Summary: For us to be effective in our Christianity, we have to hear the voice of God, recognize the Voice of God and respond to the Voice of God.
June 1, 2008
Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-21
Subject: Hearing God’s Voice
Title: Let Him Who Has Ears Hear…
Last week I spoke to you about how America is following in the footsteps of Europe in becoming basically, and anti-Christian nation. I found it interesting in these last couple of weeks that the presidential candidates are continually distancing themselves from different pastors and churches. Now I don’t agree with some of the things that these pastors are saying, but here is what is really happening. The candidates are trying hard to find a specific belief that will not offend anyone. They are trying to rewrite the Bible. They are attempting to remove God’s voice of influence from the political arena. Because no one wants to hear what God is saying to the nation.
After looking at what is going on culturally in our country I had to stop and ask myself, “Has this kind of thinking filtered into the church?” Is the church hearing God’s voice on a regular basis? If it is, then how has the church become so ineffective in the culture, and if we are not hearing, why not?
I want to share with you today about your ability to hear God’s voice and the things that can hinder it. I pray that you would open your ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the church.
I. HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD (verse 1-3) The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. In order for you to hear from the Lord you must be open to it. Look at how this is playing out. The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli… This is the third time that the scriptures tell us that. Samuel had been given to Eli for service in the wilderness tabernacle, but he ministered to the Lord! Samuel’s heart was right for hearing from God. But Eli and his sons were not. 2:12, Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD. In fact, the whole nation of Israel was not prepared to hear from God. At this time – the end of the rule of judges over Israel – it tells us in Judges 21:25, In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. You can see by the spiritual climate in the land that 1) It would be difficult for anyone to hear from one who they did no know, and, 2) they wouldn’t recognize who it was when God spoke. That is what Paul refers to in Romans 10:17, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Now how does that apply to the church? First, we need to be living in line with God’s written word (logos) in order for us to hear a spoken (rhema) word. I don’t have any doubt that the Holy Spirit is continually trying to speak words of life and ministry and fulfillment into each one of your lives. That happens in the spirit man. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” Nothing in the natural tells us… 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The church is supposed to be hearing from God. 2One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3The 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. 2 things to see here. 1) Eli’s spiritual vision had gone the way of his natural eyesight – he could barely see, and 2) There was spiritual darkness. It was the priests duty to keep the lamps trimmed and continually burning – but now the priests were letting the lamps burn out – the same way they had let the light of God be extinguished from them.