How to have a thriving relationship with God

When I was a teenager, I remember telling women all I wanted in a husband was someone who’s a Christian. She looked at me and said something like: that’s not enough. Look for a man who lives for The Lord. It’s one thing to say you are a Christian, it’s another to have a thriving relationship with God. One that compels you to change- not out of duty, but love and desire. Continue to read and find out how you can have a thriving relationship with God as well.

A picture of a woman standing in front of a white background. She has shoulder-length, wavy black, and brown hair. Next to her picture is a blue background with white letters that say spiritual growth, how to have a thriving relationship with God. www.onedeterminedlife.com

I grew up in a Christian home and was saved at an early age. When I got to be a teenager, I realized I was 3 different people. Anne at school, Anne at church, and Anne at home. 

I realized I couldn’t keep it up and needed to choose one. The Lord guided me through this period and I chose to be Anne from Church. 

For me, that meant actually living out the life I was telling people I believed. 

From that point on, I wanted to know more about God and grow in my faith. 

4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord

The worst Spiritual Advice I’ve ever gotten

To do this, I was told the same advice repeatedly: Get up early in the morning and give God your first minutes of the day and spend time with Him. 

I’m not sure the exact language, but the speakers made it sound that if I didn’t commit this time to The Lord in the morning, my days would not go right, and I wasn’t giving The Lord my best. 

Since I wanted to grow in my faith and learn more about God, I tried following the advice.

I made a goal to wake up earlier, read my Bible, and pray in the morning. I wanted to give The Lord my first and best minutes of the day. 

But, within a day or so of setting these goals, I would miss a day and then eventually give up. 

My brain believed that if I could not spend this time the way I wanted, then I might as well stop trying. 

After a while, the guilt would set in. 

The Devil had a field day with my thoughts and made me think things such as: 

  • You obviously don’t love God because you can’t even wake up a bit earlier and spend time with Him
  • You’re a fake! You say you love the Lord, but you don’t read His word.

These lies made me feel guilty and made me feel like a complete failure. Here I was, trying so hard to follow all the advice given to me, and failing at every turn. 

The Lord showed me His way

Then, one day, I met my husband. We started dating and eventually got married. 

During that first year, I noticed that my husband (Greg) didn’t connect to God the way I did. 

I loved going to the breaking of bread service. This is a meeting where people are led by the spirit to pray, share a verse, and suggest a song we would all sing. Then, towards the end, we would take communion. 

I loved this service and could usually see how The Spirit worked through different people to share thoughts that would “somehow” all be related. 

Even though I loved this service, my husband really struggled with it. I thought it was because he didn’t grow up in the same denomination, and didn’t think much of it.  

But, over the years, I realized it was because He connected to God in a different way. 

He felt the closest to God through worship songs. 

It was through watching my husband live out his faith that I realized there wasn’t just one way to connect to God. 

There are many ways people connect to God

Since then, I’ve learned there are many ways people connect to God

So I started paying close attention to people’s testimonies. I wanted to know how they came to Know God, how He worked in their lives, and how they worshipped Him. 

Through that exercise, I learned I was placing my relationship with God in a box that didn’t fit my personality, brain, or anything else

No wonder I was failing! 

I was going through this cycle of “renewal” and guilt and struggled with guilt for so long. 

Through that journey, The Lord has taught me certain things that have helped me thrive in my relationship with Him. 

Can you relate to my story? 

You are doing “all the right things” but you still feel disconnected, guilty, or even blah about your faith. 

I want to assure you that these feelings are OK! I’ve had them as well!

But it doesn’t have to stay that way!! 

Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord? 

You can have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord! 

The more I open up about my journey and my struggles, the more I see how many people feel the same as I do. 

That’s exactly why I’ve put together This Webinar for you.

Join me for A FREE Webinar: 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord, 

In this webinar I’ll tell you:

✅ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✅How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✅ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

✅ And more!

If you want a closer relationship with God and aren’t sure where to start, register for this FREE Webinar

Click here to get all the details and get your FREE ticket.

4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord

3 Stages Of Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth, which, like physical growth, is central to a healthy life, and the essence of our relationship with God. As believers, we go through different stages of spiritual growth.

We learn God loves us and has a plan for our lives. We learn about who he is and his love for us. 

