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Jesus Teaches Us: Get Alone and Pray

Jesus Teaches Us: Get Alone and Pray

“I will climb up into my watchtower…” Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT) If we want to fulfill God’s vision for our lives, we must continually hear from God. We must believe that hearing from God daily is a requirement for us as we move forward toward our destiny. It is not just a nice add-on to our lives; it is a necessity for fulfilling our destiny. The Prophet Habakkuk says, “I will climb into my watchtower ….” This is his way of saying; ‘I’m going to get alone with God.’ It doesn’t matter where you get alone with God. You just need to find a place. I happen to like outside. When my kids were growing up, I actually built a little Prayer Garden down on the slope behind my house where I could get away and pray and focus on God. You need to have a place that’s quiet, a place where you habitually go every time you meet with God. Make it special and specific. The Bible says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16 NIV) This was a habit with Jesus and it needs to become a habit in your life. What I’m teaching you is not something you are going to do one time. It’s something you need to do every day the rest of your life. If you want to get God’s vision for your life and hear God’s voice, you need to meet with him daily. This means you take the phone off the hook and you remove as many distractions as possible. Jesus says, “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (Matthew 6:6 Msg) Here’s the thing – You are not waiting on God, he’s waiting on you. God wants to meet with you.  He wants you to know him as well as he knows you.  If you don’t understand this, you are rarely going to go to God for guidance. There is nothing in your life that God is not interested in: “Don’t worry about what you will eat … or drink … or wear. Your heavenly Father knows that you need (these things).” (Matthew...

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Wait Expectantly for God to Answer

Wait Expectantly for God to Answer

“…I will station myself…” Habakkuk 2:1 (NIV)   If you want to get God’s vision for you life, you must want to hear it, you must withdraw to hear it, and then you must wait to hear it. To get God’s dream for my life, for my career, for my family, for my relationships, I’ve got to withdraw and then wait to hear from God. The New International Version says, “…I will station myself…” (NIV) What does it mean to station yourself before God? It means stay put. It means, ‘I’m not moving.’ It means, ‘I’m going to be still.’ ‘I’m going to sit here and I am not going to move until I hear from you, God.’ Hurry is the death of prayer. The reason you never hear God speak to you may be because you don’t wait long enough, and God won’t speak to you as you run out the door. He wants you to care enough to listen. Most of the time we’re running so revved up, we can’t get slowed down enough to tune into God.  So, how do you slow down? You calm your mind by relaxing your body. You take deep breaths and you relax your muscles and let the tension drain out. The Bible says David sat before the Lord. Some people think you have to kneel in prayer and that is one of many appropriate ways to pray, but it’s not the most common way of praying in the Bible. The most common form of praying in the Bible is standing with your eyes wide open looking up to heaven and talking out loud to God. You don’t have to have a speech. You don’t have to be poetic. You don’t even have to speak in complete sentences. Just talk to God like you’d would normally talk, but then, like any conversation, stop talking and listen – wait to hear from God. David says there are three things to do as you wait – Wait quietly — “I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5 NLT) Wait patiently — “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7 NLT) Wait expectantly — “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised.” (Psalm 105:5 LB) And this is so important: you must expect to hear from God. Expect for him to give you a dream, an insight; this is the faith factor where you wait expectantly. Waiting on God is never a waste of time. In fact, it’s some of the best time you are ever going to invest in your...

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Watch For What God Says

Watch For What God Says

“I will look to see what he will say to me ….” Habakkuk 2:1c (NIV)   God’s voice is often visual. If we want to hear from God, we must learn to listen with our eyes. God will often answer your prayers by giving you a mental picture. This is what it means to have a vision. In fact, the Bible has hundreds and hundreds of examples of God putting a picture or an image in the mind of a person. Sometimes it’s called a vision; sometimes it’s called a dream. Isaiah has it. Jeremiah has it. Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum — they all get God’s vision. Psalm 73 says, “When I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture.” (Psalm 73:16-17 Msg) If you want short-term change, focus on behavior. But, if you want long-term change, then you must focus on a whole new mental paradigm, a whole new picture, a whole new way of seeing yourself, seeing life, seeing God, seeing your future, seeing your problem. That’s what Decade of Destiny is all about, seeing your money differently, seeing food differently, seeing your family differently, seeing your career differently, and when that happens, change will take place. So how do get the vision from God? Ask God a question. “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him.… But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you…” (James 1:5-6 LB) And be specific about what you ask God.   Look into God’s Word. After you ask God a question, read the Bible again. And pray this prayer: “Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your Word.” (Psalm 119:18...

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Start the Spiritual Habit of Journaling

Start the Spiritual Habit of Journaling

“The Lord gave me this answer, ‘Write down clearly…what I reveal to you…’” Habakkuk 2:2 (TEV) Let’s review.  If I want to hear God speak to me, the first thing I do is I want it. I say, ‘God, I want you to speak to me. Hearing from you is not just nice, it is a necessity!’ And then I withdraw and get alone and get quiet: “Be still and know that I am God.” And then I wait quietly, patiently, and expectantly on God. I ask a specific question, I look into his Word and then when I see God’s answer, I write it down. Habakkuk said, “The Lord gave me this answer, ‘Write down clearly…what I reveal to you…’” (Habakkuk 2:2 TEV) Writing down what God reveals to us is the spiritual habit of journaling. This is not the same as keeping a diary. A diary is, ‘Dear diary, this is what I did today.’ A journal is, ‘This is what I learned today.’ So it’s not about what you did, it’s about what you are learning, what you are praying, and what God is saying to you. David took the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and he meditated on them day and night. He wrote his prayers down and that is how we got the Psalms. And, as you read the Psalms, you’ll see that David includes just about every emotion known to the human race: envy, jealousy, lust, greed. Why? Because he’s honest.  He’s not writing what he thinks he should write; he’s writing what he honestly feels. We should be honest, too, when we talk to God about our problems. Here are some suggestions for journaling — Requests and Answers — On each page, make two columns. In one column write down what you say to God: ‘God, I need this. I’m worried about that,’ and so forth. In the second column, write down the answers that God gives you.   ‘What I learned today’ — Another way to do it is to take a page and write, ‘Here is what I learned yesterday about life or about God.’ This will help you focus your thoughts and help you remember what God...

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Thank God When He Answers Your Prayers

Thank God When He Answers Your Prayers

“O Lord, now I have heard your report, and I worship you in awe…” Habakkuk 3:2 (LB) For the past few days, we’ve been looking at how to hear from God when we pray. One final point that is critically important is this: If you want to hear God speak, then worship God. In other words, thank him for being a part of your life and for being interested in the details of your life. Thank him for answering your prayers: “O Lord, now I have heard your report, and I worship you in awe…” (Habakkuk 3:2 LB) God gives you a vision. God gives you a dream. You know what God wants you to do, so now you thank God for answering your prayer. That’s part of worshiping God. What I want you to do is to stop seeing your prayers as a monologue and start seeing them for what they truly are: a dialogue. Prayer is a conversation with God. God hears you when you pray and he answers you when you ask questions. He wants to talk to you every day. If you will faithfully talk to God every day throughout the day, it will revolutionize your life. Now you can’t hear God until you know God and there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship. You may be at the recognition level; you know God is there, but you don’t really know him. Or, you may be at the acquaintance level: you know God a little bit, but you don’t know him very well. God wants you to live at the friendship level. He wants to be your friend and he wants you to be his friend. God wants for you to talk together all the time. Pray this: “Dear God, I’m amazed that you would want me for a friend. I really want to learn to have conversations with you. Help me to spend time with you everyday. Thank you that you care about every detail of my life. Jesus, I want to know you more and more every day and I want to depend on you for guidance in my job, my family, my future and in every other area of my life. I invite you to be the manager of my life, my Lord and Savior as I follow you and trust you. In your name I pray,...

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