Check out my article as a guest at More Than Just Coffee. And while you’re there feel free to check out my friend’s other articles.
Colossians 2:10 says, “And it is in union with him that you have been made full — he is the head of every rule and authority.” (CEB)
Because of the work Jesus completed in full on the Cross, when our Father looks upon us, He sees no sin, no blemishes, no imperfections in appearance, manner or personality. So if that’s what He sees, we are actually falling short (sinning) when we see ourselves otherwise. That does not give us free reign to do whatever we what whether good or bad. But it does give us the freedom to be who He created us to be.
In order to get the full meaning of this one verse, one needs to read and meditate on the previous verses. In particular look at verses 6 through 8.
“Therefore, just as you received the Messiah Yeshua as Lord, keep living your life united with him. Remain deeply rooted in him; continue being built up in him and confirmed in your trust, the way you were taught, so that you overflow in thanksgiving.” (CEB)
When we accepted and received Jesus as our Savior, His Spirit moved into us and now lives with our spirit. We can communicate with Holy Spirit any time we make that an intentional part of our day. But because we are “in union with Jesus” our communication is a constant part of our lives as well.
Just because He lives in union with us that does give us the freedom to hear from him but there are a few things we can do, without being legalistic about it, to nourish that relationship. We do some special things to nourish our human relationships.
And because life gets busy and noisy we need to be intentional about nourishing that relationship with Holy Spirit, just as we would with our human relationships, especially the ones that matter to us.
1) Read about Him. Get to know Him. How? Spend daily time in the Word. It is a love letter from the Father. He wants you to get to know Him. When we get to really know someone, a human someone, our love for them grows. Our love and appreciation will grow as we get to know Him more deeply.
2) Hold conversation with Him. Talk to Holy Spirit. But take time to listen as well. The how to of listening is addressed in other articles and in ongoing articles, so I won’t go into that detail here. This exercise takes intention at first but soon we will recognize His voice even in the middle of our daily noise.
3) Just “be” with Him. Just sit quietly with Him. How often do we spend time with our human loves but we don’t say a word? Being with someone we love doesn’t take any effort except to remove all the other distractions. I’m talking about more than the first suggestion above. I’m talking about just sitting with Him. Enjoy His presence. Express thanksgiving for all Jesus has done for you. Worship Him. Start and end your day this way.
Please don’t think you have to “set” aside time to the legalistic point that you allow the enemy to play with you. That’s what the enemy likes to see. That we are so legalistic with a “schedule” that we experience guilt for having missed that time of day. Yes, in our human relationships, we set time aside for them. But we have a perfect Father and He just loves us with no agenda attached. Take time for Him but don’t fall into the trap of being legalistic about it. That’s playing into the enemy’s hands.
Last month we had the most emotional and sad experience. We had to say goodbye to my sweet pup, my Little Bit. She had been trying to tell us all weekend and for several days before we made the hard decision. At this point in her life, she had Congestive Heart, Canine Cognitive Disorder; she was deaf and mostly blind. Even her sense of smell had deteriorated. I know, because I had to bring her to her food.
In the past couple of years, I’ve asked the Vet how do we know when? The answer has always been, “she will let you know.” Until I experienced her trying to let us know, I didn’t understand the depth of this statement. Yes, she did let us know, slowly, at first, over the course of this past year. But that weekend, during the snow storm, she tried to tell us. She wanted to be held a lot. At night she kept moving closer in order to touch body to body. Her back legs weren’t doing a good job of holding her up. And her incontinence was out of control over the weekend.
Were we hearing her queues? She doesn’t speak, in fact, during the last six months she didn’t even bark. So we had to be “tuned” in, listening, in order to hear her.
I think it’s the same with our relationship with Holy Spirit. He speaks to us in numerous and variety of ways. Are we listening so we can hear?
We know that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive the gift of His Spirit. Holy Spirit now lives in each of us. If He lives in us, then His Spirit and our spirit live together in this body of ours. And if they live together, they communicate. Makes sense to me.
So why is it so hard sometimes to hear Him? Our lives can get very noisy and our spirits deal with a lot of life “stuff”. However, I’ve had this conversation with Him and He knows I need Him to speak loudly to me in order to drown out all the other noises. And He does that! But I still need to live in a state of awareness of Him.