Then, we develop a relationship with God. we can forgive ourselves so that we can begin a stronger relationship with him.

We also learn how to obey God’s word and build a stronger foundation for the future.

As we mature, we continue to grow in our love for God and confidence in our victory over the enemy.  

We develop a solid, mature love of God who is a strong source of self-worth and protector from the enemy.

Join Felicia Livingston as she walks us through 3 Stages of Spiritual Growth.

Felicia is a wife, mom, minister, Blogger, and entrepreneur. It’s difficult juggling everything, but with The Grace Of God, I can do all things! You can find Felicia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.

A picture of 3 sprouts coming out of the ground. Each one is bigger than the last. Beside the picture are the words 3 stages of spiritual growth. Anne Markey, One Determined Life

What Are The 3 Stages Of Spiritual Growth?

I Am Writing To You, Dear Children, Because Your Sins Have Been Forgiven On Account Of His Name. I Am Writing To You, Fathers, Because You Know Who Is From The Beginning. I Am Writing To You, Young Men, Because You Have Overcome The Evil One. I Write To You, Dear Children, Because You Know The Father. I Write To You, Fathers, Because You Know Who Is From The Beginning. I Write To You, Young Men, Because You Are Strong, And The Word Of God Lives In You, And You Have Overcome The Evil One.

1 John 2:12-14

Before we begin our journey through each stage of spiritual growth, we are forgiven of our sins through the grace of God.

We have been given the gift of grace because of our faith in Jesus. As a result of our faith, we will have eternal life.  

What a glorious promise!  

Although each stage has its own struggles and challenges. we go from one stage to the next, from glory to glory.

Stage 1: Baby Christian

The child of God is the first of the stages of spiritual growth. This is the stage where we are most like infants.  I’m sure you have heard the term “baby Christian”.  

We are in a relationship with God, but we do not have a solid understanding of his word or his will for our lives.  We are beginning to see that God loves us, forgives us, and wants to help us.

We have not yet learned to obey his word, and we are still guided by our emotions. We are still learning how to listen to his voice. 

I would even dare to say that we are still learning to take instruction from the leaders that God has placed in our lives.

This is where we become “followers” of Jesus.  We follow by faith, not knowing where the journey will take us.  

A picture of Anne Markey from One Determined life with the words FREE Webinar. $ simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord.

Stage 2: Young Christian

In this stage of development, we go from follower to disciple. We are still learning, but we begin to see the fruit of obedience.

We are beginning to understand God’s word, and we are learning how to apply the word in our lives. 

He is the perfect father, and we are learning that he is perfect in our lives, too.

This is a great step in our spiritual growth. We are learning to stop trying to control the outcome and simply trust god.

During this stage, it’s time to start serving others. In the same way, Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve.

We are to strive to be like Jesus in this area; giving of ourselves selflessly

Stage 3: Mature Believer

As we continue to grow in the Christian faith, we reach the state of a mature believer.

In this stage, we do not have to rely on anyone to minister the word of god to us.  We simply minister to ourselves through the seeds that were planted.  

With those same seeds, we teach others that the lord placed in our care.  

This is where we become leaders and mentors; ushering the baby Christians and the young into his presence. 

We are the watchman, keeping an eye on our spiritual children and making sure no evil infiltrates the kingdom.  

We begin to use the gifts that God gave us to edify the kingdom.  

How do you know you are growing spiritually?

The changes are subtle; you don’t realize they are happening until you are dealing with something. 

Your reaction to the situation or circumstance will determine which stage of growth you are in.  

  • Do you react with your emotions? Are you unreasonable in your approach?  
  • Or are you dealing with the situation based on the principles you learned in the bible? Are you able to go through trials and still function in your calling?

The next time you are confronted with a situation, you should take the time to reflect on how you dealt with it.

This will help you measure which stage you are in and you will know the work that needs to be done within you.  

Don’t be discouraged when you realize you may not be where you thought you were. It’s good to take time to self-examine ourselves. 

This is definitely a sign that you are on your way to becoming a mature believer. 

5 things you can do to get closer to God spiritually

Here are some tips to help you draw closer to the lord so he can draw closer to you.  Each tip will help you navigate to each of the stages of spiritual growth.

