Summary: The different wasys we can hear God speak to us
Hearing from God
So here we are back together again – as we continue through the book “The Life you’ve always wanted”. When Graham announced his intention to study this book I was somewhat pleased as before starting at Spurgeons we had been leading a homegroup where we studied this book as a group. The book has its own strengths and weaknesses but as a group we benefited greatly from it – and it led to us growing deeper as a group as we shared and spoke more openly about our spiritual lives together.
However as I re-read the chapters of the book – I felt an urge to change the title from the Life you’ve always wanted” To The Life you’ve always needed.”
For example with chapters on servanthood, being spiritually disciplined, and confessing sin – none of these things are things I naturally want to do. But having a servant heart, cultivating spiritual disciplines and confesing my sin to God aer all things I need to do. Who was here last Sunday and heard Peter’s sermon on confessing sins. Are these things we want to do – no – loet me hide them – I don’t want my fellow workers to see my sin, I don’t want my fellow Christians to see it, nor my wife or family not even my dog or cat, and often we hide these things from God. But if we are going to live the kind of life tthat we need if we are going to have a daily walk with Jesus these are things that we need to do. For God wants to change and transform us into his likeness. Have you confessed your sins to Jesus to this week or aer they building up.
This week we will be looking at the subject of listening to God. When I was a teenager and before I became a Christian my parents lived in the country-side and to reach the local town I had to cycle a couple of miles through a thick dark forest. I always seemed to have problems with my bike lights and on more than one occasion I can remember as they stopped working in the darkest part of the forest saying God – if you fix this bike light now I will believe in you – I listened and nothing happened – ultimately God had other ways of reaching and speaking to me than through my bikelights. But it raises the question Does God still speak and if so how.
The Bible makes it very clear that we have a speaking/acting God. The picture of God tucked in the corner of the universe holds no place in the Word of God.
So to show the breadth of the ways God has spoken to people through the Bible I want to take a whistle stop tour through some different passages of Scripture. Are you ready?
At the very start of the Bible In Genesis we see whatever God spoke happened. God said “Let there be light” and there was light. When God spoke – creation sprung into being.Whatever God commanded happened. His voice brought life and goodness into the world.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. [a]
4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Face to Face
But also in the Bible we see God speaking directly to people face to face
So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Ex 33.11a
Visions and dreams from the Lord
In the Bible we see people receiving visions from the Lord
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I (the prophet Ezekiel) was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. Ezek 1.1
We read about how God can also speak through visible signs
39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew. (Judges 6:39)
We read about how God can also speak through prophecy (1 Cor 14:29-31)
29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.