Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reveal Part 4- Listening

A couple weeks ago I spoke on talking to God and dissected the "How" in prayer and so this week I spoke about the 2nd half of prayer which is listening. Listening to God is something we possibly all struggle with. I know I do and so that made this a very tough sermon to preach. Not because it was stepping on toes or anything like that because it's always a tough question to answer when someone ask about how to hear from God. However there are things we can do in order to make it easier to hear from God so that He can reveal Himself to us.

Every once in a while my wife and I will be having a conversation and something will be mentioned and the other one will say "I didn't know that". At that point the other one says "Yes, I told you that a few days ago". We all at some point are dealt the disappointment of telling someone something that we thought was important enough to tell them and they don't remember it or didn't listen in the first place. We all want to be heard when we speak. On the flipside at some point or another we all need a word at times. We all need words of encouragement and affirmation whether it is by a parent, teacher, coach, etc. We also need a word from God. I know there are times when I can feel hopeless or even desperate and I'll need a word from God. I need Him to speak to me and give me direction. We have to realize though that God is always speaking, but sometimes like we do with each other we miss hearing HIs voice and what He has to say to us.

The main scripture passage we read was John 10:22-30 and focused primarily on verse 27. Jesus says here that His sheep know His voice. If we truly know God, then we will know His voice when He speaks. We need to realize however that since there is no one like God, then He speaks differently than anyone else. We sometimes think that we can act like a little kid with God and keep begging and yelling in order to get our way but God doesn't compete with our noise level, and we have to be willing to accept whatever it is that He is saying to us. God never stops speaking, but we may not always like what He says. However just as in praying that His will be done, we have to be willing to accept whatever His will is and what He says.

Things to do to listen to God
-You must know His voice to be able to hear it. A musician is unable to know if their instrument is in tune or not the first time they pick it up. Over time they are able to determine if it is in tune because they know how it sounds. The same is with our relationship with God, the more time we spend with Him the easier it is to recognize His voice.
-Be still - Be quiet - Get alone. God does speak in loud times, but it makes it much easier to hear Him when we get quiet. This is something I struggle with because I love music so much. I love to have music playing when I study, read, etc. But what I'm learning more and more all the time is that if I get alone and get quiet, then it's easier for me to focus on listening to God.
-Get rid of any sin in your life. Sin blocks us from hearing God. Simply put.
-Wait patiently. Know that God hears your cry and may desire for you to lean on Him more as you wait on the answer. Psalm 40:1

How do I know if it's God speaking?
This is definitely something we need to ask ourselves. It's crazy some of the things that people will sometimes say that God has told them.
-Ask yourself if what you think He is saying is actually Him or if it's really something you want
-Seek godly counsel for advice
-Be comforted in knowing that God will never lead you to go somewhere He isn't already there- Deuteronomy 31:8
-Know that God never confuses you, only Satan confuses
-Know that God will never tell you anything or tell you to do anything that contradicts Himself, His nature, or Scripture. He will never tell you that it's ok to download illegal music- even if it's Christian music. He'll never say it's ok to pirate movies, break the speed limit, get revenge on someone, etc. It's not going to happen so if you think God is telling you to do something that goes against His nature, then it's not from God!

What is God speaking to you right now? Don't be frustrated trying to listen to Him, but actually take time to listen to what He is saying. I encourage you to take some time today, and everyday to get alone, be quiet, and ask God to speak to you.

No comments: