Summary: Are you listening to God? Do you know how?
A man was having difficulty communicating with his wife and concluded that she was becoming hard of hearing. So he decided to conduct a test.
One evening he sat in a chair on the far side of the room. Her back was to him and she could not see him. Very quietly he whispered, "Can you hear me?" There was no response. Moving a little closer, he asked again, "Can you hear me now?" Still no reply; quietly he edged closer and whispered the same words, but still no answer. Finally, he moved right in behind her chair and said, "Can you hear me now?"
To his surprise and chagrin, she responded with irritation in her voice, "For the fourth time, yes!"
Repeatedly thru scripture you can hear God say: "Listen to me! Listen to me!"
Why does God want us to listen?
• Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey/ so that it may go well with you
What God’s saying is = I want to bless you. I want to give you what your heart desires… BUT I can’t if you won’t listen.
I want to talk to you about something that is very important to God… HEARING HIM
We’re going to look at the story of Samuel hearing God for the first time.
((READ)) 1 Samuel 3:1-8
We want to see what is necessary in order to hear God.
For this lesson I am going to use an object lesson… a TV
Let’s say I want to watch tv… listen to God
I have a tv = person
And Charter is broadcasting = God is speaking
Turn TV on….. NOTHING… static
WHY?? NO HARDWARE
Now, you have to have a receiver… NO RECEIVER + NO RECEPTION
This receiver represents a person having the Holy Spirit… BEING SAVED
When you get saved… you get the SpiritWith the Spirit, you can get reception… you can receive messages from God
Jesus said, “MY SHEEP hear my voice and know my voice”
Not someone else’s sheep--- ONLY HIS SHEEP
John 8:47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
All you have to do is get a receiver and you can watch TV…
just like this ---- connect receiver to TV
What is wrong? I have the receiver from Charter… why no picture?
One word—PROXIMITY--- CONNECTION
Where was Samuel when God 1st called his name?
He was lying down in the Temple of the Lord where the Ark was.
If you’re gonna hear – you’ve gotta be near.
This cable represents proximity… it is Charter Cable… if you want to see TV you have to be connected… in proximity… to this cable
If a person wants to hear from God… he has to be connected… in proximity
Samuel was close to the altar
Why did Eli not hear the voice of God? FAR AWAY
Not in proximity… not close to God
He had been….. in the past
But now he had moved far away from God- - - DISOBEDIENCE
“Eli had permitted corruption to permeate the ministry that God had charged him to oversee. His two sons were also priests – but they treated the ministry with utter contempt. These religious leaders didn’t honor God. They robbed God by putting themselves first – they took the best of the offerings up front. They lived immoral and impure lives. They extorted God’s people by threatening to use force to get the best of the offerings. (1 Samuel 2:12, 17)
In short, they were arrogant, self-important bullies. And Eli, their dad, did nothing to control them.
You see, God wasn’t talking to Eli and to Eli’s sons anymore because they had moved out of proximity.
The verse tells us that prophecy and visions from God had all but stopped. Our very first verse says: “…In those days a prophecy from the Lord was rare; visions were infrequent.” (1 Samuel 3:1)
Is it any wonder that Eli failed to recognize God’s call. “
Proximity is not necessarily physical distance… it is spiritual location
I can be in the temple and close to the altar… and still be FAR away from God
If we want to hear God’s voice… we must be in proximity
So all I have to do is connect this cable so the TV will be in proximity to Charter
And….Wa La!!! (( NO SERVICE))
He what is wrong? I have the receiver…. I am in proximity
What else is necessary?
Service!! That is right, I have to sign up with Charter so I can get programming
A person can be saved and have the Spirit
And in proximity (living obediently)
AND STILL NOT HEAR GOD’S VOICE----WHY
Samuel was totally focused on God… staying near the ark, praying and seeking God