Finding Your Way – Listening for Love

Algorithms are quickly becoming the controlling voice of our world. You search for a news feed, a video, song, “like” something on Instagram or Facebook and a math formula takes over and similar feeds pop up on your digital device calling out for you to look, listen, and like again and again. Before you know it you are sucked in and the screen begins to take over your life.

I remember that first month of hard lockdown in South Africa. I know I spent too much time before the blue screen and I was amazed how my digital devices kept feeding me songs, sermons, funny videos, news stories, etc. that fit my fancy. It was and is scary how much control and power these algorithms have over our lives. It gives us an illusion of “being in control” and “playing god” with a click of the bottom.

Not that everything is or was negative in the digital world. There were some great sermons, worship times, inspirational stories and movies. But, I also spent too much time watching news and listening to podcast that dampened the soul. I remember during that season asking myself what voices are bringing life to my soul and what is bringing me into a depressing darkness.

Scripture teaches there are two main voices in our world. One voice brings love that transforms your life the other voice brings you and I into a darkness that leads to a spiritual and eternal death. Jesus calls the dark voice a “thief” a “wolf, and a “robber” whose goal it is to “steal, kill, and destroy,” (see John 10:8-10). Jesus declares His voice is the voice of the Good Shepherd. His voice has purpose and brings His sheep into places of abundant life, into the fullness of eternal love, (John 10:1-18).

One way to discern voices in our over stimulated, noisy world is to ask yourself these questions, “What voices bring me into a life saturated by love and what voice robs me of life?” I found out that too much fear based news or social media depleted my spirit. But the more time I spent looking at Jesus, leaning into His voice by reading His Word, and losing myself with all it’s fleshly appetites, this voice opened my soul to the sweet whispers of the Father’s love. This love pushes out the voices of fear and fills me with security, hope, and a fresh purpose to follow His ways.

2000 years ago the Father shouted His love to the world as His only Son hung on the cross to save lost sheep. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice made it possible for the Father’s children to hear His voice call out from all eternity, “I love you!” When you hear those three words hit your heart you have found your way. Those three words from the Father directed Jesus on His mission to the cross and brought Salvation to a lost world. That same love fell on 12 disciples at Pentecost and empowered them to storm their world with the Kingdom of Christ living in them.

What would happen to our world if just a few heard the Father say this Holy Week, “I love you!” Heaven also has algorithm. The more we seek Him, search for Him, hunger and thirst for Him, listen for His voice, we will encounter His love.

Finding Your Way – Losing Self


Perhaps you recall that Peter was radically saved on the shores of the sea of Galilee. He was called by Jesus to leave the fishing business to catch people. He courageously followed Jesus and for three years learned a lot as the main leader of the rag tag crew of disciples.

But do you recall this verse found in Luke 22:62?  “And Peter left the courtyard crying bitterly,” (Luke 22:62). This honest portrayal of Peter’s heart is a turning point when it comes to finding God’s purpose and path for your life. This story of Peter and his weeping is a bridge linking us into living the will of the Father.

For Peter one of the most impactful lessons learned came during one of his darkest moments. After a night where Jesus told His disciples He was heading to the cross and that they would all forsake Him Peter said, “Never!”  Yet, not just once, but as Jesus prophesied three times. Yes, three times in a relatively short time frame, Peter denied knowing and following Jesus. As the rooster screamed out that early morning Jesus’ eyes locked with Peter and penetrated deeply into his soul, exposing his greatest weakness: self.

Like many of us Peter’s life was filled with a lot of self; self will, self determined, self confident, self reliant and selfishness. Self hinders us from hearing and following the voice of our Good Shepherd. Jesus declared earlier that a true disciple is one who will “daily deny yourself take up your cross and follow Me…” (Luke 9:23).

Covid has been the loud rooster crowing to many of us, exposing a life of self and how this is a hinderance to spiritual hearing. Recently I was with a group of leaders talking and praying about our need for revival. It was brought out that it always starts with tears of repentance for trusting self instead of a Sovereign Savior. Peter’s tears were a sign of the self life exposed and his need to daily die to self. Peter’s failure and repentance became the turning point in his life. This should encourage us all that no matter how far we have fallen and denied Jesus in our lives there is hope. As Peter learned to humble himself and daily die to self his heart was emptied for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This is where fire from heaven filled him and brought in the Kingdom of Jesus to earth.

