Welcome to the Bible Study: Part One

For those of you signing on for the first day of our online Bible study, welcome!  For those who are regular blog subscribes but who are not doing the study with us, I hope there will still be some blessing for you in these weekly posts.  Be assured that I’ll still be doing the regular devotionals during the rest of the week.

Let me give you, in a way, a grand tour of this Bible Study of ours.

If you haven’t yet introduced yourself to the group, I hope you’ll take a moment to do so.  It will help us know who is in the group.  You can click here to visit the introduction page: Before Our Online Bible Study Begins.

I’ll begin each week with a brief thought/comment on the reading.  I’ll take you through a simple outline or walk-through of the chapters for that week.  Then I’ll pose some questions for you.

You can either read the book in advance and then read through my entire post in one sitting and answer all at the same time.

Or, you can start here in this space.  Read my intro.  Read some from the book.  Read some of my outline.  Read some more from the book, etc.  Then answer the questions, all at your own pace.

How you do it is up to you and your time and preferences.  This post today will be the longest I write because of these extra introductory instructions.

Every time I post for the Bible study, I will link the new post up on the Online Bible Study space on this web site.  You can easily access every old post from that page.  I hope that makes it easy for you to come back multiple times and do this study in pieces throughout each week or catch up if you get behind.

You can also find the schedule I plan to follow on the Online Bible Study page.

The only thing I ask is that as many of you share as possible your thoughts, comments, questions, and responses.  We want to hear from you.  I know some of you will be reading this book alongside us and you prefer not to chat in this space.  I understand and, again, there is no pressure here.  The more people who share, though, the more benefit we will get from this study.  It is your experiences, knowledge and testimony that we don’t want to miss.

Ready to get started?  I sure am!  Let’s go!

Discerning the Voice of God, Part I
(Intro and Chapters 1 and 2)

My Thoughts

If you called my family home during my teenage years and I answered the phone, you would have heard me say, “Hello, Mason residence.  This is Heather speaking.  May I help you?”

And you’d probably hang up the phone the first time you called for fear that you had mis-dialed an attorney’s office.

That’s how I answered the home phone for years.  It’s because we had a problem in my house—I sounded like my mom. There were a few accidents before my fancy phone answering ways.  People called and launched into a full conversation with my mom after my brief “hello,” while I scrambled to announce that they had the wrong person.

God doesn’t usually speak to us by first identifying Himself.  “Hello, this is heaven.  God speaking.  How may I help you?”

It just isn’t that simple, nor should it be because that would require very little intimacy or personal relationship.  Hearing, identifying and obeying the voice of God takes discernment, which Webster’s dictionary tells us is:  “Keenness of insight and judgment.”

As you read or have read the first part of this book, some of you may have books filled with underlines and highlights and you’re excited to learn more.  Others may be shrugging your shoulders thinking, “That’s all?  This is basic.”  And in some ways it is.  Discerning the voice of God is a basic foundational skill in our journey of faith.

But, do we ever get to the place where we stop growing in this area?  Isn’t there always more to learn?  Discernment is “keenness,” which says to me it is a sharpened skill developed over time.

That’s why I hope that you veterans of the faith will freely and honestly share about how you’ve grown to know God’s voice, so that we can learn from you.

We learn discernment through practice.  We talk with God so much, we listen so much, that His voice eventually becomes distinct from everything else we hear in our lives.  It is experience and sometimes mistakes that turn the basics written down in a book into a living, breathing reality of our faith.

Walking Through the Book:

The Intro:
I personally know a Bible-teaching, home-group leading Christian who does not believe that God speaks to us today.  He believes everything God has said and ever will say is written in the Bible.  More than that, he teaches it is pretentious and prideful of us to assume that God cares enough about our individual lives to have anything to say about them.

I loved that Priscilla Shirer answered this right from the beginning of her book.

On page 14, she reminds us that God is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  So, His pattern of speaking to prophets in the past continues with us today.

