11(1Kings 19,11-12) How to Listen to God
§ Where does the still small voice of God fit into our hectic lives?
§ When do we allow him to lead, quiet, correct, and affirm us?
§ If this never happens, how can we lead authentic Christian lives? (B. Hybels, Too Busy)
§ The archenemy of spiritual authenticity is busyness, closely associated with worldliness - getting caught up with society's agenda, objectives, and activities to the neglect of walking with God.
§ Luke 8:14 "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
§ The key ingredient seems to be time.
§ This must not be leftover time or throwaway time but quality time.
I. How Does God Speak To Us Today?
§ There is ample evidence in Scripture that God chooses to communicate with His people.
§ In the OT we read about His conversations with Adam, Abraham, Moses, and others.
§ In the NT he communicates with Saul, Peter, John, and the early church.
§ The question remains, how does He choose to speak to us today?
§ (Read 1 Kings 19:11-12).
A. He Speaks To Us Through His Word.
§ Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
§ Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.
B. He Speaks To Us Through His Spirit.
§ John 14:16-18 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever --17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
§ John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
§ When it comes to the person and work of the Spirit it seems that there are two extreme positions.
§ There are those who seem to have a leading an hour, a vision an day, and a miracle a week.
§ There are also those who simply resist any supernatural leadings for a multiplicity of reasons, none of which are good.
§ Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
C. He Speaks To Us Through Circumstances.
§ Philippians 1:12 ¶ But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
§ Personally, I think this can be one of the most painful ways of encountering God but it can also be one of the most exciting ways also.
II. How Do I Know When I'm Hearing God's Voice?
§ 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
A. Is It Consistent With Scripture?
§ If what you are hearing, sensing, etc. is not consistent with the Word of God then drop it.
§ We must always live life within the framework of God's truth.
B. Am I Experiencing God's Peace?
§ Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
C. Is Servanthood Involved?
§ We should exercise caution when leadings seem to be too self-serving.
§ Prosperity has ruined more people than adversity ever will.
III. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE FAIL TO LISTEN TO GOD?
A. We Listen To The Wrong Voices, and Are Easily Deceived.
§ Genesis 3:1-4 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”
B. We Make Decisions That Appeal To The Flesh And Not The Spirit.
§ Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
C. We Will Suffer The Consequences.
§ Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
D. We Miss God's Best.
§ Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
IV. Where Do I Go to Hear His Voice?
A. Stand Still.
§ Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
§ Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
B. And Listen
§ Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.
§ Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.