Sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees. As we read through the Book of Revelation, we encounter one vision after another that God gave to John which tell us amazing details about the future. As we read, one obvious fact that should be jumping out at us is that God speaks to His people. He is not silent. He not only exists and created the universe but He draws near to those Hes created and wants to talk to us. Far from being a distant, dispassionate, impersonal field of energy, Hes a communicator. He talks a lot about many subjects, if only well listen. The Bible itself considers the fact that He speaks to be one of the proofs that He exists, because false gods dont (Is 44:6-20; Jer 10:1-16). So today, rather than examine a specific text, were going to refresh our understanding about how to hear from God because we need to hear from heaven now just as much as will the last generation on earth.
A. A foundational truth about our God is that He is a God who speaks
- Francis Schaeffer: He is there and He is not silent.
- False gods are silent or speak only to destroy you (Is 44:6-20; Jer 10:1-16).
B. He does nothing but what He reveals by His prophets
- Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.
- 1Co 12:10 . . . and to another prophecy. . .
- He explains beforehand so it will be seen that He is the One who is causing it to happen and why.
- He explains, then acts.
- He may speak to the entire world, to a nation, to His people, and to individual believers.
C. God wants to speak and He wants His people to hear Him.
- If He stops speaking to His people its a sign of severe judgment (Is 28:11; 1Co 14:21, 22).
- Ps 32:8, 9 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check otherwise they will not come near to you.
- Instead: Is 30:21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, This is the way walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
D. All true disciples of Jesus Christ have:
- The capacity (Jn 3:3, 5; Mt 13:16)
- The privilege (He 10:22 Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith).
- The responsibility ( Ps 27: 8; Is 55:6, Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near).
- . . . to hear the voice of God.
E. Everything in a believers life is built upon the foundation of hearing from God.
- He initiates everything; miracles happen when we align ourselves with His will.
- His voice:
1) Guides our lives; a disciple puts his/her hand in Gods hand and follows (Jn 8:28, 29; Mt 6:10).
- Ps 25:12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
2) Is the foundation of faith: Im doing this because God asked me to (Ro 10:17; He 11:6).
3) Is our greatest reward: When God speaks I am energized, calmed, given purpose, see my life in perspective, feel joy. (Ps 107:20, He sent His word and healed them).
F. Every believer has a duty to learn to hear from God and to consistently seek to hear His voice.
1) It is essential for: (Pr 3:5, 6)
- Physical healing
- Inner peace
- Ministry to others
- Healing of relationships
- Removal of demonic oppression
2) If you never hear from God its because you arent listening, not because Hes silent
- Atrophy (loss of ability through lack of use), busyness, rebellion (I dont want to hear because I know what Hes going to say), confusion (I dont recognize His voice).
3) There is an order to hearing from God. If rebellion is the reason you cant hear, the only word you need to hear is repent. After repenting and restoring the relationship Hell give you more specific guidance.
- Ps 32:1-11
- How does God speak to His people?
- Difficulties which arise
- Where do I start?
1) Think of a time God spoke to you. How did you hear from Him? How did you confirm it as Gods word? How long did it take from the first time He spoke until you actually took a step of obedience? What was the result?
2) If you desperately needed a word from God, what steps would you take? Be specific: exactly when, where and how would you do this?