She also says that it is God’s voice—the fact that He was an active, involved, listening and responding kind of God—that set Him apart from the myriad of fake gods surrounding Israel.

I think Tozer’s quote on p. 17 (before chapter one begins) sums it up:

Those who do not believe God speaks specifically will simply ignore or explain away all the times when God does communicate with them.  However, those who spend each day in a profound awareness that God does speak are in a wonderful position to receive His word.

Amen!

Chapter One:

Here are the basics of preparing to hear God’s voice:

Come Expecting:  That’s what Habakkuk did.  He dared to ask God such difficult, pain-filled questions and then he waited for God’s response, fully expecting to hear.

Come As You Are:  I love the quote beginning on page 23: “God is gracious, and when we want to speak to Him, He invites us to come as we are – questioning, complaining, and confused.”  He then takes those questions and uses them as a way to reveal more of Himself to us.

Come Determined to Wait: Habakkuk made his complaint to God and then said, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give for this complaint” (Habakkuk 2:1).  He waited there patiently for God to answer and didn’t move until he heard God’s clear voice.

Come Believing: God didn’t foretell a fairy tale future for the prophet.  But, when Habakkuk heard God speak, he moved forward in belief—even in the difficult times.  He concluded with my favorite set of verses from the whole book:

Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

It was the sacrifice of praise.

Chapter Two:

Her emphasis in this chapter is on taking time to listen.  Praying in such a way that we don’t just talk to God, but we take time to hear from Him.  She outlines the disciplines of praying Spirit-guided prayers, meditating on God’s Word, and worship as the foundation that allows us to hear God’s voice.

Your Thoughts:

You can share anything you like in this space on the topic of listening and hearing from God.  Here are some specific questions I’d like to ask you:

  • Can you tell us about a time that you  clearly heard God speak?  How did you know it was Him ?
  • Do you have a favorite quote, verse or passage from the book that you want to share with us?
  • What discipline of the faith do you most struggle with?  Do you have any tips you’ve found that help you in this area?
  • What do you most want to learn about discerning the voice of God from this study?

You can post multiple times throughout the week as you read more and read what others have to say.  Please reply to one another and encourage those who have shared with your responses and answers.

You should see a little tiny check box at the very bottom of this page that says: Notify me of follow-up comments via email.  If you click that box, you should receive a notice when someone replies to this post and you won’t miss what others have to say.

I’m praying for you this morning as we begin this study, that God will make His voice clear to you and that you will be able to hear Him and then radically and passionately obey what He’s calling you to do.

~heather~

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

33 thoughts on “Welcome to the Bible Study: Part One

  1. Michelle Betts Girard says:

    Okay fairly quickly this morning:

    “I personally know a Bible-teaching, home-group leading Christian who does not believe that God speaks to us today. He believes everything God has said and ever will say is written in the Bible”

    I also know this person LOL. I was in a small group with him (or someone a whole lot like him) for a couple years. I kept asking why we were suppose to pray about things if we didn’t expect an answer and he kept insisting it was just because God said so. We prayed to be obedient but everything He was ever going to say was in the bible.

    My favorite quote is from her friend on page 33 where she says “I had many things to say, but you never stopped talking long enough to listen.”

    This is what I struggle with most. My prayers are very much a one way conversation. I talk and talk and talk. Then I get up, get busy, and move on. I am not sure how I expect to hear God when I don’t give Him a chance to speak. On page 32 she says the people who have a relationship with the Lord she admires all carve out time to be still and listen for God’s voice. Be still? Physically? Mentally? Me? Still is not my strong point especially in my mind and spirit. But she says they do it deliberately. So this is what I think I would like to work on.

    • Heather C. King says:

      On page 32 she said, “God’s voice is selective. Most often He chooses to speak to those He knows will listen.” That challenged me. If I’m not taking the time to listen, it’s a huge loss for me. I’m missing out on what God has to say, therefore I could be missing out on what He’s asking me to do. I could miss His blessing, His calling, His relationship . . . so much! All because I’m not choosing to listen.

