Mark 1:21-26 ( Jesus drives out an evil spirit)
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
These passages in the book of Mark is where Jesus started to preach the good news in the synagogue in Capernaum. Verse 22, stated that when he teach, “he teach with authority and not as teachers of the law“.
Afterwhich, a man who is possessed by an impure spirit, cried out to destruct him. But what Jesus did? He replied boldly and sternly, “Be quiet!” “Come out of him!”. Then the impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
Sometimes in our lives, because of our contained time, we forget that we are children of God- the Bible tells us that, in Romans 8:15-16 “ For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God‘s children.)
We, like Jesus, have the same authority over evil spirit- Romans 8:17a says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,”
Verses 21 & 22 is where Jesus is doing great for God’s kingdom. In our modern days, it is where we are so focused to God. It could be when we receive blessing, or has great achievement, or when we just want to do more for His kingdom. (V23-24) Then that is where, the devil will plot his plan to destruct us, as he is 24/7 active to steal the joy in our hearts.
When we experience trouble, problem, circumstance or even pressing trials in the peak of our happiness, just do what Jesus did. (V25) Be bold and say “Be quiet!” This phrase expresses our authority over this pauper spirit (devil)! The devil is so persistent to destruct and steal our joy. He will try at first how stern and resilient we are in our relationship with God. In verse 26- the impure spirit “shook” the man violently. First, he is trying to infuse fear to Jesus, however, the moment Jesus commands, “Come out of him!” , the devil came out of the man with a “shriek”
With a “shook“- this action word represent devil‘s persistence to steal our joy. The command, “Come out of him!” – shows that our authority is irrevocable as it is a gift from God (Romans 11: 29 “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable). The word “shriek” – this action represents that the devil is a loser and has no power over us!
So the next time that you may encounter, problem, trial, sickness and all destructions in life, better know your position in Christ Jesus- who are you as a child of God. Know your authority! Tell the devil in full command and conviction, “Be quiet! “Come out of him!” . The devil will just flee and will stay away from you, knowing that he is just a ‘nut’ to destruct you!
Be blessed and Know your position in Him!
All glory to God!❤
(Highlights: Gen 33:4)
Jacob meets Esau
Knowing the story of Esau and Jacob, Esau hated Jacob because of deception. Jacob deceived Esau twice. First, Jacob took Esau’s birthright. Second, Jacob has taken Esau’s blessing (Gen 27: 36). Esau held a grudge with Jacob, to the point that he wanted to kill Jacob (Genesis 27:41).
For many years, these two had parted ways. Jacob out of fear, left Esau without settlements. He ran to the place Paddan Aram, which he stayed with Laban, his mother’s brother. His life was a roller coaster ride with Laban. But for many years he had been cheated by Laban. With all his sufferings and pains under Laban, the Lord had protected Jacob and had settlement with Laban (Gen 31:24; Gen 31: 43-55)
As the Lord commands him to go back to his father’s land (Gen 31:3). Jacob knows that there was unsettled situation that he had to face in his father’s land.To face Esau’s anger. Therefore, he prepares to meet Esau. He ensured, Esau was meeting him (Gen 32:6)
In great fear and distress , Jacob prepares for the meet up:
1. He strategized. Jacob knew that Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men with him (Gen 32:6). So he divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “if Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape (Gen 32:7-8)
2. He sought, prayed and reminded God of his blessing and depend on God’s help (Gen 32:9-12). Out of his fear he knew that only God could help him. Gen 32:11 “Save me , I pray from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me and also the mothers and their children.
3. He planned to bribe Esau – a peace offering (Gen 32:13-21). He makes effort to find favor from Esau. Gen 32:18 “They belong to your servant Jacob.They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.”
4. He wrestled with God to secure his blessing (Gen 32:22-28). He made sure that he is blessed and find favor from God by chasing his blessing. As he wrestled with God, He was blessed with a new name- ISRAEL (because you have struggled with God and men and you have overcome -Gen 32:28 ) – The Lord blessed him with a new name- by giving him a new name, God is also telling Jacob that with all your struggles and have overcome it, a new beginning is given to forget about the past and look forward what is ahead of him.
