Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

07/02/2017 A.M.

 

Hearing the Voice Of God

 

Amazing isn’t it?... As we sit here this morning there are thousands of signals entering our space... Bombarding our bodies...

• Radio and television signals...

• Cell phone conversations...

• Satellite transmissions...

• Police...Fire... Ham Radio... GPS Coordinating signals...

Invisible...unheard waves swirling about us... in us... through us; unheard... unperceived...Because we’re not listening... We’re not tuned in.

 

Now...Know this... One of these signals swirling about us is the voice of God.

It’s not electronic... It doesn’t depend upon a certain frequency... It’s not measured with instruments or received by devices. Up to this point... Perhaps some of us haven’t even noticed it... But it’s there!

 

For instance the Book of Job is a strange narrative about a man who became angry with God because his life was falling apart. Job accused God of not speaking... But Job’s friend Elihu corrected his perspective in chapter 33... Verses 13-14...Why do you complain to God that He responds to us?... Listen now... Why do you complain... For god does speak... Now one way... Now another... Though no one perceives it.

 

Elihu is saying... God is always speaking... But we’re not always... Listening...Perceiving.

 

Here it is church... God has given us... the only device... the only receiver... we need to tune in His voice... Hear His voice... It is our spirit.

 

Scripture teaches us that our spirit is given by God...

• It’s that which animates the body with life...

• The spirit houses our sense of being...

• Without the spirit we are dead.

• It is the seat of our will... It houses our emotions...

• It is with the spirit that we worship God correctly or incorrectly.

 

Really...The spirit is like a radio... A receiver capable of tuning to God’s voice. We all have a spirit... But not all of us are tuned in to His voice..

 

First Corinthians 2.14-16 speaks about these two kinds of spirits... One that is tuned to God’s voice... And one that’s not...

• One is capable of discerning spiritual things... Because it’s tuned into God’s voice... The other is not.

• One is capable of producing the Fruit of the Spirit...And the other is not...

• One is capable of becoming a child of God because he or she is being led by God... One is not.

• One of is capable of housing the spirit of God... And all its accompanying blessings... And one is not.

 

So...The question becomes... Are we hearing the voice of God?... Is our spirit tuned to His voice?

 

Some are ready to say...

• God conversed with Adam and Eve in the Garden...

• He told Noah to build an ark...

• He called Moses from a burning bush...

• Paul heard his voice on the Damascus Road.

 

Why can’t I hear His audible voice?

I can’t answer that question because the Bible doesn’t give us the answer... But know this... God speaks... Elihu said... In different ways... At different times... To different people... Though we may or may not hear Him... May or may not Perceive His message.

 

OK... Access A Worship Bulleting… Follow theScriptures… As we learn about God speaking to us… Making sure we are tuned in to hear his voice...

 

First and foremost... God speaks through His Word.

Second Peter 1.21 tells us that... Scripture... God’s Word... Did not come to us by the will of man... But the Writers were… Moved… carried… along by the Holy Spirit.

 

Second Timothy 3.16-17 reads... All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

Not only is Scripture... The Bible... Literally the Word of God... It teaches us how we are to live life rightly... It equips us for every good work.

 

Church... The Bible is the instruction manual for all humankind

• Do we need help withour marriages...

• Raising our children...

• How to live life during difficult times...

• How to get along with our neighbors... Even our enemies...

• Do we need to know how to have hope in our time of uncertainty...

• Do we need help withour faith?... Scripture tells us how… So then faith comes by hearing... Hearing by the word of God.

 

Indeed... The Word of God provides help for mankind’s most pressing issues. You see... The problem is not that God has notaddressed these and other issues... The problem is that in many cases... We are not listening.

 

Secondly... God speaks to us through... His Son... Jesus.

It was the Hebrews’ Writer who affirmed Elihu’s statement to Job... That God is always speaking... But in different ways to different people in different times... In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways… but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son… Whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

 

John chapter 1... Verse 18... tells us that Jesus came to show us the heart of God. Through the words of Jesus... We can hear God’s heart and voice... Through Jesus... We can know what God is truly like.

 

Question... Are we coming to know God better by listening to His Son?... ARE WE?

 

Here’s something else... Jesus indicated in John chapter ten that when we... hear His voice... Obey His voice... We become sheep in His pasture... Disciples in His Kingdom... And we are led in paths of Righteousness... We will have the good life Jesus came to make possible.

 

Are we living the life Jesus came to make possible because we are listening to His voice?... I hope we are!

 

God speaks to us through Others.

God may use... A friend... A teacher... A parent... A preacher... Even an enemy... To convey His message of truth to us.

• Their words may come as instructions...

• As a rebuke...

• A warning...

• A blessing...

• A truth about our lives and the way we are living...Good or Bad!

Now... Whether we choose to hear it or ignore it...Depends on us.

 

I know those who... Molded... Shaped... Reshaped...Redirected...My life... My mom and dad... Sister Cullen... Sister Brown... Sister Henderson... Tommy Kelton... Joe Banks... Eugene Henderson… Jimmy Allen... F.I. Stanley... John Alley... Ralph Terry.

 

Church... I sincerely hope you can name those in your life that helped you listen to the voice of God...

 

I hope you can name those whom helped you know... the wisdom that comes from above... Wisdom that’s... Pure... Peace-loving...Considerate... Submissive... Full of mercy and good fruit... Impartial... And sincere... Amen?... That’s James 3.17. 

 

Through Nature... Through God’s Creation

Two verses are important here...

