How to hear the voice of God

I talked before about asking God to take my desire for having a baby away if he didn’t want me to have one. He never did. I also talked about doing a lot of research and study just to make sure that the hope that I was clinging to made sense. I know this is a hard thing to do, but if you are wrestling with something for a long time, you made need to ask to make sure you are your desires match up with what God wants for your life.

I studied on the character of God. One of my favorite verses is God is not like man, he does not lie, he does not change his mind. Numbers 23:19

I read a book by Joyce Meyer (of course, lol) called How to hear the Voice of God. It was huge for me because it helps you figure out if God said something to you or if you came up with it yourself.

There are so many gems in that book but these are ones I still use today.

Does it back up biblically? This isn’t a peck and find situation. Can you find several scriptures that address your situation? Other scriptures that say God doesn’t lie Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18

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Did you receive outside confirmation? God use anything or anybody to speak to you. When I was thinking about starting this blog and was super nervous about, several different just randomly told me I should start a blog. Out of the blue! I didn’t mention that I was thinking about it, they just felt compelled to tell me. That’s God.

Have you created an atmosphere that shows your willingness to listen? We talked about this some in Do you feel like God left you on read? 10 reasons he might not be answering…

Do you know him? Not you heard of him, or you see him on Sunday, but are you in personal relationship? Is God your friend?

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I also watched this video from Priscilla Shirer where she discusses her book, Discerning the Voice of God. Check it out, its only 8 minutes. https://youtu.be/FaZ8SlAcCVk I always try to find multiple sources of anything I am researching.

Highlights in her video

You have to read your bible to hear the voice of God. Its the number one way he speaks to us, its his word. That’s why I keep trying the bible in a year plan.

Random coincidences, aren’t random that was God. I don’t personally believe in coincidence, I feel that everything happens for a reason. That was God working something out for your good.

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She also said sometimes you won’t know until later that it was God speaking to you. You just have to step out on faith and believe his grace and mercy will catch you if you mess up. That’s the awesome thing about God you don’t have to get it all right.

Hearing the voice of God can be so difficult. There are so many things in the world that can distract us or make us doubt what God told us. Circumstances can make us doubt the promises of God but we don’t have to. The more we know him, the more we can hear him. We just need to remember to feed our faith and starve our doubts.

Until next time,

Dominique

5 Ways to Shift Your Focus When Emotions Take Over

When I originally started this post it was about how to focus on God, just generally. There are tons of verses in the bible about focusing on God to have peace, joy, hope, etc. I already do many of the things needed to focus on Him. Having a daily quiet time, praying when I’m upset instead of talking to my friends, reading and studying his word. However I recently had a trying week. Zooming all day can be The worst!

I really just felt off, I had received some news that wasn’t sitting with me well and I didn’t know how to handle it. I did all the things I mentioned above but there weren’t really working. I needed to know what I should do when things are not all peachy. When I didn’t get the answer I wanted in prayer. When I didn’t feel like having a quiet time. What do I do then?

1. Do something constructive– Watch a movie, read a book. Practice some self care. Whatever you do to make you feel good. Keep it constructive though. Having a glass of wine might make you feel good but if you have too many you won’t get a chance to deal with how you feel.

2. Write down what is bothering you-I just do a brain dump. Just a list of everything that is bothering me to just get it out of my head.

3. Identity how you are feeling but don’t stay there-I ask myself a few questions. How I am feeling. Why do I feel this way? Is it based on fact? Am I imagining worse case scenarios?

4. Find verses about how you are feeling-The bible app has great tool under the Search option where they have emoji faces and it has different emotions. Each category has ten emotions listed under it. So I am sure you can find how you feel.

YouVersion Bible App

5. Don’t lean on your own understanding.-Even when we have all the facts, God is bigger than facts. Trust that God can handle whatever situation you are in.


Resources

Authentic

Authentic was my word for 2020. I had a few more as well, but when I sat down to decide what I wanted 2020 to look like, authentic was the first word that came to mind. Joy, fearless, inspired and determined ended up rounding out my top 5. I used these words to guide how I wanted to move in 2020. I wrote a prayer and found scripture to back up what I was trying to do. I like having a word of the year because it gave me something to stay rooted to. When I was frustrated with how things were not moving fast enough or if I had a set back, I would go back to those words and that prayer and it would give me something to lean on.

Instead of a rigid New Year’s Resolution, a Word of the Year is your constant—yet gentle—reminder to focus on creating positive change. Use your Word of the Year to help guide your decisions and continue moving towards what you want. The first step to manifesting anything you desire is awareness and intention.

Elizabethrider.com

In my quest to be more authentic I started learning more about my identity in Christ. Who does God say I am?