When Jacob meets Esau, it was a different coin of story that he would expect. His fear was broken because a different expectation Esau had shown him. “Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept” (Gen 33:4). It was a heartwarming scene. That we could imagine.
Even Jacob’s gift to his brother was refused at first as Esau had enough,(verse 9- But Esau said, “I have already plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”) but because Jacob insisted it was accepted (Gen 33:9-11).
From that verse on wards, the two was seen reconciled as brothers (Gen 33:12-17).
How to face the giant of our life?
Jacob’s giant was his fear of Esau’s revenge. We could noticed that he planned, he strategized and yet he was still in great fear and distress. He was uneasy. He sought God by praying and reminded Him of His blessing and promises to him by God and thus, he wasn’t stopped there, he continued to find God to bestowed His blessing to him until he wrestled with God to bless him – with a new name, then he’s ready to face Esau, his giant.
There are many things that we could learned from this story and we could apply in our lives and timely in our situations. This giant in our lives is in existence, it is the hindrance and obstacle to get our victory- No other than our ‘fear’.
We all have giants in our lives. Giant of being unsecured future. Giant in your marriage. Giant in your relationships with your children. Giant of unsecured job. Giant in your workplace- “what if I did not perform well”, etc. The questions in your mind that not has been answered. Giant in your ministry. Giant in your leadership. Giant of not levelling up with the society. Giant of failures. Giant of not to succeed in all that you do. And a lot more. Name it, and you could see that you have a giant in that situations.
Jacob’s story is a good platform of learning on how to face the giants of your lives. In all his sufferings, pains and turmoil, he learned not to depend on his own might and understanding. Though he became a deceiver by obedience to his mother, he also a dependent child. His dependency to his mother’s instructions made him dependent on God. He believed in what his mother would say and so him to God. He trusted with all his heart and fully did not depend on his own understanding- Proverbs 3:5-6. After all his planning and strategies using his own ability, he knew that he can’t rely on them. It seems lacking and made him not confident to face his brother. Jacob not only knows God, but he has established his relationship with him. He knows his position to God as His child. He knows his rights as a child. He knows that he is the bearer of God’s promises.
Like Jacob. He faced his giant by obeying, trusting, peristence to get his blessing and depending fully to God. His relationship with God made his giant gone. And made his giant as a channel to flow the blessings that is promised to him. He has won a renewed relationship with his brother and blessing along his way. Jacob has won his victory.
All glory be to God!
#dailydevotion #shareWOG #allforJesus #desiringGod #childofGod
Genesis 32:28 is a revealing message of God’s faithfulness to His children .
“He who promised is faithful” – Hebrews 10:23
Jacob’s story was full of lies, cheating and deception. He had blackmailed his brother Esau to sell to him his birthright (see Gen 25:29-34). He had cheated Esau out of blessing (Gen 27:5-13).He had lied to his father- Isaac to bestowed him the birthright blessing by pretending that he was Esau (see Gen 27:1-29). He ran off from his brother’s wrath by moving to Paddan Aram (see Gen 27:41-45). All these had happened because of his obedience to his mother, Rebekah. (hmmn 🤔 looks like Rebekah had a lot of explanation here).
Jacob had left Haran without settlements — as his mother’s advice. But along his journey with his fear of the unknown, he had struggled a lot in his life. First with Laban, his mother’s brother and father-in-law for Leah & Rachel. But despite all these and being cheated by Laban, he had pursued his objective of getting the love of his life – Rachel to be his wife . Behind the scenes, God had saved Him from Laban’s wrath and God protected him (see Gen 31:24)
Before I continued, let me refresh you with the story of why Rebekah became the mastermind – of them all??? Jacob’s obedience to his mother linked to blessings despite deceitfulness.
