Summary: Continuing on our journey of Prayer. Looking at how to listen to God
Conversations with God
Listening to God
May 15, 2015
Jill *** does SIGN LANGUAGE for first 30 seconds of message!!
Do you know what Jill said? She gave you a really important message, but if you don’t know sign language, then you have no clue what she was trying to tell you.
She told you John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That’s one of the most memorized scriptures, yet, you didn’t know what she was telling you. Why not? Of course, if you studied sign language, you would, but you don’t! We’ve been looking at prayer, at ways we communicate with God, and today, I want to look at an important aspect of prayer, one we often miss out on.
If you wanted to have a relationship with someone, you would get to know them. You would communicate with them. We talk and more than talk, we must listen. The greatest test of our listening skills comes when we meet people. How many times do we walk away after meeting someone and we have absolutely no clue what their name is? Yes, we have a lot on our minds, but we also don’t do a very good job of listening.
So, today, we’re going to talk about listening. And you will have a final exam towards the end of the message. So, listen up!
The hope for today is we will leave here and have a couple of ideas or strategies on how we can better listen to God. Too often we struggle with hearing God. Sometimes it comes in the way we pray and sometimes it happens in the way we listen.
For example, we have prayers where we really don’t expect an immediate answer from God. The past 2 weeks, Joshua and Zachary had a number of AP exams, and Joshua has a final one tomorrow. When I pray for them, I’m asking God to help them with memory, with recall, with patience. I’m not asking God to change the grade. Just do your best without getting blown away. Those are prayers I pray during the time I know they are in the exams.
Other prayers, we want an immediate response. Should I or shouldn’t I enter a business deal, prayers about healing, about family, and so on. So, how do we hear God, when most of the time, we tell God what we want, then, when we are done, we don’t give God the chance to respond, because we hang up! Then we’re frustrated that God doesn’t talk to us. Or does He? But . . . we’re not listening.
So, let’s get some clues from a child! We’re going to look at 1 Samuel 3 ~
1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own 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, and he said, “Here I am!”
5 and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.
6 And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.
9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if God calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
So, what can we learn from this story about young Samuel and hearing the Lord for the first time? I noticed a few things about this story.
Now, Samuel was sleeping. That’s hardly the way I want you to listen to God, but what’s important is where Samuel was. Where was Samuel when he heard God speaking to him? He was in the Temple of the Lord where the Ark was.