1. Start praying for god’s guidance

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (psalm 32:8)

2. Spend time alone with god

Submit yourselves, then, to god. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7-8)

3. Read your Bible every day

The power of the word of god

for the word of god is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

(Hebrews 4:12)

The benefits of reading your bible every day

All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 timothy 3:16-17)

4. Meditate on scripture

What is meditation?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to god. (Colossians 3:16)

How to meditate on scripture?

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119-10-11)

5. Journal things God reveals to you

Journaling is necessary for reflection

At the lord’s command, Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages: (numbers 33:2)

Your journal can be used to teach others

Then the Lord said to Moses, “write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. (exodus 17:14)

Do you need help?

Do you want a closer relationship with God but aren’t sure where to start? Join me at this FREE webinar as I walk you through 4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. 

I’ll tell you:

✅ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✅How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✅ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

And more!

This webinar is focused on YOU, and how you can apply these experiences and ideas towards your walk with God today, in real-time, in order to revive it, and strengthen it.

Join me, Anne Markey of One Determined life for this webinar called 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. 

There is just one webinar, but multiple times/dates to choose from so that you can find a time that works for you. 

And don’t worry, if you can’t find a time that works, sign up anyway and catch the replay. 

The best part? It’s totally free! 

Stop feeling stuck in your faith and take the first step to a thriving relationship with the Lord.

Click here to register for the webinar today!

3 Stages Of Spiritual Growth

What Steps You Can Take to Grow Spiritually

No matter where you are in your walk with Christ, spiritual growth is important for every Christian. It ties into the growth mindset and believes that you should always be learning. The same applies to Biblical studies and our understanding of God’s Word, His purpose for our life, and His plan. Continue to read as I share with you what steps you can take to grow spiritually.

This post is written by Natasha Funderburk. She is a wife, #boymom, NASM-CPT, Nutrition Coach, Behavior Change Specialist, and freelance writer. She’s also the founder of Salt + Sparrow, a Spiritual Growth Christian Blog for women, dedicated to finding big faith in small things. She can on her blog, or on Facebook.

A picture of a woman facing the camera putting her index finger upward. She has long, wavy blond hair and is standing in front of a pink background. Next to the picture are the words spiritual growth, what steps you can take to grow spiritually.

What is Spiritual Growth?

Spiritual growth is a concept that focuses on learning more and growing in your relationship with God. Being and becoming familiar with the Word, whether you’re just starting your walk or you’ve felt strong in your faith for a while, is a foundation that only gets stronger as you build upon it.

But how can someone grow in their spiritual relationship with God? There are multiple ways a Christian can grow in their faith, but here are some ways you can start if spiritual growth is at the top of your to-do list.

What Steps You Can Take to Grow Spiritually

1. Pray

One of the first steps toward spiritual growth is to get into the habit of talking to God- also known as praying.

A common theme or question among new Christians is, “But how do I pray? What do I say?” The answer: anything and everything. 

Sometimes prayer can be more formal, involving scripture from the Bible, or it can take the form of a request, or it can even just be offering up a silent prayer of thanks for something that happened in your day.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

God wants a relationship with every single one of us. Don’t be afraid to tell Him about your day. He doesn’t care if you stumble in your words. He wants to have an intimate role in our lives, so tell Him the silly, tell him the sad, the bad, the good. 

Practice having those conversations and the more you do, the easier it will become.

What Steps You Can Take to Grow Spiritually

2. Study the Bible

Learning God’s word is the next step.

Truth: the Bible can be confusing. The language can be difficult to interpret, the names impossible to pronounce, and the concepts can have you debating for hours.

But learn it anyway. Spend time in God’s word every single day; make it part of your daily routine and a commitment to yourself and God. Find Bible studies that will help you comprehend the message in the text that you are reading. This can be done independently, or with a group. There is value in both scenarios.

Find scriptures that resonate with you and commit to memorizing them. Write them on flashcards, put them where you can see them, and keep these close to your spirit and heart.

Tie this into the first step and pray about what you’re reading; that God will open your heart and your mind to understanding His message, and that you’ll be able to apply it in your life moving forward. 

