will, it takes some real courage to admit that we’re confused and need direction.
Psalm 25:9 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (NIV). If you’re arrogant and think you’ve got it all figured out, God’s going to say, “Be my guest. Go for it!” I’ve had people tell me, “I’ve been a Christian for 20 years, and I’ve never felt God guiding me.” My response? Maybe it’s because you’ve never admitted that you need it. You go to work assuming that you know what to do without praying about it. You make financial decisions all the time without praying about them. You make vacation plans without praying about them. You make career decisions without praying about them. If you’re single, you go out on a date without praying about it.
You think you know, but you might want to stop and admit that you need guidance, because it’s the first step in getting God’s will for your life.
2. Ask God in faith for directions.
The Bible says in James 1:5-6, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (TLB).
Notice there are two keys to knowing God’s wisdom. First, you’ve got to ask the right person: God. You don’t ask your manicurist, your bartender, or some other “reliable” authority like a radio talk show host. You have to ask the right person! Then you ask with the right attitude: expecting God to answer. Have you ever asked God to lead you, but you didn’t really expect him to? Sure you have. That’s why you never got anything from it. You must ask with the expectation of an answer. God honors faith, and he promises wisdom for the next step of your life.
To reach your goals, you have to figure out how to maintain your enthusiasm over the long haul.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great is ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” I believe that with all of my heart. I have found it to be true in my life. You’ve got to have passion and enthusiasm, or you’re never going to make it to the finish line.
Most people would consider me an enthusiastic person, and I am. But I haven’t been an enthusiastic person for a week or a month. My enthusiasm has not waned over a year or five or 10 years. I have been consistently enthusiastic about the goals that I’ve set for more than 30 years.
How do you do that? How do you stay enthusiastic day after day in spite of delays and difficulties and dead ends and problems and pressures and criticisms? How do you stay enthusiastic for more than 30 years?
Positive thinking is not enough. Pulling yourself up by your psychological bootstraps is not enough. Talking yourself into optimism is not enough.
The way you stay enthusiastic for a lifetime is found in the word “enthusiasm.” The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word en theos. En is the Greek word for the English word “in.” Theos is the Greek word for “God.” So en theos means to be “in God.”
When you get in God, you will be enthusiastic. It’s the kind of enthusiasm that isn’t affected by the economy or the weather or your circumstances. It’s eternal because you are tied to the eternal God. You are in Christ.
Paul tells us how to do this in Romans 12:11-12. He says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”
If you want to reach your goals, you need to tap into God’s power by being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
Pray this prayer today: “Dear God, I don’t want to go another day without you in my life, controlling every part of my heart. I offer you my body. I dedicate myself to you. In light of all you’ve done for me, I give myself as a living sacrifice to you as a spiritual act of worship.
“I humbly admit that I need help. I want you to renew my mind. Help me to think the way you want me to think. Please forgive me for my pride. I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I should. My faith needs to grow, and I need your help to set goals that can be measured so I can manage them. Forgive me for trying to change on my own.
“I want to fill my life with love. I want to fill my life with you. Help me to get group support. Help me to take delight in honoring other people, to focus on giving my life away so that you can take care of my needs. I want to nurture my enthusiasm by being in you. Help me to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. I give myself to you. In your name I pray. Amen.”
The Bible tells us that God always finishes what he starts: “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished” (Philippians 1:6 NLT). It doesn’t say, “God might finish it.” It doesn’t say, “God hopes to finish it.” It says God will finish it. What does that mean?
It means if you have really given your life to Jesus Christ — if you’ve opened yourself up to God and said, “Christ, be number one in my life” — you are going to make it to heaven. There’s no doubt about it. Case closed. Done deal. You are going to make it across the finish line because it doesn’t depend upon your performance; it depends upon God’s sustaining grace. The only question is how you finish the race. You know as well as I do that some people finish a race poorly while other people finish a race well.
I don’t want you to just get into heaven. I don’t want you to just get across the finish line. I want to help you finish the race of life well. I want you to enjoy life, the abundant life — to figure out what God made you for and then do it.
How can you be sure you’re going to finish the race of life? Because of God’s sustaining grace. God doesn’t want to just save you. He wants to sustain you through life. He wants you to make it great in life.
What is sustaining grace?
Sustaining grace is the power to keep on going when you feel like giving up. It’s the power to do the right thing when you don’t feel like doing the right thing.
There are many pitfalls in the marathon race of life. But regardless of what you go through, no matter what you face this year, you can count on God’s sustaining grace.
“My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (1 Peter 5:12 NLT).
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT).
God loves you so much that he sent Jesus on a mission of love with a message of love. The Bible doesn’t say God has love; it says God is love. Love is his nature; God is love.
God created the entire universe. He created this planet; he created the human race. Then he created you because he loves you.
It could be said the reason you’re alive is because God created you as an object of his love. God made you so he could love you and so that you could love him. God’s love for you is the reason your heart’s beating right now; it’s the reason you’re breathing.
God’s Good News is that he loves you on your good days as much as he loves you on your bad days. He loves you when you can feel his love, and he loves you when you can’t seem to feel his love. He loves you whether or not you think you deserve his love.
There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you simply can’t do it — because his love for you is based upon his character and not on anything you do or say or feel.
God loves you so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus, into this world, “so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT).
When Jesus stretched his arms out as wide as the cross, he was saying, “I love you this much! I love you so much it hurts. I love you so much I’ll die for you so that I won’t have to live without you.”
God’s love surpasses all human knowledge, and it is difficult for any of us to grasp the width and length and height and depth of God’s love for each one of us (see Ephesians 3:17-19).