Summary: This is the fifth and final in a series of messages in conjunction with Dwayne Moore’s "Thirty Days of Praise"
Thirty Days of Praise
Can You Hear Me Now?
* Verizon phone has built an empire asking one question; “Can you hear me now?” It’s interesting to me that they have coined the one phrase that every person in this building who owns a cellular phone has used many times. How many times have you stood there with your phone in your hands, believing your phone signal has died, and repeated, “Can you hear me now?” The reason we do this is simple; we want to be heard, to be listened to, and to even be understood.
* My submission to you is that God asks us the same question. He wants us to hear Him, to listen to Him, and to respond to His voice. All throughout history God has spoken to mankind. In fact, the writer of Hebrews begins his book with these words, Hebrews 1:1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways.
* It is a sad state of affairs when many of those who “claim” to know Christ as Savior will decline to say “God speaks or God spoke to me.” Were I to ask you this morning, what would you say was the message God gave to YOU before your came to the assembly? Did He give you a promise? An encouragement? A rebuke?
* God is speaking to His people, the question is, “can you hear HIM now?” Do you know His voice?
* Let’s read 1 Samuel 3 and glean from the call of Samuel 3 truths about hearing, listening to, and knowing God’s voice. (READ)
* (briefly review this story) Can you hear God?
1) RECOGNIZE GOD’S VOICE – There are many voices screaming at us today. TV, Radio, Hollywood, Newsgroups, and more are trying to get us to listen
* Candidly, not every voice deserves to be heard, so how do we get to the place where we recognize that it’s God speaking?
* I submit that the easiest way is bound up in 2 concepts: familiarity and sensitivity. (when I say sensitivity, I am not asking the men to discover their feminine side) Sensitivity is being a believer who expects, listens for, gives an opportunity, and then listens intently when God speak. This simply means you are sensitive to the fact that God will speak.
* Let me make a note right here; there is a world of difference between hearing and listening. Hearing indicates that you have heard while listening evokes the doing (we’ll get to that).
* To recognize God’s voice means that you believe that He still talks, not just to men, but to you. The reason you know this is because you have heard His voice many times. This is the familiarity, being able to pick out the voice of a friend in the midst of the crowd. You recognize it because you know it and are listening for it. What are you listening for?
* A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.” His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!” “No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said. “I heard a cricket.” “That’s crazy,” said the friend. The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed. “That’s incredible,” said his friend. “You must have super-human ears!” “No,” said the Native American. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.” “But that can’t be!” said the friend. “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.” “Yes, it’s true,” came the reply. “It depends on what you’re listening for. Here, let me show you.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs. “See what I mean?” asked the Native American. “It all depends on what you’re listening for.”
* God spoke to Samuel and Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice. Why? He did not “know” (I.E. experience, know from experience) God.