Book notes: Frequency by Robert Morris
Hearing from God isn’t easy—at least it isn’t for me. This book by Robert Morris takes a more practical look at how to live our lives as God intended for us. My highlights from the book follow below.
Hearing God is not primarily a behavior. It’s a reflection of our identity. We hear God because of who we are and because of whose we are.
our identities are rooted in a shepherd-to-sheep model. Being a sheep is what a human being was designed to be. Sheep, by their very nature, need a guide. It’s not that we hear God because of some action we take. Rather, we hear God because we were designed to hear God.
we begin to understand that prayer is not about giving God a list of things for Him to do. Instead, God wants to have a relationship with us. This relationship is dynamic and personal.
God calls you to start right where you are, today.
too many times we approach God as though He’s some sort of great cosmic Santa Claus.
We’re dialoguing about His actions and character, seeking to understand Him, and seeking to intercede on behalf of others.
I’m telling you that you are My friends. Do you know the one big reason how you can know you’re My friends? Because I tell you things! A master doesn’t tell his slaves things. An engineer doesn’t tell his machine things. But you are My friends, and I will tell you things. I won’t leave you as orphans. I’m going to send someone to you—the Holy Spirit—and He is going to tell you those things.
Every person who has ever heard the voice of God has needed to act in faith.
grasp this wonderful truth that God desires to be our friend, just as God was a friend of Moses.
Think of your best friend on earth. There are no formalities with this friend, no fear with this person, and no rituals to perform or special language to use. The relationship you have with each other is deep and close. Because of the work that Jesus did on the cross for us, Jesus restored us to friendship with God.
Dallas Willard talks about how God extends the invitation to us to treasure His presence more than His presents.
Why hear the voice of God? God wants to be your friend!
in the spirit of Proverbs 3: 5–6, I didn’t want to lean on my own understanding.
when you lose something valuable to you, go light the lamp. Go to the brightness of Scripture. Read God’s Word. Ask yourself, “What does the Bible say about this?”
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever”
Robert, what do you hate to do more than anything on this earth? “Shopping,” I said. Right, God said. And what do you love to do more than anything on this earth? “Connect people to You,” I said in all sincerity. Evangelism is truly one of the things I love to do best. I love to connect people to God whether they’re saved, lost, unchurched, or churched. Okay, God said. Then why don’t you do that right now. While Debbie is shopping, doing this thing that she enjoys, why don’t you do what you love to do at the same time?
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
This is worship. It’s a picture of a believer drawing near to God. The man has put his trust in God, and he worships Him.
Anytime we see God for who He is and then respond accordingly—that’s worship.
I sensed that the Lord was telling me to wait, to stay where I was for the time being, and the vision would play out as the Lord arranged things in the future.
When seven years had finally passed, I went to the Prayer Center at the church to spend a day with the Lord, and He renewed the vision again and started speaking to me about planting a church in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, northwest of Shady Grove.
Every one of us fights battles. Maybe you’re fighting a battle in your health, or in your family, or in your job, or in your marriage, or for your future. The pattern is this:
first, stand still before God and worship Him; second, the Holy Spirit will show you what to do.
What specifically might standing still and worshipping look like? For me, it means going away to a quiet place where I can put aside the thoughts of the day. I turn on some worship music
After that comes the amazing Creator-creature dialogue we call praying and reading.
When we pray like this, what do we pray for? We pray for whatever is on our hearts. We don’t need to pray for the president of the United States every day unless the president is on our hearts.
Every day we need to spend time in God’s presence so we hear God’s general voice. When we learn how to discern the general will of God on a regular basis, we are ready to hear God’s specific word. God comes to a prepared atmosphere. As we make and keep appointments to meet with God, we’ll learn to hear His voice.
The glory isn’t ours. All glory goes to God. He called. We responded to His voice.
God always confirms His word. Let me repeat that: God always confirms His word.
Three Questions to Confirm
1-Does It Line Up with the Bible?
2-Does Godly Counsel Agree?
If you believe God has spoken to you, then submit it to prayerful counsel.
3-Does Peace Reign in Your Heart?
The question to ask is, “Do I have peace?” It always takes faith to follow God, but fear has no part in the experience of following God.
The way forward may look difficult, dangerous, or even impossible. Yet God’s peace still guards our hearts and minds.
If you have a feeling of unease in your heart and mind about a matter, then God probably does not want you to head down that road. But if God’s peace is evident in a matter, then this is one of the main ways we can know if we’ve heard the voice of God.
