Summary: God is speaking to the Church but are we listening?
July 11, 2010
Text: Proverbs 3:5-6
Subject: Hearing God’s Voice
Title: The Keys to Knowing That You Can Hear From God
I want to talk to you today about a topic that we often hear about but, I think, not many really participate in. That topic is hearing from God. I would guess that everyone here today believes that a person can hear from God. The Bible is full of people who heard from God in one-way or another. Some had visions, others a visitation from an angel. Still others spoke with God himself. For believers today it is through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that we are able to hear the voice of God and know His will for our lives. And yet this is where the problem lies. Too many Christians are unsure if it is God’s voice they are hearing or their own thoughts. They become like the man who fell over the edge of a cliff. On his way down he was able to grab on to a small bush growing out of the side of the cliff and hang on.
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer."
"That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
You see we want to hear from God, but we just aren’t too sure that it’s God we hearing.
What if I told you today that you could hear from God?
What if you knew for sure that it was God you were hearing and not your own thoughts or the voice of the enemy speaking?
As we go through our passage today and expound upon it I want you to walk away from this place knowing that God is still speaking to His church today. You can hear from God.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight (He will direct your paths).
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what Spirit is saying to the church!
I. KEY # 1 - TRUST. In the NIV the word “trust” is used 87 times. In our passage today it is the Hebrew word batach and it is a reference to a place of refuge – a place where you can go to be confident, sure and carefree. Isn’t that what a refuge is? Webster’s dictionary says that a refuge is, a shelter or protection from danger, distress or difficulty, or a place offering this; a person, thing or course of action offering protection…Now, many people, especially those in the world, but not only those in the world, try to seek refuge through the things of the world. They look for a safe place or a place of comfort in drugs or alcohol or relationships with other people. They are looking for something good, but they will never find it because they are looking in the wrong place. The next few words of Proverbs 5 tells us the only place that we can ever find that kind of refuge or protection. Trust (take refuge, be confident in, be sure of) in the LORD… The very first step that you must take in being able to hear from God is to trust in Him. If you are experiencing anything in your life and you are thinking, ”I really need to hear from God…” and then you run off and ask advice from a friend, or go to someone who has a prophetic ministry and expect them to tell you what God is saying or you grab the daily paper to read your horoscope, who are you really trusting in? If you want to hear from God you have to trust two things; 1) You must trust that there is a God… Hebrews 11:6, 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. The word translated “faith” is the same word translated “trust” elsewhere in the NT and it means, to be fully persuaded… A man who lived on Long Island saved his money to purchase a high priced barometer for his home. When he received it he opened the package and saw that the needle was pointing to “hurricane”. Angrily he shook the instrument and set it aside and wrote a letter to the manufacturer complaining about the defect. On his way to work in New York City the next day he mailed the letter and returned home that evening to find the barometer missing… along with his house. The instrument had been correct but he failed to trust it because it didn’t seem right. 2) You must trust that He is willing to respond to you in regard to your situation. Jeremiah 33:3, ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ OK, so whom do you trust? The LORD! And what do you trust about Him? That He is willing to speak to you! Now to complete this first Key to hearing from God, we have to complete the rest of the first part of verse 5. Trust in the LORD with all your heart… The heart refers to the innermost part of a man – not just the heart muscle the supplies life to the whole body – but the spirit of a man that is connected to and made alive by God’s Spirit in all believers. If you want to hear from God you will trust Him and then listen for His voice. Romans 10:9-10, 9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. OK, now we are getting to the good stuff… if you trust God, and trust and believe in your heart that he will hear and answer you, you need to confess that with your mouth. Everybody say, “I know God hears me… and I believe in my heart that He will speak to me…” We need to say that out loud because faith comes by hearing… OK, we believe that, but that doesn’t explain how we know it’s God. Turn over to John 10. Verse 4, When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. Verse 14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me… Verse 16, I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice… Verses 26-27, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. You see, the more you hear the Lord’s voice speaking to you and you respond to it the more adept you become at recognizing that it was Him speaking. It is the same voice that moved you to the altar to be saved. He’s the same God who has spoken to you about sin in your life. He is the same Lord who quickens the Word inside of you when you read and tells you it’s true. But you must trust in Him with all your heart.