How To Stop Destroying People With Your Words

How To Stop Destroying People With Your Words


Reading Time: 6 min 1 sec

Have you ever walked out of a situation wanting to kick yourself over your careless words? More often than I would like to admit, I leave a situation shaking my head, wondering where those words came from.  Why did I feel the need to shred that person to pieces behind their back? Why did I brag about my latest accomplishment? Why did I think it was okay to make a joke at some else’s expense?


We justify speaking carelessly, using phrases like, “I’m verbal processer,” or “I don’t want to say anything bad about this person but…”.  We use prayer requests as a weapon to eviscerate others while gaining support for our victim status and to satisfy our need for vindication.


We have these images of this picture-perfect Proverbs 31 woman who exemplifies the fruits of the spirit and we wonder HOW ON EARTH DOES SHE DO IT?  It seems like every time we decide not gossip or brag, we last about twelve hours before we blow it.


Is guarding your tongue unattainable? Can we actually live lives where our words are full of grace, wisdom, and life?   Where we can walk away from conversations full peace and without remorse?


Have you ever met those people who seem to glow with godliness? Where every word seems to radiate with God’s presence? My grandma is a person who gives me hope that reigning in my reckless tongue is possible for anyone.  She is a woman who speaks with wisdom, generosity, bringing peace and life into every conversation. You walk away encouraged, inspired, peaceful and hungry for more of God.


So, let’s talk practically about how we can love others well through our speech.

1. Interior Chaos

2. Words of Life

3. Helpful Tools



1. Interior Chaos 


Before we can talk about how, we need to talk about why. Why do we so often speak death over others instead of life?  It could be any number of reasons but some of them might be:


1. The need to make ourselves look good

2.The need to be considered valuable


3. The need to convince others that we are right


We are filled with this interior chaos because we don’t know or truly believe where our true identity is as children of God.


 “Chatter crowds out inward conversation with God.” -Jan Johnson


I experienced this myself a couple of years ago, while I was on a retreat, I was invited to participate in an exercise. From 9pm to 10am, we were to have a time of silence as a way to be present with God, with limited distractions.


I thought, “How hard could it be?” I never realized how much time I spend talking; trying to advocate for my desires, and trying to manage other people’s impressions of me.


The next morning was equally illuminating when I discovered that it is hard to have breakfast in a cafeteria in silence. We are programmed from infancy to exchange pleasantries. I wasn’t sure whether to acknowledge other people or totally ignore them. smile


It was awkward, humbling, and in a way, freeing.  I could sit there and just rest in God’s presence, stripped of my ability to manage others impressions or expectations of me.


I would encourage you to pause and reflect. Bring to mind a recent conversation where you walked away feeling remorse, where you were uncomfortable, or stirred up inside. Remember that God is with you in this moment. Talk to him about your answers to these questions:


1. Why did I say what I said?

2. Why was I so stirred by their comments?

3. Why do I care what others think of me?

4. Why do I feel the need to prove my worth to others?



2.  Words of Life   


My father always told me that the mouth always gets you into trouble, and boy is he (and the Bible) spot on.  I love the Message translation of Eph. 4:29 it says, “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”


We can all remember situations in our past where someone’s careless words devasted us. Can you imagine if we brought the idea that each word is a gift into every conversation?  Understanding that our words can bring death or life to others?  That our very way of speaking is an act of love to others?


When we are intentional in what we say, it cuts out the noise and allows us to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice.  He has a lot to say about the importance of guarding our tongues. I would encourage you to spend some time with these Biblical passages.


Invite God and ask him to speak to you.  Understand that he is with you in this moment.  Choose a passage and read it over slowly. Ask God to highlight a word or phrase. Then spend some time in conversation with God.


Proverbs 10:20, “The speech of a good person is worth waiting for; the blabber of the wicked is worthless.”


Proverbs 10:32, “The speech of a good person clears the air; the words of the wicked pollute it.”


Proverbs 12:6, “The words of the wicked kill; the speech of the upright saves.”


