God’s Voice vs Other Voices: How Can You Tell the Difference?

The other night a young lady called me. She’s in a very sticky situation.

She is currently separated from her husband. A young man from church started pursuing a relationship with her. She’s not interested in him romantically and has made that clear. But they are talking and becoming friends due to their common interest in the things of God.

She told me, “I’m trying to free myself from this guy. I just want to focus on my relationship with Jesus and healing my heart! But for some reason, I keep feeling like I’m forced to be his friend and maybe more some day. I’m praying and praying, but I can’t get any peace. What can I do?”

Whew! That’s tough. When you are praying and yet don’t see the results you had hoped for, what can you do?

We talked for some time. She’s been growing rapidly in hearing from God and learning His ways.

One thing she said that caught my attention – “feeling forced” to be his friend.

I asked her about it. She said she feels this pressure and she wonders if it’s God or not. She’s afraid to cut things off with him because she’s not sure if maybe God WANTS her to be friends with him.

I told her that there’s a big difference between following the leading of the Lord and the feeling of being forced or pushed.

I sent her this chart I made to help her discern when it’s God voice or some other voice.

gods voice vs other voices

She immediately replied:

“Wow, I havent realized how much of the other voices I’ve been listening to because I wasn’t sure whether they were from God or not. It’s so clear now.”

I know this chart has helped me – sometimes when we feel unclear about something and especially if our emotions are involved, this can help bring clarity about exactly whose voice we are following.

Some charts I’ve seen contrast God’s voice to Satan’s voice. I chose to contrast God’s voice to “other voices” because sometimes that voice is our own! We are sometimes our own worst enemy – we tell ourselves what we “should” be doing, using guilt and manipulation to get ourselves to do things. Sometimes that “other voice” is someone in our lives giving us advice or telling us what we should do. This chart can help us figure out whether what they are saying lines up with the Lord’s voice. And yes, sometimes that “other voice” is the enemy, Satan, whispering things into our minds (which sounds like our own thoughts).

I encouraged her to keep that chart somewhere she could refer to it frequently. You might want to do the same.

So how do you know when it’s God’s voice versus Other voices? Feel free to share your experience below.

Would you like to share this post on your favorite social media to help others discern who’s voice they are hearing? Thanks! 🙂

Breathing with God

The other day I was describing to a friend the experience of the presence of God. It is hard to describe in words of the natural realm. “Many people want to experience God’s presence,” she said, “but they don’t know how. You should share this.”

As I pondered how to teach someone the very first step toward becoming aware of the presence of God, this exercise came to me. I hope it helps you take your first step toward a deeper relationship with God.

Breathing with God

Close your eyes and take a deep breath slowly. Imagine the Spirit of God filling you as you breathe in. Hold your breath and count to five mentally. Let the breath out as you say, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Set a timer on your cell phone for one minute. Do the breathing exercise. You can use different phrases like, “I love you, Jesus” or “You’re wonderful, Jesus” if you want to add variety.

Notice how you feel after doing this exercise. I feel relaxed, at peace and I have mental clarity.

Start by doing this exercise once a day.

Once it feels comfortable doing this for one minute every day, set the timer for three minutes.

You’ll notice an even greater peace and clarity of mind. You may begin to become aware of God’s presence.

Don’t start with three minutes if you have never done this before. Start with one minute. I know some of you want to skip ahead, but trust me on this. Take baby steps – this is a lifetime practice, not a quick fix. Taking it slowly now will payoff very well later. I promise!

Keep doing it every day. You can do this more than once a day, if you wish. It can be particularly helpful to do this while sitting in traffic, to reduce your stress (but keep your eyes open please).

After awhile you will look forward to your special time with God each day. That’s when you can stop using the timer. Spend as much time as you want. The more you do this, the more likely you will become aware of God’s presence.

Don’t give up. Let your desire for God draw you to this time. If you lack desire, then when you breathe out say, “Draw me, Lord.”

What is God’s presence like? Some people sense a presence (or energy) of love or of peace. Others sense companionship – like someone is there with them and they are no longer alone. You’ll know when it happens to you – it’s personal and unique. ♥

Once you become aware of God’s presence, you can do the breathing exercise longer, if you wish. It can help you stay focused on Him. You can share your thoughts and feelings with God. Or you may enjoy practicing Listening Prayer, another exercise to help you connect with God. [I’ll post a description on this blog later, but for now you can Google “Listening Prayer” if you want to learn more.]

Let me know what you experience when you try this exercise. It’s so simple, yet it has profound effects.

Looking for more? This article appears in a free ebook called Intimate Relationship with God – you can download it here. 😊

Unexpected KEY to Intimacy with God

I’ve been seeking the Lord for over 35 years. I’ve been in thousands of church meetings and Bible studies – I can’t recall a single time this was ever mentioned as a key to being close to God.

