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Listening for the Voice of God

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Scripture Reading

As we begin our time together, I want you to pay attention to what is read and what is sung. I want you to listen to for words and phrases that resonate with where you are at this moment. Will you take the words and phrases and ask God to let them be planted in your heart and germinate this morning, during our time together?
Psalm 139:1–6 ESV
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalm 139:13–18 ESV
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

What are you listening to?
What is the source of your information? Who are the voices in your life?
Human error is the cause of widespread panic.
An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday claiming a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii" was a false alarm, according to state leaders and emergency officials, who blamed it on an employee who "pushed the wrong button."
A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message confirming the false alarm
In a world of alleged reports, fake news, over-reactions, doubt, disbelief, etc…what we are listening to and who we are listening to is essential.
In this new year, I find myself comforted by these words in : Be Still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 ESV
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
In the passage I started off this morning with, reminds me that God has created us, this God has searched and has known. How precious are your thoughts to me, how vast is the sum of them.
This is a God who yearns to be actively involved in our life. Am I listening.
Talk about two stories of God speaking to people:
How is He speaking. What is He saying, Why is he speaking?
1 Samuel 3:1–10 ESV
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
1 Samuel 3:11–20 ESV
Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” And Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.” And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.
How is He speaking. What is He saying, Why is he speaking?
What in that story resonates with you? What captures your attention?
John 1:43–51 ESV
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Don’t just be astounded by the words God is speaking, butt be aware of what He longs to do, why He is speaking.
What words and phrases from these stories have stood out?
How might God be speaking to you? Are you listening?
In this new year I am tempted to hit the ground running, but I find God inviting me to be still and know He is God; to be on the lookout for intimations and direct means of Him communicating.
Even 14 days into this year, He continues to surprise me--
I am learning to:
Silence
Intentional Space of Devotion
Shining light on places that need His grace and mercy
Also, asking what He is wanting me to do? How am I to respond? What’s the purpose?
I am determined to let 2018 be a year where I am influenced more than ever by the voice of God (not the words of others and alarms that surround)
-Be Still
-I am Fearfully and wonderfully made
When Jesus speaks I want to be like Samuel: Here I am
(Not with my agenda or my assumption, just a willing heart and obedient hands and feet)
When God invites me to follow him, I want to embark in the direction he leads with the eagerness of Phillip.
When God speaks I want to anchor to what He is doing now and the glory & goodness he desires to unfold in our world
As we conclude our time, I leave you with these words:
How might God be speaking to you? Are you listening?
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