Rebekah was the wife of Isaac whom Abraham prayed to God for his son (Gen 24:4 “go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac”). She was chosen by God for Isaac to be his wife- (see Gen 24). Rebekah came from Abraham’s relatives and is the only instruction he had given to his senior supervisor of his household to get a wife from his relatives, and is under oath (see Gen 24:1-4). She was a fine and beautiful lady and is kind–hearted with a “willing” heart. (see Gen 24:5; 8; 55-58)
Rebekah “being an answered prayer” for Isaac, and she became his wife and he loved her. She is even a comfort to Isaac after Sarah’s death (see Gen 24:67). She is a barren woman. So, Isaac helped her to pray to God to conceive and God did answer his prayer. Rebekah conceived with sons in her womb. Two sons in her womb jostled (struggled). She inquire to God why it had happened to her in her pregnancy. And this is God’s revealing answer:
And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” – Genesis 25:23 NLT
Notice that Esau and Jacob, before they were born, a divine plan had been shared to Rebekah by God. (This is without Issac in the picture). Since from the beginning, Rebekah knows what is the divine plan to the two sons. And she “hold of it”- God’s word. She knows that God is faithful and committed to His promises. However, Rebekah being “still” in human flesh, her manly instinct prevailed to materialize God spoken words to her and God allows it to happen, because God causes all things works for Good of “those” who love Him according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
We could see from the story that Rebekah, did not make it possible because she favored Jacob so much, but Rebekah being divine accomplice for God’s plan to mapped it out and materialized God’s plan for His purpose . — (more of Rebekah’s story in my next blog entitled- masterMind?? 🔜
Let’s go back to Jacob’s story. 🙊
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25:27-28, ESV)
Jacob grew up as a “homeboy”. He loves to cook or could possibly he loves household chores while Esau became a hunter (hunk😉). Jacob as homeboy he is not as fierce as Esau. We know that being hunter and always in the field will make us more sturdy. While being a “homeboy” or quiet man, will tend to make us soft, fearful, doubtful, insecure – (see. Gen 25:31 – Jacob ask Esau to sell him the birthright in replacement of red stew to fill Esau’s hunger. ) and will just follow in any instructions our parents could instruct us. Jacob’s nature of being “insecure” made him moved “wisely” (see Gen 25:33 “ But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob”) — His insecurity, made him pursue God’s blessings.
From the story in the Bible – Genesis chapters 24-28, if we will read carefully and with Holy Spirit leading, notice that Jacob did not establish his relationship with God yet, thus far. No scenes from the three chapters that Jacob had prayed to God. He only Listens and obey his mother’s instructions – (see Gen 27: 8; 13). Everything he does is with a wise move. When He had a dream in Bethel (former Luz) — That’s where Jacob start to know that God is real, and He is in that place. That is the beginning of God divine encounter with Jacob.
12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”- Gen 28:12-15
He started to revere with God at this point of time, the “afraid” in verse 17 was the beginning of his reverend to God :
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven. 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.” – Gen 28: 16-18
At this point, Jacob’s relationship with God is only starting and NOT fully established yet. He made a vow to God only “if” God will fulfill his conditions — he “challenged” God, while his conditions covers:
- his Fears
- his Doubt
- his insecurities
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” Gen 28: 20-22
Notice that “conditional” vow was made by Jacob. All in future tense. That only “if” God “will” fulfill his conditions, He “will be” his GOD. With this, God was challenged. God showed His faithfulness to Jacob through Laban’s deception and maltreatment for 20 years .
3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
4 So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’then all the flocks bore streaked young. 9 So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me. – Gen 31:4-9
During his journey of struggles with Laban. Jacob learned the following:
- God of his fathers was with him – (Gen 31: 4)
- Endurance – ( Gen 31:6 ; Gen 31: 40-41 “This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times”)
- He is protected by God – ( Gen 31:7b; 42 “ If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” )
- He was blessed and his flocks increases – (Gen 31:9 ; 30:25-43)
- He learned to communicate and get instructions from God to a dream – (Gen 31:10-13)
- An indication with the assurance that he can now return to his homeland.(Gen 27:4; 31:13; 33: 3)
- God’s faithfulness to his covenant. He will not leave Jacob until God is done in His promises to his father Abraham (Genesis 28:15; 31:13; 31:24)
Laban became his training ground, for him to be fully developed…
- his physique and
- progressively established his relationship to God.
