Summary: We recognize God’s voice best in the scriptures
Knowing God’s Voice November 17, 2002
The Shepherd and His Flock
1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
The Bible says that if we are His Sheep, we will recognize his voice in our lives.
Recognizing the Shepherd’s voice.
We are a church that wants to hear God’s voice – for our personal lives, for the corporate life of the church, in prophetic utterance for the world.
How do we know it’s his voice? How do we know when it is not just some thought that has come to our head that we are thrilled with?
Samuel was one of the greatest prophets in the scripture, he was one f the last judges of Israel before the era of the kings, and he led the nation trough the transition by the voice of God, but even Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice when he first heard it.
1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple  of the LORD , where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, "Here I am." 5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
6 Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
"My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ’Speak, LORD , for your servant is listening.’ " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
There may be times that God is speaking to us and we just don’t know it because we don’t recognize the voice.
We begin to recognize God’s voice in Scripture
The scriptures are the place where the voice of the shepherd is most likely to be heard.
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
How to hear God’s Voice in Scripture
Read the Word
Most of us here graduated from high school, some of us even have some letters either behind or in front of our names. We are an educated people. And because we are an educated people, we have been trained how to read. We have been trained not just how to take the symbols of from the page and convert them into the language that we speak, but we have been trained how to master the text. Particularly in university, we have been taught how to get into the book, find out what we need to know and get out fast. We live in an information society, and books are full of information that we need to get, so we read them in order to get more information
Most of us tackle the Bible in the same way. This is a book of facts, and it is our job to read it find out the facts install them into our data base.
There are times when I can go overboard. When I’m writing some sermons, I get out as many commentaries as I can find, I get out my dictionaries, and my Greek text and my tools to help me read the Greek text. And then I rightly divide the word, I take it apart, and do a word study on this word, find out the exact verb tense of this word, find out the cultural significance of this phrase, and somewhere along the line out comes a sermon, but not before I have collected a great mountain of data and information.