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 hear 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

LOVE WINS! – my transparent journey to finally finding acceptance.

Acceptance- to be loved, to be approved of, to be welcomed into a group, to feel apart, to feel like an equal.
As a small kid growing up I was surrounded by parents who were pastors, church friends, private Christian school and my whole extended family who were Christians. Despite being in a safe bubble I was drawn into at a young age physical contact with another girl. She was a few years older than I was and I was only 4. She had me to do things to her that were inappropriate. As the years went by I don’t know who started what but there were two other girls who I was inappropriate with, engaging in touching and kissing. It all stopped with the girls when I was around 4th or 5th grade. I remember many times asking God to forgive me but them I would go right back and do it again.

I remember one night while I was at a birthday party a girl said we only have so many times we can ask God to forgive us about the same thing, and then he will never forgive us again and we will go to hell. I will never forget running home crying because I knew I had used up all my chances. Thank God that was not perfect theology. At the same time I was struggling with the two girls, I was engaging in touching, and kissing with a male my age. Willingly because he was the only boy who ever acted like he liked me in that way, so it felt good. Masterbation also became an issue because I wanted that fluttery feeling. Even as a small child in grade school, I didnt know that was wrong. Goes to show that no age is too young to talk to your children.

On the outside I was a perfect little Christian kid who loved God with all my heart. On the inside I was in turmoil because I constantly came to God repenting for what I was doing and asking him to help me stop because I didn’t want to go to hell. I knew that no one knew the secret life I lived. My mom brought out the “Christian Body Changing” books at different times and I was nervous, but not because of what she was showing, but because I was already way deeper into all of it than she even knew. So I cringed and got flustered everytime. Parents, dont let your kids responses on this issue cause you to shy away from having the hard talks. They need it more than you ever know especially in their generation.

So, the issue of homosexuality hits home and it took going through restoration ministries (SOZO) to finally be broken for the hatred I had for those in that lifestyle because of what happened to me and then the shame of the lifestyle I lead afterwards.

  
The issue with the boy came to a halt after a Jr. High camp when the Holy Spirit convicted me to the core as the preacher talked about sexual sin. That night I shook and fell to my face repenting. I knew I would never engage with that boy again. I slapped him the next time he came to me. And I ended it for good.

It took about 25 years for God to heal me from the shame and take away the horrible flashbacks which brought condemnation from the pit of hell. I knew I was forgiven through the years but never received a breakthrough and total healing. In the Greek SOZO means completely Saved, Healed and Delivered. During my SOZO, a woman took me through a delicate and tender prayer time where we waited on the Holy Spirit to reveal things he wanted to heal. It was incredible how God would show me different scenes of my past and the prayer person would ask me where I see one of the Godhead in the room. I saw myself with the boy. I always felt like God was mad at me as I recalled what happened. Instead of God being mad at me, he came over to me and held me and wept. I couldn’t believe it.

Then as I was trying to forgive the young girl who started this abuse I saw her behind a stained glass. And the prayer person asked me where I saw Jesus in that room and I thought he would be disgusted with her and upset. But when I looked I saw Jesus crying and holding out his arms to her wanting to heal her. That completely changed the way I thought God looked at the LGBT community. He loves them so much and is weeping over them and the pain they have gone through in their lives.

While I was in private Christian school there was a young man who had a different personality. He didn’t fit in with the jocks, or the brains just not with many. Other than some of the girls, but not really them either. The boys ridiculed him, and ostracized him. He definitely acted “gay” much of the time. He was even in a church internship program with me. But as time went on and as less and less people drew him into their circles he stepped farther and farther away from the church and eventually into the gay community. He now is married and the last I heard they are trying to adopt. He found love and acceptance in a place where he felt safe, loved and accepted for how he acted. It grieves me to the core that those in my private school, Bible College and church didn’t reach out to him more to help him find his true identity in Christ. That is the core of the matter.
I am a firm believer that God does not make us gay or straight. I believe in our life some are faced with choices where maybe by abuse, they are drawn into this lifestyle because they feel good, loved and accepted. Others may run to that lifestyle because of never being accepted with the rest of the crowd. They finally feel like they fit in and people like them for who they really are. BUT THE DECEPTION COMES when they believe who they really are is a homosexual not a person who has a different personality, or likes.

