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Nothing can raise you up higher in God than hearing Jesus speak to you personally. You can learn wonderful knowledge about the Word at church, but a church service can't take the place of hearing from God yourself.

It can only be a supplement to what the Lord is already saying to you in your own personal fellowship with Him.

No matter what problem you are dealing with, you can get it solved by spending time with Jesus. He can tell you exactly what to do through the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you.

All you have to do is take the time to hear Him and then obey what He tells you to do.

However, too often our lifestyles are too over-occupied and busy to hear the Holy Spirit when He speaks to us. We need to learn from Jesus' example as He walked this earth.

The Gospels talk about Jesus traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem to Bethany, and so on. Now, Jesus didn't have a car or even a bicycle.

Everywhere He went, He walked. And I'm sure that as Jesus walked, He spent a lot of time communing with the Father. In fact, sometimes Jesus even went off by Himself to pray all night!

In our high-technology society, we have all sorts of time-saving items - fax machines, computers, drive-through restaurants - that are meant to give us more free time to spend in serenity and quiet.

But instead, we have used these modern conveniences as a means to get more done! We have become more, not less, consumed with activities, interests, and our own sense of productivity.

As a result, we live each day "in the fast lane," going from crisis to crisis and seldom taking the time to get rejuvenated and refreshed in God's presence.

This sad state of affairs in the church reminds me of what Jesus said to the church of Laodecia in Revelation 3:
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
(Rev. 3:15-19 KJV)
I believe this scripture is prophetic for this hour we're living in. Busyness is one of the greatest things the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ has to overcome.

Our overpacked schedules continually distract us from spending time with God, requiring us to "keep the pedal to the metal" all the time and keeping us lukewarm in our spiritual walk.

The Lord started dealing with me years ago about simplifying my life. He asked me this question: If I asked you to pick up and move to Israel tomorrow, would you be able to do it?

"Are you kidding, Lord?" I said. "I have too much stuff! I mean, I'd need several months just to pack and set up a caravan of four airplanes to transport it all!"

That experience taught me something about myself. My life was too complicated to be free to obey God, no matter what He asked me to do.

I'm not the exception to the rule either. The same is true for most of us who live in today's society. We allow our lives to get so complicated that we are hindered from obeying God.

God speaks to our hearts and says, "I want you to take a quiet moment to reflect on some things I've been teaching you." Or He says, "I want you to set aside some time to lay this matter on the altar and let Me talk to you about it."

But we tell the Lord, "I don't have time, God. I'm too busy!" Then in the next breath, we pray, "Oh, God, help me!"

And God answers, "I'm trying to help you, child. That's why I've been calling you to come aside and spend time with Me!"

Source: Renewed in His Presence by Lynne Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Lynne Hammond
Web site: Lynne Hammond Ministries
 
Lynne and her husband, Mac, pastor Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The desire of Lynne’s heart is to impart principles of corporate and Spirit-led prayer to the Church throughout the world. Under her leadership, the prayer ministry at Living Word has become an internationally recognized model for developing effective pray-ers in the local church. Each week at Living Word, 80 prayer groups led by 85 prayer leaders assemble for the purpose of following the direction of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Last year, more than 10,000 people participated in Chapel Prayer, which meets every morning at Living Word. Approximately 13,000 Internet subscribers through the Global Prayer Alert Network, receive daily prayer summaries from these meetings.
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