Summary: (Outline is from a message by Rick Warren) While God uses many means to speak His will to us, this message examines four primary ways to hear God.
I. Last Sunday we spoke of the need to “Cultivate a Heart to Hear God”
A. If, and we believe God does speak; as His sheep, we should be able to hear Him.
B. If, and we believe God does speak; we should be able to discern what He has said.
II. The premise of last Sunday’s message was that we need to cultivate a heart of openness, willingness and obedience to what God is saying, and then we will hear God speak.
III. This Sunday we continue with the idea that God indeed does want us to hear from Him, and we will explore some means that God uses today to convey His message to us.
IV. I would ask you to open you Bibles to Job, chapter 33, and look at verse 14.
A. If you use the NASB, the verse states, “Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it.”
B. If you are using the NIV, the verse states, “For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it.”
C. If you are reading from the King James you see, “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
D. And although I don’t use it often, the Living Bible says, “God does speak, sometimes one way and sometimes another, even though people may not understand it.”
E. Now here is the main point that each of these translators is attempting to make.
1. God does speak to man,
a. God answers His prayers.
b. God gives direction.
c. I believe God even gives reasoning for what He is doing in our lives, BUT
2. Man often misses the voice of God.
3. For whatever reason, we often don’t hear when God speaks.
F. As Jesus was relating the parable of the soils, Luke 4, verse 8 says that Jesus was calling out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
1. In that case Jesus, God was speaking directly to man,
2. And yet, most could not perceive what He was saying.
V. The writer of Hebrews opens his letter with, “ In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 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.” (Vs. 1-2, NASB)
VI. If we are going to “Answer The Call”, when God speaks, we must know how He chooses to speak.
God Speaks Through The Bible
I. The Bible is God’s number one way of communicating with us.
A. Now this may seem obvious to some of us, but I would be willing to bet that even in our crowd, at least several of us ignore this method of God’s speaking to us.
B. Second Timothy 3, verse 16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”
II. I believe it would be fair to say that part of the purpose of this life is to prepare us for eternity.
A. But God has not left us here to figure it out on our own.
B. He has given us a manual of instruction that is beneficial to teach us, correct us and train us to move closer to righteousness, to be more like Him and His son.
C. We wonder why God is not speaking to us, but how many of us ignore what God is saying in the Bible, except for 30 minutes or so on Sundays; when we feel like going.
III. Think about this for a moment,
A. We bought Anna a new computer as a graduation present, and to get her ready for college.
B. Now I have been using computers, on one level or another for close to 25 years.
1. My first computer was an Atari that had a tape system to store information.
2. Just like most of you, I now have several computers available to me.
3. I consider myself pretty well verses in how they work.
C. But when Anna’s new Dell arrived, the first thing I looked for was the instruction manual, which by the way it didn’t have.
1. I wanted to know how this thing worked.
2. I didn’t want to mess it up.
IV. And yet, just like many of you, I will often make decisions about life, even major decisions without consulting God’s manual for life.
V. So OK, I should be spending more time in the Bible, but where do I start?
A. First - Get a translation that you are comfortable with.
1. I personally like the New American Standard, but some say the reading is a bit stiff.