I was amazed when I discovered it. I wish I’d known this sooner. I could have enjoyed the Lord’s love and presence so much more over the years.

It all started one day when the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “You can be as free as you want to be.” I was shocked. I had been carrying a lot of emotional baggage all my life – fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, etc. I’d tried all kinds of methods to get free, but it seemed like such a slow, hard process. I was so discouraged – then I heard His whisper.

It gave me such HOPE!

I desperately wanted to be at peace, to be confident and to be a woman of faith that trusted God. I did not want to be this insecure girl full of fear who was always wondering what was wrong with me. Can you relate? (Maybe a little?)

So I started pursuing emotional healing with all my heart AND I finally found a method that worked for me. I was amazed how fast I was getting free of lifelong fears and insecurities. It was like going through an extreme makeover emotionally. I could hardly believe how much I was changing into the woman I wanted to be.

The key was: The more healed I was inside, the more open and trusting I was able to be with God.

As I was healed from emotional pain from my past, it opened me up to trust God deeply in ways I had struggled to trust Him before. I discovered so many lies I believed subconsciously about myself, about God and about how life works. As the lies came to light, one by one, I was able to let them go and receive the truth.

It was so incredibly liberating – I had no idea what a shift it would make in my perspective. I got healed of things I didn’t even know were broken! Words feel so inadequate in trying to explain to you how BIG this was – emotional healing not only set ME free, it opened up a whole new WORLD in my relationship with God!!

Would you like to know what method worked for me? I tried so many different things, but very few seemed to have lasting effects. I finally found a very simple method and wrote it down. When I shared it with friends, they also had big breakthroughs in their own healing. I started carrying around photocopies of my notes because every time someone was helped, they asked for a copy so they could share it with someone else.

I finally put them in a little book. It’s not very long – the main point is to DO the method, not just read about it. I purposely made it short so people could just jump right in and start getting healed.

Thanks for listening to my story. I have so much peace now. I feel utterly secure – confident in who God made me to be. I wish I had words to describe how much better my life is now – it’s blessing upon blessing with no fear of the future. Yes, I still have a rough day once in awhile, but NOTHING compared to what it was like before.

If you are interested in the book, here’s the link.

Can you relate to my story at all? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. I’d love to support you in your journey to a more intimate relationship with God. I offer books, an online course and one-on-one mentoring. Let me know how I can help you today 💕

Spirit vs Soul, Surprising Power in Prayer

Did you know there’s a difference between praying from your spirit versus praying from your soul?

I’ve seen this time and time again – especially in prayer meetings where various people pray. I can immediately tell from the frequency in someone’s voice (their tone, passion, etc.) whether they are praying from their spirit or their soul.

So what’s the difference? And does it change the results?

When we pray from our souls, we tend to connect with our emotions. We focus on the problem and we pray the problem out loud. When someone prays from their soul they often focus on the pain of the problem and it can make them cry or speak very passionately. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is one way of praying. It may make us feel better or sometimes it makes us feel worse (more emotionally upset). Here’s an example,

“Lord, you know what is happening with our young people. They are doing drugs, they are not listening to their parents, they are going after the world. Oh, Lord, you know this breaks our hearts. It is not right. We need you to intervene and change their hearts. They are headed down a very dark path that leads to destruction. We don’t want that to happen. We don’t want them to die young from a drug overdose or from violence in the streets. Oh Lord, please help us! Please help our young people turn to you!”

When we pray from our spirits, we are listening to the Holy Spirit and waiting to hear from the Spirit what we should say. We are not focused on the problem, we are focused on what the Spirit is saying. I often hear spiritual authority in someone’s voice when they pray from their spirit instead of from their soul. When someone prays from their soul, they are using their emotional energy to convey the importance of their request – by getting more passionate about it, they feel they are connecting more with God. When someone prays from their spirit, they are using the energy of spiritual authority and that has a completely different effect. Here’s an example,

“Thank you, Lord, that you are taking care of our young people. We see that some are not honoring you, but we know that you are already working in their hearts to dismantle their love of the world. Thank you that you have dispatched angels tonight to fight on their behalf against the darkness. We specifically release an increased awareness of Your presence and Your goodness in the lives of Sammy, Tom, Junior and Olivia. We expect to see the outworking of Your grace in their choices soon. Thank you so much for your love and kindness that you care about them and their future. You are a good, good Father!”

Often a prayer from the Spirit becomes more and more specific. Instead of just praying for “young people” in general, the Spirit will bring specific young people to mind and how to pray for them personally. God is a personal God – He knows each of us by name and can give us very specific insight into how to pray for those we care about. Or He may reveal a specific strategy He is using to reach a large group of people. Either way, it becomes more and more specific the longer we listen and pray what He is saying.

Listen in prayer to God

When we pray from our spirits, we are not trying to move God by our tears or our passion. We are simply agreeing with what HE is already doing and we are partnering with His purposes on the earth. How do you know what He is already doing? By listening to the Holy Spirit as you pray – He will tell you what to say and how to say it. I’m not kidding – it really works that way! Then, guess what? Those prayers tend to get answered more quickly and effectively! Why? Because you were praying according to His will, not according to yours.

John said it like this, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15

I LOVE to be in a prayer meeting where each person is listening to the Holy Spirit and only praying what they hear the Lord saying. There’s such freedom and power! It is incredibly encouraging as the Lord reveals His plans for the problems we see. By the end of the prayer time, we are so filled with joy and anticipation of what God is going to do!!

I don’t enjoy as much the prayer meetings I have been in when people are praying from their souls. It can be moving to hear how much they care about an issue, but often it begins to feel almost like charismatic witchcraft – trying to get God to do what YOU want Him to do. It’s actually quite painful at times as you sense the lack of faith in God’s goodness – when you “pray the problem”, it tends to grow in your mind and weigh you down even more. Yuk!

If you need help learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit, I created a short course to help with that. It only takes a few minutes to go through the material and then practice – I recommend 15 minutes each week for 4 weeks. The more you practice, the easier it gets! The course is called Developing A Close Relationship with God: A Simple MethodYou can click on the course icon below to find out more information. You will enjoy it! 🙂

So how about you? Do you know the difference between when you are praying in your soul versus when you are praying in your spirit? Can you shift between them when you want to? Do you know how to listen to the Holy Spirit when you are praying? Comment below! Share your experience – I shared mine. We learn from each other that way. ❤

Want to know more? Read this post: Spirit vs Soul, Part 1

Saturated in God’s Love You Are💕

Last night I was asking Holy Spirit, “Why don’t people feel/experience the Love God has for them? Why is it only in their head (as a concept) and not felt with their hearts? What is the obstacle that prevents them from perceiving His Love and RECEIVING His Love?”

Holy Spirit showed me this:

The air is SATURATED with the Love of God! But we often cannot perceive it. One way to become more aware of it is to cultivate gratitude. Being grateful is a CHOICE. But we often focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. Gratitude draws MORE good things to you. It’s like a magnet of favor.

The Air is Saturated with God’s Love

In Him we live and move and have our being. He IS Love! Yet many people do not perceive or feel God’s Love for them. They feel like an orphan, alone and not taken care of.


Start paying attention to all the GOOD in your life, the silent mercies you take for granted every day! Open your emotional heart and say to God, “Thank you. I know that is You.” It will transform the way you see the world around you! 😃 You will begin to feel God’s Love for you – it’s inescapable! You are living IN IT!

How do you know that someone loves you? By the way they treat you. God is being good to us every single day – we just don’t pay enough attention to it. Change your focus and you’ll see it!! 🙃😍💕

You are NOT alone! It’s impossible for you to be alone – you are IN Him!

Receive God's Love

Get Your Fire Back!

What do you do when you know you should have a desire to seek the Lord, but you just don’t have it?

I recall when I first “fell in love” with Jesus. It was so powerful! I couldn’t believe how good I felt and how much I could feel His love for me. It was like falling in love, except it wasn’t with a natural man – it was with Jesus!

I remember trying to explain this to my friends – they didn’t get it. But Jesus was SO REAL to me and I KNEW for the first time in my life, really knew I was loved by Him.

But then the drudgery of daily life took over.

I wanted to keep my passion and fire for Jesus, but it was disappearing and I didn’t know what to do. I was also afraid to tell anyone because they might judge me.

Have you ever felt that way? LIke you wanted to be close to God but the desire to seek Him just was not there?

I have great news! I figured out what to do and it has worked for me many, many times since then. And it’s super easy!

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

How to Get Your Fire for God back

First, just admit it. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize that you are losing your fire – it happens very slowly and quietly. If you are not around other people who are passionate about Jesus, it can be even harder to recognize – there’s no one to stir you up! But eventually you will realize it. It’s important to admit it – that’s the first step. Admit it to yourself – “I don’t feel like seeking God. My heart is cold.” This is humbling – it kills your pride.

Then, tell Jesus that you feel cold toward Him. I know you probably don’t want to, but this is important. Acknowledge that you WISH you had a desire to seek Him and His ways, but you just don’t. Ask Him to forgive you for the lack of desire to seek Him.

Lastly, ask Jesus to give you a desire to seek Him. I know that doesn’t make sense, but honestly – where do you think you got the desire to seek God in the first place? From Him! We are dependent on Him even for the desire to seek Him.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” John 6:44

You may not have an “instant” experience of suddenly being passionate about God again. What I’ve noticed when I’ve prayed this prayer is that it takes about 24-48 hours to take effect. I often forget about the prayer and then a couple of days later I notice I suddenly have a desire to seek the Lord. It happens spontaneously, at least for me.

