How to Hear God’s Voice and Not Your Own (or Others’)

i hear voicesHow do I know it’s GOD speaking, and not ME speaking? How do I know it’s the voice of GOD, and not the voice of the enemy? These are valid questions because 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “…Satan disguises himself as an angel of light…” which means it will sometimes be difficult to discern between the voice of God and the voice of Satan.

In John 10:4 & 5, Jesus says His sheep know His voice, and they follow Him, but they also do NOT follow the stranger and run away from him because they do NOT know the stranger’s voice. That means, it’s not enough just to know the Shepherd’s voice, but we must also be unacquainted with the voice of the enemy!

Adam and Eve spent time hearing God’s voice in face-to-face encounters, but it wasn’t enough just knowing what God said. Adam and Eve knew God’s words, but they entertained the enemy! Likewise, our Bible helps us to know what God said! But it’s NOT enough to just know your Word. You have to defamiliarize yourself with the voice of the enemy!

2min 30 second VIDEO with brief story: https://www.facebook.com/DrDeeKnight/posts/10154856340226492

Broken Relationships – #FirstSundays Prayer Call

A metallic chain with an explosed link.

Tonight (Sunday, October 5th) at 9pm CST/10pm EST, we will have the first of the First Sundays prayer calls. It’s scheduled to be a 20 minute call with a brief testimony on a specific topic followed by prayer over those struggling in the area addressed. Tonight’s testimony and prayer topic is BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS. The dial-in information is on the flyer above, but I will also type it below. If you can’t make the prayer call in time, know that it will be recorded and playback/replay information is below, as well. I hope you can make it on and share the information with others who would be blessed!

DIAL: (605) 562-0020

ID # : 667-470-577

PLAYBACK # : (605) 562-0029

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Distance Makes No Difference

distant from god

Distance Makes No Difference

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room,

I would not fear a million enemies.

Yet, distance makes no difference.

He is praying for me.”

I’ve tweeted, blogged, and posted this quote on Facebook numerous times; I pass it, daily, on my living room wall. I know what it means for me, but during family worship, I asked our kids what the preceding quote meant to them. I was floored by the following responses:

3-year old twins: *incoherent sentences verbalized in the direction of the wall (something about Jesus praying)*

Middle Son: It means that God is praying for us. (side note: I continue to be blown away that Jesus intercedes for us, whether through prayer or being the atonement sacrifice for our sins.)

Eldest Son: It means that even though we don’t see Jesus right there, He’s praying for us, and it also can mean that even if we’re spiritually distant from Him, He’s still praying for us.

That’s when I was blown away all over again! The Word says He is able to save to the uttermost — that’s at all times, in all cases, to all depths, from any distance — those who draw near to God through Him, since He ever-lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). Thankfully, the bible also tells us we can’t even come to Him unless the Father draws us (John 6:44), and it’s God who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). So, even the drawing near unto God part is handled by Christ Jesus, the one who died, was raised, is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us (Romans 8:34). Whether we are drawing near to God or becoming distant from Him, the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings we cannot utter. He searches our hearts and intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). Whether near or far, in seeming physical proximity or spiritual intimacy, distance makes no difference, God is for us, and if He is for us, none can be against us. Distance makes no difference, He is praying.

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seated at the right hand of god

He Is Praying.

Amazing Jesus

Amazing Jesus

Amazing Jesus

This isn’t about what you may think. Of course Jesus is amazing, but this is about what amazed Jesus. I’m thoroughly amazed by Jesus, amazed by His grace, amazed by His love, but this is about us amazing Him. As I reread the story of the centurion soldier this week, I was absolutely blown away when I got to verse 9 of Luke chapter 7. The same account is given in Matthew 8, that when Jesus saw the faith of the centurion soldier asking for His servant to be healed, Jesus was amazed! I adore what the soldier says in the preceding verse. He essentially told Jesus that if he, being a roman soldier with just some authority, could give commands and have them followed, then surely all Jesus had to do was give a command and sickness would flee. He was saying: I don’t need You present before I believe Your power, Jesus! I have enough faith in the power of Your words, faith that if You would just speak from there, Jesus, Your word will not return to you void but will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). This reminds me of the following Robert Murray McCheyne quote we have on our living room wall:

If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room,

I would not fear a million enemies.

Yet, distance makes no difference.

He is praying for me.

We need to get to this place of trusting God’s Word ~ over our fears, over our “facts,” over our five senses, even. We have an amazing Jesus doing amazing things, like ever-living to intercede for us (despite the distance), and yet, this same Jesus is amazed at OUR faith. I studied further and only found two instances wherein the bible states Jesus was amazed, both in reference to our faith. Once was depth of faith, shown by the centurion soldier, the other was lack of faith, specifically, unbelief demonstrated by people of His hometown to the point that He was unable to perform miracles (yet, He still healed). A friend also had me shouting that their unbelief couldn’t even override His healing hands, but I’ll leave that where it is for now.

All I know is that I’m no longer satisfied with my faith until it amazes an amazing God. I have no interest in my words or actions amazing anyone; I want my faith to amaze Jesus. You have an amazing Jesus and you’re capable of amazing Jesus with your faith. Amaze Him, not with your lack of faith, but with your depth of faith. If our faith can amaze Jesus, let’s start amazing Jesus!

