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One morning last week I woke up thinking about the “How To’s” of life.

From a very early age we are taught how to walk, talk, dress, eat, run, ride a bike, catch a ball, read … A little later in life we are taught how to write, communicate, make friends, date, play sports, make money, save money, build things, buy things … Then a little later on we are taught how to manage our money, run a business, run a family, raise children, have a loving marriage … Life is all about learning the How To’s, so that we can live happily and hopefully succeed in life.

Knowing the How To’s in all areas of life are extremely important. The How To’s are a set of instructions, if you decide to follow them, that will help you accomplish what you are desiring to accomplish.

I love today’s world of U-Tube. Literally, if you need to fix anything in your home that is broken, it seems like you can find a video these days on “how to” fix it. It’s so awesome. Since I am a visual person, there is a much better chance of me fixing something if I see someone doing the same thing I need to do before my eyes. Because, once I see something, I have no problem imitating it.

Written instructions are more difficult for me to understand, especially if there are no pictures that accompany the written word. Sometimes the written instructions are so poorly written that it takes way more time for me to figure out what needs to happen, even if there are pictures included. I have no doubt you know what I mean, because it seems like everything you buy these days needs to be assembled. As you have probably experienced, often times one person’s way of explaining how to fix or build something will make absolutely no sense to you.

And sometimes you don’t even know what is wrong. You know that whatever it is just doesn’t work. So the first step to fixing something broken is to first diagnose what is wrong. Sometimes you can figure it out, but many times this is when an expert it needed!

As I was thinking about the How To’s of life, God brought me to thinking about the How To’s of having a relationship with him. We have heard over and over again from our pastors that Yahweh sent his Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so that we could have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Most Christians know that it is a personal relationship with God that the Lord so desires with his children, above and beyond everything else.

So you probably know this to be true, but I have a question for you. In your experiences at church, Bible studies, and small groups, have you been taught the HOW TO’s of having a personal relationship with Yahweh and Jesus? I’m talking the nitty gritty How To’s.

In my own experiences, I know I have been told to pray often, but not necessary been taught the best way to pray, or what prayer really looks like. I have also been told to read my Bible, but not necessarily been taught the best way to read my Bible, in order to get the most understanding out of it. I have also been told to spend daily quiet time with the Lord, but have not been taught what that consists of. I know for a fact that I have never been taught in a church service, Bible study, or small group, the How To’s of listening to God’s voice.

If the most important thing in our walk with Jesus is our personal relationship with him, don’t you think that our churches should be spending a large majority of the time teaching their congregations that How To’s of building a personal relationship with the Lord? Again, I’m talking the nitty gritty teachings.

Your relationship with the Lord is like no other relationship out there. All of your other relationships are with humans. It’s easy to have relationships with living, breathing humans who you can see and touch, and do things with. It’s a lot more difficult to have a relationship with God, who is Spirit. So these teachings, in my eyes, are the most important thing a church could do for their congregation.

In our ministry we are all about teaching the How To’s of building a personal relationship with the Lord. In fact, we know that God started our ministry primarily for this mission. We go to great lengths in our prayer sessions and teaching gatherings to teach people the art of listening for God’s voice through words of knowledge, dreams, and visions. We teach the How To’s of spending quality Spirit to Spirit time with the Lord, which involves a lot more listening and a lot less speaking. We teach how important it is to journal everything you hear the Lord say, as often times he will just give you one puzzle piece at a time.

We dive deep into the nitty gritty. We talk about how dreams and visions are modern day parables that God places in you while you sleep. I’m sure you have heard the saying that “pictures speak a thousand words.” I can’t tell you how many times I think about the personal dreams and visions that God has given me over the years, and how much revelation I have gotten from them. I truly could not live life without the revelation knowledge that they give me.

We know first hand through our own experiences that the best gifts God most often wants to give his children is information on what is going on in that person’s life and how they can fix what is broken. Therefore we teach every believer how they too can receive their own personal insights and instructions from the Lord, by first becoming aware of the myriad ways in which God speaks and then giving them the necessary tools to interpret what God is saying to them. Finally we make sure to share an abundance of our own stories of hearing the Lord, so that their faith is built up to believe that they too can hear God speak into their everyday lives.

As a result the women and men that we teach start hearing God’s precious voice for themselves, because they expect that he wants to speak to them. By knowing how to hear God’s voice, they are then able to RECEIVE the How To’s from God to fix their own life problems. Only God knows the root causes of our problems. Only he knows what is broken, what needs fixing, and the best way of solving any problem. We teach what we teach because we know who has the answers. We want every believer to have access to the experts, Yahweh and Jesus, so they can hear first hand what they desperately need to know.

The disciples asked Jesus one day, “Lord, teach us how to pray.” The disciples wanted to know the How To’s of praying. Jesus response to them has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Included in this prayer are Jesus’s instructions for us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus taught his disciples to pray this way, because Jesus knew how important it was for him, in his own personal walk with Yahweh, to receive his daily insight, revelation, words of knowledge and wisdom, and instructions from his heavenly Father... the inside scoop... each and every day. Jesus wanted his disciples to ask God for those same things, and then EXPECT to receive them daily. The “daily bread” that Jesus spoke of is really the personal “How To’s” of life written and illustrated by God himself, through all of the ways in which he speaks.

A relationship develops between two people when two people take time to talk and listen to one another. Deep personal relationships never develop when there are more than two people involved. Yes, community is necessary and healthy, but if you are always with other people when you are learning about God, then all you are doing is learning ABOUT God. You will not never get to KNOW God unless you spend one on one time with him listening to what he has to say.

So analyze what you are doing to further your personal relationship with the Lord. Have you been adequately taught how you can have a fulfilling, adventurous and exciting relationship with your Lord and Savior. You may need some more information moving forward. You may need some new tools. You may need to forgo some of your community church activities in order to spend one on one time with God. You may need to first discover the How To’s of hearing God’s voice, in order to receive our own personal How To’s from God. Trust me when I tell you that learning the How To’s is critical to abundant living.

Like the disciples, start by asking, “Lord, teach me how to hear your voice.” Then expect that he will!

“Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor [Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you …When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he HEARS he will SPEAK, and he will DECLARE to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and DECLARE it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and DECLARE it to you.” (John 16:7,13-15)

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