Summary: Jesus is speaking to us today. Are we listening? This is the second in a series of messages explaining how Jesus communicates to us today.
How Jesus Speaks Through My Experiences
Series: Hearing Jesus Speak Today
August 29, 2010
I’m sure you’ve heard the story about the guy who was trapped on the roof of his house during hurricane Katrina. 1st, his neighbor came by in a row boat and asked if he needed help. He said, “No thank you… Jesus is going to save me.” 3 hours later, a rescue team came by in a boat, and invited him to get in. He said, “No thank you… Jesus is going to save me.” Night came and the waters rose. The man climbed to the top the chimney. A helicopter searching for survivors hovered over, shined the spotlight on him, and one of the rescuers yelled out, “Hurry! Take the rope ladder!”. Again he responded…“No thank you…Jesus is going to save me.” The flood waters continued to rise, and the man was eventually swept away and drowned. When he got to heaven, he complained to the Lord, and asked Him…”Lord! Why didn’t you save me?” The Lord said, “What are you complaining about? I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter!”
A lot of people are just like that man! Jesus is speaking to them through their experiences…but they’re not listening. In fact, they’re refusing the help He’s sending them! They’re expecting (even demanding) Him to speak to them in a certain way, all the while ignoring what He’s telling them to do! See, the truth is, Jesus does speak to us today… sometimes through His Word (the bible as we said last week) and sometimes through the things we experience…but we may not be hearing. It’s like the verse we read from Job 33:14 last week.(READ)
Jesus can use an illness, a tragedy, a trial, even a success to speak to us. The trick is… learning how to recognize and interpret what He’s saying through whatever we’re experiencing. See, because if you’re not careful, you can misread what Jesus is saying to you through your experiences and never hear what He’s trying to communicate. It’s possible for you to think that every negative situation, every trial, every obstacle you run into is Satan trying to attack you. (and that may be a part of it)…but if you’re not careful, you’ll be so busy gritting your teeth and blaming the devil, you’ll never hear what God is trying to tell you. People misinterpreted what God was trying to communicate all the time in the O.T. For example…
• In the book of Haggai around 520 B.C. the people of Israel were under a divine curse because they’d disobeyed God and stopped rebuilding the temple. They weren’t lazy, they were just too busy building nice homes for themselves. At 1st, things went along pretty well. God didn’t seem to mind… but then things got real bad. 2x’s God used Haggai to warn them. Their circumstances were telling them that they were ticking God off… but they wouldn’t listen.
• During the time of Malachi, many of God’s people were experiencing economic disaster. Pests were devouring their crops and their investments were failing. They never put 2 and 2 together, but Malachi explained to them that their trials were a message from God that they’d been neglecting their obligation to tithe, so he withdrew His protection from them.
So is that the situation we’re facing now in the U.S. today? Is God withdrawing His protection from this country because of our rejection of Him… or is this just a normal economic cycle we’re going through and it’s not Him at all? How can you tell if Jesus is talking through your circumstances or not? Because, let’s be honest… a lot of times people will use situations to try and tell us what God is saying, when He’s not saying that at all. So how do you tell the difference?
1st… Your Bible Knowledge… your knowledge of who God is, and the way He works is made very clear in the bible. If you know what it says, it’ll act like a filter to help you discern whether Jesus is speaking through this experience or someone else is. See, Jesus will never violate the Words He’s spoken in the bible. He’ll never contradict Himself. So when you match what you “think” He’s saying, with what you “read” Him saying in the bible they should line up! If they don’t… what you “think” He’s saying, isn’t Him! For example… if you think Jesus is telling you accept a certain job…but that job requires you to break the law somehow, it’s not Him… because Jesus would never tell you to be dishonest or break the Sabbath.
Now, he 2nd way Jesus will help you to discern His voice from false voices is through His Spirit. For 3 ½ years Jesus had been physically present with the disciples. He was their teacher, their counselor, their protector. But after He resurrected from the dead (and later ascended into heaven)… He promised to send His Holy Spirit to do what He was no longer there physically to do. Jesus continued to be their teacher, counselor and protector… only now He wasn’t doing it through His PHYSICAL presence…He was doing it through His SPIRITUAL presence. In John 14,15 and 16 Jesus called His Spirit… the Spirit of Truth, because He would live in each of his followers and do 5 things…