Summary: God wants a relationship with us and wants to communicate with us.
Hearing God’s Voice – 5
“Communicating with God”
One of the major differences between Christianity and other religions is that God is alive and He wants to have a relationship with us. In fact our salvation is based on the relationship we have with God. But you cannot have a relationship with someone without communication. In order to have a relationship with someone you must speak to them, you must listen to them and they must speak and listen to you. Denise and I can be married, but I guarantee you, without communication, we will not have much of a relationship. It takes communication to get to know one another and to have a successful, happy relationship. Without communication, it makes for a life of turmoil, confusion, trying to figure one another out. Good relationships don’t work that way.
Do you remember the story in the Old Testament about the Tower of Babel? Do you remember why the work stopped on that tower? The work stopped because there was a break down in communication. The people wanted to be greater than God. So God gave the people various languages. This caused a break down in communication. God knew that they could no longer be productive and successful if they couldn’t communicate. There became a break down in communication because they could no longer understand one another. And when they could no longer communicate with one another they could no longer be productive. The work came to a halt. Here is a timeless truth found in that story.
➢ In order to be productive you must be able to COMMUNICATE.
This truth is true for families, for business partnerships, for any relationship you have with others, as well as your relationship with God. When there is a breakdown in communication you will cease to be productive.
This morning I want to look at how we are to communicate with God. How do we listen to God’s voice? Our text for today is found in Luke chapter 8. Follow along with me as I read.
Luke 8:5-8, “5A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried,“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Notice the last phrase in this passage. “He who has ears let him hear.” This is a parable that Jesus uses to help His disciples know the importance of hearing God.
In fact Luke 8:11-18 is Jesus’ explanation of the parable.
11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. 16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sit on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.18 Therefore take heed how you hear.”
Notice what Jesus says in verse 18: “Therefore take heed how you hear."
Twice in the first 18 verses of Luke 8 Jesus tells the people to listen. Listening is important in communication. If you don’t hear what another person is saying you will not communicate with them.
I find in this parable that there are four ways that people listen. This morning and next Sunday morning we are going to go over those four ways to see what category each of us fit into. Let’s look at four ways people listen. We are going to dissect this parable to find out what these four ways are.
I. SOME PEOPLE DON’T LISTEN AT ALL