      • Gerri Barry says:

        I think it is a big loss for all of us but we have to wait till he nswers our prayers and know it is him by being quite.n

    • Jennifer Young says:

      I agree Michelle. I also need to work on my “being still”. I can relate to what she said on page 35. “…nothing was really sinking in. …my body was there, but my mind was already upstairs tucked in a warm bed.” This is totally me. I need to learn to clear my mind and discipline myself to listen.

  2. vickie mason says:

    First let me say that I don’t have the book yet. I’ve been checking local stores and they are sold out. I need to get on line and order it, which I’ll do eventually…so, Heather, I appreciate you giving the chapter information so that I can at least participate this way.

    There have been several what I call “profound” times God has clearly spoken to me and each time has been so different. God knows where we are and what we need at the time. The first one that stands out the most was when I was washing dishes. I wasn’t even meditating on the things of God at the time. I was simply going about my daily routine and out of no where I heard an almost audible voice tell me I was going to run a school. If you knew me and me background, you would say “that is impossible” because I did not have the proper training and certification. I didn’t do anything about it but assumed that if it was really from God, it would happen – and it did. I did absolutely nothing to put things into action. It just happened. It took several years, but God opened doors and there I was, running a school. When God speaks, He will bring it to pass. He will guide and direct. That experience reminds me of Moses just going about his daily life tending flock in the desert when he came upon the burning bush. God meets us where we are in our lives. When you are a young mother, it is hard to have quiet times longer than 3 minutes, and God met me in my daily routine.

    Of course there are the times that reading the Word has spoken directly to me and verses have become intensely personal. I remember the time I was a mother of 3 young children and my husband had left our family. I had no clue what we were going to do or how we were going to survive. I was continually in the Word and trying to go on literally minute by minute. The scripture that spoke to me and gave me much peace and strength was Psalm 121. I won’t take time to write it here, but look it up. The point that comforted most was that God doesn’t sleep. He knows all things and is keeping watch. He is my help and my protection. Praise the Lord! What comfort that gave/gives.

    There have been other times that I have had profound meetings in the private, quiet times of desperately crying out. I’ll share some of those later so as not to monopolize too much space.

    I’m looking forward to hearing the experiences of others.

    • Heather C. King says:

      I’ve been thinking about how we get to the place where God can speak to us like you said—Moses just going about his daily life and there was the burning bush. I wonder if we learn the sound of God’s voice in disciplined times of listening prayer. And then we become so attuned to it that He can speak to our mind and heart even while we’re doing dishes and shuttling kids around, and we’ll recognize that it’s Him talking.

      But, if we don’t take the time to learn His voice, then would we just ignore it and let it be crowded out by daily life? We’d miss out on hearing Him.

  3. Andrea Dixon Anderson says:

    I’m going to copy the questions and then answer to hopefully keep myself from babbling! (can you guess where I struggle?)
    *Can you tell us about a time that you clearly heard God speak? How did you know it was Him?

    There’s been a few times in my life where something has happened and someone told me “You know that was God, right?” I didn’t. However, recently, I knew it was God. I had been searching for my neon sign, my pillar of fire, my sign. We had decided to quit doing foster care and we were going to adopt a waiting older child. We sent out 30+ letters and made dozens of inquires. I spent hours online looking at the photolisting sites. Nothing was happening. I was getting really frustrated because I know there are waiting children out there (143,000) so why was no one calling us! After about 3 months of waiting, I heard a small voice, not loud or powerful. Quiet and calm saying “The child you are waiting for, isn’t a waiting child, they’ll need you soon.” While, I knew it was God, it still took me a few days to process the information. Well, after some prayer and advice, we opened the house back up to foster care. I was afraid no one would call because of the way we had closed it. However, within in days we got a call. That baby didn’t come into care, thankfully they were able to find his grandmother. The call raised my hopes that they weren’t mad at me for closing the house months before. Then a few weeks later at 9:30 at night the phone rang and the voice said “We need you.” I couldn’t be more in love with the little person who is in our home. His situation is so sad, but I’m praying that he’ll stay. Everything lined up so perfectly for him to be here. Between decided to take time off from certain events, baseball season ending, the timing of opening the house again. It just all line up. Whether he stays or not, I know that it was God’s voice guiding up to open the house back up and have the blessing of this little soul!

