Advent is about preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus–His birth and the second coming. O Come O Come Emmanuel…
Our weary hearts desire God, our Loving Father. Our troubled souls need our Savior, Jesus. Our restless minds crave knowledge from the Holy Spirit. All of this is true…
…but in our busy lives (especially during this time of the year,) how often do we come to God? How often do we sit quiet in His presence? How often do we shut out all of our own thoughts, all the negative thoughts NOT from God, and really seek His voice?
If you are like me, not much. God knows our hearts and our busy lives, but this season is not all about Him coming, but us coming to Him.
We need to COME to Him. Truly bring our hearts before Him.
It’s what God wants…what He desires. He wants us to be like little children and come to him in full faith, praising Him and seeking Him.
Here’s a lovely post about coming to God and seeking His Voice, from an author friend of mine, Caryl McAdoo.
So You Want To Hear God by Caryl McAdoo
Something had to change. I refused to live a minute longer in the muck and mire my life had become, so I made a decision. Determined, I buckled up, sniffled away the sobs, then phoned my mother.
“Mama? I’m going to the chapel to pray and I’m not coming out until I hear from God! If you want to bring me some bread or water in the next few days, that’d be great. I’ll appreciate it.” She could most likely still hear I’d been weeping.
“Oh, Caryl.” Well aware of the fights with my husband and the pressure of our paving company’s financial woes, she empathized fully with her dearly loved firstborn. I could hear it in her voice. “I’m sorry. Are you sure that’s what the Lord wants you to do?” She was probably thinking of our four children and how they would manage without me, but it was my sanity I needed to be most concerned with, and her question was that old proverbial straw!
“No, Mother! Of course, I’m not sure!” Without a doubt she had to hold the receiver away from her ear and could still hear at arm’s length. I battled a bad temper since forever, a paternal generational curse. “Aren’t you listening to me? Did you hear a word I said? I can’t hear anything from God. I’ve been praying and praying and praying and I hear NOTHING!”
I slammed down the phone and went for my purse and the car keys. Before I got to the door, the phone rang. I’ve never been one not to answer a ringing phone. It seemed rude.
“Hello?” I tried to sound as sweet as I could.
“Caryl? Honey, I thought I might share with you what the Lord showed me to do through His Word when I really needed to hear from Him. Would you like to hear it?”
“Sure, Mama.” I dropped my purse to the floor where I stood and stared at the ceiling. What she told me that day has impacted my life in a wonderful way. A simple, fool-proof, Bible-based way to get an answer from the Lord.
“Okay. All those voices in your head come from three sources only. The first is yourself, it’s you mind speaking, reasoning with your spirit man. You’re probably most familiar with it. Second is the Voice of God through His Holy Spirit, teaching, guiding, comforting. That’s the voice that always encourages you to do what’s right and show love to everyone. You’re always so good at that, Caryl. Everyone says so. Thirdly, you hear from the devil or his powers and principalities. Some people call them demons and they’re not so wrong.
“So the first thing you want to do when you really want to hear from God is to pray. Repent of any known or unknown sin. Go boldly into God’s throne room and right up to the steps because you are sinless now, covered by Jesus’ blood. Say something like, ‘Father, I really need an answer to my question today. But according to Your Word, I do not want to lean to my own understanding or ability to reason. I only want to hear Your wisdom, so in Jesus’ name, I lay my flesh down before You and ask that You silence it. I do not trust in anyone but You and I only want to hear Your Voice.”
Well, so far so good. That sounded logical and certainly easy enough. “What then?”
“Keep in mind this is all by faith. You have to believe that God will silence your inner voice.”
“I will, Mama. Then what?”
“Next, we need to address the demonic forces that would lie and lead you astray from God’s will and plan for your life.”
“Yes, yes. How, Mama?”
“God’s word says that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven. Believing that Truth, you need to bind Satan and any of his powers, principalities, and minions from speaking to you. Say something like, ‘In Jesus’ name and by His power, it is written that I have the authority to bind and loose, so right now, I bind Satan and any of his emissaries from speaking to me so that my ears will only be open to the Words of my God. You all are bound and cannot speak to me when I ask the Lord my question.’ Then again, by faith, believe it is done according to the Word.”
“I can do that. Then what?”
“Absolutely. Ask your question and know that the next voice you hear is God’s.”
“But that sounds so easy.”
“Things don’t have to be so complicated and hard as often try to make them. Works every time I’ve done it. The father of lies tells us everything is too hard and won’t work. Resist the devil and he will flee. That’s what the Bible says.”
“Well, okay then. I’ll try it. Still, you might want to check on me. I may need that bread and water if it doesn’t work for me as good as it works for you.”
“Remember, it all depends on your faith. You believe the Word is true, I know that.”
“Yes, I do. If it is in the Word, it’s settled. Okay, Mama. Thank you. I’ll let you know. Bye.”
I went on to the chapel, the old sanctuary used decades ago before the newer and grander one. It was always available for the members to go and have a place to pray, protected by a keyless lock, a pad you pressed the right number code into. It was quiet and peaceful there. I could hear my breathing. I tiptoed to the front and knelt.
First I repented of not honoring my husband and all the other things I could think of including screaming at Mama when she was only trying to help. I asked Him to forgive me of anything I had forgotten. Most the time I asked Him to let me know if there were any I’d forgotten, but I wasn’t trusting that I’d hear from Him yet, and He had been so silent in the days and weeks previous. That’s exactly what brought me there in the first place.
So I did all that Mama had told me to do. Faith had not been a problem in so long I couldn’t remember because God so proved Himself over and over again in my life, and I knew that I knew He was able and His Word was true. When I got to the end of binding the devil and his cohorts, the strangest sensation I ever encountered came over me.
It was as though someone had turned off the TV in my head. You know, like at night and the TV’s blaring even though everyone else in the house is asleep. And when you turn it off, it’s so extra silent? That’s how it was. My mind was empty, no thoughts, no talking up there. Just dead quiet. Weird! I mean, the weirdest.
I proceeded to ask my question. “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
As clear as a bell’s ding-a-ling, I heard, “Give the company to Ron.” I repeated the answer as a question back to Him, then He told me again. “Yes, give the company to Ron.”
“Well, okay then! That’s easy! Thank you, Lord.”
The mind-speak returned immediately. ‘Wow, that was easy,’ my flesh said to me. “Sure was,” I answered aloud. “Praise the Lord. You are good, God, all the time!”
I phoned Ron first and asked him to meet me for lunch, then called Mama. I told her how awesome the experience had been and what the Lord instructed me to do. Her response was so disappointing.
“Oh, Caryl! Are you sure?”
“Well, sweetheart, you’re the one with the business sense. You’re the one who startd the company and did over a million dollars your third year! It’s only gone downhill since Ron came into the business. Are you still at the church?”
“Would you at least, please, see if Henry is there and talk to him?” She was on a first name basis with our pastor.
“I guess so, Mother, but I know I heard from God. I’ll go see if Bother Henry’s here.”
Well, I did go talk to him and he advised me not to give the company to Ron. We both had already been in and counseled with Brother Henry, agreeing ahead of time to abide by his judgment. Ron never thought in a million years that the pastor would have put me in authority over my husband from eight to five! To tell the truth, it surprised me, too, even though I can be pretty persuasive.
I got in the car and drove out of the parking lot in tears. As I rounded the corner to meet Ron at the restaurant, I thought, I’ll try it again. Make sure. So I did, and the same blank, quiet brain thing happened. I asked the same question and heard the exact same words. “But Lord,” I contended through my sobs. “Mama doesn’t think I should and Brother Henry doesn’t think I should!”
“ARE YOU GOING TO GO WITH MAN’S REASONING AND TRUST IN YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR PASTOR, OR ARE YOU GOING TO GO WITH YOUR HEART AND BE OBEDIENT TO MY WORD? WILL YOU TRUST ME?”
The answer to that was very easy. I did trust Him above all else. “Yes, Lord. I’m going to trust You and be obedient.” Once settled in my spirit, that peace that passes understanding came over me. I sang on the way to meet my high school sweetheart.
I told him the story I’ve just told you. He said he thought I had summoned him to lunch to fire him. We laughed and enjoyed lunch. Many months went by and we got through the days with a much sweeter relationship.
That paving company had seen wonderful successes – over a million dollars grossed in our third year – but it was the boom and bust ‘80s. We worked so hard putting out twice as many proposals. God could have called any one of them in. This all happened during the time Ron and I had committed to early morning prayer and went to the church building every morning six days a week from six until seven to pray. Longhorn Paving was covered in prayer. I had told the Lord, if the door had to close, we knew whose hand was on the knob. We did end up shutting her down. I didn’t blame Ron. We believed without a doubt that God was in control.
His perfect will was our prayer and only desire.
It’s funny to think that was twenty years ago. It’s so true how time flies, especially the older you get! But Mama’s wisdom offered that day, her Godly advice to a hurting daughter has helped me so many times since that I can’t even count. I continue to hear God’s Voice and do my best to walk in obedience to it. Mama went home to be with her Lord, our God, in August of 1997. While on this side of eternity, I miss her everyday, but look forward to being reunited never to be parted again.
Check out Caryl McAdoo’s many books on Amazon. She’s got a few free ones and .99 cent sale ones too.