I have some news for you, friend. And this news is either going to be freeing or perhaps a little scary. Maybe both.
But here it is: There isn’t anything outside of God and His Word that has the ability to transform or heal your heart. No other book or study or conference or pastor. Nothing outside of Him. God’s words can create and heal in a way that human words can’t.
God’s Words Have Power
Don’t get me wrong. Our words are powerful. Scripture is clear in Proverbs 18:21: “Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life…”. It’s important that we speak life and truth because our words carry a lot of weight on both a natural and supernatural level. And at some level, our words do have some creative power.
But let’s be honest. I do not have the ability, with my words, to speak a universe into existence. Only God has that kind of power. As I once heard counselor and author Bob Hamp say, “Where my words describe something, God’s words literally create and contain that thing.” For example, when I say the word peace, I’m describing something to you, right? But when God says the word peace, He’s actually delivering a package that contains peace.
What does this mean for us? It means that it’s vital for our spiritual health that we be able to hear and receive directly from God. The sermons and pastors and Bible Studies are all so important. But they cannot be your only source of spiritual food. You have to have a personal relationship with Jesus where you hear and receive directly from Him because it’s through this connection that our hearts and minds are transformed.
We always acknowledge that God’s primary means of communication with us is through His Word, the Bible. It is our ultimate standard of truth. But Scripture isn’t the only way that God speaks to His sons and daughters! God can communicate with you in many different ways. He may give you a scripture, memory, impression, or picture. He may speak to you through worship or simply speak to you through His still, small voice. (By the way, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you hear an audible voice, but that He simply shows you something, and you receive what He is communicating to you.)
There was a time in my life where I felt like there was no way that I could hear from God the way that “so-and-so” hears from God. I felt like there were just people who had this ability to connect with Him in a way that I flat-out didn’t possess. And then I was introduced to this idea of prayer journaling…and everything shifted. Now I am as passionate as I can be about sharing this simple practice with others who desire to hear and receive from God but may feel like that connection isn’t really there.
How does prayer journaling work? It’s a simple, 5-step process:
Grab a pen and paper and write out a question to God. (For question ideas, check out page 3 of this downloadable PDF from Mercy’s website.)
On the line after the question, write two quotation marks. This is a simple faith statement that declares, “I’m about to hear from God!”
Write out anything and everything that comes to your heart and mind. And here’s what is key: Do not let the whole “Is-that-God-or-is-that-me?” question trip you up. Push through that doubt and write everything that’s coming to your heart and mind right now.
Once nothing else comes, put two quotation marks at the end.
Now go back and pray for God to confirm what is from Him and reveal if anything is not from Him. A couple of important reminders: God always speaks in alignment with His Word. If it doesn’t line up with Scripture, it’s not from Him. And when God communicates with us, it always brings love and life…never confusion or condemnation. Even when God corrects us, it’s done from a place of grace and care.
Little Time, Big Reward
This simple, daily practice has radically transformed my life, and I can guarantee you that if you take a few minutes every day to follow these five steps, it will change yours as well. It will change who you are as a friend, a spouse, a parent, and a coworker. And over time, you will find that your ears get more and more attuned to the Holy Spirit, and you start hearing and receiving from God regularly throughout the day – not just when you sit down to ask Him a question.
I think you’ll also eventually discover that you receive so much more out of 5 minutes of hearing from God than you do out of 45 minutes of you unloading things to Him. Don’t get me wrong; God wants to hear from His children and wants us to pour out our hearts to Him regularly. But now I’ve found that I am much more excited to hear from Him than I am about anything!
Speak from the Heart
So give it a shot today! Ask the Lord anything that’s on your heart. (If you need somewhere to start, simply ask, “God, what is one of your favorite things about me?”) Then give Him the space to speak. I have a feeling that you will be blown away by what He reveals to you, and you’ll find yourself wanting to go back for more and more!
For more on this Hearing from God, check out Mercy’s Keys to Freedom study, where we unpack this concept in more detail and incorporate it into each of the Keys to Freedom!
Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.