    Do you have a favorite quote, verse or passage from the book that you want to share with us?

    I have quite a few: “The value we place on something is in direct proportion to the amount of time we’re willing to wait for it.” I find that so very true in my life.

    Also from “A Saint Speaks” “Let your prayer be something definite arising either out of the Word which you have read, or out the real soul needs which you long to be satisfied. Let your prayer be so definite that you can say as you go out, I know what I have asked from my Father, and I expect an answer.”

    “But when I say yes and obey, the most incredible sense of knowing and peace overtakes me and then the matter is settled once and for all.” I loved this. I’ve said yes, before without knowing I was saying yes. But opening up the house again, was the first time that I clearly felt that I was obeying and the peace I have, it’s amazing.

    I, like Michelle, also like “I had many things to say, but you never stopped talking long enough to listen.”

    “Busyness turns our prayers into mindless requests and meaningless babble.”

    What discipline of the faith do you most struggle with? Do you have any tips you’ve found that help you in this area?

    I guess the last two quotes leads me into where I struggle the most. Possibly because my house is always buzzing. I’m used to noise. I’m used to having a list of things to do. I feel restless just sitting still. My mind wanders, my hands itch to be doing something. I’m never doing just one task at a time. I’ll be watching t.v and folding laundry. I’ll be singing while cooking dinner. With the wonderful invention of Netflix, I can watch a movie anytime. My house always has background noise of some sort. So when it is quiet, it’s so hard. Just this weekend, the power went out in the middle of the night. It was utterly silence, the quietness is what woke me up, not the storm. My fan went out and my eyes popped opened. I cannot even sleep in silence. I thought, I could lay here and pray, it’s quiet, this is what you want. Instead, I got up and hunted down flashlights in case a kid woke up scared. I gather bottled water and the formula in case the baby woke up. I grabbed the phone book to report an outage, in case they didn’t know. So I got very little quiet prayer time. So this is my struggle. Sitting still and waiting to hear God’s voice!

    What do you most want to learn about discerning the voice of God from this study?

    I want to practice the art of meditation. I really want to train my mind and body to be still. There’s lots of question coming up in my life soon. I want guidance from God on which way to go. I want to hear his voice, so I know without a doubt, that I’m obeying!

    • Heather C. King says:

      This was one of my favorites, too: “If I resist, I can’t breathe, but when I say yes and obey, the most incredible sense of knowing and peace overtakes me and then the matter is settled once and for all.”

      I wrote in my margin, “This is exactly what it feels like!”
      When God speaks, it feels like a heavy burden on my heart that won’t lift until I obey. And if I choose to ignore it or disobey, it has to be intentional on my part and there is no peace there.

    • Jennifer Young says:

      I know how you feel. There is always something else that can be done. Just when I think I’m done with everything, I remember something else. It seems never ending. I guess most of us struggle with this.

    • Heather C. King says:

      Andrea, I’ve been thinking about what you said in answer to the question: Can you tell us about a time that you clearly heard God speak? How did you know it was Him?

      I love your testimony of how God told you to open your home again for foster care at the exact right moment and then as you obeyed, He immediately confirmed it. Always gives me goosebumps! To me, it was a great example of how, in the next section, she says God so graciously confirms His instructions to us.

