Why it is important to hear God’s voice for yourself

Reposted from August 2015

All of my life I have grown up in a prophetic culture where hearing a word from God from somebody else is the norm. I have gone to more conferences at a church than I can count. When you grow up constantly hearing words that God is telling someone else for your church, region, nation or world it is easy to put your own ears in the backseat.

Christians submerged in this culture have a tendancy to become lazy when it comes to activating their own ability to hear the voice of God. We tend to rely on others to give us the new “Heavy Revey“.

This is dangerous and sets you up to be malnourished in your own spiritual walk.

There are times in my life when I go through seasons of constantly listening to different pastors around the world, as well as, listening to online conferences. However, in the last couple years as I have entered in a different season of life with running our business, and I have not exposed myself to as much teaching/prophetic ministry as I have in the past. In one sense, I have missed out growing in certain areas of my spiritual walk. On the other hand, I have had to learn to tune my ears in to Gods voice and ask for discernment to understand what He is telling me and where He is guiding me.

I never want to get to the place in my life where all I am listening to are the revelations that God has given someone else. Because when that happens, I cut myself off from the life flow of the Spirit of God that He wants to pour in and through me.

Now you might say I don’t know how to hear the voice of God. He never speaks to me.

The good news is, that He does all the time we just need to learn to recognize it. This subject has been my heart’s cry since I was 12 years old. I would lay in bed at night crying out to God to hear His voice. I wanted to be like Solomon wanting wisdom and understanding. I wanted to hear his voice so clear.

When I was in Bible college I shared a word with a church in Klamath Falls entitled “Stop, Wait, and Listen.” Boy oh boy, do I wish the computer I used back then didn’t crash because I do not have my notes. The purpose of the message was to teach on how to begin to hear God’s voice.

The first thing we have to do is STOP. Many times when I’m in a church service or praying God will tell me to be quiet. When He says my name first, then tells me to be quiet it really gets my attention! Many times we talk and talk and talk and do not stop to give God a chance to speak to us. He comes to us in a still small voice. Like Elijah in the cave, God did not speak to him in the thunder or in the storm but in a still small voice.

If our voice is only thing we here, we will never hear HIS.

But next we need to WAIT. Now this is the hard part. We have to focus on HIM, our mind, heart, emotions and desires ALL FOCUSED ON HIM. There are a zillion distractions in our life and depending on your present circumstances waiting may feel like an impossibility. But this is where the majority of people who say they cannot hear Gods voice fail. They’re not willing to wait. In this waiting period, many times God begins to speak but we dismiss it on account of not realizing he is speaking.

Not everyone hears an audible voice, that would be a voice that everyone else around you can hear at the same time. Like when John the Baptist was baptizing Jesus and everyone around them heard God speak, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” That was an undeniable audible voice.

Some people here a voice in their head or spirit, some may attribute it to being their conscience. But did you know, your conscience is the Holy Spirit – who is God. We think that our conscience is just “us”. We overlook the fact that God speaks to us all the time, we may not even know it and we don’t give Him the credit. So listen to that voice! He will always give you peace. He also will never contradict His written word.

Another way he speaks is through His Written Word – the Bible. You may be reading the Bible and a verse jumps out at you and you can’t get away from it. You reread it over and over and feel at the same time that a match was just lit in your heart. That is the Holy Spirit speaking through the word. Other times, you may be waiting on God and a verse goes through your mind. That is God speaking to you through his word. I would encourage you when that happens to look at that verse up and research the context of what it is saying.

Something else awesome that happens is when you receive a Bible passage in your mind to look up. You might hear the words Psalms 121. Then when you look up that passage it is exactly what you needed to hear. Sometimes I have heard passages like that and went to look them up and they meant nothing to me. But when I read down further it led me to exactly what I needed. Don’t get discouraged if that happens. Sometimes it will be right on and sometimes it will be off. I heard someone say not to take it too literally if it doesn’t work out correctly. Especially if you open up and read and “Judas went and hanged himself”. And especially if it says, “whatever you are going to do, do quickly”. Haha, be wise and have fun with it.

