Summary: How to prepare my heart to hear God
How to hear
Acts Series: “Completely Irreligious, Yet Radically Christian” Part 26
Pastor Jeff Christopherson - July 13, 2003
One of the most basic claims of Christianity is that God speaks to people…
… “and God said…” (over & over..)
The problem is communication is often misunderstood --- LAURA:
a) don’t hear her
b) misunderstand her
(men – only 2 things to know about communicating… wish I knew them)
-if we have communication problems w/ people
-it’s no wonder we have them with God!
I’m skeptical about people who always have a clear word from God
-a lot of stupid things have been done…
-some people think pastors have a hot line (red phone)…
-sometimes I’m just as much in the dark – confused – as you feel
But, there are times when I know absolutely that I’ve heard from God
(just like when Laura calls me – I know her voice…)
-Acts 16:6-10 (Example of Listening to God)
“Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!” Luke 8:8
-Jesus is saying, “Turn your ears on!”
*(Cordless phones – channels)
Key to Jesus’ Parable in Luke 8:
-4 Soils (not 4 kinds of people – 4 attitudes)
• The Farmer: God (broadcasting seed)
• The Seed: God’s Word
• The Soil: My Mind
HOW TO PREPARE MY HEART TO HEAR GOD:
1. I Must CULTIVATE an OPEN Mind.
-If you want to hear from God, you must be receptive
-Today, some of you are not believers, your seekers – checking Jesus out
-we’re glad you’re here!
-you may be saying, “I’ve never heard God speak to me”
(not audible voice – a spiritual impression)
-it could be because you’ve never been open to the possibility…
“A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds came and ate it.” Luke 8:5
“The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then the Devil comes and steals it away and prevents them from believing and being saved.” Luke 8:12
-On every farm was a foot-path - some seed would land on it
-2 Characteristics of a foot-path:
-hard. Compacted soil
-narrow. (ever know anybody like that?)
Hardened Path: When I’m NARROW Minded & HARD Hearted.
-we have already decided to not listen
What causes me to have a closed mind to God?
a) PRIDE -I never look internally – I always look externally…
*Leadership & Self Deception – Keep repeating problems…
-When I’m full of pride, I close my mind to God – He can’t speak because I’ve got it all figured out!
b) FEAR -Sometimes we’re afraid of what God might say to us
-what is He asked me to do something I don’t want to do!
-religious fanatic / weird bouffant hairdo / white suit…
-when we’ve been hurt and hold on to those memories (we close)
“Why did you let this happen?”
“If you’re such a great/powerful/loving God….”
-If you’ve been deeply hurt… (I want to say 2 things)
1) I’m sorry you hurt – God hurts with you
SIN caused His Son to die
2) Don’t run FROM God – Run TO God
-He’s the one who can Comfort/ Care/ Make Difference
-a bitter life is a wasted life
-the tragedy of a hard-beaten path: Barren
2. I Must ALLOCATE TIME to LISTEN.
-I’ve got to take time to hear from Him,
-slow down / schedule
-we schedule everything: … (time with God)
-Our society is so busy
-overnight express is ‘snail-mail’
-juice jars outsells frozen concentrate – too slow
-“OK God, I’ve got 38 seconds at this red light, “Speak!”
“Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. This seed began to grow, but soon it withered and died for lack of moisture.” Luke 8:6
“The rocky soil represents those who hear the message with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. They believe for a while, but they wilt when the hot winds of testing blow.” Luke 8:13
The Shallow Soil: When I’m SUPERFICIAL in my search.
-Middle East: 2-3 inches of soil above limestone
-plant can only grow a couple of inches (cant get established)
-when the heat is on – whither / dry up
-It’s exciting to see God do cool things – it’s a spiritual high!
-but if we’re not in some soil – we’ll dry up
-(message – listen – forget 90-95% in 72 hours
-outlines / Big Idea: Home Churches)
-Some of us say, “I’ve been a Christian for 27 years!”
-but we haven’t had 27 years of experience
-we’ve had 1 year repeated 27 times – we’re 1 inch deep