August 28th
If you have watched tv ever in your life you have seen those commercials — specifically ones that tell you how to turn fat into rock hard muscle.  Some of these commercials will try to tell you how to sit and chair and swivel a certain way, others will teach you new dance moves, another will send you prepackaged foods right to your door and another will tell you take this magic non-gmo organic pill to shed those unwanted pounds.
The real a question is, “How do we turn flabby muscle to toned, fit strong muscle?” And the answer is: you use the muscle group.  The muscles that get used the most are the strongest.
Simple, yet profound.  I believe our spiritual lives are the same and what we use becomes stronger.  
So, how do we strengthen the muscle that is hearing God’s voice?
You practice.  
This summer if you came over to my house on a Tuesday night there would a group a teenagers eating tacos.  Also, it was a safe place, that gave students an opportunity to practice hearing God’s voice. We did it many different ways.  As their youth pastor it makes excited to know that there is a generation who are excited to know God’s voice.
**Before we continue I want to give you two guard rails for hearing the voice of God.**

  • It will never contradict the Bible!
  • It should always point to Jesus!

“My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life.” John 10:27 & 28a
Jesus is the one talking here.  He is making it very clear if you know Jesus, then you will know his voice.  Just like I know my wife’s voice or my kids voice, I believe we can recognize God’s voice.  I have a friend named Ray. He was driving in Milwaukee and he felt like God said he needed to pull his car over and tell a man on the bridge, “green ice cream.”  Ray started to argue with God.  There isn’t anywhere to pull over.  I am going to stop traffic. The man is going to think that I have lost my mind.  The Holy Spirit didn’t stop.  The feeling became more intense the longer he drove on the bridge.  Reluctantly, Ray pulls his car over and makes eye contact with the gentleman on the bridge.  Ray tells the man “green ice cream” not expecting a big result. And a few seconds go by and the man looks at Ray dumbfounded.  Tears start streaming down his face. The man told Ray, “I was just about to jump off this bridge and I was giving God one more chance and I told him to tell me ‘green ice cream’.”  
That is what I want for my life.  That I would be so intune with what God is doing that I would be stop my car and tell someone that God Loves Them!  That day there was a gentleman who was sure glad Ray stopped his car and listened to God.
I want to give you three exercises to help you hear the voice of God everyday.

      1. This one is a no brainer.  Read your Bible. A great place to start is in Psalms, Proverbs (31 of these: one for each day), or one of the Gospels (the life of Jesus.)  
      2. As a Christ follower we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  That it is alive and active.
      3. Then take the next step and ask God what are you saying to me through this scripture.
      4. Write that Down.
      5. Circle the part that stood out to you.
      1. Ask God to give you a thought for someone.  It could be for yourself or someone else.
        1. There are three voices we might hear in our head.
          1. First, I believe will be the voice of God.
          2. Second, will be our voice, trying to make logical sense of the thought we just had.
          3. Third, the voice of the enemy trying to deny or cast doubt towards the initial thought we just had.
      2. Text that person about what God just said.
        1. Without faith it is impossible to please God


  • *Reminder.  Hearing God’s voice will never contradict his word (the Bible).  It will always point to Jesus!


    1. Take a minute and listen to a song you love to listen to right now. (In my family it is The Greatest Showman soundtrack!)
    2. Ask the Holy Spirit to highlight a lyric (or two.)
    3. Write that lyric down.
    4. Then ask God what are you trying to say to me through this lyric.
      1. When we did this at Taco Tuesday, my son Kennan, who is 6, did it with us.  We were listening to the song “Never Enough” from the movie The Greatest Showman. He wrote down the lyric “never enough” and had a list of things that are never enough (money, food, toys, pools, cars etc.)  Then he wrote down is enough and he had a picture of the cross.  I almost broke down crying. I was so proud of my boy because he heard God speak to him.

Bonus: Often times life can be hard/ unfair.  When we find ourselves in difficult situations, I want to challenge you to ask God to take that situation but now take it one step further.  Ask God what do you give me instead. And see how this can revolutionize your life. It took one word from Jesus and Zacchaeus, the evil tax collector, and he was changed.  It took one word from Jesus and Saul/Paul, the murderer of Christians, was forever changed. In our life imagine how one word from God can change our day. Be blessed and have fun hearing the voice of God as you shed some of those unwanted spiritual pounds. ; )