So – try it! I encourage you to choose to seek the Lord. He is worthy and you won’t regret it.Life with Him is AWESOME!

Here’s an example of a prayer you can pray:

Jesus, I’m sorry. I have no desire to seek You right now. I don’t know why. I feel cold in my heart and I want to be different inside. Please restore the desire to seek You in my heart. Thank you. Amen.

Let me know in the comments below what happened after you prayed that prayer. I love to hear how God changes lives. He’s changed mine over and over again. He’ll do it for you too!

Living in the Manifest Presence of God

Abraham said, “The Lord, in Whose presence I walk …” [Genesis 24:40]

“There’s a difference between living in the Omnipresence of God and living in the Manifest Presence of God.” – Alyn Jones, Grace Center, Franklin, TN

We all live in the Omnipresence of God – God is everywhere. We can acknowledge that and live in that knowledge.

But there is a place of living in the Manifest Presence of God – where you KNOW HE IS THERE, right there where you are. You are tangibly aware of His presence. It’s amazing – it’s life-giving, it’s comforting, it’s fullness of joy.

You can know this place – you can walk with God like this. It’s not impossible. Truly.

Walk with Him and obey Him. What is He telling YOU to do? Do that. Just that and nothing else. Don’t try to EARN your way into His Manifest Presence. Just obey with all your heart the last thing He told you to do. Be faithful.

Cultivate an awareness of His Presence. I’ve spent my life chasing after Him and I am happy to report that I now live in His Manifest Presence. Every day. Every morning I wake up aware of His Presence. If I wake up feeling foggy, then I speak to Him until my mind clears and I am again aware of His presence. I don’t leave my bed until I do.

Just do it – you won’t regret it. Make yourself aware of His Presence. Talk to Him as though He is really RIGHT THERE with you. Because He is. You just don’t realize it. 🙂

“Our believing produces our receiving.” – Alyn Jones

Can you imagine what it would look like to live in God’s Manifest Presence 24/7? Imagine the peace of knowing all your steps are ordered – never feeling rushed or worried. Being sure that all that you need will be provided when you need it – just like the sparrows.

Can you believe and can you trust enough to actually receive this in your heart?

That is the question.

Here’s a hymn to inspire you to walk with Him and talk with Him. Enjoy! 🙂

Look for Him – He’s right there ♥

“He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile.” – A. W Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Chapter 3

I read this back in 1990 and was blown away. My heart “knew” this statement was true, but I didn’t know anyone who knew God like this. Not a soul. At the time, I was surrounded by the most on-fire Christians I could find. I had just spent two years in Bible College with a bunch of radical students who wanted nothing more than to give their lives for Jesus, going anywhere He wanted them to go. Then I joined a youth organization known for its mission work around the globe. I had just arrived at a new base that was birthed out of one man’s passion to see revival brought to America.

Yet this simple statement seemed incredulous to me. If this was true, if this man experienced God that way, then why didn’t I know anyone else who had? If this was possible, why oh why, didn’t everyone walk with God like this?!

I became determined that THIS would be my life. That I would “find” God like this as though my life depended on it. Because in my heart, I knew it did.

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.” – A. W Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Chapter 1

The “children of the burning heart” – that describes me perfectly.

burning heart

You can read A.W. Tozer’s book online – it’s free  🙂

Read it – your heart will thank you! ♥

Cultivating Closeness

I have been feeling drawn … closer. Closer to God, closer to an awareness of His nearness. I feel a greater need to “pay attention” to God’s Spirit, follow more closely, don’t get distracted.

It is SO easy to get distracted in this digital world – so much vies for our attention. There’s so much “mental noise” trying to drown out the still, small voice of the Lord.

However, I sense that there is coming a time when those who can follow closely will be dearly needed – and they will be few and far between. I remember hearing stories of the USSR when it was under communist rule. The Christians had to follow the Holy Spirit very closely. They were not allowed to meet in a church or in a public place to worship. They became the underground church. They would meet secretly in people’s homes to worship and pray together. They did not send out invitations – that would have been dangerous. Instead they listened to the Holy Spirit. I remember hearing the stories how people would individually feel drawn to a specific person’s house. When they arrived, they would find others who had been drawn. Throughout the evening, people would arrive one by one. No one had “called” a meeting – the Holy Spirit led them. This way the secret police could never discover their plans … because they HAD NO PLANS. It was too dangerous to plan a gathering. Once they arrived, they worshipped, prayed and enjoyed God’s presence together.

I hope things don’t get as bad as they once were in the USSR. But there may be other situations where being sensitive to His leading will be life saving. I want to be ready. Now is the time to be “practicing” so that when the time comes when you are dearly needed, you will be ready.

Press in!

Photo Source: Stockbyte

Photo Source: Stockbyte