Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Day 2: A 14-Day Journey to Hearing from God

I'm so grateful to the Lord for raising up teachers who make His word as plain as Priscilla Shirer did in the video from yesterday's first installment. Wasn't it a good, clear picture of what it looks like to have the spirit of the living God on the inside of us? And doesn't that example make it just as easy to understand what it looks like when the Holy Spirit is lying dormant on the inside of us?

There's no doubt that all of us have been there at some point or another, where the voice of the Holy Spirit was (is) faint and distant. That's why we're taking this journey so we can either reawaken God's voice in our heart (ears), or so we can hear Him more clearly. We want our "spiritual hook up" to be constantly "flowing with channels".

The results from our personal inventories show that we are all saved and that we know the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of us. This means, even if the relationship isn't strong, we are in relationship with Jesus, and that is the foundation we need on this journey.

Hallelujah! 


That brings me to our questions for today. 


Why aren't we DAILY accessing the benefits of us being in relationship with Jesus and having His Holy Spirit living in us? Could it be that one of us isn't holding up our share of "the work" that's necessary to maintain the intimacy in the relationship?


Think about your relationship with your significant other, past or present. You know everything about them. 

  • You know what they like and don't like to eat. 
  • You know how they like to eat. 
  • You know the music they like. 
  • You know what gets on their nerves. 
  • You know what to do to get on their nerves (LOL). 
  • You know how to make them happy, and you eventually learn how to comfort them when they're hurting. 
  • They've shared things with you that no one else knows, and vice versa. 
  • You've seen them at their best and their worst, and the worst somehow drew you closer to them. 
  • You even finish each other's sentences because, over time, spending as much time as you spend together, sharing as much as you share, and communicating as much as you do, it was bound to happen. You can't spend as much time as you spend with your significant other and not know them. You can't be with someone in their day to day and not learn of them.

As a classroom teacher, I don't have intimate relationships with my students, but because we're together so much, and we're communicating every day, I KNOW them. 
  • I know what they're going to do because I've learned their patterns. 
  • I know who's going to turn in homework, and I know who isn't. 
  • I know who's going to talk when it's not time to talk because they've "shown their true colors" over time. 
  • I even know what my substitute's report will be upon my return from an absence because I know my students. 
I. 
Know. 
Them. 

And guess what? They know me too. 
  • They know how I'm going to greet them in the mornings. 
  • They know how to clean up their areas when class is over without me having to say so because they know how I feel about cleanliness. 
  • They know what I'm going to say upon my return from an absence when they know the substitute has left me a bad report, and they know how I'm going to act if the substitute sang their praises.

This happens only because we're all active participants in the learning in my classroom. 

And this happens with you and your significant other only because you're both actively participating in the relationship. 

But what if you were in a relationship with that same significant other and they only talked to you when they felt like it? What if you brought up conversations about the state of your relationship and where you want it to go and they never responded? What if you expressed your feelings, telling them how much you care about them and how much you want to be with them, and they didn't even seem to care? 


Oh, I know you wouldn't hang around very long. None of us would because, plain and simple, no one wants to be in a relationship by themselves, working alone on something that it takes two people to build. 



I Said All That To Say...

Unfortunately, this is what a lot of believers' relationships with Jesus look like. This may be what your relationship looks like. He's there with you and He's not going anywhere because of His undying love for you, but He was doing a lot more talking when you first got saved. Then, when you weren't responding and when you weren't initiating conversation, He seemingly grew silent. Every now and then you would go to Him to talk, but it's not always so easy to carry conversations with someone you've been away from for a while. Therefore, He didn't have as much to say when you got there.


He knows you intimately because He created you, but you didn't get into a relationship with Him until you got saved. You didn't know Him before you invited Him into your heart, so you two have to get to know each other in a whole new way now that you're in relationship


He can tell you the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30) and endless other details about you because, again, He knit you together in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13-16), but He can't talk the things of life with you (who to marry, what job to take, what to do about my kids' disobedience, this church or that one, move here or move there) unless you're in regular conversation--you talking to and listening to Him, and Him talking to and listening to you. He desires to talk life with you every day so you can know HIS plan and HIS desires for you (Psalm 37:4).


You have to spend time with Him to know Him and hear Him that way. You have a part to play in the relationship; you have to "put in work" too.



What benefits are we missing out on when we don't do our part and "put in work" in our relationship with the Lord? 


The Assignment
Grab your bible and date your journal. Read each of the scriptures/passages below and determine what benefit(s) is being revealed in the scripture. In your journal, for each scripture, you will write a sentence that starts like this: "When I don't put in "the work" in my relationship with the Lord, I miss out on..." Complete each sentence with the benefit(s) that is revealed in the scripture/passage.
  1. John 10:27 (AMP version)
  2. John 14:26  (AMP version AND NLT)
  3. John 15:15 (AMP version)
  4. John 16:12-15 (AMP version AND NLT)
Finally, answer these questions in your journal. Be real (raw) and be specific. This is you talking to the Lord. He already knows your heart, but He wants to hear from you. Speak your heart.
  1. What is keeping you from spending daily quality time with the Holy Spirit like you would with a significant other?
  2. Why are these things keeping you from spending daily quality time with the Holy Spirit like you would with a significant other?
  3. List steps/measures you can take to spend daily quiet time with the Holy Spirit like you would with a significant other.
*****
When you don't spend quality time with the Holy Spirit, you miss the benefit of hearing directly from God on the personal, specific things He wants to share with JUST YOU

You may get revelation through the spoken word from a pastor or teacher. And because He loves you, He may even give you warnings in dreams or through others, but those intimate things...the things that are JUST FOR YOU...the plans He has for you and the things He wants you to do to fulfill those plans...those things are reserved for the intimate times. Those things are reserved for your heart-to-heart times, where you sit and talk and share your innermost parts. Don't you want to hear from the Lord for JUST YOU?


Talk to Him. Build that communication. Strengthen your relationship.

Tomorrow, we will look more closely at what it looks like to build relationship with the Holy Spirit and what it looks like, practically, to spend time with Him.

I'm praying for you.

-Iantha

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