Proverbs 14:3, “Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile; wise speech evokes nothing but respect.


Matthew 5:33-37, “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.



3. Helpful Tools

So how do normal people walk this out in reality?  This is where spiritual practices and partnering with the Holy Spirit come into play.  Spiritual practices are not some magic formula, they are a way of actively participating in the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.  

As much as we would like God to miraculously give us life-giving speech (though it could happen) he most often uses our daily decisions to transform us into the image of Jesus.  Good intentions don’t form Christ-like qualities, the minute it gets hard we give up.


The beauty of spiritual practices is that they give us a practical structure to actively work with the Holy Spirit in the transformation of our souls.  We have to be intentional. An example of that would be to set reminders on our phones, to remind us to be present.


It can also be helpful to blow our cover to a spiritual friend. God designed us to grow in relationship with him, in community with others.  It can be encouraging and helpful to discuss how God has been moving in your life.


One caveat that we need to be aware of is the temptation to fall into spiritual pride.  Be mindful of your heart motives as you talk about Gods invitation to you to practice a specific discipline.


Shower yourself with God’s grace. This experience will be challenging, and at times discouraging. You will fail, again, and again, and again. And that’s okay.  Ask God for grace, and perseverance to get back up and try again today (never tomorrow).


If you are feeling drawn to submit your speech to God, then I would encourage you to pick one (maybe two) practice(s) to engage with at a time.

Spend some time in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to practical practices. Understanding that you are not committing to use these practices for the rest of your life, but for this season.

The goal is surrender, not perfection. Spiritual practices help us surrender our will to the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we are intentional in what we say, it cuts out the noise and allows us to hear to God’s voice.    When choosing a practice, simple is best.


There is an amazing story about Dallas Willard, a famous theologian and professor who gives us a practical picture of surrendering his speech to God even when it hurts.

In one of his classes, a student challenged him with statements that were both offensive and incorrect. Dallas paused and told the class that that was a good place to end their discussion. Somebody asked Dallas afterward why he had not countered the students’ argument and put him in his place. “I’m practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word.”-John Orteberg


Here are some ideas that might help get your wheels turning:


1. Start your day with prayer surrendering your speech to God. Asking him for his grace when you blow it and perseverance to try again.

2. Practice not interrupting others.

3. Practice being present by truly listening to what others are saying.

4. Be Succinct in order to remove the clutter.

5. Post cards around the house with favorite memory verses or phrases. 

6. Try practicing the discipline of silence.

7. Take a note from Dallas and refuse to have the last word in a conversation.

8. Carry something tactile (a paperclip, hairband, small cross) in your pocket (or purse). Every time you place your hand in your pocket it let it serve as a reminder to surrender your speech to God.

9. Refuse to gossip.

10. In the evening, reflect back over your day. Ask God for his grace and forgiveness when you spoke out of turn. Celebrate the moments where you listened to the Holy Spirit and surrender your will.


Hopefully, these ideas will be a great jumping off place for your own practices. I pray that as you reflect over your motives, surrender to Jesus and actively work with the Holy Spirit that God will help you to love others well through your words.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to watching what you say to others ?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How To Pray When You Are Out Of Words

How To Pray When You Are Out Of Words


Reading Time: 4 min 35 sec

I flopped down, my head buried in my hands and gasped to God, “I am here…barely. I got nothing. No words. No thoughts. I don’t even know what to pray.” I just sat there.  My mind, my body just too numb to move.


We all go through times in our lives where we are so physically and emotionally depleted that we have no words, no thoughts, and no energy with which to pray. We can feel like we have hit rock bottom with not even enough energy to call out to God for help.


This feeling of exhaustion can creep slowly into our lives or hit us like a freight train; one minute we feel fine, and the next we are on the floor gasping for breath. Life changes, busy schedules, addictions, tragedy, fear of the future, sin, or worry, can brutally strip away our feelings of self-sufficiency, leaving us feeling breathlessly vulnerable.


