Over the years, I have learned the ways God speaks to me. It is always unique but always repeated. He brings the same message to my attention in a variety of ways, over and over, pointing me to something He wants me to pay attention to. I finally connect the dots and think, “Ahh, I hear You, Lord.”
He has brought a number of things to my attention over the years. Some of these things have been about trusting Him, humility, the power of my words (good and bad), submission/surrender, and self-discipline. Not always easy things, but always for my benefit.
Recently, He brought to my attention compassion for others. I have heard it through a visiting pastor, a Bible study, and in conversations with my husband. “I hear you, Lord.”
Here is a bit of my process. When the Lord speaks, I go to His Word, the Holy Bible, to begin seeking what God wants me to know or to do.
If you are new to studying God’s word, you can rely on our friend, Google. I encourage people to use a search engine but to always make sure the source is trustworthy.
Back to compassion…I prayed, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me. Then, I did a word search in my Bible. There were so many verses on this topic! So, I relied on God to determine my focus. Here are four verses that spoke to me.
Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.”
Matthew 9:36 “When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness”
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
When I selected these four verses, they were not in the above order. As I read them over and over again, I saw a pattern that made sense to me. Because of God’s great love and because Jesus modeled for us His compassion for others, as a child of God, I am to do the same.
Then I took my questions to God. How does He want me to respond?
- Is this an area that needs to be strengthened in my heart – a discipline I need more of?
- Am I to apply His heart of compassion to my everyday life or does He have a specific assignment for me?
- Am I to share this message with others?
I will continue to bring my questions to God in prayer and whatever He reveals, I will do. I’ll do this until I am clear on what He wants and the current weight I feel is lightened. Then, I’ll know that God’s message to me has accomplished what He wanted.
I’m glad to share my process with you. This is my process; it may not be yours. I share this because I believe it is very important. We should each further our relationship with God by listening, hearing and responding to His voice – however He chooses to speak to us.
Two things to keep in mind…
- A deeper relationship with God is built upon ongoing communication. Is He hearing from you in prayer?
- Are you hearing from Him, regularly sitting quietly in His Presence?
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” -Jeremiah 33:3
Sylvia Gaston is Connections Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at email@example.com or 559-582-1528.