Summary: This passage looks at the parable of the four soils in Luke 8 - our attitudes will determine whether we hear from God and whether the Word will be received in good soil and reproduce fruit in our lives.

Acknowledgement - Rick Warren, Saddleback Church

Today we’re beginning a new series "How to Hear God’s Voice".

o One of the most basic claims of Christianity is that God speaks to people. All through the Bible you see the phrase, "And God said or The word of the Lord came to ……………….."

o There are four primary ways God speaks: through his word, through circumstances, through other Christians, through the church

o Now lets think about the word of God, the Bible

o If God was to send a personal letter to me, and sign it Jehovah God, would I put it aside until after the 10:00 PM news?

o Of course not, I would read it right away

o When one woman shared with me this week there is so much to pray about I noted she has moved from passive listening to obedience

o God is speaking to her through the Bible

o God wants to speak to you personally

o Jesus said ‘My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they listen to me.”

o Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with you. There is no relationship without communication. Jesus is the shepherd who speaks to his sheep

o Jesus said ‘my sheep know my voice and they follow me”

o The problem is communication is often misunderstood. When my wife speaks to me I often, a) don’t hear it, and b) misunderstand it. I’m sure I’m not the only man that ever felt that way! Men, there are two things you need to understand about women.... and I am not quite sure what they are!

o If we have difficulty communicating with people we know and love are we not going to have some communication problems with God?

o It amazes me when someone says ‘you have a direct line to God. Say a prayer for me.’

o God does not send me e- mail. I don’t have a fax of God that says this is what you need to do

o Jesus did not have the email to God; but he waited and listened to his voice and then moved in his ministry

o Sometimes I’m just as much in the dark about hearing God as you are.

o That is why I believe the number one need in our church is prayer

o But there are times when God speaks when I have no doubt at all that God is speaking to me.

o When my wife calls me on the phone, I don’t have to ask who it is -- I know her voice. There are times when God speaks to me when I know it is his voice, who’s putting that impression in my mind.

o What makes the difference? The difference is whether I am listening and my attitude is right

o Calvary, God wants to speak to us and is calling us to tune in. Jesus once said in Luke 8:8, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" We must be tuned in to hear God speak.

o We were in Quebec City and found this little Chinese restaurant

o The waiter handed me a lunch menu which was in French which I cannot read

o There was no English menu

o So I thought I can just ask the waiter what the special is

o The problem is the menu was in French, with no English copy and the waiter was Chinese, who spoke little English

o Similarly, have you even felt like there were communication difficulties when you desired to hear God’s voice

o Now you get the picture. God is speaking to you but your feeling like the language is fuzzy.

o In this parable, Jesus says hearing is all about mental attitude. There are four kinds of attitudes; only one will give us a clear frequency. This is so important.

o God will save you a lot of time from making wrong mistakes, He can comfort you when you need comfort, He can guide you and provide for you.

o So Jesus says ‘there was a farmer who goes out to sow seed and as he went out to sow seed, his seed scattered all over in different types of soil. In that day they didn’t have seed tape. They did what was called broadcasting.

o A farmer would have a pouch on his side filled with seed and, as he’d walk through the tilled field, he would toss it out, scattering it liberally.

o Obviously some of the seed falls on good soil and some of it doesn’t. He says these four soils represent four mental attitudes. They’re not four kinds of people, but they are different places were at in life.

o I once went to a church and decided there was nothing there for me

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