First from David in Psalm 19.1-4... The heavens declare the glory of God... The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech... Night after night they display knowledge. They have no speech... They use no words... No sound is heard... Yet their voice... Their message... Goes out into all the earth.

 

The Second is Romans 1.20-22... For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities... His eternal power and divine nature... Have been clearly seen... Being understood from what has been made... From His creation... So that people are without excuse. For although they knew God... They neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him... But their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise... They became fools.

 

These verses tell us...

1) Only a fool cannot see God in nature... A design demands a designer.

 

2) Those who see God... Hear God... Come to know God... Through nature... Through His creation... And yet do not obey Him...  Become fools.

Do we need to say more than Scripture says?... I think not!

 

God speaks through our difficult moments

Perhaps the best known example of this if from the life of Jonah.

At first... Jonah audibly heard the voice of God... But chose to ignore the voice... Even ran from the voice... So then God spoke to Jonah thorough circumstances...

• First by being swallowed by a God-prepared great fish...

• And second... God provided a vine to grow up to shade Jonah... But God caused a worm to cut the vine... It withered and the shade was gone.

 

There’s a New Testament affirmation that God uses such circumstances to change us... remold and remake us... First Peter says... In this you greatly rejoice... Though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.... Listen now...These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

 

James says… Count it a joy when trials come… They produce patience and endurance.

 

Church... When such difficulties come... We need to ask...

God... What are you saying to me?...

• What do you want me to do in this situation?

• Is this happening to ENHANCE my faith... Or TO prompt me to change?

 

Now… We must be careful that we do not come to the wrong conclusion.

 

God is a Holy God... And He often uses circumstances to get our attention.  But it may take time... A lot of time... To understand exactly what God is saying to us… So be patient here…

• It took forty years before Moses was called to his task of delivering Israel.

• But it took only a relatively short time for God to prompt Pharaoh into allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt.

 

I know a preacher that you know well... Who quit his well-paying job... Took forty days to pray, fast and think... Giving God an opportunity to work in his life... And He did.

 

Your own preacher of thirty-two years is here because of God using circumstances and situation to change my life completely.

• Sometimes God uses circumstances to test our faith.

• Sometimes God is calling us to change our life.

• Sometimes God is trying to get us to emotionally accept His forgiveness... Forget our past and get on with life.

• Sometimes... God is calling us to forgive another… And enjoy the results.

Remember this... Remember this church... Sometimes difficult times come into our life... And there is no message from God... It just happened.

 

I believe God speaks to us through His Spirit... The Holy Spirit He gave us.

 

In John chapter fourteen... Jesus is found saying twice... If you love me... If you keep My commandments... The Father and I will come live... with you... In you... By the Spirit.. The comforter.... I will give you.

 

First Corinthians3.16 asks in rhetoric... Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

 

1 John 3.24 affirms these thoughts by saying... Those who obey His commands live in Him... GOD... And He lives in them.And this is how we know that He lives in us... We know it by the Spirit He gave us.

 

As a preacher...

• I pray for God’s help daily...

• I pray that He help me select the right lessons each Sunday.

• I pray that I present them in such a way as to prompt a response from the heart He has been providentially working on.

• More now than I used to... I pray that God will give me a recollection of the things that I have prepared.

 

I gotta tell you… more and more and more… I am dependent on God’s Spirit in my life!

 

But here it is church... Out of 250 people who may hear the same sermon on any Sunday morning... Each will go home with… a different message... A different truth... A different life application... A different attitude…

Some will go home mad at the preacher...

Some with their feelings hurt...

Some will be humbled...

Some will be prompted to change...

Some will just decide to ignore the voice of God and just go on living as they want...

To some the word of God will be dead…meaningless.

To some the word will be alive and sharper than a two edged sword... Pricking the conscience... Causing a change in life... Bringing the hearer to a closer walk with God.

 

Sometimes God speaks to us through Music.

There’s an interesting narrative in Second Chronicles chapter twenty... Here three nations aligned themselves against Judah.

 

The Holy Spirit has announced that Judah should face them and see God’s deliverance. As they marched forward... Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord... And to praise his holiness... Giving thanks for His love that endures forever.

 

Verse 22 reads... As they began to sing and praise the Lord... He set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

 

It should not surprise us that when we come to the New Testament... We find that twice... we’re encouraged to teach and admonish one another... In psalms... Hymns... And Spiritual songs... Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God... Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

 

Here it is church... If we are worshiping in Spirit and truth during our song service... Then God is speaking to us... Amen?

 

Through Prayer & Fasting.

When we examine God’s will on fasting... We find that one of the reasons to pray and fast... Is to clear our mind...Making it possible to better hear the voice of God.

• The early church prayed and fasted before sending out missionaries.

• The early church prayed and fasted before selecting Elders.

• Jesus prayed and fasted...

• He taught and expected His disciples to pray and fast...

Why?... To hear God more clearly... More distinctly.

Are we Willing?... Are We Willing?

 

Does God speak to all of us the same way?... No... We are each unique.

He speaks in many ways… The question is... Are we listening?

 

Remember this truth... Regardless of the way God chooses to speak to us.... He will never contradict His Word.

 

If the voice that’s speaking to you goes against His Book... It is not the voice of God.

 

Well... As we close... I must become like Eli of old... I must admonish all of us to say... Speak Lord... Your SERVANT is listening.

 

What is God saying to you this morning?...

• Is He calling you to become His child by... Faith... Repentance...Baptism?

• Is He calling us to change something in our life?

 

Jesus is calling… Dowe Hear Him?... will we obey him?

Come to Jesus… As we stand and sing.