These are times when our illusions of control are shattered and we are left staring at the pieces of our lives.  How do we ask God for help when we are a blubbering mess? When we have no idea how to troubleshoot the pain in our lives?  How do we pray when we don’t even know what we need?

1. Remove Distractions

2. Be Present

3. Let Go 



1. Remove Distractions 


It can be easy when we are utterly wiped to sink into a quagmire of intense navel-gazing. You laugh but it can be so true.  We can so quickly turn inward, trying desperately to find the exit out of this hole of misery.  


When we are in the depths of despair (a little drama, to see if you are still with me 🙂 we can be so worn out that all we want to do is indulge in activities that numb the pain. Chocolate, longer hours at work, losing ourselves in social media, an increase of activities, you name it, we’ve explored it.


We have this idea that going to God is WORK.  We feel already beaten down and we don’t have the mental energy to have a conversation with the almighty God.


Before we can even come to God in prayer we have to make a conscious decision to stop burying ourselves in distractions to try to handle the pain. Those distractions are band-aids which do nothing to heal the hemorrhaging inside our hearts.


Unlike the world, we can go to God in our agony and know that he can handle anything we put before him. Stepping away from our latest Netflix binge is a way we can actively participate in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  


That means that whether we feel like it or not, broken and battered, exhausted and discouraged, we are invited to put down our empty distractions and create space for God to speak.



2.  Be Present  


God, in our place of utter vulnerability, gently invites us into a with God life.  Jesus talking to ordinary people in Mathew 11:28-30 says this,


Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


God is inviting us to learn how to rest and live life with him. We do this by setting aside distractions and THEN making the conscious decision to spend time with Jesus. Easier said, then done, right?


Even when we go to spend time with God, it can be a challenge to remain present with him.  It can be so easy to move into a place of mental gymnastics, desperately trying to figure out solutions to our issues on our own.


So how can we be present with the one who is ever present with us?  


Here are Some Ideas:


  1. Invite God into this moment. Ask for his grace to help you be with him. If you get distracted, gently pull your thoughts back towards him. This is a time where there are no expectations. You are just intentionally carving out time to be with God. No words are necessary.


  1. Take a walk or sit in silence with God. Notice the intricacies of creation around you.


  1. Pull out blank paper and colored pencils or paints. Start doodling what’s on your heart. No rules.


  1. Spend some time drawing words that encapsulate how you are feeling. Ask God to speak to you during this time.


  1. Read Matthew 11:28-30 slowly several times. Is there a word or phrase that jumps out at you? Bring it before the Lord and just sit with it. What would look like to live freely and lightly?


It can feel awkward to initially be quiet before God.  You can feel this pressure like you should be doing something.  But the amazing thing about friendship with God is that you can sit together in the good and tough times and find rest in his presence.  


3. Let Go 

When we present ourselves, the Holy Spirit is faithful to show up, often when we feel like NOTHING is happening.  He serves as our advocate, confidant, and friend. When we are broken, weary, or desperately seeking relief, he goes to bat for us.  

Paul in Romans 8:26-28, describes the role of the Holy Spirit this way,


“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”


I love how it says that the Holy Spirit ‘knows us better than we know ourselves’.

Our comfort in times of intense vulnerability and pain is that we don’t have a plan, we don’t have to find the perfect words, we don’t need to know what we need, the Holy Spirit is already at work, advocating for our good.


When we actively participate in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives by being present with God, he is faithful to transform our pain into something beautiful. He brings about the transformation of our souls and a deeper intimacy with the Father.  We live with expectancy knowing God is at work in our lives.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to talking to God when you have no words?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How to Experience God When You Hit A Plateau

How to Experience God When You Hit A Plateau


Reading Time: 5 min 5 sec

Have you ever felt stuck in your relationship with God?  Things are moving along beautifully, your times with God are rich, and you are growing in your faith. You feel like every day the Holy Spirit is revealing something new, and you are hungry for more of God in your life.


And then suddenly, almost overnight your relationship with God seems to come to a grinding halt?  


You are still doing everything you did before, but those practices seem to have lost their effectiveness. You start to wonder what is going on as you continue to slog through your daily devotional and toss up some prayers to God throughout the day.


