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Summary: God longs to have a personal and intimate friendship with you where we spend time with Him every day and learn to hear His voice.

LED BY THE SPIRIT: HEARING GOD’S VOICE

TESTIMONIES: From the week of Prayer and Fasting

KEY TEXT:

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders. The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” (Ps. 29:4-5).

• If God’s voice is so loud and powerful, why do so few Christians recognize it?

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27).

• My sheep hear my voice. All Christians are His sheep.

• I know them. This speaks of personal intimate relationship.

• They follow me. Obedience is discipleship. We are following the Shepherd!

THE BIG IDEA: God longs to have a personal and intimate friendship with you where we spend time with Him every day and learn to hear His voice.

THE STORY OF SAMUEL: (1 Samuel 3:1-10).

1 Then the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!" 5 So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. (v. 6 = the same thing again).

7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."

LESSONS FROM THIS STORY:

• Samuel was hearing God’s voice and didn’t even know that it was the Lord.

• Sometimes God speaks to us, but we may not realize that it’s Him.

• Eli was lying down in his place and he didn’t hear God’s voice.

• Samuel lied down where the ark was (symbolizing His presence) and heard God’s voice.

• If we want to hear God’s voice, we must spend time in His presence (worship & prayer).

• We must have the heart of a servant and willingness to obey when He does speak.

SECRETS OF THE SECRET PLACE – HEARING GOD’S VOICE:

1. Spend lots of time reading and meditating on the Scriptures.

• This is the language of the Holy Spirit. The more familiar we become with the written Word, the more we will recognize the spoken Word.

• 90% of God’s will for your life is in the Bible.

2. Ask God to speak to you.

• God’s Promise: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3).

• In the early church in Acts, believers heard God speaking all the time.

3. Learn to be quiet and listen in prayer.

• “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). Unplug from everything.

• “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).

4. Learn the different ways God speaks:

• The written Word. Psalm 119:105. Primary way He speaks to us.

• The still small voice.

• Circumstances (open & closed doors, provision, etc).

• Human messengers (prophets or gift of prophecy).

• The audible voice – rare.

• Dreams & Visions.

• Angels & Heavenly Encounters.

5. Confess any known sin. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (Psalm 66:18). To start hearing His voice again, go back and obey the last thing God told you to do. (Remember – Jesus said my sheep follow me – that means you obey!).

6. Practice hearing God’s voice. Spend time ‘on the phone’ with Him. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4). Discuss Soaking.

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