How to hear from God
1 Samuel 3:1-11
The LORD Calls Samuel
1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple [a] of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, "Here I am." 5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
6 Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
"My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 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 of it tingle.
Intro: Did you know that every believer can hear from God? Not only can we hear from God but we should hear and recognize his voice speaking to us regularly. I have heard people say, “I pray but God doesn’t speak to me.” I have known many who have been frustrated because they didn’t think God was speaking to them.
It is important for a believer to hear from God. In any relationship, I think all of us would agree that communication is a must if that relationship is to be successful. Can you imagine a marriage in which you never heard anything from your spouse? Now I know some of you may be thinking, “I think I would like to try that!” While it is true we say things when we should keep our mouths shut, a relationship with out communication will be destroyed. To feel like you are not hearing from God will put an unnecessary strain on your walk with God.
Today I will share with you a very important message, “How to Hear from God”
I. We need a revelation to hear from God
Revelation: Something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of something not previously known or realized
a. Verse 7 The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to Samuel.
i. This simply means that Samuel did not know how to recognize the word of the Lord.
ii. In order for us to hear from the Lord, we need a revelation of how to hear his voice.
iii. I believe that for some here today this message will give you a revelation that will help you to hear from God.
b. Many times in the word of God you will read, “He who has ears, let him hear." Matthew 11:13,13:9
i. This is not talking about your natural ears. If you think we are talking about natural ears it doesn’t seem to make sense, he who has ears… well that’s true about almost everyone. However this is talking about spiritual ears. Look at
Matthew 13:15 NIV
For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ [Isaiah 6:9, 10]
ii. So how do I know if I have ears to hear? Well I believe every believer has ears to hear.
1. This verse is talking about the lost, those whose heart has become calloused.
2. Every believer can hear the word of God. Why? Because when we are saved the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. When God speaks to us he speaks to our spirit.
3. Every believer can hear from God.
iii. This verse shows us how important it his that our heart is right with God. Sin always separates us from God.
II. It is possible that God is speaking to us and we do not know it.
a. Three times God called to Samuel but Samuel did not recognize that it was God speaking to him.
i. I am convinced that God is calling too many Christians trying to speak to them and we completely miss it because, like Samuel we simply haven’t been taught how to recognize the voice of God.
ii. Once Samuel learned the voice of God never again did he miss it.
iii. Today if you will listen you will learn how to recognize the voice of God.
b. Samuel was not expecting God to talk to him.
i. He was quick to answer the call that he thought was from Eli. Why because he it was normal for Eli to call him. He was eager to serve Eli even in the wee hours of the morning.
ii. From this point on he would listen for the voice of God and be eager to serve God
c. Don’t be so quick to say God isn’t speaking to me. It may be that he is speaking and we don’t recognize that it is him.
In a moment I will help to know how God is speaking to you, but first let me give you some reasons God wants to speak to you, and why we need to hear from God.
III. Why does God want to speak to you, and why we need to hear from God?
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.
a. God wanted a man who would speak for him and represent him.
i. In the Old Testament God primarily spoke to the people through prophets.
ii. However since Jesus came we all have access to God himself, and he now speaks to all of us through the Holy Spirit. That being said he still wants a man or woman who can be his voice to a lost and hurting World. He is still looking for those who will represent him in this world.
2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
iii. How can we tell others what he is said if we do not know ourselves?
b. God wants to use you.
i. We aren’t used because we are talented, intellectual, or have charisma, but we can be used if we have heard from God.
ii. Obedience is a key to being used by God but how can we be obedient, unless we have heard what to do.
iii. May of us may be willing to obey, but we haven’t learned to listen to God.
c. God wants to raise you up to do greater exploits for him, but he can only use those who are led by him.
i. We know what Samuel would become, a hero of the faith. Do you know what made Samuel such a mighty man of God? He simply listened and obeyed.
ii. If you will simply listen and obey God you will do great things for him.
IV. Now, how do we hear from God?
a. God speaks the 5 fold ministry of the church.
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
i. Sometimes people get the attitude I don’t have to listen to him he is just a man. If you have that attitude I am sorry, the bottom line is that God does speak through those he calls.
ii. Well, you may say God didn’t speak through a man to Samuel he spoke directly to him, and if it’s good enough for Samuel its good enough for me. I don’t need any man to tell me nothing I can hear from God myself.
1. Well, I am glad you brought that up. Look again at vs. 1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli…
2. He was under Eli, before he ever heard directly from God.
3. I am not saying, that God won’t speak to you personally, he can and will, I am simply saying listen carefully when you hear from a man of God because that is one of the ways God speaks to you.
iii. When you leave here today you should know that as I have preached this message you have heard from God.
b. God speaks to you through his Word.
Psalm 119:105 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
i. The written word of God First and most important way he speaks to you.
1. First because every thing else that comes to you that is a word from God will always line up with The Bible.
a. This is the one thing we can be sure of! Men can miss God, we can miss God, but the word of God, the Bible is never ever wrong!
b. If we feel like God is speaking to us the first litmus test is does this line up with the Bible?
c. If you receive a prophesy or word of knowledge from a man that does not line up with the word of God throw it out.
d. Just be cause someone says, “thus saith God” it doesn’t mean that is God that saith it!
2. Secondly, If you can not follow the written word, it is unlikely that to will follow his audible word.
c. God speaks to you though the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:16
16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
i. We are to be led by the spirit!
ii. So many times we want someone to call us out and prophesy over us, tell us some great word from God.
1. It doesn’t usually happen that way, and we should not seek to receive it that way.
2. The reason we want a man to tell us something, is because we are so natural minded we want to hear it with our natural ears.
3. God does not speak to your natural man he speaks to your spirit! Instead of waiting for a sign, or putting out a fleece, or waiting for a word from some out side source. Get on your face before God and let him speak to you.
4. We want to hear it in some natural way because we are spiritually lazy and one someone else to do it for us.
iii. Have you ever had that still small voice, wake you up to pray or give you some type of warning?
iv. Illustration: When I was kid, my parents had put me and my brothers in bed. They stayed up a little while, and then as they were going to bed, something in my dad said “go to the basement” my dad brushed it off, and went to bed. He laid there for a while and again his spirit said “go to the basement”. He though this is silly why am I thinking this. Well it wasn’t him thinking this it was the Holy Spirit. Just as he was drifting of to sleep he felt it again, this time there was an extra word, “go to the basement NOW!” it startled him it was such an urgent feeling. He got up and went to the basement. As soon as he opened the door he smelled smoke. He ran down the stairs and an iron had been left on. Back then Iron were a lot more dangers when left on then they are now. The iron had melted through the ironing board and fell into a basket of clothes underneath. My dad was able to get the fire out but it had been even a few minutes later who know what could have happened.
Acts 10:19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you
V. The more time you spend with someone, the better you know their voice.
a. Illustration: Have you ever had someone call you that you haven’t talked to in a long time, and they will say, “Do you know who this is?” And you are thinking this is a familiar voice. But you can’t quite figure it out so you say; “keep talking” hoping it will click in your mind. This is probably a person that you once knew pretty well, but you haven’t talked to them in so long you don’t recognize your voice. The same is true with God
John 10:4 NIV
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
b. It is important to know his voice because there are a lot of voices out there to mislead, and distract. Some are even well meaning.
c. Let me give you another Illustration: Right now I could go back to children’s church and bring one of them out here. Let’s say it was Zack, I’ll choose him because he follows directions pretty well. Let’s suppose I blindfold him, and tell him Zack I am going to call you name and tell you where I am, I want you to come to me. Now that is seems easy enough however, while I am calling him so is everyone else in this room. That makes it more distracting and difficult. The good thing is that Zack knows my voice he hears it every day. Sometime it’s in encouragement, sometimes its correction, but he hears it everyday. Because he knows my voice he can listen through all the other voices, and pick mine out in a crowd.
There are many voice and distractions in life, but if we have spent time with the shepherd we will know his voice.
I want to hear from God. I need to hear from God. As a believer God will speak to me and I desire to know him well enough that I recognize his voice. Today God has given you revelation; he has revealed to you that you hear from him. Through the Word, the five fold ministries of the Church and His Holy Spirit.
Those who are not saved do not have the Holy Spirit inside of you to lead you and direct your life. However the Holy Spirit speaks to the lost to draw you to God. The Word of God speaks to you and says, “Today is the day of Salvation”