You went from excited, your heart full with love for God, to a feeling of emptiness. It feels like you aren’t on the same wavelength with Jesus anymore.


The longer this feeling of emptiness prevails the harder it is to find the motivation to keep actively seeking God. Honestly, you start to feel like it’s a waste of time. You know God loves you, but right now you just feel dead inside.


You long for the passion of yesterday, you desire to know and experience God, but you are at a loss as to how to move forward.  What do you do when you reach a plateau in your relationship with God? 

  1. The Journey

2. God’s Invitation

3. The Power of Community



1. The Journey


EVERY follower of Jesus goes through periods of time when it feels like we are talking to an empty room.  You know you have reached a plateau when one of your friends starts waxing eloquent about their amazing relationship with God and you want to clock them. (Did I say that out loud? smile)


You can breathe a sigh of relief because everyone (even great men and women of faith) have experienced plateaus in their walk with God! Yay! That should be encouraging news! 


The commentary from Life with God Bible actually speaks to this topic,“God is intentionally present to us in our spiritual infancy and then allows us to be increasingly “on our own” as we spiritually mature. God works to establish a balance between his presence and his “seeming absence” so that we will develop character.” 


So, throughout our relationship with God, he arranges times for us to be on our own. He is ALWAYS present but sometimes he will withdraw his tangible presence so that we can develop character and a profound hunger for a deeper experience of God.


Your feelings of dissatisfaction and desire for more of Jesus is a huge sign that God IS on the move in your life!  So, YAY! When you reach a seeming plateau this is great news because it means that you are entering a new season and maturing in your faith.  I would encourage you to stop and celebrate how far you have come in your relationship with God.



2.  God’s Invitation


Okay, so how do we partner with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we enter this new season?  First, we need to understand that some of the tools that may have worked in the past such as devotionals, prayers, spiritual books, etc.  might not fit this new period of your relationship with God.


Instead of trying to finish or press on with a resource give yourself permission to place it on a shelf. You can always come back and reacquaint yourself with that resource in the future. Our goal is not to finish a devotional, but to partner with the Holy Spirit in what he is currently doing in our lives.  


So, how do you know what tools would be a good fit for this new season?  


Ask yourself the question: What is God Inviting me into?  What draws you and sparks your interest? What tool feels invitational to you when you think about an aspect of your walk with God?


Do you feel a desire to go deeper in prayer?  Are you hungry for authentic Christian relationships?  Do you crave a deeper dependence upon God?  Do you want to weave prayer into your everyday life?  Do you want to experience the lavish love of God?


If you are struggling to figure out what God is inviting you into, here are two more questions that you can ask yourself, “What Things Are You Talking to God About Right now?” and “How are you most aware of God in Your Life today?”  The answers to these questions will be a great starting place for you to explore.


As with everything, talk to God about your desires and ask him to provide the right tools for this season of your life.


Here are some resources that I LOVE to help get you started: 

3. The Power of Community

As a follower of Jesus, we were not designed to live life on our own, but in community with others.  One of the great ways that we can partner with the Holy Spirit is to live in relationship with other Christians.  

Yes, it is messy.  Yes, it can be at times uncomfortable. The church is full of broken people who are all dependent upon God’s lavish love and grace.  However, investing in authentic relationships built on trust with other Christians is CRUCIAL to your ongoing growth. 


Ruth Haley Barton really unpacks the power of community here, “The purpose of journeying together in spiritual friendship and spiritual community (whether there are just two of you or whether you are in a small group) is to listen to one another’s desire for God, to nurture that desire in each other and to support one another in seeking a way of life that is consistent with that desire.


We need other people to come alongside us and affirm what God is doing in our lives. When we develop relationships of trust and vulnerability, it allows others to speak Gods truth into our lives. Spiritual Friendships encourage us to press on in pursuit of a love relationship with Jesus. 


So how do we find and develop authentic, nurturing relationships with other Christians?


