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You Don't Need To Set A Bush On Fire!


My husband and his team at Crash 31 made this video several years ago. I ran across it recently and thought it was fitting (and amusing) for today’s topic of hearing from God…

Do you struggle to connect with God?

Do you ever feel a bit deflated when yet another person says, “God spoke to my heart and said…”?

Do you ever find yourself thinking, when will God do that for me?

God talked to Moses in Exodus 3 through a burning bush. Do we need to get the gas and matches and go out back in our landscaping? Sounds kind of crazy, right? God spoke to Isaiah, Noah, Elijah, and many others who loved Him, but that was in the Old Testament. He doesn’t speak to us that obviously anymore, right?

Or does He?

My Bible study leader said something about a year ago that has changed my entire view, and my personal experience, of how God speaks to me.

She said, “God speaks to us all the time. Every day. He delights in speaking to you. We just have to still our hearts and minds long enough to hear what He is saying.”

My thought immediately after she said that was, well, that’s nice for you, but God doesn’t do that for me. That’s not my reality.

But then we started practicing. Yes, practicing hearing from God. It was really awkward for me at first. We have been practicing every week for almost a year now. And it has been the most amazing thing.

I’m not saying you need to schedule all your time listening to what God has to say to you (although I think it’s a great place to start). We want to leave plenty of room for the spontaneous moments of communication with our heavenly Father. Those are some of the best and most profound moments, I think.

I’ll give you an example of a spontaneous moment of communication with God in my life:

I was tucking my three-year-old Kendyl into bed one night and she was asking me about lions. She has a fascination and a fear of them. She said, “What if a lion come in my room while I’m sleeping?” I told her that her daddy would protect her. And then I told her God would protect her and keep her safe, and that she didn’t need to be scared because God made the lion and He would keep her safe from it. She laughed such a joyful laugh, snuggled down in her bed, said “okay mama” and went to sleep. Totally accepting that truth with zero doubt. As I watched her and tears came to my eyes, I thanked God for my little girl. As soon as my attention shifted upward, God whispered to my heart, “This is how I want you to trust me, Tammy.”

God has continued to blow me away with His words of affirmation and love for me. When I am “tuned in” to Him, He amazes me every time. It has been life-changing for me. My relationship with God is at a level it has never been at before, and I’m so grateful for that. It makes sense, right? The more time we spend with God and we feel seen and heard by Him, and when He responds to us, the more connected we feel to Him. He is life to us.

So how do we “tune in?” How do we practice listening to Him? How do we hear Him?

Here are a few things I believe are key, sharing from my experience over the last year of practicing, from God’s Word, and from listening to my Bible study leader:

Get in the Word. As you read, ask God to make the Bible come alive (because it is alive) for you. Ask Him to plant a love for it deep in your heart. Ask God for wisdom as you are reading. The Bible is how we learn about God, how we know His heart, and how we realize His heart for us.

…but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. – Proverbs 1:33 (emphasis mine).

Get still. I cannot hear God with all the noise in my life and in this culture. I just can’t. God doesn’t usually compete to get us to listen. He waits for us to turn our focus to Him out of our own desire (or sometimes desperation).

I can’t hear God while I’m listening to five kids talking all at once, when I’m on Facebook or my iPhone, when the TV’s blaring, when I’m texting… You get the idea. I’m not saying those things are wrong. I’m saying you can’t hear God when you are doing them. You have to schedule intentional time to get still. Remember, just because you are still physically doesn’t mean your heart and mind are still. This took me a while to figure out.

Give the Holy Spirit full reign in your heart. The Holy Spirit is God and Jesus living inside you. Amazing, right? It’s how you hear God. Period.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. – John 14:26

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13

Give God your open heart. Give Him an invitation. I think so often we don’t have because we don’t ask. Ask God “What are you saying?” Invite Him into your personal space and business. He wants to be a part of what you are a part of. He may have a word of love or affirmation for you. What He says may be hard or it may hurt. But whatever it is, it will always be for your good. He is for you and He loves you so much.

Respond to what He tells you. Don’t forget to respond to what He says. Ask God, “What do I do now, Lord?” Is there something you need to do to obey? God blesses obedience. Do you need to just stop and worship Him? Is there something to celebrate? Don’t forget to celebrate the breakthroughs! And there will be breakthroughs!

Really, it comes down to getting still, and turning our hearts and our focus on Him. I believe if we do that, and invite Him to come, He will speak to our hearts. He wants to be in relationship with us.

One of my favorite verses says this:
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – Jeremiah 33:3

I don’t know about you, but I want that. I want God to tell me a bunch of really great stuff that I won’t know any other way except by listening to Him.

I am amazed that He offers such a priceless gift to us. Let’s not leave this gift unopened!

Let’s not keep running this race with empty tanks, when we don’t have to. God can fill our tanks, if we listen for His voice in our lives.

No, we don't need to light a bush on fire to get God's attention. We've had it all along. We just need to get still, and give Him ours.

Lord, this is our desire. We want to hear from You. We long for you to speak life into our hearts. Help us to get intentional and get still before you. Lord guide us as we practice listening for Your voice. Amen.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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