However, Jacob still remain fearful- Gen 31:31 “Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force; especially when he knows that it is the time go back to his homeland and will meet Esau. – Gen 32: 7 “In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well.
God did not stop there from telling Jacob that “I am with you and I will never leave you, until I have done my promise”. He knows that Jacob’s relationship to him was not fully developed yet. He continued reminding him that He is ahead of him always, as He showed up with Jacob before meeting Esau – Gen 32:1-2 ” Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanain. From here, Jacob knows that God is near him. But his fear prevailed and made him strategized and moved wisely in preparations to meet Esau.
3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. 5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” – Gen 32:3-6
His fear and great distress made him prayed , sought God and fully submit to Him. He reminded God of His promise to fulfill it.
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’ – Gen 32:9-12
Jacob challenged God by proving to him that He is real with his conditional vow he made -(Gen 28:20-22). God proves him in countless times that He is real to him –(Genesis 29- 31)
When Jacob fully submit his life to God with all his reliance, “Save me, I pray”- (Gen 32:11a). It’s very short and simple. But God made it with full of impact for Jacob to be meaningfully changed, that he will remember forever.
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” Gen 32-24-26
Because of Jacob’s fully developed physique, he wrestled continuously to a man and without letting him go. Until the man had blessed him. Knowing that Jacob will not give up without a replacement. Like what he did with his brother Esau when he sells his birthright over a bowl of stew.
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Gen 32: 26- 28
God blessed Jacob with a new name, ISRAEL. The old has gone, the new has come. Though we know that since in the beginning, God had divine purpose and plan for Jacob. But God’s way is higher than our ways. His thought is higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8)
Jacob to Israel, is a great example of:
- God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises and is new every morning. (Lamentation 3:23)
- Obedience leads to blessings
- Sufferings, trials, obstacle made us sturdy to become an over comer.
- God’s protection is upon His children.
- Jacob knows how to pursue and chase God’s blessings. He challenged God (Gen 28:16-18) and God challenged Him (Gen 32:24-28) Both had it overcame because Jacob is an overcomer. Once He knew that God is real, He positioned himself as a child of God. (Gen 32:9-12)
- His obedience leads to blessings and success.
God love us all and, is eternal especially to those who “genuinely believes” (John 3:16)- when Jacob started to believe and fully submitted his life to God ( Gen 32:11 – “Save me,” I pray. ) God made a way to give him a new life, with a new name, ISRAEL.
“Lord, save me.” as we utter these words, God is always ready to give us ISRAEL- a new life, with a new beginning. Let’s learn from Jacob’s story that God wants us to fully depended on Him. Trust Him. Rely on Him. Focus on Him. He wants us to chase and pursue our blessings by positioning ourselves as children of God.
If you want to be like Jacob, though a deceiver, but had given a new name, with a new beginning, God will also made possible for you. Just follow this prayer and believe in your heart that what you have uttered is true to your heart. Please read these verses from Romans 10:9-10 ” If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Please pray this prayer from your heart…
(*Excerpted from Life On Purpose for Women Devotional by J.M. Farro*)
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” – Hebrews 11:39
It always amazes me how many believers are hesitant to claim God’s promises because they’re afraid they’ll be disappointed. Perhaps they feel that if they don’t expect too much from God, they can avoid the pain of being let down. I’ve heard it said that real faith is spelled “R-I-S-K.” I think there’s a lot of truth to that. It takes a lot of courage to trust God to come through for us when our senses aren’t giving us any support. But that’s exactly what the Lord expects from us. If you look at the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, you see that God approves of those who put their faith in His promises, whether or not they come to pass. The verse above confirms this. And so does Hebrews 11:13- “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” The scriptures reveal that God holds in high esteem those who live by faith and continue to hold on to God’s promises, even through long periods of waiting. The fact is if we really want to please God and reap the rewards He has store for us, we’re going to have to risk putting our faith and trust in Him, even when it looks like the odds are aginst us. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” The first verse of Hebrews gives us a biblical definition of faith: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” And the next verse reveals that it’s this kind of faith that God esteems: “This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:1,2). The words “sure” and “certain” make it clear that faith is a confidence in God and His Word, even when we don’t see any tangible evidence to justify that faith. And the verse that follows reveals why our believing in what we don’t see isn’t just “pie in the sky”: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3). The Creator of te universe isn’t the least bit hindered when our circmstances look “impossible.”Making something out of nothing is what our God does best. Now you need to ask yourself how serious you are about pleasing God. If you’re really serious, you aren’t going to be able to avoid taking risks with your faith. Yes, you’re going to experience some disappointments you might have escaped. But I guarantee you this— you’re going to witness some miracles in your life that you would have otherwise missed. Hebrews 11:3 tells us “through faith” some of God’s people “gained what was promised.” The bottom line is this — whether or not we receive all the promises we believe God for isn’t the issue; the issue is whether or not we are living by faith, trusting God with all our hearts in every circumstance every day of our lives. When we do, along with God’s hearty approval, we’ll have a peace and joy in our hearts that will enable us to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. Today, my heartfelt prayer for you is that you’ll dare to believe!
