Summary: Continuing in this series of prayer, focusing on listening to God in prayer.

Conversations with God:

Listening to God

John 10:4-5

May 22, 2016

They say silence is golden – but is it possible that too much silence is not such a good thing? You see there’s a room in the United States that’s so quiet it becomes unbearable after a short time. The longest anyone has survived in the ‘anechoic chamber’ at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis is just 45 minutes.

It’s 99.99 % sound absorbent and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s quietest place, but if you stay in there too long and you may start hallucinating.

It has 3.3 foot-thick fiberglass acoustic wedges, double walls of insulated steel and 1 foot-thick concrete.

The company’s founder and president, Steven Orfield said ~ ‘We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark for 45 minutes. When it’s quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You'll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.’

And this is a very disorientating experience. Mr. Orfield explained it’s so disconcerting that sitting down is a must. The chamber is used by a number of manufacturers, which test how loud their products are. That’s pretty interesting.

We have a very difficult time quieting ourselves down . . . and embracing silence. For awhile now we’ve been talking about prayer, what it means to talk to God, how to talk to God, and now we’re talking and hopefully you’re listening . . . about how to listen to God.

Because we’re all so different there can be many ways to listen to God. Some people need silence, others say they can hear God in the noise. But in all reality, how many of us can say we hear God speak to us? I tend to believe it happens far more seldom than we would like. Last week we started looking at how to hear God, and let’s keep learning.

I want to look at a passage in the Gospel of John. In this chapter Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd. As we’re reading, Jesus refers to the Shepherd and His sheep, us. I’m going to read from John 10:4-5 ~

4 When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.

5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

This is an important passage! Actually, it’s a crucial passage if we wSLIDEant to hear God’s call in our lives. In verse 4, Jesus said, 4 the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.

So, here’s the question - - - do you know Jesus’ voice? Because if you know His voice, then you would know to follow Him. He’s not talking about believing in Him, that’s already a given. After you have faith in Jesus, He wants you to follow Him. But how can you follow Him if you don’t know His voice?

You see, that’s our dilemma. Sheep are considered one of the dumbest animals on the planet, yet we are often compared to sheep. That’s not a compliment! Yet, one great aspect about sheep is the fact that they can easily distinguish voices. Once they know their Shepherds voice and His call, they know to follow only him. If someone else calls with the same type of call, they will not move. Oftentimes Shepherds would combine their flocks for better protection during the evening. Then in the morning, when they would part ways, each Shepherd would call out to their sheep and their sheep would follow them.

What about us? When we’re in a crowd. When we’re in school, at work, at home, in a store, at a restaurant, can we hear Jesus? What about when we’re reading the Bible with the television on. We have one eye on the television and one eye on Jesus. It’s going to be difficult to hear Jesus when He calls us . . . It’s even going to be difficult to pick out those life altering scripture verses when we read them, because we have not given our undivided attention to God’s Word.

So, we need to be especially attentive to spend time with God - - - so we can learn to distinguish His voice from among all of the other voices.

But we have a problem, we hear lots of voices and we tend to follow them. Partly, because we can’t distinguish one voice from another. We don’t know the good from the bad voices. That’s what Jesus is getting at in verse 5, when He said - -

5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

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