One of the most difficult times I’ve had in my faith journey is learning to listen to God’s voice. When I first became a true follower of Christ, I could listen carefully and hear His whispers. But over the years of ups and downs, I have lost the art of hearing God. Notice I called it an art. I believe it takes some practice and sometimes even research to do it!
Fed up with my current situation of not being able to find a job, not knowing whether or not we are supposed to move, and feeling as though I am never going to be able to have kids, I did a little research of my own. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong, how I should properly cast my burdens on the Lord, and why it was taking so long to hear an answer for all of my questions. In doing so, I was surprised at some of the findings.
Confidence is something I knew I didn’t have when it came to my physical appearance and workmanship (a lot of times I don’t give myself the credit I deserve). But it never before occurred to me that a lack of confidence could show up in my spiritual walk with God as well. My research showed me just how low my spiritual confidence was, from believing that I am not worthy of God’s gifts, to not trusting that God would actually fulfill the promises he has made me. I didn’t have trust in God or myself. Clearly, that is not going to help me in times of need, and it sure does not please the Lord. I made no sense asking Him to guide me when in my heart I questioned His timing and objectives.
Think about your local grocery store for a moment. Most employees are knowledgeable on products and their location in the building, and can help you when you have a question. Let’s assume you go in the store and ask where the lemons are. Do you doubt the employee will know where to find them, or do you believe he can direct you straight to them? More often than not, we go in to the store assuming the employee will already know where to locate lemons and that they can help us, without any hesitation. They do work there, after all, and are likely a qualified person to ask where the lemons are. We don’t walk into the store fretting that we will never be able to find lemons. No. We go in believing that this is the place where we can get lemons and someone who works there will be able to help us get them.
Why don’t we trust that God will do the same? He is more than qualified to guide us to our own personal “lemons”. He is The Creator for goodness’ sake! But often times we go into God’s presence with a reservation. We may worry that He doesn’t love us as much as He says He does, or that His plans for us are not going to satisfy us.
I believe it is our job to overcome this hesitation in our walk with Christ. First by being open and honest with Him about our doubts of trust, confidence, and His love for us. God already knows we have doubts; we cannot hide anything from Him. And until we are confident that we can hear God speaking to us on a specific issue, we must continue to dive into the gospels. Read about the good news and promises God has kept in the past. Remind yourself about the promises and miracles he has already preformed for you in the past. He still has that power. Nothing can stop Him!
Build your confidence in the Lord today, and it will help you to know God’s voice. Pray openly and honestly while expressing your concerns (and be specific). Read His promises and about how much He loves you. Then, practice building confidence on yourself. See below for ideas:
Please read below and feel free to write down your answers and thoughts.
Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.”
Psalm 107:13 “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.”
God promises to deliver us from our troubles when we cry out for help multiple times in the Bible. He knows we will go through trials in this life, so He made sure to reiterate this promise several times so that we never forget-He is here to help us. He promises to help us. Think back to a struggle you had where God surprised you by intervening. Has he helped you more than once? What can you do to thank Him?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
It seems most people have heard this verse before, but really think about it. Would you be willing to give up your only son for rest of the world? I know I wouldn’t want to; not for sinners of this Earth! But God didn’t think of it that way. He loved us sinners so much that he let his only son get nailed to a cross, just so that us sinners could be forgiven.
1.Recognize the people in your life that love you; the people who are there for you when you need them and times are tough, as well as those who are there when it is time to celebrate. To them, you are important! Otherwise they would not be there in your times of need! Who has helped you without hesitation before? Who was the last person to go out of their way to be with you when you needed someone to lean on? That’s love!
2.Remind yourself of your own capabilities. What are your strengths? What are your talents? Have you accomplished something that was difficult for you, such as finishing a college degree? Many people are more talented and able than they realize.
3.Give yourself credit! Life is stressful. Doing something as small as the dishes can be considered a victory on some days (or for me, that’s most days!). Appreciate yourself for the small things you do, as well as the big. Give credit where credit is due. Write 3 things you are proud of yourself for doing that were important but that you did not want to complete. Things such as laundry, dishes, paying bills, supporting a co-worker, walking the dog even though it was pouring rain, etc.