This is a brief explanation of my new book, A Diary of Dreams and Visions.
I wanted to take a few minutes and explain why I wrote my new book, A Diary of Dreams and Visions. I want it to be an encouragement to you and spur you on to seek the Lord more to hear His voice. Remember, above all, that He is good and He loves you. When we don’t hear Him, that is the time to press in even more, not to give up.
You can purchase the book here.
Listening to stories is a powerful tool for people. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you’re talking about, stories make complex subject easier to understand by making them more real.
Albert Einstein wrote a book called Relativity: The Special and General Theory. Given the author and the subject, you would imagine it to be a difficult read, but it’s not. Einstein wrote the book to explain his theory to high school students eager to understand more about physics, but who couldn’t possibly understand the complex (mind-numbing, really) math behind it. He uses many word-pictures and hypothetical illustrations to expertly explain his knowledge to readers. I don’t understand much at all about astrophysics and I found it to be a fascinating read because of how easy he made it for me to understand what he did.
Growing In Experience
Stories about our experience with God are equally as powerful. Whether we are studying the depths of the universe or the one who created it, there are many things too lofty for me to understand (Psalm 139:6). Examples from peoples’ lives make those things much more attainable for my small brain. When I hear someone else’s experience with God: how He spoke, healed, delivered, provided and acted on their behalf, my faith to ask for similar things is strengthened. It also gives me new insight into God’s Written Word.
When we have little experience with how God works, it can make understanding scripture much harder. When we have experienced God’s hand in our lives in various ways, it opens up our understanding of many things in His Word. That is why it is important to surround ourselves with people who have gone before us in their lives in God. People with more and varied experience than us. Again, this is true in any aspect of life, not just our spiritual lives, but how much greater our need in the spirit!
Take some steps this week to fill your mind with what God has done for other people by listening to and reading their stories. Here are three steps to get you on your way:
1. Listen to stories that will energize your faith to believe for great things. I encourage you to listen to Mike Bickle’s prophetic stories called “Encountering Jesus” here and his stories about supernatural finances here. There are many other people with varied experiences that will energize your spiritual life, but these are some of my favorites and I actually listen to them once a year or so.
2. Surround yourself with people whom are safe to share your stories with. It encourages us not only to hear others’ stories, but to tell ours as well. This can be a difficult thing, though. Not everyone wants to hear about your life in God, not even in the church. Having a home group or a Bible study where you can feel safe share your meaningful experiences is a must. If you don’t have that now, begin seeking it out today. It will propel you further along much quicker than you could imagine.
3. Engage in prayer meetings and activities. You won’t truly learn from other peoples’ stories if you don’t try to put them into practice. In our Christian walk we do that through prayer. Find people who hold prayer meetings where together you ask God to move in your life. If you can’t find one, start one and invite your friends. Fellowship is God’s way to give us strength in our asking!
I love listening to others’ stories about their experiences with God, but not so I can know cools stories. I use them. I use them to spur me on to ask God for the same things in my life. I think these three things will help you do the same.
I have heard from the Lord myself because I listened to others stories–and it’s why I published my book, A Diary of Dreams and Visions–to encourage you the same way I was encouraged. Because stories are powerful.
Can God speak to you? Even though many people would say yes, most people live like the answer is no. Most people live as if God only speaks to other people. Prophets. Apostles. Pastors. People who are more worthy.
The truth is that Apostles, Prophets and Pastors are not worthy. None of us are worthy to hear from the Lord, but He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. He loves us enough to speak to us and He longs for us to hear His voice. But still most people do not have many, if any, stories of God speaking to them.
Here are 3 things you can start doing today to put yourself in a position to hear God’s voice:
1. Understand that God is happy to know you and hear from you. He is not mad, disappointed, irritated or upset with you. The only time God is displeased with us is when we willfully and rebelliously reject Him or engage in rebellious habitual sin. I can guarantee you that if you’re reading this to figure out how to hear God better, He’s overwhelmingly happy with you.
2. Let God hear your voice. Talk to Him about what your feeling. Talk to Him about what you’re thinking about. Tell Him what’s on your mind, then ask Him what is on His. He wants us to know Him, not just know about Him. That takes two way communication. You can never have a relationship with an author’s book, no matter how good the author is at crafting a story. You can only have a relationship with the author. Ask God to speak to you every day, but make sure you’re speaking to Him every day.
3. Fill your mind with God’s Written Word. We know our children’s voices well enough to pick them out in a crowd because we are so familiar with how they sound. When we listen for God’s voice, we will hear many other voices: our own, other people, Satan’s and God’s. The only way we can learn to pick His voice out of the noise in our crowded head is to be intimately familiar with what He has already said and how He says it. If someone tells me they heard the Lord tell them to quit their job and move, I don’t know if they’ve really heard from the Lord or not because sometimes He does tell us to do those things. When someone tells me that the Lord told them to divorce their wife, leave their kids and go marry another woman, I can easily tell them they haven’t heard from the Lord because that would go against what God has already said.
I hope this is a quick shot of encouragement for you to start asking God to speak to you. Sound off in the comments with what other things you think I could add to this list.
It was a hot summer, which didn’t help my work ethic. I was working for a company that to this day I still love the people there more than any place I’ve ever worked. The management was great and my coworkers were awesome, I was just mostly bored by the job. I was not doing the best I could, but no one could really tell because most of them liked me pretty well.
I was giving the job less than my all, though, and even if no one else knew it, I did. The Lord had already dealt with me once about giving my job less than my all and I found myself back in the same position again. This time around, my company was in a hiring frenzy and I was tasked with helping to interview a lot of candidates. The interviews had run their course for the most part, and things were starting to wind down, which I was happy about. It meant no more extra work.
A week or so after what I was sure was the last interview, I made plans to leave the office early, around 4 o’clock, to meet my wife for an early date. We were going to go out to eat, which was somewhat rare at the time with her busy schedule. I was excited about getting some quality time with Sarah when I got a call on my cell phone from an old friend.