I have seen signs at a church recently that say “Meeting with God face-to-face, through His Word.” The first time I saw that title I got really excited because my experience of meeting God face-to-face has been with my face down in the carpet weeping while experiencing His intense presence & glory like nothing else, while seeing revelations in the spirit. But my experience is not something that you would typically find at the church I was at. It opened my eyes to the reason why we need every denomination in unity. Because every denomination has a piece of the puzzle that the other does not. The desire inside of me to experience God face-to-face in his word is growing more and more. It is definitely a paradigm shift for me to put those two phrases together, face-to-face – in his word. I long to be encountered by God through his word like I never have before.

It also important to discern when God is giving you a yellow light. A traffic light when yellow means caution. We need to make sure we know when we have a check in our spirit and God is telling us to stop or slow down.

The most important thing to do after he speaks is to LISTEN and put action to his words. Many times when he speaks it requires us to do something with what he says. If we doubt his words and never move forward with his instruction we will find ourselves stuck in a rut frustrated with life. He is always speaking, leading, guiding. If you feel stuck in a rut take some time to wait on the Lord and allow him to stir up the desires he has placed in your heart. But then ask, seek, knock and he will open doors before you that you never even dreamed possible.

I pray this blesses you and you’re able to share this with others who desire to hear Gods voice. – Rachelle Layzell

Here is a powerful song that reflects my hearts cry

I’m Listening by Chris McClarney

Are you willing to go beyond the rent veil?

When you hear the verse, the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former – this is just a taste of what it means.

The very second Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the temple ripped top to bottom. That veil was as thick as a man’s hand about 4 inches thick. It took 300 priests to hold on to it and replace it every year. It was so strong that neither an earthquake or 2 horses on each side couldn’t pull it apart. It was 60′ long and 30′ high. Why is that so important?

THAT IS HOW MUCH GOD WANTED TO INTERACT PERSONALLY WITH HIS PEOPLE. The death of Jesus on the cross allows anyone free access to the most holy of holy places. The very intimate manifest presence of God!! How many times are we satisfied to stay in the outer courts and just watch or participate from a distance? We have access to the very intimate place that before Jesus’ death was only accessed 1 time a year by a priest who had to be 100% pure and blameless, with a cord and bell wrapped around his ankle. Why? Because if he entered behind the veil with any sin or did anything wrong God would strike him dead. He had a bell so people outside would know if he was dead or not then they would pull him out by the Rope. Imagine the level of fear and reverence for the presence of God they had.

We have a choice, we can choose to stay in the OT times and stay away from the intimate presence of God, or we have a choice to desire more and more of His presence. The enemy has tried everything he can to keep the church from entering into that deep place of worship. He pulls out all the stops and presents just the right formula because he used to be the worship leader of Heaven. He knows the incredible and wonderful joy and freedom that comes from worshipping at the throne room. There is a deeper place we can go, it is there. Many have tasted it. Many have been transformed by it. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes complete abandonment to the Holy Spirit.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, then feel free to message me and I can refer you somewhere where you can experience it. If you want to get a group of people together to press in deeper and spend time waiting on Him, I would love to do it with you. I know my family heritage is saturated with stories of the Glory of God showing up in times of worship and prayer. It is in my DNA, it is who I am. I never want to run away from it. The Glory of God is about to be poured out on the church in a way we have only dreamed of. But we have to want it. We have to be willing to have it change us. We have to be willing for it to not always look and sound perfect.

There is a stirring in the waters again, you can feel it all over this nation. Turn on voice competitions and you will hear worship exploding out of contestants who carry incredible anointings. The judges are stunned moved to tears and don’t even know why! I will tell you why, it is the tangible presence of Almighty God coming down in Love trying to reveal himself to us. The unsaved are Moved by true worshippers. They are not afraid. It is the presence of God that transforms them, draws them and his love is compelling them to draw deeper into his love. If we are afraid of showing the world the passionate love and presence of God through worship, we are missing God’s greatest gift the ability to connect with him on the other side of the rent veil.

I write this after a morning of horrible heavy attack. I’m telling you something real here, the enemy wants to steal your joy, your peace and what you feel God’s call is on your life. He did with me this morning. I contacted 2 of my closest friends one here and one on the other side of the world and begged them to pray for me. This stupid thing lifted as I came into agreement with them, rebuked the enemy asked for forgiveness to God for coming into agreement with those lies and God set me free.