  4. vickie mason says:

    I was thinking about the question “What discipline of faith do you most struggle with?” I think it is the waiting and trusting in the silence. It is easier to trust and stay focused when you have a strong word or vision to hold on to, but when you have to use faith that God is in control even when you don’t see anything or hear anything – that’s tough – but it is a faith builder. Trust God in the silence…

    • Heather C. King says:

      You’re so right. Waiting in the silence is the hard part and it’s a maturing step, I think. She writes on p. 25: “We will always wait for the things that are important to us” and then later “We will be determined to wait patiently for God to speak.”

      It is sometimes difficult to ask God a question, to spend the time listening, not to hear or see an answer right away and then just keep waiting. Usually by then, I’m ready to move on.

      Also on page 25 she gives the example of Anne Graham Lotz who won’t make a major decision unless she has received very specific direction from God. No Scripture verse or confirmation, no movement. That is some seriously disciplined patience!

      • Michelle Betts Girard says:

        I agree. What she said really got me. The world rushes us to make a decision though. There are deadlines and timelines and people need a yes or a no. I need to remember that it is okay to say “I am praying about it. If you are able to find someone else before I can commit that is fine.”

  5. Janis Hedgepeth says:

    Unfortunately the part of the book that grabbed at me most was the part when she spoke about trying to pray and listen to God and on at least three different occasions she failed to get quiet with the Lord and each time Satan chuckled and laughed. Her distractions were emailing and answering the phone. It reminds me of how easily it is for me to get distracted when I’m trying to have alone time with God.
    The positive reaction for me involves actually trying to listen to God because He desires it and wants to fellowship with me. I’m working on treating my time with the Lord as a child communicating with her heavenly father and making it more personal than just repeating the same requests over and over again.
    My son who is 31 had often wondered why God didn’t continue to speak to us today as He did in the Old Testament. For example, He spoke directly to Moses on many occasions. Trevor would love to hear from a “burning bush” so that discerning God’s will is very clear!

    • Heather C. King says:

      Trevor’s right—-that would make things much easier! It seems more difficult for us to know God’s will when we lack burning bushes and pillars of cloud and fire, but the Bible says that we have the Holy Spirit in us, God’s very presence in our lives at every moment to guide us. Of course, that means we have to learn to recognize His voice! 😉

    • Marie Auker says:

      This is one of my issues too. I will make time to pray and read my Bible and everything will start happening to keep me from it. Sometimes I can tune the other things out and get going anyway. Sometimes I can’t

  6. Jennifer Young says:

    Can you tell us about a time that you clearly heard God speak? How did you know it was Him ?

    I feel that God is always directing and guiding my life, speaking to me louder on some occasions. One time in particular, I was expecting to receive something. I knew it was coming. I wanted it. I thought about it and prayed about it. I was very impatient. Even though I knew it was coming, I wanted it NOW. After two or three weeks of these self-absorbed thoughts and my impatient attitude He spoke to me. “You will get it when I want you to have it!” Wow. All I could think was “how could I be so silly?” I felt like a child that had just be reprimanded, and in fact I was. I knew better, I was acting out of character.

    Do you have a favorite quote, verse or passage from the book that you want to share with us?

    Several months ago my husband and I took over the responsibility of our church sign. We try to change it on a weekly basis. Last week when it had to be changed, I was rushed. We usually consider any upcoming holiday, maybe try to coordinate with what our Pastor is speaking about that week, etc. We were on our way out the door headed to church when I remembered that we hadn’t decided on what to put on the sign. When we got to church, I went through my bible. I thought, “I’ll just pick a verse.” I went directly to Proverbs. I picked several. I decided on Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Priscilla quotes this on page 28.

    • Michelle Betts Girard says:

      I did not realize ya’ll were doing the sign. There ae so many things that it seems like just “happen” at the church and we don’t even think about who does them. That is cool that you do that.