You can seek to develop spiritual community in your local church, through small groups, and one on one friendships.  You can develop relationships with the intercessors, who will cover you in prayer.


This won’t happen by chance. You have to pray and intentionally seek out friendships with people who are going for it in their relationship with God.


If you desire to embrace all that God has for you in this new season; I would encourage you to celebrate where you are, ask God what he is inviting you into, and intentionally seek out authentic Spiritual Friendships with others.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is God inviting you into in this new season?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How to Spend Time With Jesus When It’s Hard

How to Spend Time With Jesus When It’s Hard


Reading Time: 5 min 41 sec

Do you ever feel like a failure when it comes to your relationship with God? Your pastor, your friends, and your soul all tell you that daily time is crucial for your faith, but you just can’t seem to meet consistently with him. 


You occasionally hear about the lives of great men of faith and something in you stirs, you long for deep intimacy with the Father, but that longing never seems to translate into real life.  You plan to wake up early and spend time with God, and then you oversleep your alarm. You know waking up early will never happen so you plan on meeting with God after dinner, and then your spouse wants to take you out on a date.


Every day it seems like your grand intentions of spending time with Jesus are forced aside due to something. Your kid wakes up with a nightmare, your boss e-mails you with a question, your spouse is watching tv and you want to hang out, the mountains of laundry that need to be folded, and frankly, you are tired and you don’t want to do something you “should” do.


Good things are truly the enemy of great things.  There will always be a thousand reasons, excuses, emergencies, and opportunities for you not to spend time with Jesus.


But what could your life look like if you spent time with Jesus every day? How would your heart transform? Your attitudes and your interactions with others?

C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Corrie Ten Boom, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer all started their walks with God where you are right now! It’s not too late to experience a deeper life with God.

  1. The Foundation

2. Reordering Your Life Around Jesus

3. Tools for the Changing Seasons



1. The Foundation 


Your father in heaven lavishly loves you regardless of whether or not you have gone three days without spending time with him. He is not a punitive God, ready to heap fire and brimstones on your head. His over the top love for you is not based on your performance. There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less than he does right now. 


Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”


This love that is overflowing with grace is the foundation for your entire relationship with God.  How can we go beyond a surface relationship with God? How can we experience a deeper life with God?   


First, by taking some time to ask ourselves, why do you want to experience a deeper life with God? Do you feel resistance to having devotions? List those reasons (ex. It seems like a waste of time, nothing ever happens, there is so much to do, I mess up so much that God doesn’t want to spend time with me etc.)  Really examine your heart and be real.  Is it because you feel like you should spend time with Jesus because that’s what good Christians do? Or because you know it will be good for you? What is your reason?


There is no right answer. Your father in heaven has been pursuing you since the moment of your existence. Regardless of where you are talk to God about your resistance, your thoughts, and feelings, and ask for a deeper desire for him.


Do you know that every time you show up and are present that you bring joy to God?  Every time you make the small choice to say yes to spending time with Jesus and no to something else (even good things) you fill his heart with joy.



2. Reordering Your Life Around Jesus 


A couple of years ago I trained for a half marathon. When I decided to race, I knew it was going to take more than a goal and fancy running plan. I woke up every morning at 5am.   I ran through blisters and cramps, I ran when it was the last thing I wanted to do, and I kept running when I was tired, hot, and discouraged. I ran for hours.


 I reordered my life to accomplish my goal. It took sacrifices. I went to bed earlier, I had to say no to some social activities, and I watched what I ate. I was single-minded in the pursuit of my goal.


The key to success was that I didn’t just try and fit my runs around life, I rearranged my life to fit my running schedule.


This idea crosses over into our relationship with God. If you have a desire to go deeper in your relationship with God, wishing won’t get you there.  To have an intimate relationship with God, you need to reorder your life around him.  It doesn’t work to make a goal, create a fancy plan, and then try to fit it around your schedule.  Other things will ALWAYS move you away from your goal.


