Hearing God? [some thoughts]

Hi all! Phil Rice here. In my introductory article to Practical Spirituality, I mention caring for ones body and mind  in order to thrive spiritually. But the key energy for actually thriving spiritually is regular [continual] communion with God. We reach for God and our spirits are fed by this communion and connection with him. So… here’s the big question… How do we hear God? The topic of Hearing God can feel daunting and unattainable. But the reality is, God wants us to hear him.

Hearing God… some Phil Rice thoughts

Here are a few quick thoughts that help me navigate hearing God.

A filter for differentiating God’s voice from other voices:

  • A good tree bears good fruit, a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7). If submitting to an internal voice causes bad fruit, it is not the voice of God and we need never heed it ever again.
  • As we navigate our internal and external worlds, take note of the good fruit. God clearly articulates the fruit of experiencing him in scripture and as we are mindful of the good fruit, we are able to trace it back to him.
  • Jesus says of his followers, ‘My [followers] hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.’ (John 10). His promise to us is that as we follow him, we will know his voice and we will be led by him.

Hearing God applied…

  • Are there voices/influences that I am allowing to impact me that are growing bad fruit? If so, bring them before God in prayer and invite him to expose these voices for what they are. Ask him to give you the strength to stop receiving these voices as truth.
  • Jesus says, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Take a few moments and invite Jesus to share the reality of his abundance with you. Invite him to speak.
  • Share your thoughts with the philrice.blog community in the comments section, we’d love to hear your perspective!

And as Samuel postured himself before the Lord, may we all posture our hearts before him saying, speak Lord, your servant is listening.

Phil Rice


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find me here too —philrice.blogPractical Spirituality —Ember

On Knowing God — Romans 1 [a practical, devotional study of scripture]

Excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Romans 1:24-25, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

There is a reality that we humans, for all kinds of reasons, exchange the truth of God for lies. It is also reality that we hinder our knowledge of him when we refuse his truth.

The beautiful thing is that we who have given ourselves to Christ are seen by the father through Christ’s sacrifice and his righteousness. And because of his sacrifice alone, we can approach the father with confidence.

Take some undistracted space to ask: Father, are there truths that I have exchanged for lies? Will these truths help me know you more deeply? Father, if I release these lies to you, how did you create me to experience this truth? Thank you for your truth, Father.

My personal engagement with this session:

This passage gets right in there for me. It’s so easy to navigate life by what feels good or what is easiest or best through the filter of what works best for Phil Rice. But really, that is all secondary. It’s important that my heart is part of my navigational compass, and it is important to run things through the filter of how I do feel about something. But those things must still come under the submission of God’s words — both in scripture and by his spirit. So this passage brings me back to that place. God, help me see what you see. Help me love what you love and hate what you hate. For me, this is the place of continual, daily surrender.


An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice


find me social —Instagram —Twitter —Facebook —Soundcloud

find me here too —philrice.blogPractical Spirituality —Ember

Introducing the Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Hey everyone, Phil Rice here! If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed some devotional snippets mixed into my posts. I wanted to officially introduce them to you. Everyone, meet the Devotional Sessions… [They are pleased to meet your acquaintance].

Okay, but really. These devotional sessions will begin on philrice.blog and will make their way into short devotional eBooks for ease of use. So here’s the run down.

What can you expect from these devotional sessions?

  • regular engagement with the word of God – We are changed as we internalize the truth found in scripture.
  • short sessions – The goal with these sessions is not quantity, but rather, to take a single truth and mull it over for an extended period of time.
  • practical application – All devotional sessions include some actionable step to more fully engage with the things God specifically speaks to us through our time of meditation.
  • consistency – I promise to show up with new sessions and I’d love for you to join me!

What can you expect from regularly engaging with these sessions?

  • closeness to God – There is a promise in scripture that as we posture ourselves toward God, he will draw near to us.
  • practical understanding – Use these sessions as a launching point to work through how, in a regular way, you will engage and practically respond to God’s words.
  • extended opportunity for momentum – these sessions are spread apart for a reason. Change takes time. As you meditate on a given session several times in a given week, the words that God speaks take root in your heart and bring about Christ directed movement over time.


Thanks for following alongside. I look forward to the continued conversation!

Phil Rice


More From Phil Rice

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find me here too — philrice.blog — Ember

On Knowing God — Colossians 2 [a practical, biblical study of scripture]

Excerpt: Practical Spirituality | Devotional Sessions

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (passage from Colossians 2, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice)

We are influenced by our culture, our childhood normals, our theological upbringing. These influences often go unchallenged, since they are simply the ways things have always been.

Take some time in prayer today and ask God to uncover beliefs that are rooted in the basic principles of the world. Write down any that come to mind. Invite Holy Spirit to come and to replace these beliefs with the ways of Christ. Write down anything that comes to mind as you ask Holy Spirit to show you the ways of Christ. Whether or not something comes immediately to mind, consider building a regular practice of bringing these questions regularly before God.

Lord, continue to lead me in your ways, according to Christ and not according to the practices and beliefs of the world.


My personal engagement with this session:

Man… It’s so easy to simply be swept up in a given culture, believing something because you’ve never thought to question it. This passage and coming back again and again to the Holy Spirit with this question is so helpful for me. My filter is human. I am ordinary. But Holy Spirit what truths I need. He knows how my vision is lacking. Yes Lord, so come lead me according to Christ.


An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Practical Spirituality | Devotional Sessions. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice


find me social — Instagram — Twitter — Facebook — Soundcloud

find me here too — philrice.blog — Ember

excerpt: On Knowing God – Ephesians 1

may [God] give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened… (Ephesians 1).

Finding a quiet space in your day, read over this passage several times. See if you can commit it to memory. Create a personal prayer over the next season of time using this passage… [Example] God, would you give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so I will be able to know you in deeper and fuller ways.

If it would be helpful, set a regular alarm on your watch or phone to remind you to pray this prayer a few times every day.


Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember

excerpt from On Trusting God – Isaiah 26

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26).

Take several quiet moments to read over this passage. Let it impact you as you read. What does it mean for you, right now, in this time to keep your mind on God? He promises his perfect peace to us as we gaze upon him, as we trust him.



Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember

excerpt from On Trusting God – Isaiah 43

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God… (Isaiah 43).

Read through this passage several times in a quiet, undistracted space. Fear not — I have redeemed you — I have called you by name — You are mine — I will be with you — [waters] shall not overflow you — fire shall not burn you — I am the Lord your God. Allow the reality of each phrase to wash over you.

Allow yourself to visualize the most challenging thing in your life right now [repeat where necessary]. Thank God for these promises surrounding your specific hardship. Thank him for his command to fear not. Thank him for the promise that this hardship will not overtake you or destroy you. YOU ARE MINE. Thank him for this reality.


Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember