Summary: God's Word is were truth is found. Seeking His truth, obeying His Word and following His precepts will set us right in the center of His perfect will.
Title: Hearing God in Modern Times, Part 2
Theme: Discerning God's Voice In a Secular Atmosphere
Introduction: I have already covered part one of this message theme. We looked at a Biblical perspective of the foundation of hearing from God, Knowing Jesus' Voice, Being Born Again, and Seeking the Lord with All Your Heart. These three foundations are like the next four. Truths that are imperative, non-negotiable, and guaranteed to finding God's will for you.
Proposition: I would propose to you God's Word is were truth is found. Seeking His truth, obeying His Word and following His precepts will set us right in the center of His perfect will.
Interrogative Sentence: With the first three steps well established, just what are the remaining four Biblical steps to hearing God in Modern Times?
Transitional Sentence: The remaining four steps cannot be accomplished without first understanding the fear of the Lord factor. The Bible says, "But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you." (1 Samuel 12: 24) Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."
There is a Hebrew word "Jeriah," meaning, "Fear of the Lord; reverence; Jehovah has founded, whom Jehovah has regards for. (Smith, S., & Cornwall, J. (1998). In The exhaustive dictionary of Bible names (p. 129). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos.) Jeriah, equals to, "taught by Jehovah." (Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software)
In July of 1861, in an act declaring September 26 as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting, Abraham Lincoln wrote, “It is fitting and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisement; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” Catch the words acknowledge, revere, bow, deplore sin, conviction.
In Exodus 19, we read of Moses going up Mount Sinai, getting instructions from the Lord on how to govern the people of God. Moses returns to the people, he summons "the elders of the people and sets before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded, 'We will do everything the Lord has said.'" (Exodus 19: 8) The heartbeat of hearing from the Lord is to let the Holy Spirit check your heart with this question, is your response, 'We will do everything the Lord has said!"
Transitional Sentence: A heart that fears the Lord lays down a sure foundation for hearing from the Lord. This spiritual heart uses the Word of God as a mirror to examine ones own life. The Bible says, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" (2 Corinthians 13:5) The Apostle Paul challenged his critics to do a spiritual audit on themselves, to see if they have a genuine believing attitude toward Christ. (Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 3, p. 360). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons; Garland, D. E. (1999). 2 Corinthians (Vol. 29, p. 545). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.) As we read the whole counsel of God's Word, it would do us well to do an ongoing examination. "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else..." (Galatians 6:4-5)
"One of the most necessary things in life is the fearless self-examination which will enable us to see when we are acting on principle and when we are the victims of our own unreasonable and unreasoning prejudices. If any man is swayed by prejudice the eye is darkened and the vision distorted. Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1976). The Gospel of Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 244). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.
"A true devotion awakens our performance to the [guidance of God's Word]. [We must] enter every season [of life] for the preparedness of both mind and body by [seeking] the guidance of God's help, ...without Him we can do nothing. The injunction is laid on us, that we may seek Him. ...The Apostle James says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives generously...' Surely, no one is devoid of reason and does not see the character of his own life. The designing mercy of God has set up the [clearest] mirror in His [Word] wherein a man may see his mind's face and realize its conformity comparing [ourselves] too God's image... that we may throw off carnal cares, restless occupations and [forsake] earthly matters to our heavenly [callings]." (Leo the Great. (1895). Sermons. In P. Schaff & H. Wace (Eds.), C. L. Feltoe (Trans.), Leo the Great, Gregory the Great (Vol. 12a, p. 161). New York: Christian Literature Company.)