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

– Matthew 4:4 NIV

3. Surround Yourself with Other Christians

It’s easy to adopt the mindset or habits of the people we continue to hang around, even when we do it subconsciously or unintentionally. That’s why surrounding yourself with other Christians is so important.

Praying together, worshiping together, and learning together is a great way to grow in your own relationship with Christ. 

These are the people who will help hold you accountable in your walk through faith. 

“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV

4. Register for This FREE Webinar

Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord? 

If you said no, or want to grow in your faith, I have something really special for you. I’ve put together a webinar for you called: 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord, 

In this webinar I’ll tell you:

✅ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✅How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✅ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

✅ And more!

If you want a closer relationship with God and aren’t sure where to start, register for this FREE Webinar

Click here to get all the details and get your FREE ticket.

What Steps You Can Take to Grow Spiritually

These four steps are a great way to start growing in your faith. They’re also the gatekeepers for finding ways that faith can be part of more aspects of your life.

As you get more comfortable and confident in what you’re learning, you’ll be able to see how your faith impacts everything you do; from the conversations you have, the way you lead and minister to others, and the way God’s love will show and shine through you.

In the comments below, let me know what steps you can take to grow spiritually.

Jesus is King of Kings

I look through the history books and see failed leadership repeatedly. Thankfully, as Christians, we have a King who is perfect and will one day reign forever. Jesus is the King of Kings and we can let our hope rest in Him.

Over the past several weeks, I have been sharing blog posts about the names of God.

This week is no different. I am so thrilled to have Amber as a guest blogger.

Amber is the wife to Lance and homeschool momma of their two sweet little boys. She has been blogging on and off since 2006 and has a passion to see women live into abundance through finding their worth and identity in Christ alone. You can find Amber’s blog www.cultivatingjewels.com

Jesus is King of Kings

Jesus is King of Kings

When Jesus came as a baby, it took the world by surprise. Jews of the time were expecting Jesus to come as an established King, not as an infant and especially not as an infant born in a manger of all places. 

God has always been King and rightfully so. He is King of Heaven and all He has created on Earth. 

He has dominion over all things. Within the Bible, there are three verses that relate the name ‘King of Kings’ to the Father or to the Son. 

Two of these speak of Jesus while the third refers to God.

Each of the three times the term ‘King of Kings’ is used in reference to God or Jesus, it is paired with the term Lord of Lords. 

Revelations 19:16 is probably the most well-known verse using these terms. We find a similar verse in Revelation 17:14. 

  • Revelations 19:16 (ESV) On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
  • Revelations 17:14 (ESV) They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.

Jesus As King

Great Nations do not exist apart from strong leadership. 

Looking back through history it is fairly easy to trace what countries succeeded and which succumbed because of the strength (or weakness) of their leader. 

Throughout the Old Testament, Kings are listed and categorized as good, or bad. The bible also tells us whether the King led the people to do God’s will or followed the way of the wicked. 

From an earthly standard, kings are often known for the outcome of battles – whether they won or lost. 

We know that Jesus has already won the battle from reading verses such as 

  • John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
  • Colossians 2:15 (ESV) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Jesus is worthy of being called King because He won the battle and is sitting at the right hand of God. 

  • Luke 22:69 (ESV) But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God. 

He is sitting on the Throne in Heaven.

The story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is that of God creating the world, sin entering the world, Jesus coming to save the world, and Jesus overcoming the forces of evil. In every way, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

God as King

The third verse which uses the name King of Kings is in reference to God the Father. 

  • 1 Timothy 6:15 (ESV) which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords


To understand this verse better, let’s also look at a section of Scripture found in 1st Corinthians chapter 15. 

Paul is discussing the resurrection of Jesus and also of our resurrection as believers. He explains that if we belong to Christ our resurrection is sure.

But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

1 Corinthians 15:23-28

In the above verses, we see the order God has ordained for the day of resurrection. 

Jesus will first destroy every rule, authority, and power including death. Then, all things, including Jesus, will be subjected to God the Father. 

Looking back at the verse in 1 Timothy, we can relate the order of God’s Kingdom, to the fact that in the end, God is the ruler (king) over all.

King Defined

When looking to understand terms better, it is important to start with their definition.

Noah Webster defines the word ‘king’ as The chief or sovereign of a nation; a man invested with supreme authority over a nation, tribe or country. A sovereign; a prince; a ruler. Christ is called the king of his church. 