Read Acts 10: 9-20 and notice how Holy Spirit communicated with Peter.
19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
1. There may or may not be a clear voice speaking to me. Most times it’s “heard” on a spiritual level.
2. I need to live in a constant hour by hour, minute by minute awareness of Him. Awareness is a key word here.
3. He can speak to me above all the noises of life! Why not? He is God, after all!
Yes, it’s quite interesting and amazing how God taught me some lessons on hearing and listening through my sweet Little Bit. He is an amazing God who loves me and you and wants to communicate with us.
In this world, we have trouble. Difficulty will come our way. Even for Christians, there is no exclusion from the hurts and pains of this world. What options for hope do we have?
We can see this reality through the lens of God’s Word. Jesus Himself said, “In this world you will have troubles. Behold, I have overcome the world.” Jesus was guaranteeing the truth I shared above, but not without passing on to us a major promise.
He overcame the world. And to those who call themselves His, He has given the ability to do the very same in Him. It is in Christ alone that we can overcome.
But where do you look when it seems that promise is falling flat? What do you do when you start to doubt God is going to help you overcome those hurts?
There is no better place to look than to His Word!
Looking to Scripture
The Bible says that the Word of God is living and active. This means that God has given us the Word to talk to mankind in any generation at any hour. This also means that the things He did for those in the Scriptures are the same amazing feats, wonders, and miracles He is able to do for you!
Often times, us women can gain the most encouragement as we look to those women of God who came before us. I believe that God has set so many examples of healing women’s hearts in the Scriptures. And there are some women whose hearts He healed so beautifully it ought to inspire such an overwhelming hope and trust of Him in our very hearts and souls.
Women Healed by God
Hannah was the wife of a man who happened to have another wife, Penninah. The Scriptures tell us that Penninah provoked Hannah. While we don’t have explicit detail on what this means, we know that it must have surely irritated the already pained, childless heart of Hannah.
Hannah deeply desired to be a mother. She desired this so much so that she would pray continually to the Lord to grant her this desire of her heart. Eventually, he did just that.
It was when Hannah dedicated the desires of her heart to the Lord that He stepped in an altered her situation. He not only blessed her to be a mother, but gave her a son who would play an integral role in the history of her people. He truly helped her to overcome.
Ruth was a widowed Moabitess who had married into an Israelite family. With her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law’s deaths she and her widower’s family were planning to head to Bethlehem. Naomi, her mother-in-law pleads with her to return to her family, her friends, her way of life.
But Ruth’s taste of God’s goodness is enough to make her determined to stay with Naomi. The two women go together, living a life of poverty. Ruth spends her days in a hot field collecting the extra portions of wheat in the field of a man named Boaz.
But God caused Boaz to show her favor. She eventually finds such favor with this man, who is a kinsman redeemer for her family that he decides to marry her.
Ruth and Boaz marry, and have a son. This son eventually becomes one of the many people in the honored ancestral line of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
God looked on Ruth in her desperate time of need. He showed her favor with Himself and with Boaz. What an awesome path God allowed Ruth to walk for His glory!
- Woman at the Well
When the Woman at the Well ran into Jesus, it radically changed her life forever. During their conversation, Jesus pointed out to her that He was aware of her less than perfect past.
This astounded the woman at the well. And it is in this precious moment that she recognizes that the man talking to her is the Christ Himself, the Messiah sent by the Lord.
She then immediately returns to the village she came from, praising God and telling others that she has found the Messiah. We can be pretty sure that God had done a major transformative work in her heart, healing her from her past in such a way that she wanted to share the Good News of the Messiah with as many as she could find.
May this be the very response of our hearts to God’s continual healing power in our hearts!
Being a guest:
I value my guests as such time and care goes into writing a post for another. Please help me thank my guest today by visiting her site listed above, leaving a comment, or sharing this post with others. And be sure to check out Patty’s site gloriouswithinher.com
A must read. Especially if you are scientifically minded. Our Creator already knew about quantum physics.
I mentioned in the previous blog post here that Holy Spirit gave me a word for the 2017 year and because of this given word, I’m going to continue this series on listening.