If we squander opportunities when we’re young (or even later on in life), God isn’t through with us yet.
God is always the God of the comeback.
I have people tell me that they aren’t hearing God’s voice. When that happens, I tell them to look at their circumstances, and then go back to the last thing God clearly said to them and see if they obeyed or not.
If God spoke to you, did you do it?
God gives us the power to obey by His Holy Spirit, and His way forward is always the way of grace. Obedience is mandatory in God’s economy.
God is speaking all the time, but the only ones who hear are those who tune in to the right frequency through humility and obedience.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3: 14–21)
Satan has no new tricks. He whispers the same lie to us today: “Sin is the solution. If you sin, then you will have joy. You will have peace. You will have pleasure.” But the very thing that Satan tells us to do so that we will be happy is actually the very thing that will cause us to lose what we already have.
Our Relationship with God Must Be Our Highest Pursuit
The best thing a conscience can ever do is tell us what’s good and bad and help bring us to the place of conviction of sin where we know we need Jesus as our Savior. The Holy Spirit picks up the job and brings us to the place of full conviction where we accept the Savior. Then, when Jesus enters our lives, our consciences are cleansed by the blood of Jesus so that we don’t serve God out of dead works.
God wants us to live by His voice, not our consciences. Yes, we are to keep our consciences pure (1 Tim. 1: 5; 2 Tim. 1: 3). But the emphasis always must be on hearing God’s voice.
Our Relationship with God Must Be Our Highest Passion
when God is our highest priority, pursuit, and passion, we will recognize His voice.
If a person has a word from the Lord for you, then God will confirm it in your own spirit. He won’t leave you out of the matter. We’ve already discussed how God is a friend, and God as a friend would never tell somebody something important about your life without also telling it to you. First Corinthians 14: 32–33 says, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.—James 2: 17
Picture it this way: many of us at some time have used a power drill to bore through a piece of wood. We’re drilling and pushing, and we need to put pressure on it, and then suddenly the drill breaks through the other side of the board, and there’s no resistance anymore. That’s what God can do in every area of our lives.
as soon as the Enemy hears that something good has happened in your life, he comes against you. We don’t need to be afraid of this opposition. 1 We have Christ, and greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world
We have the Bible, and we’re already reading the Bible, but God is being silent on an issue about which the Bible doesn’t speak directly. We wonder then how to act. What do we do? Which direction do we turn? What decision do we make? It’s at such a time that we’re invited to ask God to speak to us specifically. We long to hear God’s voice. Sometimes God will speak to us by using a specific portion of Scripture, pointing our attention to it. Sometimes God will speak to our hearts by a nudging, an inclination. This is harder to quantify, yet it is God speaking nevertheless.
Can you imagine the scene? David’s soldiers were all prepared for battle, but first they saw their king walk away and spend some time on his knees. The older soldiers might have nudged the younger soldiers with a knowing look. “That’s your king in his strategy session,” they’d say. “When he comes back, he’ll have a word from God. We’re going to win this thing. You’ll see.”
We will not have breakthroughs in our own lives unless we have faith. And we will not have faith unless we hear God. So we will not have any breakthroughs unless we purposely and regularly set aside time to hear from God.
Then David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.”
The place in our lives where the Enemy thinks he’s the strongest is the exact place where God desires to give us breakthroughs. Is there one area of your life where you’ve never been able to gain victory?
God is the master of breakthroughs.
God will give you a victory in the exact area where you don’t think you can have a breakthrough. What’s required is faith.
But faith is not enough. if we want a breakthrough, we need faith plus something else. Do you know what the something else is? It’s works. faith and works, prayer and obedience.
See, it took not only faith—it took action. David heard from the Lord, and then he needed to put that hearing into practice. Let me give you another definition of action or works: obedience.
In other words, when we hear God saying something to us, we need to obey. When we inquire of the Lord and He directs our paths straight, then we need to run in the direction of those straight paths. A simple definition of obedience is doing what God says. Obey what you hear God telling you to do.
I see a similar pattern with a lot of my friends with their jobs. They’re unhappy, and they might even feel shortchanged by God, that somehow God is holding out on them. But the truth is that God loves you, and He’s got you where He’s got you for a reason. The more you start listening to God’s voice, looking for that reason, and trying to understand it, instead of pouting about it, the faster you’re going to get the value out of it because there is value to it. There’s a reason for it.