      I went on a Walk to Emmaus trip. I have no idea if you know what that is or not. Anyway Proverbs 3:5 was our key verse for the weekend and I have always thought that was pretty much the Christian walk in a nut shell.

  7. Heather C. King says:

    I’m seeing lots of posts about the difficulty of meditating on God’s word, of actually being quiet and still before the Lord and taking the time to listen.

    Does anyone have any tips? What makes a successful “quiet time” for you?

    • Heather Pantano says:

      It’s not the being still part I have trouble with, it is knowing when it is God talking to me and not me talking to myself! I know that if it’s something not in line with the BIble then it is definitely no God, but, what about when it is something “good” but not necessarily right for me? That is tough….I think it is where Satan attacks me most….making me doubt that it is God I am hearing. I did agree with her on the point that if the ONLY thing keeping me from pursuing something was fear then it was a good bet it’s what I should be doing.

      One of my favorite passages was a quote from Charles Stanley: “If we come to HIm doubting His ability to speak, we will have a difficult time listening. So we must come expectantly.” I do pray to Him and I do believe He can do anything but I don’t EXPECT Him to answer MY requests.

      God spoke to me recently……I actually woke up in the middle of the night with a vision of something I should be doing. I did it and am doing it and God is Awesome!!! If it weren’t for God I would not have taken the first step. Thank you Jesus!

    • Michelle Betts Girard says:

      I know this will sound crazy but for me “quiet” is actually the enemy. I have found if I can have some light music playing in the background that is just enough to occupy that part of my mind that is always looking for something to be distracted by. Then the part of my mind that focuses can really focus on my time with God. I realize that isn’t the way most people work but for me silence is WAY to distracting.

  8. Marie Auker says:

    For me, page 36 summed up most of what I was thinking about with these 2 chapters. “Active listening is a purposeful activity, and it takes work. If you want to become an active listener, you need to engage all the parts of your being – your body, soul, and spirit. You must control your body’s urge to move around and your mind’s urge to wander, so your spirit will be open and receptive to the Lord’s voice.” The mind-wandering part seems to be what I struggle with. I’ll be praying, and next thing you know, I’m making my grocery list or something. I have to apologize to God all the time, and move on with prayer. I have found that if I don’t beat myself up over stuff like that and just engage back in prayer again, I can still connect with God.

    • Heather C. King says:

      I love this quote that you picked, Marie. It seems to me that there are so many disciplines of the faith—like listening to God, or meditating on Scripture or even waiting on God—that we struggle to attain mostly because we forget that they are active and not passive. They don’t come easily! We have to actively “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” ( 2 Corinthians 10:5). It takes effort. That’s what you described, pulling your mind back from grocery lists to prayer.

      I love, though, that you mentioned asking forgiveness, receiving grace and moving on is the best way to get back on track. I never thought about it before, but I suppose Satan can use our distractions as a tool, not just to get us off track, but also to make us feel like failures and tempt us into giving up.

      I have heard of people who keep a notepad beside their Bible during their devotional times. As things pop in their mind, they jot it down quickly and go back to prayer/Bible reading. It takes a second or two of time, gets it out of their heads and so they can get back to prayer and then they didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

