A while back, after I returned from the wedding, I explained how The Keen Peach is changing. The reason for this is because I have had so many revelations this year. I explained a little about this in my last post, Remember You Prayers, They Just Might Be Answered. I want to share some of these revelations because while I know of absolutely no one in my life questioning these things, maybe there is someone out there who is asking the same questions that I was this past year.
One question that I had this year was if I was actually hearing God.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27.
I know I am not alone in experiencing strong feelings about things. Even intense feelings sometimes leading me to follow them. Many call this intuition. Many call God. Is this God? Is this myself? How do I know? I am a Christian because I believe the Lord Jesus Christ died on a cross for my sins and was raised again on the third day. The Bible says that because I believe this, I have the Holy Spirit inside me, this I also believe. But I also know that both Christians and Non-Christians have these strong feelings of intuition. Everyone has had that experience of walking into a room and feeling that it was not the right place to be. Or following your gut on an important decision. So how do I know if I am hearing God’s voice or if this is intuition or if it’s nothing to pay attention to at all? Is there a different voice of intuition for believers than for non believers? I especially struggled with this during the worst of my postpartum depression (I call it depression but it was actually depression/anxiety/ocd). The thoughts and feelings I was experiencing were so strong and so intense. How could they not be God telling me something? When I told others about my struggle, I had John 10:27 quoted to me so many times. This was discouraging. Why could I not be sure if I was hearing God or not? What was wrong with me? Was I not a sheep? And why were others so sure that they were hearing His voice?
I still cannot speak for others but the answer finally came to me when I read the rest of John 10. In John 10: 1-5, Jesus is telling the Pharisees the He is the Shepherd and his followers are his sheep. But John 10:6 says that the Pharisees did not unsterstand what he was telling them.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Then in verses 22-24, the Pharisees ask him to just tell them plainly if he is the Messiah. He responds to them in verses 25-30.
Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
And there it was.
You cannot hear his His voice unless you are a sheep! Hearing His voice is believing. The Pharisees were not sheep because they did not believe. They could not believe because they were not His sheep. If you believe, you are a sheep and have heard His voice.
Believers, you are sheep and you have heard Him!
I hope this encourages anyone who loves the Lord and is wondering why they are not having an encounter of an audible voice or a feeling so strong that your decision that you have been praying about is made without any doubts. But if you would like a miraculous experience, open your Bible and ask God to have the Holy Spirit illuminate His living and active word. You will not only experience His voice speaking to you through the written word of God, but you will be changed forever as it penetrates your heart and fills your soul in a way that you will know without a doubt was Christ alive and active in you.
Or afternoon by now probably. Wow, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything other than verses. I even thought once that if I keep going the way that I am going my blog will be a scattered version of the whole Bible haha! I have been wanting to reflect on this year in a post for a while now but a few things have been keeping me from doing so. One, I didn’t have the words at the time. Two, not everything had yet come together so I didn’t really know what I was talking about. And three, I have been busy on a different project that is taking all of my leftover headspace not occupied by my priorities. But today, I have the headspace and the words so let’s get on with it.
What a year it’s been. If you have been following along, you know this year of blogging was not only much different than my blogging from the previous years but I also had a very strange and difficult year in my real life. Long story as short as possible, right after I had Anna in September 2016, I became a fitness coach thinking it was God’s plan for me. Proverbs 31 were some of my favorite Bible verses that I had prayed to the Lord numerous times and I knew this was His answer because of my longtime passion for health and fitness. I was going to manage my household and run my fitness business all to the glory of God. Everything was going fantastically until May 2017 when I was hit with the most intense, relentless, and absolutely debilitating case of postpartum depression. I not only gave up on the business but was definitely not winning any awards in the wife and mother department either.
I did not understand at all. I knew my heart was right. I wasn’t out for myself. I wanted to glorify the Lord. What in the world was going on? When I set out to meet those goals back then, I gave it all to the Lord. I made a vision board with a bunch of verses that would keep my focus on glorifying God and set it at my work space where I could see it everyday. I actually prayed these verses to God every morning. These are the verses and why I chose them:
So that I made sure to read the Bible daily–
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
To remember to give it my best shot everyday-
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
To remember my purpose in it all-
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
To remember what can happen if I lose my way-
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1
And then a few from Proverbs 31 that I thought fitting for my vision board-
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31: 26-27
So after beginning the year with a bang, the grueling months full of despair, anxiety, questions, and seemingly failure that followed were not exactly what I had expected. But let me tell you this, hind site is always 20/20.
Remember your prayers and don’t be surprised if they just end up answered.
In my paralysis, I have never been closer to the Lord. Day after day I prayed and read the Bible seeking answers as to what I should do differently or to at least try to understand what was going on. Here’s what happened in that, I actually read the Bible like never before (answer to my prayer of Hebrews 4:12). When I did, I felt so much worse. Yes, worse. As I read, my heart was convicted of my sin in a way I had never experienced because my heart had never been truly convicted of sin before then. No one had found out about some crime I had committed, there was no scandal that I was afraid would be exposed. It was God revealing to me sin in the way He sees sin. When God is one convicting you of sins like not loving your neighbor as yourself and murdering someone with your words, this is the only time you will be cut to the quick and distraught over what you have done. It is when God is the one convicting you that it all makes sense. Jesus, the cross, Christmas, Easter. It is only when God convicts you that you realize how desperately you need Christ. It is only when God convicts you that you realize His great love for all of us to have sent His only Son to die in our place.
I pray this realization for all of you reading.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Be still. Almost everyone knows and loves these words from the Bible but do you know they mean to cease striving? They do. Cease striving. I boast in none of this because I didn’t have a damn thing to do with any of it. It was 100% all God’s grace and 0% my striving. It was my striving that was taking me down the wrong road. When God brought me to a place where I had to cease striving, all was healed. And when all was healed, so much was revealed! God knew what I needed and even wanted when I did not know.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
I just wanted to share this as encouragement for anyone who is experiencing hardship and questioning what God is doing. Also, I hope that it encourages you to read the word of God which is alive and active and sharer than a two edged sword. Let it divide your soul and spirit, joints and marrow. Let it judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart.
And may you be changed forever.
The holidays are here!
So many seem to need this today. The Lord will fight for you! But don’t forget to ask Him.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3
Go in PEACE. Thank you Jesus!
Well if this isn’t this encouraging…..