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.