The whole chapter is enlightening, but I point you to verse 22-23 which says; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Against such things there is no law; simply means you can’t go wrong!
This means to me that there is great power in these fruits.
So here’s the thing;
If in your life you are seeing the opposite; hatred, bitterness, anger, strife, jealousy,
(The list is long I suppose, and different for each of us.)
then I would encourage you to choose the “Fruit” that is opposite of your issue, and
“Have another thought”.
Look where you’re going.
Feed the right thing.
Build a place inside you where the “Fruit” can be attracted to and grow.
Feed the right things – and more will begin to appear in your mind and in your heart.
One last quote;
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet, and the books you read.” Charlie Tremendous Jones
I encourage you to choose your reading, your friends, and your thinking wisely.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of hearing His voice.
I have some questions here;
First of all – Who is “He”?
Nehemiah 9:6 from the Holy Bible says this;
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with
all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in
them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
If that’s the case, and I believe it is, then
that is a voice I really want to hear!
Why do I want to hear His voice?
Beginning to hearing His voice, for me anyway, began with an intense longing inside of me to find out what more there could possibly be to my life.
You know, the life that goes through the same cycles of disbelief,
low self esteem, caring so much what others think, at my own expense.
Expensive, because the voices I was hearing were telling me just
how worthless I was. I had a longing to hear just one good thing about myself
that I could hang my hat on. Something I could believe and hold on to.
That longing wanted to know who I was; all the while knowing that
I could believe a lie, just as easily as I could believe the truth.
To avoid the lie, I had to find the right voice. There are cacophonies of voices out there just trying to be heard. Which one is the right one?
it’s the maker of heaven and earth!
How do you hear His voice in the first place?
In order to sort through that longing, there
has to be quiet.
Now MY quiet, will likely be different than
When I want to get to this place of hearing,
I require three things.
A pad of
paper and a writing utensil.
The absolute quiet is to get my mind off of everything that distracts. Even lovely music can be distracting. (I’m finding that now even while writing this)
I need my Bible. It has a great concordance (an
alphabetical list of the words present in a text, usually with citations of the
passages concerned.) in the back, so I can look up scripture by words or
topics. I can search out any topic that is on my heart.
Then I can meditate on this word.
This meditation is not the same as emptying
the space between my ears. Instead, it fills up all the empty space inside, by
telling me the truth; about me, about God, about my life; past, present and
The pad of paper? My brain is notorious for running me off in a different direction while I’m trying to concentrate on being quiet. Anything that pops into my head and interrupts gets written down.
It’s safe on that paper, I won’t forget. I’ll pick it up later.
It’s calming, when you know you won’t forget
every little nuance at it passes by your brain.
How do you continue to hear His voice?
I hear his voice by being quiet enough to let the words I’ve read roll around in my heart and mind.
I let them roll until they make sense. Until
they become real to me.
I really dislike the way the word meditation is
used in some forums. I’m speaking of the meditation on God’s word,
and what it means to me. Not meditation that is emptying my mind. That
is a whole different thing.
Instead, I prefer a meditation that asks; What
do these words say? What do they mean to me? How can I put them into practice?
Once you have hear His voice, you will recognize it when you hear it again. John 10:27 says clearly; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Wow. He knows me – I want to know His voice!
How do you get back to it again after being away?
The dangerous part is in the drifting away. You release the habit for a day, and then a week, and then a month. No big, drastic changes.
You still hear His voice. But here’s the
catch; after a month, the voice gets quieter, and you realize (maybe) that you
have been going on memory, and that you haven’t “heard” anything new
for quite some time.
Memory, like muscles, can get flat after
periods of not being used.
Notice, the first thing I said was that it is a habit. It is most definitely a habit.
The first step to take is to get back to your
DAILY reading. It need not be chapter upon chapter. Just a
few paragraphs maybe.