I have been so blessed by this prayer written by Andrew Murray, an author and pastor in South Africa in the 1800’s who saw revival fall in many churches. I’ve been praying it daily as I long for self to die in order to hear and follow the Father’s voice. I hope it will be helpful to you as well:

Heavenly Father may your great goodness be known to me. Take from my heart, every kind and form and degree of pride, whether it is in the form of evil spirits or my own corrupt nature. Awaken in me the deepest depth of truth of that humility which can make me worthy of being your servant, a vessel through which you can manifest the riches of your wisdom, power, and goodness. Amen!

As you and I continue to Look at Jesus, Lean In to hear His voice, and Lose Self, we prepare our hearts to be flooded with a transforming Love which will lead us to the Father’s heart.


Finding your Way – Leaning In

“S -” !  More often than I care to admit I received the “S -” symbol on my report card for my listening skills, which indicated I was below satisfactory.  One teacher told my mom “he seems to day dream a lot.”  Her diagnosis was correct. I would find thoughts leaving the classroom and dreaming about what games we would be playing at recess or about an up coming football game on the weekend. For a variety reasons it was difficult for me to stay in the moment during those elementary school days.

I’m glad in the Father’s Kingdom I don’t get a quarterly grade on my listening skills, since I tend to still struggle with some of the same issues when it comes to listening to His voice and following it. However, the Father is a patient teacher, and over the years His Spirit has helped to guide me in learning to hear and discern the Father’s voice.

After all, our Father is always speaking to His children and it is His greatest desire for us to hear Him. All we need to do is open up our Bible and we find out it is filled with stories about God sharing His heart. From a joyous fellowship with Adam and Eve before the fall, to God’s unfolding plan of redemption after the fall-shared with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Prophets, and finally His most powerful Word to us Jesus His Son.

I could blog on countless ways He is still speaking through His Word, such as in creation, people, circumstances, dreams, visions, prophecies, etc. But one of the most vital ways in which you can learn to listen to His voice is leaning into it. I must be getting as I find it difficult to hear in one of my ears, so I find with some people I have to turn my good ear toward them and lean into the conversation. The same strategy can be applied with God the Father as I need to deliberately lean in to listen to His voice.

Presently as I write this I’m leading an individual in a spiritual retreat. This person is hungry to hear the voice of the Lord and they have taken the next few days to listen and lean in. What excites me about this is how the Father will honor the effort.

This promise from the Father is found in Jeremiah 29: 13, when you “seek Me you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” 

This is exactly what Jesus did, leaning in to hear the Father’s voice was His greatest spiritual discipline. He did this before He started His public ministry, before choosing His disciples, before miracles, and after times of powerful ministry where the crowds would have made Him into an earthy King. The greatest example of Jesus leaning in to hear His Father’s voice is recorded in all 4 Gospels, it was in the Garden of Gethsemane. That dark night He leaned in to make sure He was hearing right about the cross and His pending death for our sins. What a battle He went through to hear and then obey-but oh the glorious result for Him and all who believe in His death, resurrection and reign!

I can say with 100% confidence that your Father wants to speak to you and reveal His desires for you. The question is are you willing to lean in? Will you take time, make the effort to wrestle with God and wait for His voice. It may not come right away, but in time it will come and blessings will follow as you obey.



Finding Your Way – Look

What in the world is God up to and what does He want me to do? These are the questions bouncing off the walls of many homes today. I have had many conversations over the last year with people grappling with the will of God and seeking wisdom to find it. To be able to navigate this new season we have been thrown into we will need spiritual discernment to follow the Father’s heart for us and His world.

As I write this blog I’m sipping a robust cup of Cappuccino at Stag Coffee reminded of supernatural miracles of the Lord and His leading. I think about how the Spirit used impressions, passions, people, prayer, a Bible study and circumstances to provide this unique opportunity. In fact, when I look back at countless other miracles and leadings of the LORD the same rhythms are usually present.

