Summary: We have all seen the commercial, "Can You Hear Me Now?" This message addresses the fact that we all often get in an "unhearing" condition and that God will/wants to dig the dirt out of our spiritual ears.
My Ear You Have Dug
PPT 1 Series Title: Words
PPT 2 Tongues of fire
Speak life, don't injure with our words, last week we talked about the good confession which is standing up for the truth even if it brings pain.
PPT 3 Can you Hear Me pic
How many can relate to that picture? Have you ever thought God sometimes feels like the woman in that picture? Intro we have been talking about speaking for the last several weeks, it's only natural that we should give attention to listening and hearing also. We live in an age where there are more means of communication than ever before, and there is more miscommunication than ever before today our focus will be on hearing the words of God, and so our message is entitled:
PPT 4 My Ear You Have Dug Psalms 40:6
My favorite course in college was speech and communication, and not because it helped me be a better speaker, but because it helped me be a better listener.
The bible can't tell you if you are called only the Holy Spirit can, the bible can't tell you who to marry, it can give you general guidelines, only the Holy Spirit can tell you the exact person. The bible can't tell what your career should be, or if you should have lasik surgery, or should you sell your home. Only the Holy Spirit can give that type of specific direction. My whole Christian life I have been a student of listening to the voice of God. If you want to hear God better, study communication.
What is good communication?
I speak, you hear what I said, you respond, I hear what you said.
Sounds simple? It never is
Some errors creep in because I can't fully articulate what I want you to hear, you hear more than my words, my body language, all our past interactions, you filter everything I say through your life experiences, culture, and level of understanding. Lot's of room for error.
How many times in our life have we failed to hear the importance and or depth of hurt someone we were in conversation with? Miscommunication in marriage...
She says you are not hearing me, he is only hearing what he disagrees with in what she is saying.
We also do this with kids, we don't have hearing ears to understand how important something is to them, and they don't have hearing ears to understand how important something is to us.
I want to go out and stay out late. I got in trouble as a teen when I did that, I want to keep you from that.
PPT 4 communication process
Hindrances to good communication:
My past, my culture
Physical issues hearing/fatigue
Attitude to speaker
Let me illustrate:
A chaplain at a home for people with dementia and other cognitive problems shared this story:
It was a beautiful day outside, and the staff took many patients outside to enjoy the weather including a woman with dementia. There are bushes and flowers and it was a lovely spot on a lovely day. The orderly rolled the woman near a bush. Usually she sat slumped over in her chair. But she roused for a second, straightened up, and shouted, "Snake!" People turned their heads for a moment and when they saw who shouted, they shook their heads and went on about their business. A few minutes later, she straightened up and shouted again: "Snake!" More eye-rolls and head shakes from the staff. Sure enough, she did it another time. An orderly sighed, "I guess I better go check on her and move her someplace else." When he got to her chair, he looked down at the bush and shouted, "Snake!"
Because of her dementia nobody listened to her.
She spoke but no one really heard, that happens all the time.
God sends a perfect signal and it often doesn't get through because of our inability to hear.
PPT 5, 6 text
Job 33:14 "Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it.
Job 33:15 "In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds,
Job 33:16 Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction,
Job 33:17 That He may turn man aside from his conduct, And keep man from pride;
Job 33:18 He keeps back his soul from the pit, And his life from passing over into Sheol.
This is one of Job's friends named Elihu (Eleehoo) who tells Job that God speaks, and after several attempts God uses tragedy and trouble to get people to slow down and listen and turn their lives around. He is wrong in applying that to Job, but He is right in saying what God sometimes does when people won't/don't listen