Friday, July 17, 2020

Day 11: A 14-Day Journey to Hearing from God

How Do We Hear from God ?
  1. spoken word from preachers and teachers of the Word / church
  2. reading and studying God's Word
  3. talking to God and quieting ourselves to let Him talk to us (prayer)
  4. convictions (the tugging at our hearts, the push and pull in our spirits)
  5. fellowship with other believers
  6. warning and foresight, spoken directly to our spirits 

Almost two years ago, I was the first to admit that I heard from God least in fellowship. And it's not because He doesn't speak when I'm in fellowship with other believers. He DEFINITELY does. But I didn't hear from Him because I didn't fellowship with other believers as often as I probably could have, or as often as I should have. It was an area that the Lord was showing me needed to change. 

He was showing me how vital relationships are and how necessary community is. He challenged me in my Godly relationships so I can grow, and since then, I have grown TREMENDOUSLY and have gained some relationships that have changed me and push me closer to Him. 

And I'm convinced that no matter where you stand with your comfort level in close Godly relationships and Godly community, you can definitely still grow. As I shared with you all at the top of the journey, God is still stretching and developing me in this area. Every day I'm learning and growing.

Often, when God and I are talking about relationships, He reminds me of the early church in the book of Acts (we visited this earlier in the journey). He has shown me, on many occasions, how powerful it is when we have others to lean on and when we can learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)

And when He speaks to me about fellowship and community, He always reminds me of Hebrews 10:25. It reads, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Many think that that only means meeting together at church to get instruction and to grow in our knowledge of God's Word, but it doesn't. It means gathering together with believers, period. Whenever we can get together to encourage one another or to simply just hang out and love on one another, that is the "meeting together" this verse implies.  And we all need it.


God has shown me how much we miss out on when we don't fellowship with other believers. I know when I'm just hanging out with my sisters, they make me want to be better. I see them walking it out for the Lord and it makes me want to walk stronger. I hear their stories of how they've overcome challenges and obstacles, and it reminds me that I can overcome. God uses fellowship with other believers to speak to us and build us, so don't forsake it. We need each other. We really, really do.

You've probably heard the saying, "No man is an island (entirely of itself)." It's true. We hurt ourselves when we try to live outside of community. 

When we are in relationship with others, we become mirrors to one another. They can sometimes see things that we don't see until we "look into them". They're God's agents to help us, and you're His agent to help them. Close, Godly relationships and Godly community are NECESSARY.

This is an area that I feel least qualified to speak on, but I want to share with you who has helped me better understand Godly relationships and community, and who has challenged me like nobody's business to step up my game in making myself more present in my community (close Godly relationships).

The Assignment
  1. Grab your Bible. Date your journal.
  2. Watch this message: The Roller Coaster of Godly Relationships
  3. Take notes while you watch.
  4. Talk back to the Lord in your journal. What is the Lord saying to you and your heart about fellowship and community?

Some Practical Ways to Build Relationships / Foster Community
  1. Push yourself to invite one of your friends out to do something that neither of you has done. This way you have a memory of a new experience to share.
  2. If you have a church home that has cell groups, small groups, or an equivalent, GET INVOLVED and intentionally get to know people who you've never talked to.
  3. If you have a church home that has women's fellowship activities or men's fellowship activities, commit to attending at least one a month. While at the events, strike up conversation with someone you don't know well.
  4. Invite a friend over to your home for dinner.
  5. Invite a friend on a day trip to do something you both will enjoy.

Testimony (I wrote this 2 years ago, but it's still relevant.) 
I was planning to go to dinner alone because honestly, that's how I like to roll. I enjoy my quiet. I was planning to bring some papers to grade and just relax at one of the restaurant's outside tables. And the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks with that plan. He told me to invite some of my sisters to join me.

I'm in a group chat with about 10 of my sisters from church, and can I tell you that, generally, I abhor group texts! OH MY GOD! I don't even know who put me in the group, and at first, I almost asked whoever included me to remove me, but I decided to stay. And I thank God I did! Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that I needed it, and every day--STILL--I'm grateful to be in communication with them.

I listened to the Holy Spirit and offered to have dinner with anyone in the group chat who could come. Only one was able to come (and another one met us at the very end of the dinner), but God knew just what He was doing. It was time well spent that opened up the door to a girls' trip.

More relational opportunities will blossom from the times you spend with the people you were intentional about engaging, and before you know it, you will have people in your life who will be there consistently enough to be the iron that sharpens your iron, and vice versa. And that's what the Lord desires. 

We NEED fellowship with other believers.
We NEED fellowship with other believers.
We NEED fellowship with other believers.
We NEED fellowship with other believers.

I'm praying for you.


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