One of the ways to find the Father’s heart and join Him is taking time to look at  Jesus. Jesus is fixated on completely following His Father’s will. Countless times in the Gospels He states:

“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19

If Jesus made it His priority to keep His focus totally on watching and doing what the Father does we should do the same. Because Jesus is the exact image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3) we need to saturate our lives with looking at and knowing Jesus.  Spiritual discernment must always start and end with Jesus, who is the wisdom of God.

One of my spiritual practices is to continually read through the Gospels and mediate on everything Jesus does to learn from Him and how He lived in complete unity with the Father’s heart. Because Jesus lives in me-by the miracle of grace-I should be able to know my Father’s heart more and more just as He did on earth. We are called to see where His Spirit is actively working and join Him in bringing His Kingdom to earth as Jesus did.

Story after story in the Gospel of John displays how Jesus lived only to please His Father by discerning and doing His will.  If you are seeking to discern the Father’s voice in your life John will be a helpful teacher.

Jesus uncovered the Father’s will and miracles came to the world both in His life and death which brought eternal impact. Our world is in desperate need of sons and daughters of the Father who know His heart and will follow it, miracles will result for His glory.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus the writer of your unfolding story and let Him carry you into the Father’s will.

I’m continually on a quest to learn how to discern His voice and I would love to hear from you. What miracles have you witnessed? How have you discerned the will of the Father? Together we can encourage one another as we-as the body of Christ-work as one to follow Him.

Please feel free to post or email your thoughts so we can grow and discern together.

Shalom to you all!


Fighting for the Soul of our Youth!

Blog written by Johann Kikillus:

Let’s face it, being a young person has always had its challenges. It is a time of acne, low self-esteem and emotional turmoil. When I finally get to heaven, I will be asking God why He felt it necessary to include my teenage years in my life.

It has been thirty years since I finished high school. Times have changed. Back then I knew of maybe a couple of people who had smoked marijuana and it was shocking. I heard of a girl in my neighborhood who got pregnant, but she mysteriously disappeared. We had bullying and other common issues, but these issues got mostly resolved by caring educators, or our youth group leaders would lend an ear and offer advice.

Today things are completely different. My fifteen year old son shares with me everyday what is going at with his peers at school and it sounds foreign to me. Currently many of the girls are confused about their gender, and many kids are experimenting with serious drugs. These aren’t street kids, rather ones who come from wealthy homes. Across the road from my son’s school, where I have worked for the past ten years, another young male was shot this morning. Sadly more girls were sexually abused and drugs is now the norm.

I keep getting calls from concerned teachers or adults who “tip me off” about a teenager who is falling to pieces. I think it is safe to say that the mental health of our youth is at an all time low. This concern is unable to be linked to socio-economics or race, rather it seems to be a global problem.

Across the pond, in United States of America, I’ve read medical reports by secular psychologists raising the alarm of teenage suicide. Apparently one in five youth between the ages of 14 and 24 is currently contemplating suicide. Sadly, over two thousand young people committed suicide in 2020. This can fill up a large high school. So clearly we have a problem. It is just a matter of time before these problems hit the shores of Africa, although I am seeing early warning signs.

The Bible speaks of the last days where young people will be used powerfully by the Spirit of God:

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy…your young men will see visions,” (Joel 2:28).

The point is that God wants to use these young people to build His kingdom. It is, therefore, not surprising that the enemy is going full out to seek and destroy our children.

What is evident with most of the youth who have “fallen off the wagon” is the lack of a father figure in their lives. As recent stat here in South Africa reported that almost  70% of black children live without biological dads at home. Unsurprising then that they have issues with our Heavenly Father. The Body of Christ must become father’s to the fatherless to make His transforming love known to wounded hearts.  The devil has had a field day with our youth. Today we draw a line and declare “no further.”

I wish to humbly suggest that each church or Christian organization prioritizes the next generation. Youth should be at the top of our prayer lists. Youth leaders must be empowered to reach out to as many young people as possible We need prayer walks around schools. We cannot wait for youth to come to us for help, we must be proactive and go and find them. We already know they are in distress.

As you take these steps also consider asking the LORD to reveal to you one teenager you can reach out to with the love of the Father. This one act of love can have eternal results and change destinies.