Thursday, April 23, 2015

3 ways to hear from God: part 2

Are you struggling to hear from God? You're at the right place because this is part 2 of "3 ways to hear from God" make sure you read part 1 here!
• • •

1. Through someone's testimony.

Sometimes we can unconsciously put God in a box.

We only think about the things we see Him do in our own lives. Or worse, we fail to even give Him credit for what He does in our lives because we forget that He is the one doing it in the first place.

It is natural to limit God, that is just the way the mind works.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
[1 Corinthians 2:9]

One way to hear from God and increase your faith is by hearing someone's testimony.

God can use what He did in someone else's life to reveal who He is to you. For example, maybe  I'm you're feeling down about how you are ever going to pay off college loans. When someone testifies that God cancelled $50,000 of their debt, that might be God's way of telling you to trust that His plans are for you to prosper. 

Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.
[Mark 5:19]

2. Through obedience.

Hearing from God is just like hearing from anyone else. Except way different. But still similar.

Hearing God's voice is all about recognizing God's voice. 

When you feel a tug from the Holy Spirit, you are hearing from God. Now you have two options:

1. Ignore the voice
2. Respond to the voice

When you choose to respond to the Holy Spirit, you are obeying God and ultimately growing in Christ. The more you obey, the more familiar you get with God's voice. You begin to know exactly what He sounds like and when He is speaking.

No more trying to figure out who you're talking to.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
[Isaiah 30:21]

3. Through His word.

The hands-down, never failing, best way to hear from God is through His word.

God highly esteems His word, so much so that he placed it above His own name.

For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
[Psalm 138:2]

Whenever I feel like I have drifted away from God and need to get back to Him, I open my bible. It is better than talking to any person on this earth.

Everything God tells you can be confirmed in His word. And in one simple verse, God teaches us how to hear Him...

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
[Romans 10:17]

How do you hear from God?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

3 ways to hear from God: part 1

When there are a million different voices telling you who to be and where to go, how do you hear from the only One who really matters? 
• • •

1. Keep a journal

When you spend time praying and studying the bible, it can be very helpful to keep a journal. These moments spent alone with God can be the only time you get to peacefully sit before Him.

With all your attention turned to Him, in a surrendering position- what better time to listen?

Sometimes my quiet time feels like me just talking and not ever hearing from God.

You know, prayer request after prayer request. 

And I don't give God a chance to say anything. 

So I finally took everyone's advice and got a journal. At first I didn't know what to write. (Heck, I still don't know what to write sometimes. I'm no expert. Just a chick who loves Jesus, remember?)

But eventually God began to pour things into me during my quiet time with Him. He would give me wisdom on situations that I know I could not have come up with on my own. He would give me ideas and He would convict me. 

And in good old Godly fashion- He would wreck me.

Being wrecked is like feeling such an overwhelming sense of love from God that you just simply cannot. You just cant. 

Point is, if you journal during your time with God, you can invite Him to speak to you through what you write. It is a way of opening up to receive. 

You can leave feeling more peaceful and accomplished than you were when you came.

It is extremely important to hear from God. How else will you know the status on those cookies?

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
[Psalm 91:1 NKJV]

2. Through Christ-centered friendships.

I have a lot of friends. Only about two of them rebuke me though so, I have two friends.

One is a hugger. I'm just sayin.

My friends see me the way God sees me and they only want what is best for me. 

There are times God speaks to me directly through them because they are not afraid to tell me the truth. In fact, they know it's what I need to hear. 

If you have Christian friends who constantly challenge you to grow, while still accepting who you are, God can thrive in those relationships.

Sometimes they give me advice on situations I didn't even tell them about. I know it comes from God because I really needed to hear it, but they didn't even think much of it. 

And then of course there are times they give me help and pray for me because well...I'm not exactly disguising my problems.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them
[Matthew 18:20]

3. Your Pastor

Your Pastor has a very special grace to deal

I already told you that you're supposed to be at church on Sunday morning and there is something about being exactly where God tells you to be that sets you up to hear from Him. 

Think about it, how many times have you been sitting in church and you feel like the Pastor wrote the sermon just for you?

He says something about your life and at first you're like...nahh.

Then you're like, wait a minute, that's too specific. 

Then you look over at you're friend like

are you hearing this right now?

Seriously, I don't get it. Did you read my journal? That whole cookie thing was a joke you know.

It's no surprise we hear from Jesus at church. After all, the temple is His father's house. If I wanted to hear someone's voice, I would go to their house.

And when there are cookies on the table when I get there, that's just a bonus.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
(Hebrews 13:17 NLT)

+ Check out part two of "3 ways to hear from God" here!

How do you hear from God?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

3 more signs you haven't spent enough time with God

Because God misses you.
• • • 

1. You don't think you can do anything right.

It can be hard to meet the world's expectations. You might not ever be smart enough or fit enough. You may not have the perfect relationship or the perfect job. You might not have enough followers or enough likes on your pictures. 

Maybe you're supposed to be a lot further along by now. 

The truth is, God knows where you fall short and he loves when you submit those areas of your life to Him. He doesn't want you to deal with the pain of failure on your own.