LIVE ON PURPOSE TODAY
Apply your faith to any need you face today. Find a Scripture that promises your answer, take hold of it by faith, and then thank God for His gracious supply. Give God the opportunity to do what He does best— and make something out of nothing for you!
All glory be to God!
Wait for the Nudge
Is there anything in your life that needs to be removed? Any impediment to the impression of God’s Spirit? We can grieve the Spirit with our angry words (Ephesians 4:29–30; Isaiah 63:10) and resist the Spirit in our disobedience (Acts 7:51). We can even quench the Spirit by having no regard for God’s teachings.
Here is something that helps me stay in step with the Spirit. We know that the “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23 nasb). God’s Spirit creates and distributes these characteristics. They are indicators on my spiritual dashboard. So whenever I sense them, I know I am walking in the Spirit. Whenever I lack them, I know I am out of step with the Spirit.
To walk in the Spirit, respond to the promptings God gives you.
Don’t sense any nudging? Just be patient and wait. Abraham waited for the promised son. Moses waited forty years in the wilderness. Jesus waited thirty years before he began his ministry. God instills seasons of silence in his plan. Winter is needed for the soil to bear fruit. Time is needed for the development of a crop. And disciples wait for the move of God. Wait for him to move, nudge, and direct you.
From Max Lucado’s new 365-day devotional God Is With You Every Day 
“How does God speak?
Hear God’s Voice
how does God speak?
People everywhere yearn to hear God’s voice. Is God speaking to us? Is it possible to hear His voice? Does God want us to hear His voice? How does God speak? How are we to listen?
God is speaking, and we can hear His voice. Christianity is a relationship; every relationship is established and maintained through communication. It is vital that we learn to hear God’s voice, so that we may deepen our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Jesus said to His Father, “This is life eternal, that they [believers] might know thee [God] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). It is God’s plan for us to know Him intimately; therefore, we must learn to hear His voice.
God Speaks to Us in Many Ways
Our creative God is not limited to one form of communication. He is all-powerful; He is omnipresent; He is sovereign. The Bible is filled with accounts of God speaking to individuals, to families, and to nations. In the past He spoke in many different ways, and that is true today as well.
God speaks to all men through creation (see Romans 1:18–20 and Psalm 19:1–2), and in the past, God has communicated in various ways, including angels, His chosen spokesmen (prophets), dreams, visions, miracles, and even through a donkey that He enabled to speak as a man speaks! (See Luke 1:5–38, II Samuel 24:10–25, Genesis 40:1–23, Daniel 2:1–45, Acts 9:10–18, Exodus 7:8–11:10, and Numbers 22:21–35.)
On numerous occasions, the Bible records that God’s voice was heard, but the exact way in which His voice was heard is not described. Following are a few examples of such descriptions:
“God spake unto Noah, saying” (Genesis 8:15).“The Lord had said unto Abram …” (Genesis 12:1).“The Lord said unto Moses …” (Exodus 24:12).“Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah …”(Isaiah 38:4).God Spoke to Us Through His Son
When Jesus was on the earth, God spoke to us through Him, and when Jesus returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into all truth—to be our “communicator” from God. (See Matthew 10:18–20; John 14:26, 16:7–8, 13; Romans 8:26; I Corinthians 2:9–16; and Acts 8:29, 13:2.)
