READ GOD’S WORD THE BIBLE … HEAR GOD’S VOICE
Hearing God’s voice is the most important part of your prayer & fellowship time with God, and is vital to your walk with Him. You cannot have intimate fellowship with Him and become one with God and a partner with God in His great Kingdom work if you do not reverently listen to Him and then follow Him as He leads you and speaks. You need to read God’s word the Bible daily and seek God with all your heart to know God and His will and God’s calling on your life.
In John 10:4 & 27 Jesus tells us that His “sheep” or true followers know His (the Good Shepherd) voice and they follow Him. You cannot truly know and follow Jesus unless you can hear His voice, and unless He reveals Himself and His ways and His will & plans to you.
John 10:4 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Here is why you need to daily read God’s word the Bible and learn to hear God’s voice:
GOD SPEAKS TO YOU THROUGH HIS WORD; HE REVEALS MUCH ABOUT HIMSELF, ABOUT HIS WILL & PLANS, HIS WAYS, HOW TO PLEASE HIM, AND ABOUT LIFE THE WAY HE INTENDED IT TO BE.
Read Exodus 33:13-34:11
Exodus 33:11 tells us that God spoke to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Verses 13-18 show us that Moses had a humble & seeking & hungry heart (hungry for God). Because of his heart for God, God was able to reveal Himself and His glory to Moses. Moses also faithfully served and followed God, however God would lead.
Exodus 33:11 “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”
Exodus 33:13-18 “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
READ GOD’S WORD THE BIBLE EARLY IN YOUR QUIET TIME… ALLOW GOD TO SPEAK TO YOU, AND HAVE FIRST PLACE IN YOUR PRAYER & QUIET TIME WITH HIM
Read 1 Samuel 3:9-10 … your heart attitude needs to be “speak Lord, your servant is listening.” The Biblical word for listen means to “reverently listen to God, with the intent of doing or following whatever you hear – even before you hear it. Is this your heart attitude ?
1 Samuel 3:9-10 “So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
- The Biblical word for Listen means to hear God’s voice… with the intent in your heart of doing whatever you hear God speak
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN AND READ GOD’S WORD THE BIBLE – IT IS YOUR LIFE
Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 30:15-19 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Never forget that without close fellowship with Jesus, you cannot have the abundant life (purpose & meaning) that God wants you to have. Jesus is The Source of abundant life. If you do not regularly, daily read God’s word the Bible, then you cannot have intimate fellowship with God and abundant life.
READING THE WORD OF GOD ALLOWS YOU TO GROW SPIRITUALLY CLOSER TO HIM, ONE WITH HIM & HIS WILL & PLANS, AND MORE LIKE JESUS – FILLED WITH HIS ABUNDANT & VICTOIOUS LIFE, HIS POWER, HIS VICTORY, HIS GLORY,…
Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 … God gave you His word to teach you, to correct and transform you, and to train and help you to seek and obtain the fullest and closest fellowship and partnership with Him. It is His primary way of speaking to you and instructing you, and to help make you the best you can be – which is to become more and more like Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation”
READ GOD’S WORD THE BIBLE AND LEARN TRUTH
In John 14:6 Jesus tells you that He is the Way, He is the Truth, and He is the Life. Because Jesus is Truth, anything and everything He tells you is the truth. You need to spend time with the Truth so that you will know truth, especially spiritual truth. Then you will never be misled, and you will be able to discern what is truth and what is not truth.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
Acts 17:11 ” Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.”
These days you need to be very careful and read God’s word the Bible daily, in order to not be deceived by false teachers. There are many false teachers and churches that are not preaching and teaching God’s word the truth.
Matthew 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Acts 20:28-30 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
GOD’S WORD THE BIBLE WILL SET YOU FREE
John 8:31-32 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
What do you need to be set free from ? Do you need to be set free from fear ? Anxiety ? Worry ? Deception & lies ? Insecurity ? Depression ? Discouragement ? Sin ? Something else ? Run to Jesus and His Word – He wants to set you to know Him- Truth, and Jesus wants to set you free !!!
THE WORD OF GOD HELPS PURIFY YOUR HEART & MIND, AND TO TRANSFORM YOU TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the LORD’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the LORD, who is the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:25-26 “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”
Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Psalm 119:9 “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”
God wants you to be a special and holy person of glory, completely set apart from evil and the things of the world. He also wants you to become the very best person you can be, which in God’s definition is to become more and more like Jesus.
