How God SpeaksSeries: Whisper. James Dewhurst October 4, 2020
How God Speaks
God always wants to speak to you! Did you know that Jesus died on the Cross, not just to forgive your sins, but also to bring you into a close and personal relationship with Him? Communication is probably the single greatest aspect of any relationship. As blood is to the human body, so communication is to a relationship. If you have no communication, then you have no relationship! Although most believers pray to God, most believers miss the fact that prayer is not just petitioning Heaven with a list of requests, it is also communicating with our Father just like we would with a friend!
Healthy communication is never one-sided. It requires speaking and listening!
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (ESV)
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (ESV)
The truth of the matter is – We don’t learn from talking. We learn from listening!
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning and the one who understands obtain guidance, (ESV)
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. (ESV)
15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (ESV)
There’s a big difference between having ears, and having ears to hear! (Hear used in this passage means to: pay attention, heed, embrace, receive, accept and obey!)
I don’t believe God has a speaking problem. I believe we have a listening problem
The fact is, God is always speaking. The question is, are we tuned in to His voice?
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (ESV)
DO YOU HAVE EARS TO HEAR GOD?
A.W. Tozer – “Most people don’t hear God’s voice because we’ve already decided we aren’t going to do what he says.”
Someone else said – “Pray, not until God hears you, but until you hear God.”
A wise person said – “To year God’s voice we must turn down the world’s volume.”
Mother Theresa – “Listen in silence, because if your heart is full of other things, you cannot hear the voice of God.”
The quieter we become, the better we can hear; God most often speaks in whispers!
The wicked Jezebel was on a killing spree of God’s prophets, and the king, Elijah, was next. Elijah who is regarded as one of the greatest prophets in the history of Israel, was afraid for his life, so He ran away to a town called Horeb, to hide:
1 Kings 19:9-12
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. (ESV)
+In this story, Elijah desperately needed direction from the Lord. God chose Elijah to be a bold mouthpiece against Baal worship and corruption, but his truth was attacked!
+Elijah watched every one of God’s prophets being killed by evil Jezebel and her weak husband Ahab, and she was now coming after him. He was tired and afraid, so he ran!
+Then the Lord woke Elijah up and had him come out to watch him pass by. Violent winds blew, but God wasn’t in the wind. The earth began to shake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake. The fire appeared, but God wasn’t in the fire. God appeared in a whisper!
Church – God’s not in the violent winds that are blowing. God’s not in the earthquakes that are shaking. God’s not in the fires that are burning. He is only in the whisper!!!
When the chaos of the world gets louder, that’s when God gets quieter!
Unlike the first presidential debate, God’s voice doesn’t shout louder to get above the noise, He gets softer, to pull us away from all the noise. God whispers!!!
There’s something about the smallness of God’s voice that requires us to separate and seek, to hear it:
1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (ESV)
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (ESV)
3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (ESV)
What we have to learn is – God doesn’t hide things from us. He hides things for us!
Contrary to popular belief, God’s primary language is not English! His voice is multi-colored, multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional, and he speaks to us in endless ways and at endless times. So, how do we recognize God’s voice? I want to close today by identifying 5 of the most foundational and common ways that God speaks to us:
1. The Bible – The primary way God speaks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate revelation of His voice. It’s the “litmus test”, “anchor”, and the “filter” to measure all other things we may feel the Lord might be saying to us. Scripture is God’s voice!!!
God’s Word is the preeminent voice and authority separating truth and falsehood!
If what we think God is telling us doesn’t line up with what God has already said to us, then it is not God! The voice of God will never contradict the Word of God!!!
Paul told young Timothy, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture (Not some) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (The Bible is not man’s word about God. It’s God’s Word about man!)
We cannot consult God’s Word for direction, then dismiss God’s Word for the correction!
David declared in: Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
2. Prophetic Words – Prophecy, in its simplest form, is merely hearing from the Holy Spirit and then repeating what He said. The Holy Spirit gives the gift of prophecy to certain believers to reveal God’s heart, and edify and encourage God’s church!
Prophecy is a divinely inspired message that doesn’t replace but reinforces God’s Word
1 Corinthians 14:31 “For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” (Sometimes God speaks through people to encourage!)
3. Dreams and Visions – The word vision means “to see”, and are heavenly scenes delivered to the mind while a person is awake. God also delivers similar scenes from the Spirit while a person is sleeping. God speaks to us through dreams and visions!
Peter declared to the N.T. church in Acts 2:17 (NIV) “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
Genesis 31:24 “Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
4. Discernment – Many Christians experience supernatural impressions that allow them to sense things without any foreknowledge about a person or situation. Sometimes just by being close to someone, we can sense danger or warnings that give us insight!
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge… to another distinguishing between spirits…”
5. A Still Small Voice – The “still small voice” also sometimes called an “inner voice”, is where God speaks to our inner being from His Spirit to ours. This often comes to us when we finally slow down enough to listen. A busy mind is always a hindrance to hearing the still small voice of the Lord. (The quieter we become the more we hear!)
We must train our minds to hear what God whispers, not what the enemy shouts!
In the silence, God called Samuel into the ministry, in 1 Samuel 3:9-11 “So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.”
31 Days of Fasting & Prayer!
Matthew 18:19-20“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (God shows up when Christians are praying!)
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (Prayer takes humility!)
Pray for God’s will to be done in our nation, not man’s! Matthew 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Pray against the energies agenda to bring hated and division! Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Pray for repentance and forgiveness to become the responses that heal our nation and unite us! Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Pray for our president, candidates, government leaders and local authorities! 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV) “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Pray for the health of our nation and for God to protect our families from any sickness! Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV) “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
Pray for the economy to strengthen and recover fully! Jeremiah 29:7 “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Pray for revival to touch our land and draw people to God! Psalm 80:7 (NIV) “Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
Pray for the health of our faith leaders all over America, who are attempting to navigate these delicate times! “Lord, please cause [Our faith leaders] to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in Your work. Help them to know that their toil is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
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