The answers to those questions have definitely been mind changing. It also lead the way to more questions. Why do I need to know that? Why does it matter? I am starting to discover the answer to those questions. If I know who God says I am, then I am able to know more of who He is. If I know who He is, then I know what I have access to, what I can accomplish and how I should be living.

You can’t really have anything else or be anything if you are not your authentic self. God is not going to bless who you pretend to be. Being authentic can be difficult because it goes against what the world says, however its easier to just be me than it is to be anything else. I am going to continue to work on this in 2021 because I have just tipped the iceberg.

How to please God

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. Romans 14:17‭-‬18 NLT

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT

When I was trying to get pregnant, my big thing was about how to please God. Clearly I must be doing something wrong if I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I tried to do everything right. Going to church, Sunday school, volunteering, tithing like crazy but nothing worked.

I took trying to please God and went to the extreme with it.

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Not good. That’s why I had to get to a place of beyond righteousness.

Pleasing God is not about not breaking rules or going to church every Sunday. Although God likes these things. More than anything He wants us to pursue him with our whole heart, trust and obey.

Obey isn’t just following rules, its more about trusting God’s plan for your life and believing that it is good. Its about not doing certain things because you know God wouldn’t want you to do them because they aren’t good for you. The things may not be bad, but they may not be good for YOU. Its deciding to follow God when you don’t like it or it doesn’t make sense. Without faith it’s impossible to please God. God wants us to take him at his word. If we don’t understand something ask him, he will explain…somewhat. I say somewhat because the biggest thing about faith is not having to have everything explained.

It happens naturally if you give it a chance. It also won’t feel awkward the more you do it. Just continue to work the cycle.

Ways to go from planning to action

I hear a lot of people who talk about they read something good in a book, or heard it on a podcast or YouTube video but they don’t know how to execute it in real life. It can seem overwhelming when you have learned a lot of information but you are unsure how to implement it. Here is a list of things to try. The list is long so you can figure out what works best for you, it may be on thing or a combination. Keep trying until something sticks!

Write it down-Hearing something is not always enough. Jot a note in your phone, in a journal, somewhere you can reference back. Your brain remembers things better when you write them down.

Do one thing at a time– You probably hear good stuff all the time. You can’t do all the things, at the same time. Pick one good thing you heard and see if it works.

Carve out time with yourself -How busy are you? Have you set assign time to get things done? Are you exhausted after work? What changes do you need to make to give yourself more free time?

citrus and style: How to Make Time for Yourself in College
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Change your thought process– even if you have started and stopped before, believe that this time will be different. You are different. You are coming at this with renewed energy and focus.

Treat yourself how you would treat a friend-Give yourself a break. Remember you are doing the best you can.

Set timers/alarms on your phone-this is a great way to get an external reminder. I set an alarm on my phone for 3pm everyday to write. I don’t need it anymore but it was great in helping me establish a routine.

Put post its up in your house or car to remind yourself of the things you learned

Make a Note to Do Great Things! — The Memo
Being Mary Jane

Get rid of distractions-Set blocks on your phone for notifications. I put my Instagram and Facebook on a timer and when my time is up thats it. My friend just completely deletes the app off her phone. Whatever it takes.

Get to the root of the problem what are you afraid of?

The fear of success and the fear of judgement are REAL — Brigitte Linford

Only person stopping you is you. Do you think that it won’t Really happen? Is what you want Gods plan or yours? You may need to double check. Do it despite how you feel, the more you do it you’ll start to get used to it.

The key thing with all these strategies is being intentional. Its waking up everyday and deciding that I am going to do better than the day before. You already did the first part which is the research. You were able to look into resources, that’s a good thing. Celebrate that small win. Now you just have to do the next step. The harder step, which is putting in the work. I believe in you. You got this!

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How relevant is the Proverbs 31 woman today?

I told yall I had beef with this Proverb. It just seemed so unattainable.

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However, after reading it again it doesn’t focus on the work of a woman as much as I thought, it more so focuses on her character.

I guess we get caught up in her actions more because most of us want some kind of action plan. Tangible steps that we can do in our day to day lives to live better. Its much easier to change when you give me a checklist of things to do. However, God doesn’t really work that way. He want’s us our hearts to be right. Once our hearts in the right place, our actions will follow.

How can I apply this today?

Reminder: This isn’t a checklist of things to do but more so a guide to let you know how to live.

We shouldn’t take this literally. Most of us don’t live in places where we can go inspect fields and plant vineyards. I am not sewing any clothes nor do I have a ton of servants I can give housework. I believe this is a stance on not being lazy and trying to make good use of your time. This is a good reminder not to use your free to time to binge Netflix and surf Instagram.

