#034: Do You Hear What God is Trying to Tell You? 3 Ways to Clear the Noise and Discern His Will

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When we place our own self-serving desires above our desire to glorify and obey God, we don’t hear anything He has to say to us. 

I’ll tell you a little story: my oldest boy is 3. He is a rather strong-willed + defiant child.

One day, Z was enjoying some screen time - there’s this show on Netflix that he loves. A few minutes before screen time was over, I said, “5 more minutes before we take a break from the iPad.”

He said, “yes, Mommy.”

A few minutes later when the time was up, I said, “alright, time’s up. We’re gonna take a break.”

Guess what? He didn’t want to give it up. He put on his angry face - the scowl, the stinky eyes and the curled lips - and he shook his head. 

I went, “Honey, when the time is up, the time is up. You can watch it again later. Please turn off the iPad.”

At this point, he started to do his usual whiny/angry voice, he wasn’t gonna back down.

At this point, I thought, “oh, great. I see where this is headed.”

Things only escalated from here. 

He ended up screaming, “I WANT MY IPAD! I WANT MY IPAD!! I WANT MY IPAD.”

I wanted to tell him - I tried to tell him - “calm down. You are only getting more upset. Please be quiet and listen to me.”

But I couldn’t. Remember how I told you he was a strong-willed child?! He kept screaming “I WANT MY IPAD!!” for a lonnnngg time. He was kicking and screaming. He had no intentions of listening. None. He just wanted what he wanted and he wanted it NOW. 

I'm telling you this story because my toddler reminded me of how we act. This is what we look like when we place our self-serving desire above our desire to glorify and obey God. We don’t hear what God has been trying to tell us.

When all we want is _______________, we will kick and scream until we get it. We don’t care about what God is trying to say. We just want what we want.

My question for you is: What is your fill in the blank?

What is that something that you so desperately want?! That something that’s been on your mind?!

“I want my hair to look like hers."
"I want my muffin top to go away!"
"I want this sagging tummy to go away!”
“I want a bigger house!"
"I want more money!"
"I want to stop paying for student loans!"

When we get so fixated on what we want, we don’t hear what God is trying to say. Heck, we don’t even care what He is trying to say in that moment. We just want what we want. And we want it now. 

Why? Because the thing we want has taken the place of the throne where God should be. The thing we want - even if in and of itself is a good thing - it has turned into a bad thing because it is now an idol.

We may not kick and scream the way a toddler does, but we are really no different. We are just a bit more mature about the way we do it. 

So how do we go from kicking and screaming to actually hearing what God has to say?

Now based on what your idols are, there are specific verses that target those areas. But the overarching theme is to recognize three things:
1) Our idols have been crucified;
2) We have to put them away;
3) Our minds need to be transformed by the power of the Word.

Idols Crucified

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
— Galatians 5:19-26

If you belong to Christ Jesus, whatever it is that's on your throne right now - whether it's jealousy or anger - it has been crucified when Jesus was nailed to the cross for you.

When Jesus took His last breath, He chopped off this chain of idol for you. You have been set free. You are no longer controlled by your idols.

Put It Away

Jesus broke the chain your idol has on you. But you also need to do your part: put it away.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
— Colossians 3:5
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
— Colossians 3:8-10

The commands in these verses are clear: "put to death" and "put them all away"

Do you struggle with body image? Don't tempt yourself by looking at magazines with photoshopped women. Don't buy them. Don't subscribe to them.

Do you struggle with financial contentment? Don't look at HGTV where they show brand-new super nice houses!

Put it away. Forget it. Don't stir it up. Have nothing to do with it.

In Colossians 3:10, it has another command about idols. It says "put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.", which brings me to my final point.

Be Transformed by the Power of the Word

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and to put on the new self, created after the likeness God in true righteousness and holiness.
— Ephesians 4:22-24
appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:1-2

Notice what the Scripture says about our minds? It says they need to "be renewed"; they need to "be transformed".

Let's use an analogy. Let's say our minds were a computer program. There's a virus so we need to put it to death so it doesn't spread and infect the whole system. After that, we need to either rewrite the program or reinstall the program - either way we are giving it a new clean slate.

In the same way, after we have put away our old self - after we have killed the idols - we need to give our minds a new direction to go. What direction? Which path?

Nothing but the path of God because His ways are pure and good.

We need to learn what His ways are and let our minds reprogram to seek those things.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
— Colossians 3:1-2

It is so so important for our minds to be transformed by the power of the Word.

Our roles as wives and moms are so important. We pour out to our families day in and day out but our cups are empty because we're not filling it with anything.

If you struggle with getting in the Word on a consistent basis, you are not alone.

#momlife is crazy busy but Bible time can still happen.

Sneak it in when your kids are taking a nap, when you are in the pick-up line at school, when you are in the bathroom, etc.

Don't push it to the backburner and think you'll "just get back to it when the kids are older".

If you have a hard time getting consistent quiet times, join me for the free 21-day challenge called Revive My Quiet Time.

Through the challenge, you will get back in the Word one verse at a time.
Every day for 21 days, we will read just one verse.
We will go beyond surface level with the Inductive Bible Study Method.

On top of that, you will also get accountability and support from me along with so many other women who are also in the challenge.

We are just a couple days in to the challenge right now but there's already been so many good discussions about the verses we're reading together.

Quality Bible time CAN be a reality even if you're crazy busy.

Join me for the challenge and let's get your mind transformed by the power of the Word so you can pour out to your family with a Truth-filled cup. What do you say, friend?

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Podcast music: Sunny Holidays & Summertime by Nicolai Heidlas