Listening & Following God’s Voice Is Transformational

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org    www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

 Life begins to change for the extreme better when we finally grasp:

  1. God promises to speak to us in a way we can hear Him if we will seek to listen  “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jer. 33:3)
  2. He has a plan for us which is good.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)  
  3. The Lord will specifically guide us in the way we should go if we will listen.   “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27) 

Our perspective changes from being personally responsible to make all the “right” decisions and ensuring everything turns out, to being responsible for listening for God’s direction, trusting Him and obeying at all costs.

So what does God’s voice sound like?  Some of the ways the Bible describes God’s voice include: as the sound of rushing waters, like a whisper or as a trumpet.  Sometimes it is described as loud and other times as soft.  Most frequently, His voice comes as thoughts which drop into our minds.

Obviously, not all thoughts are from Him. To discern which are which, we look to God’s Word (what He has written for us in the Bible.)  Since God is Truth and unchanging, He can never lie and cannot contradict Himself. Therefore what He speaks to us, will never contradict what He has revealed in His Word.  There are also a few constants: God’s voice is rooted in love, riddled with His peace and is confident in what is spoken because He knows what He has planned.  His voice never speaks from a root of anxiety, fear, hate, guilt, shame, (etc.) or anything else ungodly.  God loves us and simply wants us to follow Him in His way.

That said, it is also important to note that frequently what we think God is telling us to do at the moment may not make logical sense.  We tend to make decisions based on what we can figure out – what we think might happen. Yet, God often will not reveal to us what He already plans to do.  He simply will give us His next step.  We are supposed to be following Him by faith. That which is seen/known is not faith.  God is looking to see if we will trust Him and follow His promptings though we cannot yet understand His rationale.   To be authentic followers of Jesus, we must do as He did.  He obeyed whatever the Father told Him to do.  He did nothing of His own accord.  We are to have the courage to listen and follow where the Holy Spirit is leading, putting His will above our own.

God’s ways are not our ways.  His ways are higher and better (otherwise He wouldn’t be God – we would.)  In addition, His ways must be different so people see Him in how things work out.  If the results are comprehensible by human standards, no one will have the opportunity to gasp in wonder at an outcome, impossible without the help of God and  thereby grasp He is real.

God wants to work through our lives so others see Him.  He wants every person to have the opportunity to recognize He is real in order to choose Him as Savior and Lord.  He is invisible.  He chooses to work through us – if we will let Him.

When we have the courage to trust what the invisible God is speaking to our hearts more than we trust our own judgment, and we move to do that which we sense Him leading us to do at the moment He requests it of us (especially when what He is asking seems to make so sense and violates everything this secular, ungodly life had taught us, but doesn’t violate His Word), His supernatural moves to invade our natural in exhilirating and unanticipated ways, so that His presence, power and influence cannot be denied.  Others see God at work in our lives and discover our God is indeed God and very real.  Thus through our listening followed by stepping out in faith and trust, He infuses both the good and unavoidable bad in our lives with His magnificent effect and fills every day with exquisite, eternal purpose.

And there is such freedom in His Way.  Our choice to embrace our role as the sheep of His pasture, where He is Master Shepherd and we listen for His voice in order to follow in His way, removes responsibility for outcome from our shoulders. It is on His and so long as we do our best to obey with our childlike faith, we sense His delight in us.

“28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-10 NIV)

There is nothing better than walking in the will of God, led by the Spirit, sensing God’s favor, being filled with His peace and joy in all circumstances.  Life here takes on a meaning beyond our existence as we realize we are partnering with God for eternity.

“Neither will they hunger or thirst, nor will the desert heat or sun beat down on them.  He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.”   Isa. 49:10 (NIV)

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to the springs of living water’. ‘And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.'” (Rev. 7:17 NIV)

Selah!  [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

PLEASE view the new music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL     (Made by upcoming film director, Olivia Mowry.) 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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