Offer every part of your life to God. Don’t withhold any part of your life from God; invite Him to transform every part of it – from your relationships to your work. Then expect God to do something great through your life.

Grow in purity so you can hear from God more clearly. The more spiritually pure you become, the better you’ll be able to recognize God speaking to you and receive His messages to you. So make a habit of confessing and repenting of your sins, accepting God’s forgiveness and grace to do better, making faithful lifestyle choices (such as intentionally avoiding situations that tempt you to sin), choosing never to violate your conscience, and always responding to the Holy Spirit when He prompts you to say or do something.

Listen for God’s voice carefully. Whenever you sense that you may be getting a message from God, carefully consider whether it’s truly from God, or whether it’s from your own mind or even from Satan trying to deceive you. Remember that: God speaks in your spirit, but other voices speak in your mind; God often speaks gently to you, while other voices tend to forcefully demand something from you; God’s messages produce freedom, but other messages can produce bondage in your life; God usually speaks when you’re seeking Him, while other voices often speak by intruding with sudden thoughts in your mind; You sense that all is under control when God speaks, but you often feel out of control when other voices speak; God’s guidance is clear, while other guidance leads to confusion; God convicts you about specific sins, but other voices make you feel guilty in vague, general ways; God speaks truth that can be tested and verified in the Bible, while Satan twists biblical truth to try to deceive; God’s messages lead to peace, but messages that aren’t actually from Him won’t lead to peace.

Help other people grow spiritually. After you’ve grown to spiritual maturity, you’ll naturally want what God wants – to reach out to others who need to connect with Him through Jesus. God’s love will flow through you to other people, empowering you to evangelize and disciple them as God leads. Regularly ask God to give you fresh compassion for lost people, and to help you discern who to reach out to and how to do so.

Adapted from Got Guts? Get Godly!: Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, copyright 2011 by Dr. Roger Barrier with Brianna Barrier Engeler. Published by Xulon Press, Longwood, Fl., www.xulonpress.com.

Dr. Roger Barrier serves as senior teaching pastor at Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona, a megachurch known for its multi-generational ministry, where he has worked throughout his 35-year career. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. He partners with Intimate Life Ministries and also regularly teaches national leaders for Campus Crusade for Christ and various other mission organizations. Dr. Barrier began preaching at the age of 13, and he shares his more than 3,000 sermons with you on the popular website, www.PreachitTeachit.org. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

Publication date: September 6, 2011