If you are a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells within you, but it is still necessary to nurture your relationship with your heavenly Father in order to learn how to be attentive to His voice. As you grow in faith and mature as a believer, you will learn to hear God speak. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
God Speaks to Us Through His Word
The Bible is one of God’s provisions to equip us to do His will. (See II Timothy 3:16–17.) God’s Word is alive; it is active in our lives. The Bible is an absolutely essential part of your walk with God. You must not neglect His Word. It is one way that He speaks to you personally, powerfully—today. (See I Thessalonians 1:5, 2:13.)
Read the Word, memorize the Word, and meditate on the Word of God. By His Holy Spirit, Who dwells in each believer, God will focus your attention on particular verses or passages. (See John 14:26.) They will have special application to your life because of decisions you are facing, character goals you are working on, questions you have, or pressures you are experiencing.As you meditate on those verses to which the Spirit of God leads you, and obey them, God will guide you in“paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
Not only are we to have a growing relationship with the Lord through His Word, but we also should be ready to give an answer to others whenever necessary. (See I Peter 3:15–16.) When the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus responded to the devil’s temptations by quoting truth from God’s Word. (See Matthew 4:1–11.)We must learn the truth, which is found in the Word of God and also is identified as the “sword of the Spirit.” With the sword of the Spirit, we can defeat the enemy of our souls, and as we “put on the whole armor of God,” we can “stand against the wiles of the devil”(Ephesians 6:11).
Honoring and obeying God’s Word is a key to hearing God’s voice. Through obedience, we demonstrate our love for God, and failure to obey is a reflection of a rebellious heart. If we resist His Word, our fellowship with God will be limited. Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. … If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:21, 23–24).
We Must Believe What the Bible Says
The Bible says that God guides us. (See Isaiah 30:21; Psalm 32:8, 48:14, 73:24; John 16:13, and Deuteronomy 4:9–11.) Are you willing to believe God’s Word? If so, then your heart is prepared to hear God speak. If you reject what the Bible says, then it is likely that you will be unable to hear God speak, because of your unbelief. (See Matthew 13:57–58; Mark 6:5–7, 16:9–20; Hebrews 3:7–19; and I Timothy 1:12–16.)
If you are not hearing God’s voice, examine your heart. The Bible says, “Examine [scrutinize, discipline] yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove [test, approve] your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates [unapproved, rejected, worthless]?” (II Corinthians 13:5). Ask the Lord to reveal to you anything that is hindering your relationship with Him, and then obey Him. Ask God to give you ears to hear, and a pure heart. (See Matthew 13:43, Mark 4:9, Matthew 5:8, II Timothy 2:22, and Psalm 24:3–5.)
God’s Children Can Hear His Voice
Are you born again? Have you asked God to forgive you for your rebellion against Him and His Word? Have you in repentance made a change of mind, heart, and direction in your life? If so, then you can hear God’s voice, because you are His child. If you are not a child of God, then cry out to Him for salvation, and He will hear your cry. He will forgive you of your rebellion, and He will accept you into His kingdom, as His child. (See John 3:1–21 and Romans 10:9–17.)
God Speaks to Us Through Our Prayers
God also speaks to us when we pray. Unfortunately, many of us have the mistaken idea that the purpose of prayer is to change God’s mind. We think, “If I can just plead with God long enough and hard enough, He’ll give me what I’m asking for.” Prayer is not a way to twist God’s arm.
Prayer is God’s means of getting through to us, so thatwe can do things for Him! As we pray, God takes our focus off of our needs and puts our focus on His love and His power. Through prayer, God changes our perspective to conform to His purposes; He establishes His priorities for our lives; He leads us into all truth.
God Often Speaks in a “Still, Small Voice”
At a time when the prophet Elijah was discouraged and depressed, God spoke to him: “And he [God] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he … went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? ” (I Kings 19:11–13). Sometimes God will speak through “the wind or an earthquake or a fire,” but most often He speaks in a still, small voice. Be attentive!