Using this definition, using the name King for God shows God is the leader of a nation and has supreme power over that nation.

 We know from reading The Word that we, His children, are His nation. 

God has complete authority over His children, and everything else He has created.  

He is the King of all Kings, Lord of all Lords. 

As we read our Bibles, it is very important to know the names of God and the meaning behind them. 

The Bible comes to be much more alive and active when we take the time to study the Scriptures to understand and get to know God on a more personal basis. 

3 ways Jesus as King of Kings affects our lives

Now that we have looked into the meaning behind the name ‘King of Kings’, let’s turn our focus to what this means in our own personal lives. 

Another terrific way of having the Word come alive for us is when we can take what it says and apply it personally.

1. To have No Other Gods

When studying the Bible it is important to pay attention to the parallels between the Old and New Testaments. 

In Deuteronomy 5 God gave the Israelites the 10 commandments. He clearly instructs them to have no other Gods. For the Israelites, worshipping other Gods meant they were not to bow down to any idols. 

In today’s world, we don’t worship physical idols, but we do sometimes worship other things. Idols in our lives may be money, fame, work, church attendance, coffee, and so on.

An idol is anything we put before God in our lives. Jesus desires to be the King of Kings in our lives. That means putting God in front of everything else in our lives. 

God wants to sit on the throne of our hearts and reign. There should be no competition for Him if we are truly living as His children. 

2. No Rivals  

While sayings such as “all I need is coffee and a whole lot of Jesus” are trendy, I would propose that in all actuality they are lies from the enemy to distract us from the fact that God alone is enough.

God alone is able. We do not have to rely on coffee (or anything else) to provide for us what only Jesus can. 

This doesn’t mean we need to vilify everything else. However, we must give glory where glory is due, and that is of course Jesus Christ alone. He has no rivals.

3. Rest In Jesus

As believers, we can rest in Jesus’ victory over Satan. 

While the enemy will do everything he can to attack us, we do not have to fear him. 

Christians can rest because Jesus has won the last battle. If we have asked God into our hearts, we know where our future will be spent – with the One and Only King of Kings.

It is my prayer that this writing has allowed you to better understand the name “King of Kings” when it is used in relation to God the Father and Christ the Son.  

In the comments, let me know what areas of your life you have surrendered to Jesus- Kings of Kings.  

Jesus is King of Kings
Picture of a crown. Above the picture are the words: Discover who God is, Jesus is King of Kings. One Determined life.

Jesus is The Good Shepherd

The only pet I have ever trained has been our dog Rolo. After 2 years of being in our home, he knows our voice and comes when we call Him. I have slowly come to understand the bond between an animal and its owner. The bible tells us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd has sheep that follow Him.

This week, I am so happy to share a post written by Marilyn. She writes about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.

Marilyn Nutter is from Greer, South Carolina, and is the author of three devotional books and contributor to online sites, print, and compilations. To learn more about her, follow her on her Blog or read her bio at the end of this post.

A picture of a shepherd moving his sheep along. Next to the picture are the words The good shephers. Powerful names of God blog series

Jesus is the Good Shepherd

How do you introduce yourself?  I was known as “Mrs. Nutter” to my students. To my children’s friends, I was “Kate’s mom.” When meeting new friends at church or in the community, I’m simply “Marilyn,” and at conferences, my name might be followed by “contributing writer to publications.” Each introduction is unique and related to who I met.

Jesus introduces Himself

Reading through the New Testament, Jesus introduces Himself with seven “I am” statements. Each unique name has a life-giving name for believers.

These names reflect His character and offer assurances of His provision and presence for daily living and eternal life. Each would make a valuable personal study.

  • As the bread of life, Jesus nourishes and sustains us with spiritual food. (John 6)
  • As the light of the world, He guides us and illumines our paths for living and to eternal life. (John 8)
  • As the door of the sheep, He protects us from attacks and predators. (John 10)
  • As the resurrection and the life, He assures us the grave is not final when we place our trust in Him. (John 11)
  • As the good shepherd, Jesus cares and watches over us. (John 10)
  • As the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus said He marked out the only way to eternal life. (John 14)
  • As He is the true vine, we can grow and bear fruit for the kingdom as we attach ourselves to Him. (John 15)

How can we practically relate to His introductions?