I am a Life Coach, so I am trained to listen and listen well. That means that I clear my mind of all my personal “stuff” when coaching. I’m not saying I’m perfect at this listening skill, which I think is why God wants me to concentrate on this word for the year.
So how do listening and hearing relate? When I take the time to really listen to whoever is speaking to me, then I will clearly hear and understand what the speaker is saying.
When I first became a Christian, the very first book I read through was the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a wealth of instructions for living and relationships in life.
In the ESV Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
So does simply listening to advice make us wise? I think there is more to this Scripture. I think we need to follow up listening with hearing. Hearing goes deeper than listening.
Hearing leads to taking some sort of action. One can listen until the cows come home but not hear.
It is interesting that the Hebrew language uses fewer words than the English language to describe the same meaning.
The verse above uses the English word “listen, ” but in Hebrew, that original word would take on a deeper meaning. It would include hearing and obeying, taking some sort of action.
If we look at all the instances of listening and hearing in Scripture, the translators most likely had to look at the context of the words to give the translations an obvious meaning for those of us who don’t understand the Hebrew language or customs.
So to conclude, it pays to “listen” to the Word. But to really “hear” it, we will take some sort of action. We might make a change in our thoughts, actions, lifestyles, relationships, etc. including our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
It seems everyone is choosing a word given to them by the Lord for the New Year. I don’t normally choose a word but as I sat here with my coffee this morning, asking Holy Spirit what to write. He gave me my word. WOW…My word is listen. Because I was listening to Him, He gave me a word.
The words listening or hearing are mentioned many times in Scripture.
Proverbs 1:5 says: let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
I will be doing a series in the new year on that word, listen. It will include how to listen well, what to listen for, types of listening, etc.
The dictionary describes listening as giving one’s attention to….take notice and act….respond….be alert and ready to hear. Now the word hear is definitely related, and I like what Miriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary gives the transitive verb of listening as “to give ear to” or hear. So the two words are definitely connected. And I like the fact that listening is not a passive response to hearing. Look at the definition above and notice the action words to describe listening…take notice, act, respond, be alert.
I need to listen and hear more. I need to listen to other people, and I need to hear from God. But in order to hear from God, I need to quiet my mind of other stuff and really listen. Usually, when I need to hear from God, I tell Him that He needs to speak to me loud and clear so I can hear Him. But I think the key is on my end. I really need to quiet down and listen. And then I need to employ the action part of listening, like being alert, taking notice, responding.
Stay tuned for more on this subject of listening and hearing in the coming months of the New Year! Hope you ladies have an awesome day and a Blessed 2017!
I have had the privilege of guest posting again and today I’m on Patty’s Blog at GloriousWithinHer.com
Patty is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom who loves the Lord, her husband, Matthew, and son, Solomon. She loves being a mother and wife, teaching, devouring delicious dishes, saving money, and continually creating an intentional, Christ-focused dwelling place for her family.
You can find my guest post here and I hope you are encouraged for the New Year!
This morning I’m thinking of one word….love. As Christians, we all know we have Jesus living in us and His Spirit, Holy Spirit, guides us on our journey.
Sometimes our journey includes some hard stuff. Stuff which may cause us to dislike and not want to be around the people who have hurt us. Especially during this season of the year.
We accumulate what I call “heart wounds” and those wounds become areas where we need to fill with LOVE. God’s kind of love will take us a long way toward healing, and even relationship building.
This is a time of the year when family and friends gather to celebrate the birth of our Savior. The One who willingly left heaven to live among His created children as a human and a peer. The One who left many, many examples of what true love looks like.
And He gave us only two commandments found in Matthew 22 NET.
37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
I found this quote by Eugenia Price that fits here this morning. “Those who are steadily learning how to love are enabled to do this because the very love of God, Himself, has been put into our hearts.”
My prayer is that God’s love will flow from me to those who need it most. And there are many who need to feel God’s love. Just watch the news. Every day people are hurting. Do you know someone who is hurting? This Christmas Season is not the time to add to their hurts or even to your hurts. Let God’s true love flow through you and into others.
Hey friends, this is the very first time I have been invited to guest blog on someone else’s blog site. I’m really blessed to have this opportunity.
Please check it out and be sure to check out my friends blog as well. She’s a young woman with a lot of Godly wisdom. Elizabeth Hope Semones