Written by: Shani Ratliff
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.” Ephesians 3:16-18
I love what is being expressed in Paul’s encouraging words to the Ephesians. He is encouraging them to press into God, and be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit, not just to know who He is, but to be in a relationship with him and changed by the revelation of his amazing love. Even more, Paul prays that Christ would be at home in their hearts.
Wow! What an image! If Christ is in my heart and residing there, then He must be speaking to me through his continual presence, drawing my mind and attention to what God is saying or a revelation of who He is. The ways in which we hear God’s voice are as uniquely different as He created each and every one of us to be.
My experience in hearing God’s voice has often begun with a feeling or a nudging in my spirit that I can’t ignore. I felt it the strongest about a year before my husband and I began our courtship leading up to our marriage. God even gave me an image of iron gates opening up to a beautiful green courtyard. I did not have the full picture but just a sense that something was about to change.
Another time was prior to my Grandmother and cousin passing. I felt an urgent need to visit family, so we took a summer road trip to four different states.
During our stop in South Carolina, we were able to surprise my Grandmother and introduce her to her youngest great-grandson. We spent some amazing time together. We also stopped in Virginia where I spent an evening reconnecting with one of my cousins who I had not seen in over 20 years!
I returned home feeling so full and grateful for the new memories and sacred family time. When both my Grandmother and Cousin passed away suddenly the following year, it was only then that I fully understood the “nudging” that I had felt to visit them. God led and blessed me with lasting final memories and much more.
As I reflect back on these times and many others, I am in awe of how God created us all to hear His voice in many different ways. Jennifer spoke about the various ways people hear God in last week’s blog post. Isn’t it amazing and comforting to know that we all can hear from God?
Another thing that sticks out to me from the words of Paul in Ephesians is his prayer that Christ would be “more and more at home” in their hearts. This speaks to a maturing and deepening in the heart of every believer. The closer we get to God – the more time we spend in his word, and in prayer, and worship and fellowship – the better we will be able to hear and discern His voice.
I hope you are encouraged to know that God speaks to all of us! What might he be saying to your heart today? Just ask Him!!!!