God also wants you to be passionate about God like Jesus, and passionate about reaching the lost like Jesus (see 1 Timothy 2:4, Luke 19:10 and Matthew 4:19)
GOD ENCOURAGES & ASSURES YOU THROUGH HIS WORD
“The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurances to us in His Word.” – Oswald Chambers
Since God is Truth, His Word and His promises are all truth. When you read God’s word the Bible and let God speak to you early in your prayer time and early in your day, He will bless you and encourage you through His word.
THE WORD OF GOD GIVES YOU A WEAPON BY WHICH YOU CAN FIGHT OFF SATAN AND HIS ATTACKS AND HIS LIES
In Matthew 4 Jesus fights temptation and lies by the enemy and wins by quoting Scripture 3 times, saying “It is written…”. Jesus gives you the perfect example of how to fight against and win over temptation, lies, and deceit, which are some of Satan’s primary tools to get you away from God and in bondage and defeat.
Matthew 4:1-4 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
GOD’S WORD TEACHES YOU AND GUIDES YOU DOWN THE PATHS HE HAS PLANNED FOR YOUR LIFE: (GOD KNOWS & WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU)
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”.
Psalm 16:8-11 “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Isaiah 48:17-18 “This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “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 hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
GOD’S LAWS & PRINCIPLES PROTECT YOU AND ARE FOR YOUR GOOD
Psalm 19:8 “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
1 John 5:3 “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome”
THE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF LIVING BY GOD’S WORD
Psalm 19:7-11 “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
As your loving Heavenly Father, God cares deeply for you and wants to protect you from anything that can be harmful to you. He wrote His Word out of love for you, to protect you, to guide you, to bless you.
1 John 5:3 reveals the proof of whether you and I truly living out of love for God – reverence and trust and obedience to Him and His Word… “this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome”
READ GOD’S WORD AS IF YOU ARE DIGGING FOR GREAT TREASURES
Psalm 119:13-14 “With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.”
When God is your First Love, your Passion, and your Treasure, God’s word the Bible will become a priceless treasure in your life.
Matthew 11:25-27 “At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, LORD of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
When God is your First Love, your Passion, and your Treasure, and if you are humble before Him, God will reveal to you truth and who He is. Then you will know God in real and personal ways
Matthew 13:10-12 “The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”
Isaiah 64:6-7 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins.”
Don’t miss the great truth that the treasure you are digging for in God’s Word is God Himself. When you can truly say that Jesus is your treasure and the most valuable person by far in your life, then you are truly living in a passionate love affair with Jesus and you are truly living.
FROM HOWARD HENDRICKS: “LIVING BY THE BOOK”: READ THE BIBLE AS IF IT WERE A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD
OBSERVATION, THEN INTERPRETATION, & FINALLY APPLICATION
You cannot correctly Apply God’s Word in your life unless you correctly Interpret it, and you cannot correctly Interpret His Word unless you Examine & Observe all that you possibly can. Here are some great tips to help you to read God’s word the Bible and to observe all that you can:
ASK QUESTIONS WHEN YOU READ THE BIBLE
Who, What, Where, When, Why, What now ?
- For example: Who is speaking ? Who is he/she speaking to ? Who is in the verses ?
LOOK FOR THINGS THAT ARE:
- Emphasized (Jesus saying “truly truly”,…)
- Repeated over and over again
- Related (“if … then”, “therefore”,…)
- True to life (real life & real people)
God sent His Son Jesus to suffer & die for you, out of a great love for you. God sent His Word the Bible to you out of great love for you also. Always read God’s Word as a Love Letter from God, and always read it as though God is personally speaking to you (put your name in the verses).
Other practical tips to help you to read God’s word the Bible and hear God’s voice
- REMEMBER, YOU’RE SPENDING TIME WITH A PERSON, NOT A BOOK OF LAWS OR A RELIGIOUS BOOK
- PERSONALIZE GOD’S WORD SO THAT IT FITS YOUR SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.
- READ GOD’S WORD ALOUD, AS THOUGH GOD HIMSELF IS TALKING TO YOU. THIS HELPS YOU TO FOCUS ON WHAT GOD IS SAYING TO YOU.
PURSUING INTIMACY WITH GOD
Pursuing Intimacy With God is committed to helping you with the most important thing in your life… your intimacy with God , your fellowship with Him, and your partnership with God in His Kingdom work & mission.
There are hundreds of Bible verses and great truths & promises in the Pursuing Intimacy With God studies book