An excerpt from Part One
It Really is a Relationship, Not Religion
So, because God lives in us, we can experience full communion with him moment by moment through the Holy Spirit and be empowered to live out the Word of God. In each moment of our life, we have a choice about what we choose to THINK ABOUT. Turning our thoughts and affections toward Jesus connects us to Him in communion. The Lord notices every time you think about Him or think toward Him. Hebrews 4:12-13 says the thoughts and intents of our heart are discerned by God and his Word. Being conscious of where our thoughts are going takes practice.
In the classic book, 3 Practicing His Presence, Brother Lawrence describes how we can learn to have a conversational relationship with God right in the midst of our daily lives. The book is a collection of notes, letters, and interviews given by Lawrence, taken from his fifty-one years of practicing full communion with his heavenly Father. The following is an excerpt from Practicing His Presence.
Let me put it to you this way: before we can love, we must know. We must know someone before we can love him. How shall we keep our “first love” for the Lord? By constantly knowing him better! Then how shall we know the Lord? We must often turn to him, think of him, behold him. Then our hearts will be found with our treasure
Humility is such a key factor for walking in constant fellowship with the Lord. It requires dying to self and turning your gaze toward your Father, moment by moment. This is a real picture of fully yielding to the One who gave everything for us. But full surrender is established in our hearts as we actually experience His unconditional love for us. Look at what 4Lawrence wrote in his book about staying in the presence of Jesus in continuous conversation:
This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastening me, embraces me with love, invites me to feast at his table, serves me with his own hands, and gives me the key to his treasures. He converses with me, and takes delight in me, and treats me as if I were his favorite.
This is so true. I think it can be said that we are ALL his favorites. His love is totally astounding and better than our earthly experience in the natural. He fills us up so we can overflow and splash his love, goodness, mercy, kindness, and grace on others… even those who do not deserve it. In this place of abiding with Jesus, we can actually become his hands and feet.
And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So, we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.
1 John 4:17-19 NLT
Let me share a testimony about this. One day I walked into BI-LO (a local grocery store) to grab two items. I was walking past the pharmacy, when I saw a man and his wife standing in line. I noticed he had one elongated shoe bottom… indicating he had one leg shorter than the other. My heart started beating fast. I slowed my pace. I knew the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray for the man’s leg to grow to an even length. Although I had seen lots and lots of legs “grow out,” in the name of Jesus, I experienced fear. I knew the fear wasn’t from the Lord. His heart was for healing for that man. I turned down the following aisle and had a conversation with the Lord. “Daddy, you want me to pray for that man, don’t you?” I felt like He said, “Yes I do, Beloved.” Then I said, “Lord I’m nervous. I need you to help me and make me brave.” Then my next thought was, “Daughter, I am ALWAYS WITH YOU. You never go alone.”
So, I pulled my bootstraps up and walked over to him and his wife and began a conversation. I usually start with asking how people are feeling. Many times, that will bring to the surface a need. Then I can ask to pray for them. The man agreed to allow me to pray and added that he loved Jesus. I asked him to sit in the nearby chair, sit all the way back, and extend his legs out straight. This way, I could visually see the evenness of his leg’s length.
When I prayed, I just said, “Father, I thank you that you love Bill and you love to heal us. In the name of Jesus, I speak to this left leg and command it to grow.” There, right before our eyes, his leg grew about three-quarters of an inch! His thick-soled shoe was not needed anymore. He told me he’d been that way his whole life. He was going to need some new shoes. Praise God, our HEALER. Because of my trust in the Lord, I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and follow Jesus into the life of one of His dear sons. As a result of intimacy with the Lord and His love, my fear had no hold on me. His love shone brightly in this man’s life in the form of a miracle.
An excerpt from Part Two
Stay in Sync with My Heart
“Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else:
I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.” Psalm 27:4 TPT
Psalm 32:7, Isaiah 55:11, Ephesians 5:30-32, Luke 5:33-39, Matthew 5:11-12, James 4:10, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 Peter 2:9, Deuteronomy 29:29, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Romans 12:1-2
Today I am holding you in my arms. I surround you with songs of victory, even during the trials you have walked through. I was with you, giving you help to stand on My promises. My promises never fail. Let me carry you across the threshold of the next season because, as my bride, I love you. I am introducing you to new wine and a new wineskin. Expandability and flexibility to My plans and ideas will be key. Wisdom and strategy will come as you focus on My voice and listen. You are my laid-down lover and I see your surrender. Do not harbor offense toward others—but forgive them. Take captive negative thoughts and put them before Me. They will bow and flee.
Communion with us is key to increased intimacy, direction, and blueprints for the next season. Stay pure and bring everything that ushers in guilt to your heart straight to Me in repentance. Our divine love connection must stay flowing. I love you and gaze back at you with unadulterated focus and desire. You are Mine forever. As you sit with Me, I will reveal secrets. Remember, who I call, I equip and transform. Nothing will be impossible for My sons and daughters. In this season, many will experience the reality of who I am. You are a part of a special generation: The Called Ones. They have burning hearts, who understand who they are in Christ. This special remnant is called by me to set in motion this great harvest. The key to their motion is intimacy. Staying in sync with My heart, My plans, and My Spirit will be paramount. This move will not come about with man’s carefully devised plans. My flames of fire will have wisdom and revelation, straight from the mouth of the Lord. Abide in Me and lean on Me. I need full dependency, which is connected with true humility. Humility is not weakness. It’s going low to serve in strength.
PART ONE: God Wants to Speak to You
Our Father’s Nature
God’s Word is Foundational
It Really is a RELATIONSHIP, Not Religion
Who Are You? Your Identity is Important
Truth vs Lies: Which Side Are You On?
Surrender Your Heart
Holy Spirit Lives in You
Four Simple Keys to Hearing God Speak
Different Ways We Can Hear Him
Power of our Words
The Great Commission is for Everyone
Give the Gift of Your Time
PART TWO: 90 Daily Devotionals and Activation
"Many Christians want to know God’s will for their lives, to hear God’s voice and obey his will. Yet the busyness of our lives and a culture of constant distraction make it hard--almost impossible--to listen in obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I am grateful, then, that Ashley Edwards has given us this clear, accessible guide to hearing God’s voice. It teaches us about the identity of our heavenly Father, our identity as his beloved children, and practices we can engage in to hear his will for our lives. It also includes ninety days of devotionals meant to open our hearts to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Highly recommended!"
David F. Watson, Ph.D.
Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of New Testament
United Theological Seminary
"Ashley has created a book with the Father that oozes a vulnerability that is only found in a deep and genuine relationship. She shares how the Lord unlocked her heart and her five senses to better hear His still small voice. The truth in this book will bring any reader an increased understanding and revelation on how to grow in hearing the voice of their Heavenly Father."
Founder and President