Summary: The strength of our faith is tied up in our ability to hear God.
I think that it’s important to consistently remind ourselves that we do not serve a silent God. Throughout the pages of Scripture we see a God who is involved in His people’s lives and wants to speak to them and DOES speak to them. We see in the Bible a God who desperately wants to redeem mankind and have relationship with him. We see a God who is full of love and full of blessing for His people. As we consider God speaking to us we MUST remember that God is first and foremost our Father and He has a father’s heart toward us.
When we think of God speaking, we must first go to His Word. Consider the lengths that God went through to provide the written word for us.
The Bible is composed of sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New. Yet those sixty-six books form a cohesive whole, one dynamic message of God’s dealings with humankind.
These sixty-six books were composed by more than forty authors, from a variety of educational and cultural backgrounds.
The books of the Bible were composed in a variety of places and cultures.
The books were written on three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The Bible was composed in three languages. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, with a small part in Aramaic. The New Testament was in the common Greek of the day, Koine.
The Bible deals consistently with such subjects as the origin of the universe, the existence and nature of God, the nature and purpose of humankind, and the origin and extent of evil.
One would expect that the result of such diversity would be a chaotic text, full of contradictions and distortions. But the Bible is consistent, coherent, and trustworthy. None of the authors or books is either internally, of themselves, or externally contradictory.1
Many of us when we think about hearing God, we secretly wish that He would use more supernatural means to speak to us. We would like to hear an audible voice, handwriting on the wall, receive a prophetic word or a dream or vision. That is in fact what we are going to talk about today. But don’t miss this; this book called the Bible is a miracle in print! You don’t get any more supernatural than this book; and many of us have two or three of! You want to hear God? You MUST start with the Word of God! Everything else must be built on the foundation of God’s Word!
You want to experience the supernatural? You want a prophetic word from God? Well here it is. READ YOUR BIBLE! Get into it. Let it get into you. Read it, study it, and meditate on it. God’s Word must be the basis for hearing God.
A couple of weeks ago we talked about using wisdom to know God’s will. How the wisdom received from God is what we use to apply what we hear from God. It’s unfortunate that so many people claim to hear God but don’t subject what they have “heard” to God’s Word and to wisdom. We must remember to “test everything” and hold on to that which is good.
Last week we talked about hearing God in prayer. Consider this verse in Isaiah 50:4-5 – He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. 5 The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. 2
This week I want to talk about hearing God through others. Through prophetic words, dreams and visions. I understand that there have been many abuses in this area and I know that this topic may be a real stretch for some of you. It’s unfortunate that here has been so much pain and confusion from those in the church claiming to have a “word from God”. It’s too bad that those who might actually have a word don’t always present it in a sensitive and loving way. It’s really sad that because of abuses from some in the church, entire groups of Christians, have discounted, avoided, or view with suspicion this wonderful way that God speaks to His people. For today, let’s attempt to set aside our fears and suspicions and study what God’s Word has to say.
I SEE THE LIGHT! Part 3
Acts 2:17, 18
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 3
Two things are important when reading this passage. While Peter was using Joel’s prophecy to describe what was happening on the day of Pentecost, he was not saying that Pentecost was the fulfillment of that prophecy. If you look at the next two verses, you see where Joel says;