2018 01 28 Lorna Laister Hearing God's Voice
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Hearing his voice               Sermon notes                     Lorna Laister           28th January 2018

Read John 10:25-28

How many if us yearn to hear God’s voice? Wouldn’t you love to know EXACTLY where God wants you to be and do?

one thing for sure is that we need to hear his voice. When we can HEAR him we can obey him.

Read Deuteronomy 18:17-19

Now in the OT the people were scared of God’s voice. Although they wanted to hear it they were scared. Time after time the people fell away from God’s instruction.

So, God got himself a long line of prophets (people who speak FOR God) like Moses

These prophets would continually bring God’s word to the people.

But when God speaks we can find it difficult to hear what he is saying.

What is not God’s voice

  • Divination
  • Horoscopes
  • Witches

e.g. divination; soothsayers; witches. God gave clear instructions about those people.

God grants NO AUTHORITY to those who practise these activities.

God said NO! Tuning into these voices will hurt you.

No, instead he gave his prophets. These people God gave full authority to communicate his words. And they also had the authority to hold the people to account

Beware when someone say “God told me…..”

Or “God told me to tell YOU…”

God has not given authority to ALL people to tell us what to do. We must learn to discern the voices.

Read John 10:27-39

So then what about now? Who is the prophet who God gives authority to speak for him NOW

Jesus is the prophet who show us everything we need to know about God.

We follow the words and deeds of Jesus.

God has preserved for us in his word all the words of the prophets that we need to hear from the OT. Basically, the prophets told the people to

  • Stop committing adultery
  • Stop getting drunk
  • Stop oppressing the poor
  • Stop worshipping idols

What is God’s voice

  • Anything that agrees with the Prophets teachings
  • Anything that agrees with Jesus’ teaching – direct teaching

Do these principles apply still today? YES!

And I am far more likely to hear God’s voice – from you – if you ask me to compare what I’m doing or NOT doing against God’s rules

But now we have Direct teaching From Jesus

Jesus’ teaching is nothing new. He teaches the words of the prophets, the scriptures and the traditions that people already knew. But he has an authority. And this authority brings with it HIS PRESENCE. AND that brings a fresh meaning to his words.

Let’s look at some of his examples READ

Matthew 17:24-27

Matthew 18:1-5

Matthew 18:15-17

These are not suggestions.

These are directives.

We may not like these directives. But God has given them for our good.

Pay your taxes

Respect and admire childlike qualities.

Go to your brother with a problem

These directives overrule culture

This teaching applies to everyone.

 

Personal words from God

In the quiet, when we listen and when we hear, God speaks to us.

Sometimes God may remind you of something

Sometimes God will teach you something new

Sometimes God will encourage you

Sometimes God will lift you up

Sometimes God will reprimand you.

But you will have to be listening

 

if I’m not careful, I can miss an important phone call or even a knock on the door when there is a lot of noise

Worst of all I can miss God’s voice. Hence the importance of the solitude. THE “WORLD” SENDS NOISES ALL THE TIME

So what help have we got?

  • Prayer
  • Reading the word
  • Community
  • Meditation (fasting)

Nothing new here. Just the choice

 

Discernment

How to better listen to God: How do we recognise the voice of God in our lives? How do we know when it is God speaking, and not our own thoughts? How do we know we can trust the voice of God for guidance? What influences are strongest in your life? Why? How can we learn to better recognise God’s voice?

Nothing will go against what the prophets said about oppression, drunkenness; adultery etc. Nothing will go against Jesus’ teaching

Trusting other people: How do you know who to trust? Can those we trust mistakenly mislead us at times? Do we sometimes betray the trust of others accidentally or even intentionally? How can you be a positive influence in the lives of those around you?

Your measure is still God’s Word. Also look at the lifestyle. If you see someone lie – you would be wise to be cautious taking advice from them

The effects of various influences in our lives: What are the greatest influences in your life? How much does peer pressure affect you? How can we influence our sensitivity to the influence of God’s Spirit in our lives?

The ways of the world –there are MANY good people out there!

Learning how to discern the love of God in a world where people deceive you.: Why does God allow us to go through trials and struggles? Does God tempt us? How can a loving God allow such evil in the world?

This is where faith kicks in. This is where we need to assess the actions of the world against God’s word. And we  are called to be radically different from the world

 

IN A NUTSHELL, I AM SAYING – WHATEVER YOU HEAR, MEASURE IT AGAINST WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

 

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
― Martin Luther
.

So will you do a test? Will you think about this?

And will you make sure that next week you can filter out the NOISE of the world and hear God’s voice?



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