As a small child I WAS THE ONE who realized at some point interacting with another girl was wrong. IF I HAD GROWN UP IN A NON CHRISTIAN HOME, without parents and a church I never would have been confronted with the truth of the word of God. Millions of kids around the world face the same thing but now they are being encouraged to explore their sexuality and taught it is normal to desire those of the same sex. God have mercy on this generation.

We as parents need to train our children to love no matter what a kids personality is or what their strengths or weaknesses are. Those who are put down, left out and ridiculed for not loving sports or girly things will take those scares and if not healed will find those with the same scares. The enemy is just waiting to take advantage of those kids and twist their pain into ways they will justify their hurt. Our children need to learn to love and draw anyone into “their group” just like Jesus did!

What I can attest to is that God gave us a free will to choose. God gave me a free will to choose. I could have continued down that path but I am thankful at some point I was convicted and it stopped.

I remember in my first year of High School I finally got to the point where I needed to confess it to my youth pastor. I needed someone to walk me through the healing and freedom. He listened, somewhat stone faced. He probably felt awkward because my father had an office directly across the hall from him at the church. I remember weeping and pouring out my embarrassed fragile heart and all I remember him saying was to talk to my parents about it. I felt a little scarred and vulnerable with an open wound but I am thankful I had a good relationship with my parents and I finally got some of it out. I just pray youth pastors out there know how to handle “PK” kids when they bare their hearts because it is even more intimidating for a PK to do that than others.

So you may ask why in the world are you opening up your life so deep. Well, I have always been bold to share my religious and political stances and I knew this one needed to be surrounded with even more grace. Today in church while we were worshipping and listening to the destiny that we are walking into, God showed me a picture. He came to me and handed me a trumpet and a jar of balm/salve. The trumpet was to declare his promises and purposes over individuals and over the world. The balm was to bring healing to broken hearts and shattered lives. His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness with the ingredients to the balm. He wants to bind up the broken hearted, set liberty the captives and open the eyes of the blind. I am committed to Live Life Out Loud For God to see that happen.
Thanks for listening to my heart. God made man and woman in his image. He designed men and woman to each leave their parents and be joined to each other. God’s heart has never changed on this issue. Their are countless scriptures in the Bible that show what God thinks of homosexuality. Just like God will NEVER say that murder and adultery were just a cultural thing and that it is ok to do now, he will never approve of the sin of homosexuality. People say homosexuality is the same level sin as lying, stealing and gluttony. All I know is God is clear about it being wrong. And at the same time he is holding them weeping and wants them to know his love that sent his only son to a cross to die in their place so they can receive forgiveness and everlasting life.

We are commanded to LOVE. It broke my heart to see the hashtag #lovewins all over Twitter this weekend. Like saying those who are against homosexuality do not love. YES #LOVEWINS – the everlasting agape love of Papa God wins. It will win us right into his warm embrace. The church should be shouting LOVEWINS. We should be standing on the street or in the stores saying LOVEWINS. We should be showing the mercy and grace of God through our words and actions till the world understands what a pure holy unadulterated love is. God pour out your grace on us. Reveal your holiness and truth to every homosexual and those who are confused.

Love is patient, Love is Kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude or dishonor others, it keeps no record of wrong, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL BUT REJOICES IN THE TRUTH, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres love never fails. 1 Cor 12:1-6

……in addition….How I came to this point….

I could not take hearing the accusations from those in the church towards the ruling, that is why I posted the blog the day before about how Prophetic intercessors process what is happening in our nation. But I knew at some point I would have to tell the truth of my convictions. I only pray this rips the mask of hypocrisy off of those in the church who say one thing and do another. My hearts cries for the world sees us for who we really are because when they do they will see the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God that we have walked through ourselves. I want to see those who have walked away from Jesus and those with blinded eyes, come back to Papa God.

After my real conversion in junior high, I now know why I begin to cry out to God with a desperation to see him move. I remember in junior high and 9th and 10th grade having a passion and a hunger to see God do something huge and amazing. In 9th & 10th grade, I set aside Tuesday and Thursday to fast lunch and go to the Chapel to lead worship and pray. I remember trying to get as many kids to come out there and join me as possible. Then in 1995 the Renewal Outpouring hit and boy did it hit hard. An outpouring that changed my life forever. This outpouring for me lasted till 1997-1998.
God moves with hungry and desperate hearts. I totally remember feeling dry cracked and thirsty after my life change. I only pray that sharing my testimony unleashes a wave of revival that we have been praying for.