  9. Carol Patnode says:

    “Be still and know I am God,” is one of my favorite scriptures, and it is a direct command, aimed at my heart. Sometimes, when I am heavily burdened, I will go into my closet, shut the door, and cry out to God with all the pain, hurt, confusion, and anxiety that has entered my soul. Then, I kneel silently and listen. Sometimes, the voice is silence in return, and peace fills that space around me and I know that He is with me. I am reading my book on a Kindle, so I can’t share actual page numbers, but one statement that especially got my attention was, “He always responds in His own timing. Even when we have great thoughts about God, we cannot always understand His ways. Despite that, He still desires to make Himself known to the seeking heart.” Last year, my son died in a car accident. Some of you may have experienced that particular kind of pain. If you have, my heart is with you. We belong to a sorority of sorts. Not one we would choose, but one we endure. A few weeks after Chris’ death, I returned to the same area in Tennessee where he died to pick up a little puppy that was waiting for me. My daughter drove along to keep me company. On the way home, during a “Be still and know I am God,” time, I had this conversation with our Father: Me: Why did you take my son so young? God: My son was only 33. Me: Why did he have to die so tragically? God: My son died the most tragic death of all. Me: God why did you take my only son? God: I gave you my only son. It was a deeply profound moment, maybe lasting 15 seconds at the most, but one that I will hear forever in my heart. It took me almost a week to digest this conversation and sort out what God was telling me. One day, I had that “epiphany” moment. God was saying to me ( and many of you have probably already figured this out) that no matter what we go through in this world, he understands every situation and he is with us through it all, to the end. As our Father has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God Bless you, my friends.

    • Heather C. King says:

      Carol, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. Thank you for sharing with us lessons borne out of such a painful time. I love how you pointed out that the one thing we hold to is God’s assurance that “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God With Us even in tragedy.

      • vickie mason says:

        Yes, and it is in the tragedies and hard times that we grow the closest to the Lord.

  10. Gerri Barry says:

    In answer to question 1 when Philip was 5 I couldn’t walk I was confined to a wheelchair. I went to my church and we had a special speaker her name was Marlyn Hickey the Lord told me to go up for prayer I listened and I felt a warm hand go down my spine He told me to get up and I did I walked out of the church without any help.
    I knew it was God talking to me then because I was healed.
    I just wish my hearing was better now that is what my reason for this study is now so I can hear Him better and more often.

  11. Gerri Barry says:

    the struggle I have is waiting for the Lords answer I always try to do things without His answer because I can’t or don’t want too.
    I’m not sure which is the worst of the two. this is another place I need help but I think it is alot of all peoples problems. I do know it is better to wait the answer is always much better.

  12. Shannon Burris says:

    I so relate with Marie’s comment about mind-wandering during my alone time with God. I always have so much going through my mind on a daily basis with work and caring for my family. It is so hard for me to focus. I had so enjoyed the previous four days that I had off from work. I had time to spend with my family as well as time to truly worship God while at Kingsfest. This morning I got up to get ready for work and spent a few moments with the Lord. I found myself in tears so dreading that I would fall into my usual routine of busyness. I asked him to guide me through the day and He did! I found that I had a peace and a closeness with Him that I don’t usually have on a Monday. I pray that it continues!

  13. Amy Derfler says:

    I know that God speaks to us. I have heard Him speak many times. I read the first few chapters and I have known this all my life…there is nothing new. What my problem is, is ME. I do not slow down. I do not take the time. I can make up all the excuses in the world why. It doesn’t really matter does it? I do not have time to listen or wait. How awfull is that? But it is where I am at.

    • Heather C. King says:

      Amy,

      When I was just about to have my first daughter, my mom gave me this counsel. She said, “Being a mom of young kids means your time with God will change. Just remember this is a season. It isn’t forever. Do what you can with what you have now and don’t give up, because you will have that precious time with Him again in the future.”

      That was such wise advice. Suddenly instead of having an hour-long commute to pray out loud in my car, I was praying while washing dishes or rocking my crying baby (she was a screamer!). I know you have three young ones also. I’m not saying don’t make the effort to take time to listen, but do what you can and give yourself grace over it. If it’s ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night, make those a beautiful 20 minutes and then just take God with you everywhere else you go that day–singing your praise songs while you clean and praying while you fold laundry.

      This season may be about learning how to listen to God even when changing diapers and reading bedtime stories and even when collapsing in bed at night (and maybe not getting up at 5 a.m. for a quiet time like you intended to).

      I know that you probably know everything I just said already. But, still I hope you can be encouraged and not overwhelmed by this season you are in. Because there is a time for every season under heaven—and He will make all things beautiful in His time.

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