Hearing God's voice – the start of the challenge

The 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

I’m so excited about the people who have signed up to pray about the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge!

The great thing is that right now, before the challenge has even started, people are being challenged. Challenged to step outside of the ordinary, challenged to pray a different way than they might normally pray, challenged to not just talk at God but to listen to Him reply.

I am passionate about people not ‘doing’ Church but being the Church. 

You may not understand the difference, but the difference is huge.

Church has become something we ‘do’. We ‘go to’ church, we know the rules of what church is and we (most of the time) stick to them. Church can often be very much about programs that we get involved in, programs that we ‘do’. Church can be about ‘doing’ a whole lot of stuff.

As I read it though, that’s not what the bible says God wants His Church to be like. 

God wants us to BE the Church. to live lives which are outrageously different to the rest of the world. To love 24/7, to live the gospel 24/7, to be so different that the world sees the difference and asks us about it : 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (NIV) 

The same principle goes for prayer. God doesn’t want us to be people who just throw words up to heaven, He doesn’t want us to just ‘do’ prayer. He wants us to be people who have a relationship with Him, people for whom prayer is a two-way conversation.

That conversation works differently for different people. For some God seems to talk immediately, for others God seems to talk through things that happen in the day or days after the prayer. For others He speaks back through His Word, the bible. For others He speaks through other people.

In reality, most of us hear Him speak in all of these ways at different times (if we are listening).

As you are praying about whether or not God wants you to be a part of this 12 Days of Christmas Challenge, you may be praying in a way that you have never prayed before and that is AWESOME. If you get nothing else out of this, your relationship with God will have changed some…. and that’s exciting!

There are 3 different answers that you might receive from God about this challenge:

  1. YES! I want you to take part
  2. No, this is not for you at this time
  3. I’ll tell you later!
It may be that you don’t know what His answer is until you read what the challenge is – and that’s OK, that just means His answer was “I’ll tell you later”. It also means that God is speaking to you as you read, and you need to learn to recognize His voice. He’ll either stir your heart with a “yes” or close it up with a “no”. Either way, He’s speaking and it is a great time to learn what His voice sounds like!
Tomorrow I will post the challenge – be prayed up and ready!