We used to have a pastor who told us to
“Read till you burn.” That sounds funny coming from a pastor, whose
job is to insure that you don’t burn 🙂
But what he was trying to tell us, was that
we needed to read the word until something came alive in our heart; until our
heart caught that spark.
When that happens – You’re hearing God’s voice. He is speaking to you.
I’ve read the same thing several times over
my lifetime, and then one time I will read it, and it is like the words jumped
right off the page.
They bring something to life in me. They
spark a realization in me about _________________! Whatever it is I’m reading
When I begin to roll those verses around in my heart and mind, they become a part of me. My soul and my spirit; my insides; are renewed. I can see an action that needs to be taken, or a mind set that needs to be tweeked.
James 1:22-25 (ICB) says this; Do what God’s
teaching says; do not just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen,
you are fooling yourselves. A person who hears God’s teaching and does
nothing is like a man looking in a mirror. He sees
his face, then goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. But the
truly happy person is the one who carefully studies God’s perfect law that makes
people free. He continues to study it. He listens to God’s teaching and does
not forget what he heard. Then he obeys what God’s teaching says. When he does
this, it makes him happy.
This quiet time, this hearing His voice; it
gives me peace, and it carries with me throughout my days.
It makes it so that even the harshest of circumstances can be faced with some sort of calm, peace and joy.
Tis the season coming up quickly for proms, and graduations and for moving into adulthood.
It’s a time of being with friends and family in a whole new way.
The parameters have opened up, and many are just not certain what is next. It’s a rite of passage I suppose.
The anxiety. The uncertainty. The clueless-ness.
I’ve been to several events in the past couple of months. Band concerts, chorus concerts, and the like.
The difference is that for two of my grand children, these events carried the distinct designation of “Last”.
The culmination of 13 years of schooling. 13 years of always knowing (mostly) what comes next.
A New Designation
Along with the “Last” designation, comes a new one as well. “First”.
The “First” time of being really responsible, entirely, (mostly) for what comes next.
But that topic is for another time.
Here I wanted to share what I’ve observed during these “Last” times.
I’ll share it here with just a snippet of what I wrote in my journal.
Being so much of an introvert is OK, except for at those over the top social events. You know, the ones that are supposed to elicit great shows of emotions.
When you are an introvert, not so many people flock to your good bye. Not so many are devastated by your departure.
Your family celebrates you, and at the same time, they mourn your advancement into a new place of life, away from them … but you? You kind of fade into it. Quietly dismissing yourself, and making your way back to the safety zone that you have created for yourself.
It is a sad thing perhaps, but maybe hard to remember, at that moment, that it is a world you have created for yourself. A safe place.
Why Was it Visible?
I noticed this occurrence taking place in quiet corners in more than one school district. In more than one cafeteria, and at more than one event.
Those who were more extroverted, and were able to wear their emotions on their sleeves for all to see.
Those who were more introverted, put on a brave front, appearing to be OK, yet their smiles, never really reached their eyes.
Then, sadly, oh so sadly, I saw (felt) those who simply gave up trying to put on the act, not having the energy to fake it even one more time.
The extroverts, wondering why they are so emotional.
The introverts wondering if they could attempt to fit in just one more time.
The others, biding their time until they could escape to their own comfortable nests.
I saw this. I knew this. I felt this. Again.
It took me until I was full grown adult to realize that I was just wired that way. Quieter.
The noisy, raucous kid me, was all an act. A protection racket for the part of me that I saw as flawed
My quiet side has kept me sane, but at times it has also kept me alone.
What to Do?
The sadness I felt back then, can still be accessed by me, but it does not have to be. It no longer rules my life.
And still, when confronted by this, when I see this in my vision, when I feel this in my soul, when I see the struggle going on in front of me, I do not know what to do.
Telling them that everything will be OK, will not make it so. Only life itself, lived on one day at a time, can do that.
But the quiet part of me still seeks another answer. One that can help the loneliness subside, or at least to feel tolerable. Sooner rather than later.
Until then, if you see yourself in this narrative, please know;