Sermon June 30, 2019 Hearing God’s voice part 2


Hearing God’s Voice Part 2

How does God speak?

We often use the well-known Americanism, “we must grab coffee sometime”, when we want to catchup with someone or want to get to know them better. What if I told you, God wants you to grab coffee with him every day!

if we are truly honest with ourselves, most of us want to hear from God when we need something, when we have a decision to make or we have a sick loved one. Herein lies the problem, we want to use God for our purposes, but God wants us to know Him, to worship Him and to grow in our relationship with Him. Out of that relationship, we develop the lifestyle of walking with God, being led by the Holy Spirit.

In Exodus 3:1-6 we read about God calling Moses from the middle of a burning bush. Little did Moses know that morning when he took his sheep out to pasture, that he would have such a significant encounter, one that would not only change his life, and the life of the nation of his birth. What follows in the next two chapters is one of the longest and most significant dialogues between God and man that you will find anywhere in Scripture. It was significant because it forever changed the nation of Egypt and proved the faithfulness of God in keeping the covenant that he had made with Abraham.

Moses is drawn to this strange sight of a bush that is burning but not consumed, and then suddenly God himself calls Moses out of the Fire. “Moses!; Moses!” Moses must have been scared to death being all alone on the mountain, but Moses responded, “Here I am”. Moses was available, God is still looking for people who respond when he calls today. Moses was still not sure who was speaking to him until God reveals His identity in verse 6.

As God calls Moses, he does his best to disqualify himself for the task that God was giving him, going to great lengths arguing with God about his calling. You see Moses had been in the wilderness for so long, that he had disqualified himself in his own eyes. But God knew who He was calling. When God calls you, He knows you better than you know yourself, there is no need to remind Him of your faults. But as a child of the king, when God calls you, he sees the only redeeming quality you have, he sees Jesus in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). The only quality that God looks for is a submitted life (Galatians 2:20).

In Exodus 19, when God gave the Law to Moses and he went up the mountain to meet with God face to face. But what a different encounter that was, Moses was a different man then, it was only a few months after Moses had met with God in the wilderness at the burning bush, but what a different man he was (Exodus 19:16-19). Moses knew the voice of God and he was bold, he was not the hesitant shepherd in the wilderness. Moses knew God and it changed him, he had become one of the greatest leaders in all of history. This is what happens when someone hears the voice of God and acts in obedience and faith; lives are transformed, and nations are changed.

Never underestimate the call of God and never dismiss the call of God on someone.

God still speaks today, but how does God speak?

God speaks primarily through His word, the Bible is our primary source for God to speak to us.

The bible is the starting point in our pursuit of a personal relationship with God, because it is His revelation of himself to mankind (2 Timothy 3:16). But for us to hear and respond to the God Word of God, we need to open it, meditate on it, and pray on it.

But God is not limited to speaking to us through the Bible, he is God after all and can speak in any way that He knows will get our attention, after all God used a rooster crowing three times, he even spoke through a donkey.

God will use other godly people in our lives to speak to us. We all need mentors and encouragers who will pray for us and then speak the truth in love (Isaiah 28:11).

God will speak through circumstances, Joseph saw this in Genesis 50:20 when he spoke to his estranged brothers.

God will use words of wisdom and knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:7-9). God will speak to us through the Holy Spirit, as he uses other members of the Body of Christ using their gifts.

God will also speak with an audible voice (1 Kings 19:11-12).

Often speaks to us in that still small voice which are the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

As I wait on the Lord spending time in prayer, I hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and here is where the journal comes in. As God speaks, I write down what I hear Him say to me. Some people suggest using two pens of different color, one color for your prayers, the other color for what you feel God is saying. As you do this you can go back years later and see how God was true to His word, you can see how your relationship has grown and how faithful He has been.

God still speaks in Dreams; the life of Daniel was one filled with dreams and interpretations. And today we are hearing stories of thousands of Muslims who are encountering Jesus in dreams and following Jesus.

However, God speaks, we must be very careful to test and make sure that it is the voice of God.

God will never contradict Scripture and God will also not ask us to do anything that does not exalt the name of Jesus.

It is not uncommon for people to struggle to hear from God, usually it is because we are not positioning ourselves to hear from Him.  Remember Psalm 46:10 and Philippians 4:8, as we are silent, meditate on Scripture and the things of the Lord we are better able to better hear His voice. In our society we have an incredible access to information and we need to limit our time dwelling on things that are not part of God’s plan and will for our lives (Proverbs 4:23).