Hallelujah! I know Gods purpose is good and He will make a way where there is no way!

I started off this post wanting to share with you 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 but God had something else in mind. Haha.

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Corinthians3:7-18&version=NKJV

Be blessed, and Press In!

Can you have freedom while surrounded by war?

 IS IT POSSIBLE to have VICTORY even when you are in a place where it seems no one else is walking in that freedom? YES!! ONLY OF YOU PRESS INTO THE THRONE ROOM UNTIL YOUR PERSONAL FREEDOM IS RECEIVED! Do NOT allow the enemy to bring frustration and anger while looking at those around you who are not walking in freedom. Get YOUR breakthrough FIRST and allow the Holy Spirit to USE YOU to press in for breakthrough in the corporate.

Something happened to me. I was in the middle of a spiritual and mental war with the most intense conflicting thoughts, emotions and desires that I have ever felt. I was in a worship service where I knew the principal that “it doesnt matter the style or the song, I need to focus on Jesus and give my worship to Him.” BUT IT WAS SO HARD!! Everything that was in me wanted to sing out and see breakthrough in the service and in my own heart but the combination of everything had me fighting inside. At one point I thought we were going to break into a new level but it flatlined and I started to tremble with desire and agitation, so not wanting anger and frustration to come in I ran upstairs and to a back corner and first repented for my attitute and for having a struggle inside of me. I began to say over and over again “Breakthrough, Breakthrough, BREAKTHROUGH!!!!! I began to pray in the spirit allowing God to pray through me. It got more and more intense. I began to sense in the spirit what had been taking place over the last while. 

Finally, the song I heard playing in the background was a song about Victory. At one point in the song I SHOUTED out a long warcry with a loud voice declaring into the atmosphere and spirit WE HAVE VICTORY. “Hallelujah, We Have Overcome, We have Overcome. Hallelujah, Jesus you have Overcome the world.” As that song played I began taking back the ground that the enemy “thought” he had claimed. This is God’s church, These are God’s people. We belong to Him and He had overcome and we are overcoming with Him. “Every high thing must come down, every stronghold must be broken. You wear the victor’s crown. You have overcome, You have overcome.”

I was out of breath at the end and had to sit down and compose myself before heading back to my chair. It was like being in labor till at least I had a emotional and spiritual breakthrough in myself. If anyone else received a breakthrough than praise God. I knew I was not going to allow the enemy TO ROB ME OF A BLESSING or to allow my heart to get filled with crud. 

We all have times where we are so hungry and the situaltion in life may not have all the right answers but we do have a choice to turn to the One who does! When your feet are planted on the rock and your eyes are on Him, He knows your deepest desires and needs and He will meet them.

If church attenders spent MORE TIME SEEKING GOD for a breakthrough in the service, no matter how they need to do it and LESS TIME CRITICIZING the songs, style or leader – every church would have the personal and corporate revival like we are praying for. It is a matter of our HEART and ACTIONS!!

So go get your freedom! Find it in the throne room. Go there yourself, you do not need anyone else to take you there. Through the blood of Jesus we now have free access. The veil has been torn in two. 

 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. 

Hebrews 4:14-16

 

REST!! Or Else!

No matter what season of life I am in, I HAVE to learn to find time to find rest in Him, even if it means saving up for a massage😉. Yesterday, was one of those days. On Saturday night I wanted to hop on a plane somewhere tropical and leave all the stress behind. Not possible. Next best thing was a husband who let me have the evening to spoil myself. He relaxes by whitewater kayaking, I relax by getting a massage. (To each his own, right?).
I did not go into my massage with the expectations of having a God encounter. I just wanted to relax. But something incredible happened as I begin to relax in the natural my spirit begin to commune with God in a very easy way.

There is nothing as tranquil as entering into the place of REST with our beloved Savior. It is only in Him we find pure saturating peace. In REST His voice is clear and His purpose is revealed.

 I was thanking him for all he’s done and he began to show me things about the masseuse and I began to sincerely pray for her. I didn’t think of where my prayers would lead because I was almost asleep in a relaxed state. After the massage was over I told her how thankful I was that God lead me to that place. She excitedly replied, “Oh, I Love God!!” Haha! Open door right there. I began to share with her what God showed me about her how much she loves her and he knows all the pain she has been through in the last three years with her family members. I told her that God has you right where she is supposed to be and told her I was praying that the windows of heaven would open up over her shower down more blessing that she could receive. She began to weep in the hallway and hugged me so tightly. God encountered both of us!
To tell you the truth walking into that place I had absolutely nothing in me to give. Or so I thought. But all it takes is having our mind focused on our Savior who is right there to meet us at the point of our need. He filled me as I “allowed” myself to rest. That is a good point right there, I ALLOWED myself to REST! (However, there is a difference between, rest and having fun, and intentionally spending time with God as we rest) Sometimes I think we have a high and mighty perception of serving God and others that we have to burn ourselves out in order to get everything done. But whenever I try to do that I am left absolutely wasted and I want to quit, I think that is called burnout. I never want to burn out I want to be consumed with the Holy Ghost fire of God and I want to see that fire burst out and touch my community and the nations. I need to allow myself time to rest, for my physical body sake, my family sake, my church’s sake and my sphere of influence.
The yoke that we are supposed to carry with God is not heavy unless we mistake being yoked to God to being yoked to our circumstances. He said My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart you will find rest unto your soul. Walking side-by-side with God not trying to run out in front of him. Find REST, my soul, in God alone. He is my hope! God teach us to rest in you, to minister to others out of a place of rest. Consume us and release us to spread your fire!!

There is nothing as tranquil as entering into the place of REST with our beloved Savior. It is only in Him we find pure saturating peace. In REST His voice is clear and His purpose is revealed.

I found this amazing song by Kari Jobe this morning that goes along with what I shared above. I hope it blesses you!

 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mq59iE3MhXM

What ways have you found to allow yourself to rest in God? What happened as a result? 

  

The Angel in My Daughter’s Room

We experienced this picture the other night. Elicia gets asthma when she has a cold and this one really has hung on for a while. A couple nights ago she was coughing all night, finally I got up at 4am to check her breathing, she would take a breath and then cough. I set up the nebulizer, woke her up and sat with her to giver her a treatment. During the treatment in her dark room I saw the brightest light out of the corner of my eye. I thought was that what I thought it was? God spoke very clearly and said, “The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear me. I have my eye on Elicia.” It wasn’t till last night when I was tucking Elicia in bed that she opened up and told me she didn’t want another bad dream like she did the night before. She said she dreamed that a burglar broke in to our house and came up to her bed and put a mask over her face so she couldn’t breathe. She said she could hear and feel her in her dream. Then I smiled and told her about the angel I saw in her room last night and what God told me about watching out for her. She smiled so big and I prayed for her again. No weapon formed against us shall prosper! 

I love this song from Fred Hammond, “No Weapon”. It is a powerful reminder of God’s truth and promise of protection 

 

The most ignored commandment

Check out this interesting article.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/practical-faith/most-ignored-commandment

This article is good, EXCEPT, for the flawed ideology that “God walks out once a week to meet with us”.
It is this mindset alone that is the foundation of a “pew sitter Christian”, verses a child of God who knows their Papa God intimately because of their constant daily connection and interaction. This article definitely brings to light the lack of desire people have of meeting together corporately, which is one of the most encouraging things I get to do all week. “Just one of us can put a thousand to flight, but two of us can send legions fleeing” its not only about fulfilling our “duty” of a commandant. In the New Testament laws are written on our hearts. It is taking a legalistic rule and transforming it into a desire of the heart. David said in Psalms, “obedience is better than sacrifice”. The Lord looks at the heart. He wants relationship with us, not just rules. But if you have an extended family who you love to be with, would you rather, know they are out there living or come together for a feast and party? That is what church is like when you are apart of the one God calls you to. Sabbath is to many just going to church. If this is your mindset, than we need to see that God wants to dwell with us every second of every day. Church is the time we gather all we have received from God during the week and thank Him corporately, worshipping Him giving Him praise for all He has done and all He is doing. We enter into times of intercession for others and our world. We train our children in the ways of the Lord and provide time for them to learn how to walk in their spiritual gifts.