Most bible scholars would say that this is a compilation of many women not just one. This proverb was written by a king named Lemul. He was just writing what he saw his mom, and probably her friends doing. When I start looking at it that way, it changed my perspective. Its bogus to expect one woman to do ALL of the things in this Proverb.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10‭-‬12

To me these are some of the most important lines in this proverb. I think any woman can get behind this. I certainly want to enrich my husbands life.

It also was not written to women, it was written to men to know what to look for when they go find a wife. People get mad all the time (and I agree with them) that you hear a lot in church about people preaching to women about how to be a good wife but not to men about how to be a good husband. I think knowing that this Proverb was really written to men makes sense. The bible tells us that a man that finds a wife finds a good thing.

What would I want my son to say about me? I want my son and my husband to be proud of me. I want to provide a good example so my son knows what kind of woman to look for. I want him to know what values are important. I want my son to know that beauty on the inside is more important than beauty on the outside. I want to greatly enrich the life of my husband.

The Proverbs 31 woman is very relevant, if we use her (them) as a guide I believe we can get something good out it. If we use it as a checklist, its only going to make us angry and frustrated.

Unlearning

One thing I’ve picked up during this odd year of 2020 is unlearning.

What have you had to unlearn? For me it’s been a lot. I used some of these thought processes for protection to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. Im learning to be more vulnerable, to trust more, and I realize I don’t need to think this way anymore.

1. Everything is not what it seems. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. We are making decisions based on limited knowledge, our bias, our feelings. All those things could potentially not be right. Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me look at things from all angles before making a decision.

2. Everything is not black or white or even gray. I was very much a person who thought things were one way or not. No shade but, it is what it is. In the this world of COVID-19 I’ve learned things are not always one way or another. There could be a third option that I never even considered.

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3. Everyone doesn’t have to move at the same pace. I used to think I was behind everybody in spiritual knowledge, in having kids, fancy careers. However I have to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God put me in this place. It’s not a race. I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. There are no timelines or schedules because God’s timing is always perfect.

4. What works for you, may not work for me. This is another small thing but changing my thinking has been huge. The first thing that made me think of this is the natural hair movement. You can watch tons of tutorials and it still not turn out right. Follow someone’s regimen to the letter and still not get the changes you were expecting. What worked for them may not work for me. That can be applied to just about anything in life.

5. People aren’t judging me. People aren’t looking at me. Or even thinking about me. Folks are more concerned about themselves than they are with what I’m doing, wearing etc. Letting this go allows me to live more free.

6. Its never too late. For anything. Ever. The older you get the more people start to tell you your too old for this or that. Not true. It’s never too late. If your good, it’s going to come through in what you do. You want to make a career switch? Do it! You want to move out of state? Do it! Nothing is holding you back but you.

These lessons have been huge. They may seem like simple changes but they represent gigantic changes in mindset. As we get to the last quarter of the year think about how you might need to change your mindset. Its never too late.

Tithing: Answering a few questions

Its Friday! Did you get paid today?

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If so are you going to tithe any of it? Will you give any of it to charity? This makes me think of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine. She is getting close to making six figures so she asked me:

Do we really have to tithe 10% or is that just something made up at church?

This is a great question! I knew a little bit about this subject,but not a ton mainly from my pastor so I immediately started doing some research. The scripture that always comes to mind is this one from Malachi.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

My pastor always uses this one but it makes sense, its the only scripture I know that God says to test me on this. Pouring out blessings?! Yes please!

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Why do we tithe?

Tithing is showing God we trust him with our money and finances. There are lots of scriptures to back this up. People always start making distinctions between Old Testament and New Testament when we start talking about tithing. From my research it doesn’t look like the New Testament gets into amounts as much as the Old Testament. It still talks about giving though.

Giving encourages a grateful and generous spirit and can help steer us away from being greedy or loving money too much.”-Dave Ramsey

Do we really have to give 10% or is that made up?

Did you know that tithe literally means 10th in Hebrew. I never knew that.

Does God care how much we tithe?

In reading the New Testament, it doesn’t seem like God cares how much you give. I think he cares more about your attitude while you are giving. God doesn’t technically need your money. Its already his anyway, he just wants to see you give back to him what was his in the first place. Don’t hold onto your money like Dave Chappelle in this gif.

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You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:7‭-‬8 NLT

Does it have to be 10% to the church or can I give to charity?

The internet seems to be split on this. Some sources said it should be the church because the “storehouse” that is referenced in Malachi is the church, while others say giving is giving, it doesn’t matter where you give it. Dave Ramsey says if you aren’t giving to the church its not tithing, but I can’t find enough research to support either one of those views.

Final thoughts:

I would say give to the church first that way you can see where your money is going.

Give what you can and feel comfortable with. God is always happy about small beginnings. The longer you give the more you are going to eventually want to do anyway


Resources

https://www.openbible.info/topics/giving_10_percent

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/daves-advice-on-tithing-and-giving