Flowers sitting on a Bible that's been heavily used.

Guided By His Word

- by Joyce Meyer

I love the Word of God. It is the Lord’s love letter to us and His instructional manual for life. When it comes to hearing God’s voice, this is the very first place we should begin. 

The Bible has the answers for every single question we can ever have. It is full of truths, stories, and parables to instruct us in every area—our behavior, our relationships with God and others, how to grow spiritually, how to discern right from wrong, ways to fulfill God’s calling for our lives, and so much more.    

I really like the way 2 Timothy 3:16-17 puts it: 

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I often tell people that if they want to hear God’s voice, they need to commit to being a student of God’s Word. Why? Because God uses His Word as the primary way to speak to us. It is filled with His wisdom, instruction, and commands—it is full of information about His will for our lives. 

The more we read, study and fill our minds with God’s Word, the more intimately acquainted we become with Him...and the easier it becomes to hear His voice. 

In John 14:26, Jesus says the Holy Spirit ...will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

When we fill ourselves with God’s Word—when we take the time to really know what it says—we are cooperating with God to hear from Him. When we encounter various situations in life and require His wisdom and direction, the Holy Spirit will help remind us what His Word says to do. 

I can’t tell you how many times the Lord has given me direction or spoken a word of encouragement by reminding me of His Word at just the right time. 

There was a season in my life when God used Galatians 6:9 to help me persevere and not give up. Over and over, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me, 

“Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season you shall reap if you don’t faint or give up!”

This message from the Lord helped me to push through that season without quitting. I’m so glad I had taken the time to know what His Word said so the Holy Spirit could encourage me with it at just the right time!

God’s Word also changes us from the inside out. Look with me at Hebrews 4:12. It says: 

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword...exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Wow! God’s Word is alive, and it has the ability to change us—our desires, the way we think, the way we see ourselves, and even the way we view God and other people. The more we meditate on God’s Word, the more become like Him and begin to desire the same things that God desires...we have a greater passion to do His will!

Who Are You Listening to?

It’s so important to remember that regardless of how the Lord may speak to us, He will never contradict His own Word. This is the best way to verify whether we’re really hearing from God or not.

Sure, there are some things in life that can’t specifically be found in the Bible. If you are trying to decide if you should purchase a new car, you won’t find a chapter and verse for that in God’s Word. However, the Bible is full of wisdom, and it encourages us to use wisdom and common sense in making our decisions. 

For instance, if purchasing the vehicle will plunge you deep into debt and cause financial problems, there’s a decent chance God may not be directing you to buy it. 

I’ve also learned from experience that when I really want something, it’s easier for me to think God is telling me to get it! When it comes to buying things, I will many times walk away from the store for a while and give my emotions a chance to calm down. I’ll take a moment to acknowledge God and see if He has anything to say about it. 

The truth is there are a lot of “voices” we can listen to in life. As I just mentioned, our emotions have a voice—usually, they scream very loudly! We’ve all made emotional decisions at various points in our lives, including some we probably regret. 

There are also the voices of friends and other well-meaning people. And while it’s great to receive counsel and good advice, we ultimately need to know what God has to say. Many times, the more people we listen to, the more confused we can get.

It’s important to remember that we also have an enemy, Satan, who desires to deceive us. In John 8:44, Jesus calls him “the father of lies” and says he has no truth in him. In order to recognize Satan’s lies, we have to know God’s Word. In fact, I believe that trying to hear from God without reading his Word is actually very dangerous because we set ourselves up to be deceived.

I encourage you to read Matthew 4:1-11. This is the passage where Jesus is being tempted by Satan in the desert. Over and over, Satan tries to deceive Jesus with “half truths”—things that sound like God but really aren’t. How does Jesus reply? He says, “It is written!” and quotes Scripture back to Satan. 

This is why reading and studying the Bible is such a vital part of having a great life. His Word is Truth, and John 8:31 says, ...the Truth will set you free. We use God’s Word to combat Satan’s lies and keep us going in the right direction. 

For example, if the enemy tries to come against us and convince us we are worthless or unloved, we can fight those thoughts with truth from God’s Word. The Bible says nothing can separate me from God’s love and that God knew and approved of me before I was even born (see Romans 8:38-39; Jeremiah 1:5). It says I am the apple of His eye and I am very special! (see Psalm 17:8) 

I believe some of the greatest advice I can give you is to take regular time to read and study God’s Word. Pray and ask the Lord to help you understand what you are reading—ask Him to speak to you and give you revelation about His will for your life. 

As you do, I can promise you one thing for certain: You will begin to hear from God in a greater way than ever before. After all, His Word is life, and it contains the answers to every situation you will ever face.

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