Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Learning how to hear and discern God's Voice

Understanding the Voice of God
A devotional by Cherie Mendez

The Lord will give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, but your Teacher will no longer hide Himself—with your own eyes you will see Him. And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”
—Isaiah 30:20-21 (BSB)

Like the children of Israel, we all have a tendency to complain when problems arise. God will allow us to go through seasons of adversity in order to get our attention.

Hearing the voice of God is a learned skill and over time it can get easier or harder depending on our obedience or disobedience.

I’ll never forget when I first met my husband, Jimmy. We went out on a few dates, but after praying about it, I was unsure if he was “the one.” After our third date, I felt it would only be right for me to break up because I didn’t think it was fair to keep stringing him along.

This was a huge struggle—I had a history of bad experiences with men and a lot of baggage to deal with before I could commit to a serious relationship. It was a very hard decision because deep down inside, I was afraid I would never get married.

So, the day came when I ended our dating relationship. He didn’t take it well but we agreed to part ways. To make things easier we started going to different churches.

A year went by and I kept seeking God on whether or not He was calling me to get married. I started to question if I had made a mistake by breaking up with Jim. To make matters worse, I received a phone call from a friend of mine who said she had just gone on a day trip with Jim. My heart sank! I started to wonder if I missed the boat. Later, I learned that friend who went on the day trip with Jim only went as “friends” and she was actually dating another guy. Phew!

So, at that point I wasn’t sure what to do. I prayed about it and God opened the door for me to see Jim again in a group setting with other friends. Slowly we started to reconnect and by that time I felt God’s peace about our relationship. We dated for a few months and one night he got down on his knee and proposed. We then moved forward and got pre-marital counseling by our pastor and his wife. One of the most beautiful things our pastor’s wife said was that she saw “God’s signature on our marriage.” Three months later we tied the knot.

Now, thirty-one years later, I am still happily married to the man God chose for me. God knew exactly what He was doing. Maybe I needed that year after breaking up for God to heal all the issues in my heart before I could walk down the aisle. God was writing our true love story all along, I just couldn’t see it at that time.

So how does one properly hear God and discern when He is speaking? Let me share what I have learned from over the years. 
I have found three of the most common ways God speaks to us:

Common Way #1: His Word. Psalm 119:105 (KJV) says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” In order to “hear” from God we need to develop an understanding of His character. We need to know how God honors obedience and punishes disobedience.

Common Way #2: Our Circumstances.
Sometimes, God will allow the “bread of adversity and the water of affliction” Isaiah 30:20 (BSB) to get our attention and guide us.

Common Way #3: The Still Small Voice. The Holy Spirit speaks very soft but also very clear. When He speaks we will either have a peace about something or not.

God’s grace towards us never changes. He is always faithful to guide us back on the way of truth. Whether you are in a season of adversity or enjoying a time of prosperity, know that God is always speaking. All He asks is that we listen.

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, I pray that You will help us to be still and quiet before You. Help us to not let the noise of the world distract us from hearing Your voice. I pray that You will give us the eyes to see and the ears to hear Your guidance. Thank You for Your never-ending patience with us. Help us to see beyond our circumstances and keep our eyes on You. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Speak” by Bethany Music. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Cherie Mendez is a New York-based actress and model. Network appearances include Blue Bloods and Bull (CBS), Power (STARZ), and Hunters (Amazon).

She got her start in modeling at the age of 18 when she was offered a contract to work with an agency in Paris. Over time, she worked for clients such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, Clarins Skincare, Garnier, LancĂ´me, and Wella.

In recent years, Cherie has been sharing about her faith in God on Instagram where she has an audience of over 30k followers. She is compelled by love to encourage women to understand their identity in Jesus Christ.

It is her goal to bring to light what God’s Word says about our self-worth. She does this by sharing encouraging stories on how she overcame the many struggles that models and actresses typically face.

Some of the topics Cherie loves to write about are:

· Coping with rejection

· Finding your purpose and using your talent for God’s glory

· How God always looks at the heart and the meaning of inner beauty

· Understanding that we are all a work in progress and God is not done with us yet

Cherie and her husband Jimmy live in Upstate New York. They are thankful to have been married for 30 years.

Connect with Cherie:

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