It will take sacrifices. You might have to get up earlier, say no to a tv show, or time with your family.  But know that these sacrifices will pay DIVIDENDS in the future. You will be a woman who is operating out of your identity as a beloved child of God and that simple fact will CHANGE everything.  As you go deep in the love of God, that loves flows through you, and overflows on the people around you.  Your simple act of faithfulness will transform your family and your life.


Are you reordering your life around Jesus? 


3. Tools for the Changing Seasons

Do you feel like your time with God is boring and stale? Do you feel like you are not connecting with God?  Rest assured, you are not defective or a bad Christian. As we transition into different life seasons, the ways we connect with God might need to change in order to fit where we are in that season. Being flexible by not getting locked into certain ways of meeting with God can help you connect with him in different ways and at deeper levels.

For instance, you have entered into a very busy season either with your kids or at work. You are spending a large majority of your day in the car driving. This would be a great opportunity to change it up and start listening to an audio version of the Bible.


Or you find yourself slogging through current devotional (which you LOVED two months ago) and not really connecting with anything other than how much it is NO LONGER working.  This would be a great time to either try a different devotional or connect with God using art.  


Here are some ideas for how you can figure out what might be a good tool for your current season.


  1. Ask God what are you inviting me into?


  1. Ask yourself, what am I feeling drawn towards? Is there a devotional that you can’t stop thinking about? Do you get excited about the idea of using art as a way to connect with God?


  1. Try out different tools until you find one that seems to be a good fit.



Don’t feel the need to finish something. If a tool is no longer meeting you where you are at (you are dreading you using it) put it down, it may really fit where you are in a future season.


Here are some resources that might be a good fit for your current season.

IF you want to know how to get started in living a deeper life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide(below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to living life with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!


How to Have a Conversation with God

How to Have a Conversation with God


Reading Time: 5 min 45 sec

Have you ever felt frustrated trying to figure out how to have a conversation with God?  We know that talking to him is not staring at the ceiling conducting a one-person monologue while God patiently listens, but we are not quite sure how to move past it.


Let’s think about this for a second, what if you had a relationship where you only talked with that person when you needed something?


You wouldn’t learn the sound of their voice, their humor, their interests, their joy, and their pain. You wouldn’t have a friendship but an acquaintance. There would be no hope of moving past the basic levels of friendship because you have a need-based transactional relationship.


I don’t know about you but I want to know the sound of Gods voice, I want to have inside jokes, I want to sit in his presence, I want his voice to be the one I listen for when I wake up, and the last one I talk to before I go to sleep.  I want to have the deepest soul friendship I can possibly have with God.  C.S. Lewis, St. Ignatius, King David, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, and countless other unknown people have experienced this type of relationship. 


We know we serve a talking God. There are numerous examples in the Bible, starting with Adam and continuing on to the present day. He is always communicating with us. Our role in the conversation is to not only talk, but to practice active listening.


Here are four questions that we need to ask ourselves in order to move past a transactional conversation and into a deep soul friendship with Jesus.


  1. Are you Ready to Hear from God? 

2. Are you Practicing Listening to God?

3. Are you Spending Time with God? 

4. Are You Pursuing a Soul Friendship with God?



1. Are you Ready to Hear from God? 


There are literally thousands of articles, books, and conferences centered around hearing God’s voice, but have you ever wondered what he will say when you do hear him?  What he will ask of you?    

I love the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. He comes to Jesus expecting one thing (to be praised for his good deeds), and instead, he gets thrown a curve ball, with the challenge to reorder his life to follow God.


 I think a lot of us dream that God will speak to us in the same way he visited Mary or Paul in the New Testament. We want booming voices, angelic appearances, and impressive callings. 


                We want to have the distinction among our peers of someone who

                                   hears directly from the Almighty God.  


When God calls someone into foreign missions, or ministry we can’t ignore that there is a romantic prestige to the call. Everyone around them knows that they have been called to a life of sacrifice and service. They are applauded, sometimes misunderstood, and generally acknowledged as a Godly, selfless creature.


