Jesus said in John 15:5-8 says:
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
They key to producing much fruit is abiding in Jesus and letting what He says become the main focus for your career. For example, this is what Jesus said about God’s Word in the parable of the sower:
Jesus said “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” (Luke 8:15 NLT)
In other words, when you hear, understand and cling onto God’s Word, your career produces real fruit. This same idea can be seen throughout the Bible when God changed people’s careers.
God even encourages us to come to Him and ask Him what we should be working on:
“Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.” (Isaiah 55:3 NLT)
Hearing God speak is such a necessity that Jesus compared it to eating:
“People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4 NLT)
Does God always speak in words that you can recognize? God may speak to us in various ways. For example, Simon Peter may not have realized that He had a revelation from God unless Jesus pointed it out:
“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” (Matthew 16:16-17)
Is it Justifiable Not to Listen to God Speak in Case I Hear Other Voices?
During the last few years I have come across a minority of Christians who feel uncomfortable about listening to God speak, and discourage others from doing the same. They argue that it is better not to listen to God speak just in case you hear other voices. I’ll talk about dealing with the “other voices” below, but I firmly believe that this approach is in opposition to what the Bible says:
“Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven!” (Hebrews 12:25 NLT).
Jesus even said:
“To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” (Matthew 13:12 NLT)
In order to increase understanding we need to listen more to what Jesus is teaching us. No wonder there are so many aimless Christians who don’t know why God doesn’t seem to be operating in their careers!
How Can I Hear God Speak?
I sometimes get asked the question “How can I hear God speak”. My personal belief is that the best route to hearing God speak is to enter into the Kingdom realm (Note: I am not judging anyone who listens to God in other ways, but this is what I feel I need to share on this blog). I recommend the Kingdom realm route because everyone I know who engages with God in His Kingdom can hear Him speak. This sounds complicated, but it is not. Jesus’ sacrifice enabled anyone to come to God’s throne room in heaven. Paul discussed approaching God’s throne in Hebrews:
“For the word of God is alive and powerful…So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:12-16 NLT)
You can find out a bit more about engaging God in the Kingdom realm in my book. Alternatively, a complete introduction to operating in the Kingdom realm is provided by Freedom Church in their online Engaging God course.
How Do I Discern God’s Voice From Other Voices?
Sometimes I meet people who aren’t sure whether a message is from God speaking. They sometimes ask “how can I discern God’s voice?”
The Bible is clear that there is a spiritual battle. There are spirits actively seeking to disrupt our thought lives. These are sometimes called familiar spirits. They are familiar with what you do and how you do it.
There are different ways you can deal with spiritual forces. The Bible talks about testing the spirits. (1 John 4). Ephesians talks about putting on God’s armor. What has worked for me with removing the other voices from is removing the legal rights that they hold. For example, if you hear a voice of hatred or resentment you know it is not God’s voice. What you can say is “I request a court room in heaven be assembled before my Father as judge and Jesus as my mediator.”
In the courtroom in heaven you ask “what are the accusations that have been brought against me?” Listen to what is said. These accusations are probably going to be true.
The next step is to say “I acknowledge the allegations made against me. However, I also present the blood of Jesus before this court, which removes the legal right that these accusations have in my life. I declare that all of my sins have been wiped clean by the blood of Jesus.”
At this stage you ask God the Father for His verdict and listen to what He says. When Jesus’ perfect sacrifice is presented, the Father always rules in your favor.
The next step is to sentence the familiar spirit. For example, you could ask God “Father, I request a restraining order on this evil force so that it will never come against me or anyone I know ever again. In Jesus’ name. Amen” Listen to God’s ruling.
The key to dealing with familiar spirits is not to stop listening to God speak. All authority on heaven and earth has been given to us. Until we exercise our legal rights in heaven and on earth we continue to live with thoughts that accuse us by the forces of darkness. We give these spirits legal room to operate when we hold unforgiveness and other sins in our heart. As a result, entering into the courts of heaven is an opportunity to cleanse our lives with the blood of Jesus.
If you bring these spirits to God’s court room every time you hear a strange voice, it becomes easier and easier to discern when God speaks to you. The only voice that remains is God’s voice. Recommended resources for hearing God speaking include Freedom Church, Shawn Bolz and Shawn Morris.
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