listening to God

Deep calls to deep

Earlier in the summer, my wife and I spent a Sunday afternoon at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. The spring and summer rains feeding Minnehaha Creek have made the falls a roaring attraction this year. The sheer force of voluminous amounts of water ceaselessly cascading into such a picturesque grotto-like setting is indeed breathtaking. From there the swollen creek tumbles and rumbles its way through the remaining several furlong run into the mightyMississippi.

Waterfalls have a way of mesmerizing your soul as they beckon you to come closer and closer. They have a unique allure in nature that tantalize all the senses. Not only are they a beautiful to behold with the eyes and stunning in surround sound to the ears, but they also cannot be fully appreciated until one is close enough to feel their spray in your face and lick their moisture from your lips. And while savoring that, the senses are finally satiated as you breath in deep gulps of their freshness through your nose. Ah…h that is how waterfalls are meant to be experienced!

But waterfalls also can be perilous. Sensory delight can turn into sensory overload if a person ventures beyond the posted warning signs or danger areas. Those signs are there for a reason because someone, sometime, somehow got too close and went from being a visitor by the water to a victim in the water.

The verse quoted above is written by someone who got too close to a waterfall. In fact the waterfall of life was coming at him with such ferocity that it literally swept over him and would have swept him away were not for God’s love for him. (42:8) All of us have from time to time been engulfed at the base of a waterfall where we feel like we are drowning in the pressures and trials of life that are endlessly pouring into our lives.

The writer of Psalm 42 and 43, which together form a sixteen verse prayer, opens his heart to God in a most vulnerable, if not disarming way. He literally pours out his soul as he battles with overwhelming discouragement and seeming estrangement from God. For him, the waterfall of life is unrelenting. This is an easy prayer to identify with because all of us feel that way at times. In fact like this man we can find ourselves even wondering “Where is God?” (42:19)

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3 secrets to hearing God’s voice

I recently had a breakthrough in hearing God’s voice. With my wife leaving on a weeklong winter getaway with some family members, I decided that I would set aside that time to focus on my relationship with the Lord. There have been several big rock items in my life that I have been wrestling with for some time regarding God’s will and I determined to press into Him for some answers.

Originally I thought I would take a few days to get away by myself at a silent retreat center in the woods, but then was inspired instead to dedicate my home as my own silent retreat center. Basically I declared it a no media zone, simplified my schedule and spent my non-working hours in the morning and the evenings spending time in His presence.

For the Christian, one of the biggest challenges is developing the ability to tune into and listen to the Holy Spirit. God wants us to know His will for our lives through having full access to the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. I established that in my last blog post entitled “Limitless, beyond the movie.”

Since God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than our own we desperately need help to access and understand them. (Isaiah 55:8-9) In the New Testament we are told that the mind of Christ is revealed by the Holy Spirit. “No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” He helps us to “understand what God has freely given us” by revealing “the mind of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13) That is “full access’ and is meant to be the norm for every believer and follower of Christ.

Setting aside my retreat week reconfirmed this truth for me and also reinforced the fact that there are things every believer can do to increase their ability to access the mind of Christ.

Here is my list of the top three things I did to position myself to hear God’s voice. When God chooses to speak, these three things will insure that you hear Him.

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