When we pray, God will hear, and He will answer us with “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” Hearing God’s clear answers to our petitions is essential. As you spend time with your heavenly Father through prayer, and as you learn to know Him through His Word, you will hear His voice; you will learn to view the circumstances of your life with discernment and perceive God’s answers to your prayers. God always answers our prayers, but unfortunately we do not always recognize His answers. That takes practice.
God Speaks Through Circumstances
You must be diligent to seek God and to be attentive to His work in every facet of your life, because another way that God speaks to us is through our circumstances. As you focus on the Lord, especially during difficult or painful circumstances, God can show you His perspective about your circumstances. Rather than trying to figure out everything, equipped only with our limited knowledge and understanding, we can acknowledge the Lord in all of our ways and rely on His love for us, His sovereignty, and His plan for our good. (See Proverbs 3:3–13 and Romans 8:26–32.) He is totally trustworthy.
God Speaks Through Others
The Bible records many instances in which God used one individual to deliver His message to another individual. (See I Samuel 13:13–14, 15:23; II Samuel 12:7–15; and Acts 9:10–18, 10:1–33.) God may speak to you through another individual—a friend, a parent, a pastor, even a stranger. You would be wise to confirm what you hear God saying by seeking affirmation of that direction through wise, Godly people.
One of the best places to find individuals who can give you Godly counsel is your local church. Even if your fellow church members do not directly give you counsel, God can use their words to reveal or confirm His will, as the Holy Spirit works in your lives. Also, as a member of a local church, you can observe what God is saying to the entire church. God often will direct you personally through the input of others who are regularly in Christian fellowship with you.
With God, Nothing Is Impossible!
God is not limited in any way. He is not restricted to certain methods of communication with His children. Just as He creatively and dramatically used a donkey to rebuke Balaam, God can just as creatively and dramatically communicate His message to your heart as you hear someone else pray, as you read a testimony included in your church newsletter, or as you suddenly understand the full meaning of a song you hear. With God, nothing is impossible! (See Luke 1:37.)
You Can Avoid Deception From Satan
Many believers fear that they will be deceived by Satan’s voice. However, God’s children can confidently identify His voice when He speaks. The way to avoid deception is to learn to recognize God’s voice well. Then, if Satan tries to counterfeit God’s voice, you will immediately recognize it as a deception.
In John 10:14, 27–28, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. ” Stay as close as possible to the Shepherd, and you will always know if He is the One whose voice you hear.
Hear God’s Voice
Read your Bible; study it to learn God’s ways. Meditate on Scripture. Make yourself available to God through prayer. Worship the Lord. Be still in His presence.Invest in your relationship with your heavenly Father. (See Psalm 119:105, 77:12; I Thessalonians 5:17; II Timothy 1:3; Psalm 29:2; John 4:23–24; and Psalm 46:10.) Be attentive to the ways God is leading you as a member of a local church. Heed the Godly counsel of trustworthy fellow believers. As you do, you will learn to recognize God’s voice.
There is no shortcut to learning to recognize God’s voice, just as there is no shortcut to mature from infancy to adulthood—it takes time. Do you want to hear God’s voice? Then spend time with Him. The more you are with Him, the better you will know His voice. “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Matthew 13:16).
Maturity Requires Discipline and Obedience
“The depth of your walk with God is directly proportional to the zeal with which you seek him. If you seek after God in a halfhearted, inconsistent manner, you cannot expect to hear him speaking at the deepest levels. But if you will discipline yourself to concentrate on the Lord and if you diligently obey everything he says, then you will be prepared to experience God at an increasingly profound and personal level. God has invited you to go deeper in your relationship with him. The depth of that relationship ultimately rests with you.” (Henry and Richard Blackaby, Hearing God’s Voice, page 246)
God Keeps His Promises!
God made this promise to His people: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). God keeps His promises. Seek Him with all of your heart, and you will hear His voice.”
article is excerpted from
and is credited to Institute of Basic Life Principle)