When you turn to Him, He will remove your desire to be accepted by the world. He does this by showing you just how much you mean to Him. And once you realize that...nothing is really the same.

Who me?

My grace is sufficient for you, my Strength is made perfect in weakness. 
[2 Corinthians 12:9]

2. You aren't hearing from God when you read you Word.

I know what you're thinking. Aren't we talking about times when we don't spend time with God?
I don't get it.

Sure, reading your bible is a great way to spend time with the Lord. But plenty of people read the bible without ever being intimate with Christ. 

Consider the people who read the bible just to pick it apart.

Sometimes reading our Word can be something we do out of habit or maybe it seems a little more practical than "spending time with God." Whatever that is.

What is that anyway?

But when you only read your bible and fail to actually set time apart for God, it can be a million times harder to figure out what God wants to reveal to you. 

It's like trying to read an article on the stock market in the Wall Street Journal.

But when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
[Matthew 6:6]

3. You feel anxious.

You don't have to break out in hives or start sweating to be anxious.

Anxiety can look like:

• fear that something bad will happen
• inability to sit still and relax
• dependency on caffeine or dugs/alcohol
• never feeling truly at peace

If I was asked to describe the presence of God in one word, I'd say peace.

Remember that "never good enough" thing we talked about in #1, well feeling anxious is the direct result of that.

God does not want us to be anxious. Seriously.

Be anxious about nothing, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
[Philippians 4:6]

In other words...

If you've been missing out on good ol' quality time with the Man upstairs, anxiety will creep in and daily activities will become increasingly draining.

"Heyyy, how's school going?"

"Oh. about work?"

"Your relationship?"

"Your family?"

"Ok. Just to be sure you we didn't lose you to the zombies and I'm not talking to your clone right now- how does bacon taste?"

Oh no...we've lost her.

This is worst than I thought.

Time with God may not immediately change your situation, but it will change your outlook on it.

God loves peace. He is the Lord of Peace. How could you have a date with the Lord of Peace and not leave feeling...peaceful?

It's like going to Hershey Park and never eating chocolate.

Yeah. So what are you waiting for? You have a date you can't miss! 

Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always in every way. 
The Lord be with you all.
[2 Thessalonians 3:16]

Friday, April 3, 2015

$25 Chick-fil-A Good Friday Giveaway

If you haven't heard, Jesus is good. Like really good. Like so good, He was ok with being killed despite doing nothing wrong. 

And get this. 

He did it all for YOU.

Jesus was is perfect. He only did what God did. 

But average people like us...we mess up.

And when you mess have had to die.

But Jesus heard this logic and was like

no- I have other plans.

When you mess up (and you will) you don't have to die

you can turn to Me instead.

So He died on your behalf.

And not just your average death.

He was crucified.

Ya know, nailed to a cross.

Because He already knew that no matter how hard you tried

there was no way you could avoid....messing up.

Oh yeah and to top it off he kind of...rose from the dead.

• • •

Every day is a good day to recognize God's goodness. And today is especially a good day to think good thoughts about how good God is because there is a good holiday in place that recognizes His goodness, called Good Friday.

So in honor of Jesus being good, I am doing something much less good.

I am giving away a 
$25 Chick-fil-A gift card 
to one winner who comments below with one way God has been good to you.

It can be as short as: "He loves me."

Or as long as your whole testimony. I will read it!

The giveaway ends tonight at 11:00p.m. EST and the winner will be randomly chosen and  announced tomorrow morning on Facebook, so make sure you like Holly Loo Ya!

• • •

*If you don't have Facebook make sure to leave your email address.
*If you win and you don't have a Chic-fil-A in your area, first of all, sorry to hear that. Secondly, I will arrange a way to give you an alternative $25 gift card.

Happy commenting! 

** Share this post so all your friends can hear about how good Jesus is!

*** And possibly win Chick-fil-A :)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

8 words that take on a whole new meaning when you give your life to Christ

1. Gospel.

You genre?

 Or like Jesus being crucified on a cross to pay for each and every one of our sins.
Then rising again so that we do no have to die, but can live eternally.

2. Pray.

I didn't always pray, but when I did I either:

1. needed something
2. was about to go to sleep
3. needed something
4. was about to eat or
5. needed something

So things could get pretty awkward.

Now, it's just a conversation with a God I have an actual relationship with. 
We can talk about everything. We can talk about nothing.

It never ends weird.

3. Grace

Being gentle and delicate and leaving lip stick stains on your glass.

Realizing He didn't have to do this for you.

4. Court

As in: I refuse to pay another camera ticket, I'm taking this to court.
I was hardly over the speed limit.

Now commonly known as, what you do with someone after you realize you like them, but before you get married.

See also: boyfriends without benefits.

5 & 6. Old Testament

Thou shall not readeth.

Where you turn to find some of the sweetest gems in the bible, a ton of wisdom and understanding of the New Testament.


7. Easter

Going to church once a year to show off your super fly first day of spring outfit.

 Realizing Jesus actually conquered the grave.

8. Love
When you stay in an unhealthy relationship no matter what they put you through.
Laying down your life for someone else.
But we have the mind of Christ.
|1 Corinthians 2:16|