Are you ready to develop a lifestyle of listening to God?

Sermon June 23, 2019 Hearing God’s Voice part 1

Why does God speak?

1 Samuel 3

Did God speak to you today?

As followers of Jesus, we get invited into a relationship, where our daily steps are ordered by the Lord (Proverbs 3:5 Psalm 37:23).

As a pastor I often hear from people that they wish they could hear from God regarding His will for their lives. They are really asking if God would speak to them.

This is hard to grasp, the creator and sustainer of the universe, who lives in unapproachable glory, unfathomable power and authority; does he actually speak to His children?

Incredibly, the answer is yes, God does speak to those who are called by His name and submit themselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

In 1 Samuel 3, we see the well-known story of the calling of the prophet Samuel. This is such a wonderful story of God revealing Himself to humanity. This story highlights a turning point in the nation of Israel and their history, the period of the Judges is coming to an end and the Lord begins speaking on a regular basis through prophets as the era of the kings is ushered in.

Samuel is a wonderful example to us of someone who is attentive and waiting on the Lord. He responded quickly each time the Lord called him and ran to Eli, which reveals a lot about his character and his eagerness to serve.

 Samuel was serving in the temple, doing what he was told to do, but Samuel did not know the Lord (1 Samuel 3:7). Samuel was doing everything required of him, but he had no relationship with the one he was serving. Sadly, this is not unusual today, the church is full of people who go through the motions, who serve in many capacities, even as deacons or pastors, doing everything that looks right, but there is no personal relationship with the Lord, they do not know God’s voice.

If you don’t hear from the Lord, you need to go back to the basics and establish a relationship with Him. Submitting your life to the Lordship of Jesus.

The Lord chose to reveal himself to Samuel, this young 12-year-old had the humility and perspective that God was looking for. Some might say that this is the Old Testament and that God doesn’t speak that way anymore. I believe that we should have a greater expectation of hearing from God than any of the prophets of the Bible.

We live under the New Covenant, when Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, establishing the church. We as followers of Jesus have the Holy Spirit residing in us (Jeremiah 31:33). If the prophets of the Old Testament heard God speak, it was to a specific individual, but today we have the presence of God in us, we can all hear from and be directed by the Lord.

In Exodus 33, Moses and Joshua would go to the tent of meeting to speak to God. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man meets with his friend. The people would all come out of their tents and stand in awe as they witnessed God meeting with man. What if I told you, that we are all invited into the tent. The tent of meeting is no longer a remote cloth structure in the wilderness, nor is it a building or any church structure, the tent of meeting is in us as followers of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:19). So, when we say that we cannot hear from God, I can assure you that the problem is not with God. Our lives are so loud with entertainment, music and business that we struggle to hear the Shepherds voice (John 10:27).

Why does God speak? Most people, if asked, would say that God speaks primarily to direct or to give His children instructions. I believe God speaks to declare his love for us, to invite us into a relationship with Himself.

I am blessed to have two amazing children, but imagine if I only spoke to them when I wanted them to do something, are they really getting to know me? Do they know my heart and love for them? Do they know the reasons behind my instructions?

God, our heavenly father speaks to us, to grow our relationship with Him, so that when He instructs us to do something, we have no hesitation because we know and believe that all His ways are good. We know the Father behind the instructions.

Throughout the Bible we see accounts of God reaching down and connecting with men and women, God is always the proactive party. God encounters his people, even when they are not listening. God desires a relationship with you more than you can possibly imagine. We must position ourselves to listen to God.

Today we are blessed by what Jesus did on the cross and the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we need to position ourselves to hear from the Lord, being attentive and willing to respond when He does speak to us. God does not speak to us for our benefit only, but rather it is usually to instruct us to do something that will have an eternal impact in the Kingdom of God.

God reveals Himself to us and as we learn about Him and grow in our relationship with Him. In turn we have the privilege of being His witnesses and tell others of the wonderful privilege we have as followers of Jesus.

What about you? Are you growing in your relationship with God? Or are you going about your life living a dead religion like Eli, doing all the correct rituals, but have no relationship with God.

You can hear the voice of God and God is waiting to speak to you. Take some time away from the business of life and open the Bible, asking God to speak to you as the Holy Spirit reveals God’s word to you.