I WAS IN PRISON DOCUMENTARY

Is God Still Speaking?

Until recently I really didn't understand what people meant when they said God spoke to them about something. We continuously hear it preached that if we want to hear from God then we need to read the Word. "Read your bible and you will hear God speak to you," they say. I wish people would explain that more....

I can't tell you how many times I have gotten into a situation and wanted to hear God's opinion on something so I did exactly what everyone says. I got my bible and prayed for God to show me what I needed to hear. I open it to a random page, put my finger on a verse and it is something like "Jeshua begot Joiakim." Not exactly the dramatic word from God that I was trying to hear. I was doing it all wrong.

God is always talking to us. He cares about all the little stuff. He wants to be involved intimately in every detail of our life, closer than anyone else. Studying the bible is the way that we hear from God because it IS God. Jesus IS the Word. (John 1:1)

The reason we need to study the bible to hear from God is because if we don't know what the bible says we don't know God's character, or the way he works in our lives. If you don't know the truth, you can't tell right from wrong and you will have no discernment to make good choices.

Let's say you wanted to find an endangered animal in it's natural habitat, but you didn't know where to start. What would you do? You would get books and search the internet learning about it's eating habits, where it sleeps, what it looks like. You would want to know what kinds of noises it makes and what it's footprints looked like so you would know them when you saw them. You would need to know what the habits of that animal are in order to find it.

You must do the same with God. If you want to know how God speaks, the way he leads, and how he corrects then you have to know his character. You have to gather as many details as you can find. The incredible news is that it can all be found in his Word! There is no mystery. He left us the bible to study and learn all about his wonderful ways.

It is not responsible to go around saying that God told you something unless you have regularly been in the Word.

I once had someone tell me that God told them they needed to talk to me about something. When we talked they told me they could not forgive me and get over an issue that happened previously between us, and it seemed they wanted an apology. I had completely forgotten about it, and to be honest, I didn't think I did anything wrong. Whether I was right or wrong was really not the point. That wasn't God telling them to talk to me, that was their own issue of unforgiveness towards me. The bible says to forgive, even when the other person is wrong (Matthew 6:15.) If they knew the Word they would have just forgiven me and gave the issue to God. God would have gotten through to me a lot better than they did.

Christians can make God look really bad if we go around telling people "words from God" that are contrary to what his Word says!

If you want to hear God speaking to you then you must learn the bible inside and out, you must "meditate on it day and night." Jesus lives inside of us and according to the bible, we as Christians have all of his power available to us (Matthew 28:18-20.) The Word is a reflection of our spirit, a mirror. We check our physical mirror every day, often more than once a day. How often are we looking at our spiritual mirror?

I have gotten to the point now that even though I still have a lot to learn, if I need guidance on something, I don't have to open my bible randomly and blindly pick a verse that will hopefully fit my circumstance. I have learned so much that I can make decisions based on the knowledge that I have gained. When I don't know, I study, and don't stop until I find my answer. My mind is being renewed constantly through the word and I now hear God speaking what he had been speaking to me all along!

If you want to hear God more, study his word. Meditate (think) on it. Give yourself time to really contemplate it. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

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 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8








Guilt is a Liar

As Christians we know that God is always speaking to us, but we don't always know how to listen. I think the biggest problem we have as believers is that we don't understand God's character and we believe that when we need correction from God we are going to hear it in the form of condemnation and guilt. We know that we aren't supposed to feel guilty, but what we don't always realize is that we are supposed to feel convicted. Conviction and guilt couldn't be more opposite, but many times they are confused for each other. So what is the difference?


Guilt drags you down, tells you that you aren't good enough, you don't measure up.

Conviction encourages you to do better, shows you a better way, and uplifts you.

I am a teacher so during the summer I don't work. No work means that my regular stream of income is non existent. While my husband and I do prepare for summer and save up to help ease the burden, there is still a need to trust God with our finances.

I have a couple little side gigs I do from home to bring in extra income, and one of those things is market research. Every so often I have a company call me and survey me to see if I fit their credentials for studies they are doing. Sometimes it's personal care products, other times its cleaning stuff, even food or drinks. Anyway, the extra income is nice and being an opinionated person, I don't mind getting paid to tell them what I think of their products.

Today they called me and asked a series of questions. I knew what they were getting at, and I wanted to do the study so against my better judgment I told a little white lie about what kind of dish soap I use. I qualified, got my appointment and hung up the phone.

Immediately I heard God speak to me, "Why don't you trust me?"Hmmmm... How could lying about dish soap not be trusting God? I thought about this for a second and realized what it meant. Here I am trying to walk in faith for our finances and trust God to provide, yet I lie to manipulate the situation, as though God needs my help? God doesn't need me to lie for him to take care of us. If I really trusted him I wouldn't care whether or not I qualified for the study, I would be confident knowing that if I didn't get it, there would be something else on the horizon.

I prayed and asked for forgiveness and realized that I had to call back and make things right.  I don't want to give the devil any entrance into my life and after all, he is the father of lies, even little tiny white ones.

I called the lady back and told her that I gave her the wrong brand of soap, that I actually use a different kind. She sounded confused and put me on hold. She came back on the phone a couple minutes later and told me that I still qualified and thanked me for calling back. All of that and I could have just been honest from the beginning! The lie was a waste, but the lesson was not.

This may seem like a silly incident, but it gave me a huge understanding of how God redirects our steps. The devil uses guilt and says things like "you hypocrite, you say you hate lying, but then you go and lie about something so small. What kind of Christian are you?" We start to believe lies about ourselves and the devil starts getting victory in our lives. He is defeated, slam the door on him!

In contrast, God convicts us gently and tells us there is a better way, just to trust him and he will work it out. No guilt, just encouragement.

What an amazing difference! I wish I would have just told the truth the first time, so that I didn't need to have the humbling experience of calling back, but I am so thankful I heard God's voice gently reminding me to trust him, that it is for my own good.

Do you feel guilty when you do something you know you shouldn't? Well you need to stop. God sent his son Jesus to die for your sins and we need to be more God conscience and less sin conscience. If we are in Christ then the bible says we are a new creation. Our past, present and future sin is covered under Jesus' blood and we should feel nothing but freedom.

After that experience today I felt so good. Even though I messed up, I was so thankful God showed me how I can trust him more. I don't want any unbelief entering in to ruin all the blessings God has planned for me!

Conviction provides a solution showing us how we can trust God more, and grow closer to him! Give me more of that!

Do you have any stories about times God convicted you and it strengthened your relationship with him? I would love to hear about it!

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