For the medical side, sure rest is important. But it is not the most important reason. People in other parts of the country walk for miles to get to their gathering times. The church/ Christians in the West & Europe are going to face a wake-up call very soon which will prove where their loyalty lies. I only pray they understand the importance of developing an intimate relationship with the creator so they know how to lean on him when times get hard. It’s possible we could soon be in a place where we do not have the freedom anymore to worship as we choose.

IMG_3674

Allow Him to Love You

In the insanity of life, at times all it takes is to quiet ourselves down for a couple minutes and allow Papa God to love on us. To be honest, it takes effort when your mind is filled with everything you need to do. But it transformed me this afternoon. I started listening to The Fish Christian Radio and every song that came on was a worship song that melted my heart.

The picture below was drawn for me a couple years ago from a lady at church. She drew it as I was exhorting the church about the flood of Love that God wants to release upon them. It just takes them to let go of the hurts and pain that they are clinging to and allow God to love them. The artist gave it to me and said she saw this picture as I was sharing. She said that just as I was encouraging the church, that God was cherishing me.

This picture has become one of my prize possessions. Allow Papa God to love on you today. Take a few minutes to focus on Him, listen to some worship music and feel your spirit come alive again. He is already waiting to hug you and love on you. He is already speaking to you. Stop. Wait. Listen. He will never let you down!!

IMG_3661

Heaven brought to earth: the Sunday I will never forget!

(Facebook Post August 10th 2014)

Today I experienced something I haven’t experienced in 19 years, since Renewal hit in ’94-95. It took place while listening to my dad speak part two of his message, For Zion’s Sake. (Click the link to listen to both of these timely and important messages about Israel and the Middle East)It was an in depth teaching on Gods love for Arabs and Jews and why God is not done with either of them. Something deep inside of me cried out during our prayer time. An intercession that you can’t produce or cause to happen. Such a burden for those persecuted all over the world for the name of Christ. I had the video and pictures in my mind of Arabs in Iraq being slaughtered, young and old. An intercession crying out for mercy, protection and justice.

During the message I could feel a host on Angels all around. Then as my dad shared miracle after miracle of what God has done to protect and defend the land of Israel, I saw and heard a massive group of angels watching and cheering on what was being shared like they were watching a sports game. They were high 5’ing each other and laughing and cheering saying, “remember when we did that!”. They were cheering on my dad Joel Hjertstedt as he was speaking.

Then as he started reading
Ephesians 2:11-22 I saw Jesus get off of the throne and lay prostrate on top of the glass ceiling over us. He began to weep and blow His breath down into us. He was so grateful about what was being shared. He was also weeping for the friends he grew up with on Earth who did not recognize who he was. He was crying out for the Jews whose eyes need to be open to see that He is their messiah. He was blowing and fanning our hearts to burn for him and to burn with passion for the land of Israel and also for the Arabs which he blessed also through Abraham.

He told me that there are some who are wondering why the pastor was talking about Israel like this. And Jesus said it is because it is a part of our mandate, not only our pastor’s mandate, but the mandate of the church. It is part of our mission on earth to share this with the body of Christ so their eyes will be open to reach out and accept with open arms the Jews and Arabs who will be coming to Him by the millions!

When Pastor Ken was prophesying over my dad, God told me those words were over me as well. Israel and our families connection to it is part of my heritage and destiny. I know I will be back, God spoke very clearly when we visited in 1995. We were leaving for the airport and I was weeping in the car because I did not want to leave the land. I was only a Jr in High School so there was no option. But I told God I didn’t want to leave unless I knew I was coming back some day. I turned and looked out the window and saw the hugest brightest rainbow I had ever. There is something about seeing a rainbow in Israel that brings it’s meaning of a promise a little close to home.

The heavy weighty glory and the “tipsy” filling of the Holy Spirit lasted over an house after the service, marked me in a deep deep way. A woman came up to me right after the service and told me she has been trying to share with her friends back in Japan what is taking place in the Middle East, and was so discouraged because they wouldn’t respond to her at all. She felt ignored , haha, but God had a very powerful word or her that I was barely able to speak out at that time because of the heavy weighty glory.

What a day!!!! Just the beginning!

Here is the verse that I saw Jesus come off of his throne for :

Ephesians 2:11-22 “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ which is done in the body by human hands – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.