But what about when God calls us to not gossip about our enemies, to load and unload the dishwasher without complaining for 92nd time today, to clean up dog poop, and to encourage our spouse after a long day?  That calling is not remotely romantic, there is no choir singing our praises, and no prestige for being super Godly, it just sounds like a lot of hard work done without an audience. 


We need to ask ourselves, are we desperate for a deep love relationship with God?  Or are we trying to find our acceptance and validation in our perceived Godliness?


A soul friendship with God is developed not in front of a crowd, but in the daily, mundane moments of our lives. As we invite him more and more into our day, we encounter the lavish love and character of God, and our lives are transformed.


2. Are you Practicing Listening to God? 


Imagine you get the opportunity to have lunch with Mother Theresa or Billy Graham and you spend the entire time talking incessantly about your thoughts, feelings, and problems, barely coming up for air.  It sounds like crazy behavior because it is crazy behavior!     


When you sit down with one of your role models you want to learn and glean everything you can in that precious time.  You ask questions and share your story but you don’t spend the time monopolizing the conversation.


Dallas Willard, says it this way, “People are meant to live in an ongoing conversation with God, speaking and being spoken to.” 


When you engage in a conversation with God, imagine you are verbally tossing a ball back and forth. Talking is important but you must also practice listening. Unlike talking, listening takes time and effort. The practice of spending time in silence and solitude has really helped me develop my listening skills.


A practical suggestion would be to start off by setting a timer for two minutes and just be quiet, focusing on the Father.  You can slowly increase your time with God as the Holy Spirit leads you.  To be real, I have to say that I have found this practice to be challenging, but so CRUCIAL to developing a deep relationship with God.


3. Are you Spending Time with God? 


We can get a little obsessed with trying to hear Gods voice that we forget that listening to someone is only a part of a relationship with them.  Think about those people in your life where you don’t have to keep the conversation going in order to avoid the awkward PAUSE?  You can just sit and be… No performance, no effort, content just to be in each other’s presence. It sounds so life-giving, right?


Unlike our spouse or best friend, God is literally with us all the time.  You come to know him through a balance of talking, listening and EXPERIENCING life together.


Hearing God cannot be a reliable and intelligible fact of life except when we see his speaking as one aspect of his presence with us, of his life in us. Only our communion with God provides the appropriate context for communications between us and him.” ― Dallas Willard


Over time, your experience with God, not just your conversation will serve as a framework for recognizing his voice in your life.  When was the last time you stopped and just spent time with God?  No requests. No conversation.  Just enjoying each other’s presence?

A practical suggestion would be to invite him into your favorite activity or hobby. Say something like, “God I invite you into this time. I want to enjoy your presence and just hang out with you as I participate in this hobby/activity.” Then just be aware of his presence with you as engage in the activity. You bring God joy just by showing up and carving time out of your day for him.  

4. Are you Pursuing a Soul Friendship with God? 

It is impossible to form a deep relationship if the extent of your interaction is a quick text message every couple of months.  You have to invest time, energy and effort in order for the new relationship to grow.  This means that instead of using God as a crisis manager you come to him as a best friend, learning to delight in spending time together.


“It is much more important to cultivate the quiet, inward space of a constant listening than to always be approaching God for specific direction.”-Dallas Willard


 In order for your relationship with God to grow, you need to take an active role in feeding, watering, and spending time in an environment that will help it grow.  Practically, this looks like spending time with God consistently, practicing talking and listening, inviting God into your day, spending time in community with fellow believers, and reordering your life around him.


Let’s be honest, as a mom we can live at the mercy of good intentions.  But good intentions don’t build a deep life-giving relationship with Jesus.  I’m sorry but I am not going to wait twenty years until my kids are out of the house to go deep in my relationship with God… I need him now! The foundation of learning to have an ongoing conversation with God is in the little choices you make every single day. I promise you it’s worth it!


Are you hungry and ready to experience a deeper life with God? Join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families.  

Grab your free Deeper Life Beginners Guide (get it below) to help YOU get started on your journey to a thicker life with Jesus today!


What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to having a conversation with God? feel free to leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!

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