Tag Archives: steps

When You Can’t Hear God

I heard a joke last night that I want to share. There was an older man who went to the doctor. He told the doctor that he thought his wife was going deaf. The doctor thought for a minute and then told him how to test it. So the man went home eager to try what the doctor had told him. He got about 20 feet away from his wife with her back to him and asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” She didn’t reply so he moved closer. He asked again and got the same result. He moved closer still and asked again. With no reply again, he moved about 5 feet away from her and asked. This time she answered in an agitated voice and said, “For the fourth time, we’re having lasagne!”

I think that’s how we are with God a lot of the time. We keep asking questions and think he is deaf to our prayers. We ask over and over again with no reply. We start to believe that God doesn’t hear us or that He doesn’t care. Neither is the case. Too often, we are the ones who are deaf (or blind) to His answers. We are the ones who are too far away to hear Him speaking to us. The problem is we don’t move closer to hear Him. We end up moving further away because we think He doesn’t care.

If you think God is deaf to your prayers or isn’t answering you, move closer and ask again. James 4:8 tells us, “Come close to God and God will come close to you.” It doesn’t say, “When God comes close to you, you come close to God.” The first move is yours. We are the ones who have to take a step closer to God first. So how do you do that? It’s the same way you would get closer to anyone else you have a relationship with.

The first thing you need to do is make time for Him and then spend time with Him. Anyone that you are close friends with, you spend time with. That’s how you get close with someone. You carve out time from your busy schedule according to how important they are to you. The more important it is to spend time getting to know them, the more time you will create for them. How important is God to you based on that? Have you given Him much time lately? The good news is you can start carving out time today.

Another thing you do with someone you want to be closer to is communicate with them. Communication with Him is as simple as talking. He’s with you wherever you are waiting to Hear from you. He doesn’t want to just hear all your requests. He wants you to open up and talk to Him. Share with Him your darkest secrets, hidden fears and unrealistic hopes. That’s a sign of being close with someone. He wants to listen and reply, but you need to move closer to hear Him.

I know these aren’t the only steps to moving closer to God, but if you do them, they will get you closer than you are now. The good news is that your moves toward God are doubled because He is moving closer to you. I like that. It’s a two for one deal and all you have to do is take a step. Soon enough you will hear (or see) His replies. He’s been talking this whole time, you just haven’t been close enough to hear.

What steps have you taken that others can take to move closer to God? I’d love to hear about them.

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Victory of the Mind

I was reading Romans chapters 7 and 8 this morning. In Romans 7, Paul is very transparent with us. He shares the struggles he faced in wrestling with sin in his life. I always like to think of Paul as a super Christian. The man wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible. But here in chapter 7, he is sharing the inner struggle we all face. It is summed up in verses 19 and 21 that say, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway… I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”

Does that sound like you? I know it sums me up perfectly. We all struggle with sin because our sin nature still lives in us. We all succumb to it when it rears its head in our lives. In verse 24, Paul used the word “dominate” to describe what his sinful nature was doing to him. It isn’t until we get to chapter 8 until he tells us how to overcome. One of the first paths to victory he mentions is in verse 6. It says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

That leads me to the question, “How do I stop my mind from being controlled by my sinful nature and start letting it be controlled by the Spirit?” I think it starts with what you choose to put in your mind. What movies, TV shows, books and magazines are you looking at? Are they things that cause you to think about sin? Then you need to watch or read something else so that those seeds won’t be planted in your mind. Controlling what goes in will help control your actions. Switch to watching or reading something more wholesome. Plant good, godly things in your mind.

The next thing you can do is take control over those thoughts. Don’t entertain the thoughts that walk you down the path to sin. II Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” If that thought doesn’t belong, take it captive and cast it out. Last week my pastor said when those thoughts enter his head, he says out loud, “You have no right to invade my mind.” That’s how you take it captive and cast it out.

Lastly, we need to have the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” We can have the mind of Christ. It’s not easy to get or maintain. It takes a conscious effort to ask for it and then maintain it by thinking good things. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If your thoughts don’t line up with these, take them captive when they come in and then consciously force yourself to think on these things.

The battle of the mind isn’t easy. We’ll fight it our entire lives until we are made perfect. Just because we have the sinful nature living in us doesn’t mean we have to be dominated by. We can have victory. These are three things I have found to help me win the battles. I’m curious to know what ways you have found victory in the battle of the mind. Leave me a comment as to what you’ve found and let’s help each other win.

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