All of Jesus’ names are significant, but one—shepherd—is difficult to relate to in the 21st century.

Even though Jesus’ audience was well acquainted with shepherds, we are not.

Yet the Word of God is timeless, and His reference to shepherds is intentional, personal, and applicable.

To fully appreciate what Jesus communicates, we need to understand the relationship of shepherds to sheep. And as we do, we find it is one of the most endearing names and roles He offers.

Shepherds and sheep have a sweet relationship. Several YouTube videos illustrate how well sheep know their shepherd’s call and ignore others.

Sheep respond to their shepherd’s voice alone and follow his lead; they tune out other voices. Why? They know their shepherd provides and cares for them.

  • Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV

In her book, Psalm 23–The Shepherd with Me,** Jennifer Rothschild explains sheep need guidance and are vulnerable to predators and threats. Valuable and loved, their shepherd protects and steers them in the right direction.

** This link is an affiliate link, see disclosure policy.

Jesus considers us His sheep, and like sheep, we have the same needs. Where does that leave us, as sheep wandering through life? Our part is to learn to hear, follow, and enjoy His protection.

3 things we can do to know God’s voice

1. Time

As we spend more time in Bible study, we recognize and understand God’s voice apart from others.

We become so familiar with His voice and truth that we judge opinions and ideas up against His Word.

We evaluate and move closer to our Shepherd. His voice becomes the one to follow as we make decisions, face challenges, and develop relationships. Like real sheep, we ignore other voices.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16 NASB All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness.” 

2. Prayer

Our shepherd is trustworthy to give us wisdom and discernment, not only through His Word but in prayer.

  • James 1:5 NIV “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God…”

Like a shepherd leads his flock, Jesus our shepherd will lead us on the right path and at the right time.

Unless we pray and ask for guidance and discernment, we won’t know His direction but will wander aimlessly or go on the wrong path.

  • Jeremiah 33:3 ESV Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

3. Quiet

A ding telling us a text has arrived, social media at our fingertips, and our busyness compete with time and opportunities for stillness before God.

It takes discipline to carve out intentional quiet moments to hear—like sheep—our shepherd’s voice.

Our ears need to be ready to listen. I not only speak as I praise, confess, ask, and give thanks in prayer, I need to be quiet and listen.

God will speak to me when I pray.

It’s difficult to hear clearly when other noises cover the one voice that is truth and can lead us on the right path. Contentment comes from quiet. 

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.

Psalm 131:2 NIV

If I am quiet enough, I can hear the Holy Spirit speak. It may come as a scripture brought to remembrance or give me a check when I am headed in the wrong direction.

Perhaps I will be reminded of God’s love and faithfulness. Distractions and noise keep us from finding those treasures.

  • But look at Psalm 46:10 NIV Be still and know that I am God.

The whole verse is important, not only is it important to be still, there is something else the verse tells us. There is a transition word: “and” . What follows: knowing God reigns.

Once we are in a quiet position to listen, we can learn, trust, and follow.

Our good Shepherd loves us

One look at shepherds’ relationships with their sheep shows us how shepherds’ delight in caring for their sheep.

They know their sheep well and call them to receive food and protection.

Jesus knows us too—by name—and calls us.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…” (John 10:14-15) Jesus knows all about us and loves us completely. (Psalm 103:14, Psalm 139

The introduction as the good Shepherd is full of benefits and personal care, but there is more

The good shepherd meets our needs for eternity. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, 15 NIV)

Beaten and crucified, our good shepherd willingly gave His life for us. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:18 ESV)

At first glance, Jesus as the good shepherd is an unusual and unfamiliar introduction to relate to contemporary living, but its application offers timeless value as we live out our Christian walks.

Our Shepherd– the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV)—moves beyond His provision of temporal care in green pastures to eternal life.

In the comments, let me know what are your responses as a sheep to Jesus, your Good Shepherd? How do you see His provision for you? And how do you relate to your part in the relationship?

Marilyn Nutter- Bio and picture
a picture of a shepherd leading his sheep as the sun rises. Below the picture are the words; Discover who God is, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. One Determined Life
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