Summary: Sermon looks at how Habakkuk listened and received guidance from God and how we can also. Acknowledgement - Rick Warrens series
RECEIVING GUIDANCE FROM GOD
How to hear God’s Voice - Part 4 of 4
Well good morning. We just read a few verses from the book of Habakkuk. Who was he? When did he live?
Well we do not know a lot about him we know he prophesied about the suffering of Judah, the southern part of Israel, just before his people were invaded by the Babylonians in 605 BC. This was after the nation had experienced national and spiritual reform through Josiah.
Habakkuk describes the nation as one where justice was ignored and wickedness abounded (1:2-4).
Do you feel that justice is ignored and wickedness abounds in this country and area? I know I do.
In that context Habakkuk asks God to speak to you, answering his doubts and giving him spiritual insight.
Like Habakkuk there are literally hundreds of stories of God speaking directly to people.
Have you ever thought ‘I wonder why I don’t hear God speaking like he did in those days.’
Larry Crabb in his book Papa Prayer writes ‘some people view God as an approving but silent grandfather who just winks at you when you do right.
Is that true? What is the problem with hearing from God?
The fact is God does speak to people today. We’ve been looking in this series about How to Hear God’s Voice. Today I want us to look at the topic of How to Receive Guidance from God.
We said that God speaks primarily in four ways: He speaks through the Bible, through the church, through impressions of the Holy Spirit, and through circumstances or pain. I’d like to focus again this morning on the third way -- impressions of the Holy Spirit. It’s a way that has a lot of confusion and misunderstanding with people. How does He do it?
I’m going to give you five ways to tune into God to hear God speak to you when you need guidance. You’re saying, "Lord, should I marry this person?", "Should I change jobs?", "How do I deal with my children in this circumstance?", "Should I make this investment or not?" God wants to deal with you on those issues. But you’ve got to be tuned into Him.
We’re going to look at Habakkuk and the five things he did to tune into God.
I. HOW TO REQUEST GUIDANCE
But first three prerequisites on how to make a request of God. When you need to ask God for advice there are three prerequisites:
1. I must realize that God cares about the details of my life.
Matthew 6:31-32 says "Don’t worry about what you eat or drink or wear. Your heavenly father knows you need these things." Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you as well.
That’s amazing. God is concerned about what you eat and wear. God cares about every detail of your life. God loves you and made you,
We wrongly think I don’t want to bother God." Jesus say’s God the Father is interested because He’s your heavenly Father and He made you. He’s totally interested in caring for you.
2. You need to ask a specific question.
When you’re looking for guidance from God ask a specific question. The more specifically you ask, the more God is able to answer it. Instead of saying, "God, do You want me to say anything to Bill?" say "God, what do You want me to say to Bill...?"
Instead of saying God heal my marriage pray God show me how to respect my husband.
Instead of praying God grow this church pray what’s the next step for Calvary? That is what I did and the Spirit directed me to prayer partners – the Holy Spirit keeps saying increase prayer in this church.
Over twenty times in the New Testament, God says "Ask." He says, "Ask...
Seek... Knock" The Scripture says "If you want to know what God wants you to do ask Him and He’ll gladly tell you." James says you have not because you don’t ask. God wants you to ask for advice. He’s waiting and willing. He wants you to ask for advice about your relationships, about your career, health, finances. He’s eager and wanting to talk to you. So you ask and believe He’s interested in the details.
3. Believe He wants to answer.
James 1:5-6 (Living Bible) "God is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him. He won’t resent it. But when you ask Him, be sure you really expect Him to tell you."
Circle "expect". God is more willing to talk to you than you are willing to talk to Him.
Remember He tried four times to get Samuel’s attention. When you expect answers to your prayers then you really pray. And when you really pray then you really get answers.