Amazing Faith Amazes Jesus

Amazing Faith Amazes Jesus

Break My Box

God in a Box

God in a Box

I woke up with the strangest prayer request on my lips today. “God, I pray You’re not who I think You are.” Before I could rightly wrap my mind around what the Spirit spoke through me, my next request was, “God, I don’t want You to be who I want You to be.” I don’t want God to be the small God I keep expecting Him to be, to do just the small things I keep expecting Him to do. I don’t want to keep thinking of God in the same small ways I’ve been thinking of Him. For example, I remember hearing a tinkering noise while driving our SUV not too long ago and whispering a prayer, “God, please just let our truck last… … … and help me to stop praying DUMB prayers like this one!” The Word says we have not because we ask not, but the follow up of that passage is that EVEN when we ask, we ask amiss. That means that EVEN when I ask, my own self-focus gets in the way of me making requests in alignment with God’s will (James 4:2-3).

Lately, God has been prompting me to ask Him to break my box, that little, tiny mould I keep trying to fit Him into, that little, tiny God I think He is. I keep finding myself rebuking the line of thinking that tries to understand who God is and what His plans are. I believe I have a greater need to desire God than to deconstruct God. Each time I try to define Him, I instead confine Him to that little, tiny box. All I need to understand about God is that He is above. His thoughts and ways? ABOVE (Isaiah 55:8-9). In fact, He’s exceedingly, abundantly above. God is so much bigger than my thoughts or the space that stores them.

I recently enjoyed a blog post on whether we should “Ask or Thank” God when approaching His throne. The author approached God’s ability to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20) with a phrasing I’ve never heard, but instantly appreciated. He essentially said that when we petition God, our requests are “exceedingly, abundantly” smaller than what God is eager to do for us. This gives reasonable support for why we should follow Jesus’ example when He petitioned the Father about raising Lazarus from the dead. He just thanked the Father for hearing Him and for what He’d already been doing; He thanked Him for being God (John 11:41-42). I thank God for not fitting into my box, and so that I don’t try to put Him there, again, I want Him to break it open.

My wants are too small; my God is too big. Father, break my box.

Break Your Box

Break Your Box

“It is not a static Christ we sing today, nor one who safely stays within the frame that history offered Him.” ~Bill Knott

When God Repents

“God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind (repent). Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”

~Numbers 23:19

First, if you’ve never seen the movie, The Adjustment Bureau, I highly recommend it. When I first saw the film, I disliked the implied theme that humans could change God’s mind. But as I’ve studied the Word, I more and more believe I need to review that movie in light of what a friend noted she loved about it: that we can press our issues with God. We can go to Him, boldly, and with confidence, as the Word commands us to do. We can cast all of our cares upon Him; we can call unto Him and He will answer and show us great and mighty things; and, alas, sometimes, our prayers, what we say, can move God’s hand on our behalf, not just changing His mind, but fulfilling His purpose: grace.

A conversation began on Twitter as to whether we can “speak things into existence,” which brought up several questions, including whether we an “change God’s mind.” Each time we see God repenting of what He said He would do, it’s ultimately for our good. I don’t believe it’s that we’re necessarily changing God’s mind, but that our words, our prayers, can speak into existence what God would have be. The converse of that, then, is that we miss some of those amazing moments where we could witness the miraculous God who gives us the Holy Spirit’s power to speak His prophecy into existence (2 Peter 1:20-21).

While the Word clearly states above that God doesn’t change His mind, I thank Him that He’s a God of grace. I thank Him that He is sovereign, which by definition, gives God the option to change His mind, the option to extend grace, the option to use OUR words, powered by HIS Spirit, to speak things into existence. I thank Him that though He said He would destroy Nineveh, God repented (Jonah 3:9-10). I thank Him that when He sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem, God repented (1 Chronicles 21:15). I thank Him that although He sent word to Hezekiah to get his house in order because he was going to die and not recover from his illness, God uttered such a sweet reply: I’ve heard your prayers and seen your tears (2 Kings 20:1-6). Time after time, we see God’s repentance is all about our deliverance. When God repents, it’s for our reconciliation with Him (Jeremiah 42:10; Exodus 32:14; Amos 7:2-6; etc.) In fact, Joel 2:13 tells us He’s eager to relent and not punish. Are we as eager to ask, as eager to speak those things we do not see (but God wants to give) into existence?

When Jacob wrestled with God, he prevailed, and God changed his name to Israel, an overcomer (Genesis 32:28)! The Word tells us that we have not because we ask not; yet, even when we ask, we ask amiss and for the wrong motives (James 4:2-3). But bless God for the Holy Spirit, who intercedes on our behalf and changes our foolish prayers into sensible groanings we cannot utter. We ask God for increased faith, then proceed to make paltry, whack requests of Him to complete the same works the ungodly do: to just barely skate by, to just get a job, to just get a house, to just get a christian man, to just get our car fixed. He wants to save lives, heal, deliver, speak life where it’s not, and we’re busy asking Him for more things to make this life more bearable, asking Him for more things to keep us comfortable not delivering, not speaking life, not being in full repentance!

He wants to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all of that; He commissioned us to do greater works! He commands us to have the faith that moves mountains, to ask for that which we don’t already have, don’t already see, can’t even see as possible. That’s the very definition of faith, for if we can see it, it wouldn’t be faith ( who hopes for what they see? – Romans 8:24)! He wants us to speak to the mountains, whether literal or figurative, and tell them to be removed into the sea. He wants us to speak to HIM and tell the sun to stand still (Joshua 10: 12-14). God wants us to be as eager about repentance as He is.

When God Repents It’s Called Grace