Summary: This 6 part series called Faith Basics will look at the fundamentals of Christain life. Part 1 will focus on how to create conditions where God can speak to us and how to prepare to hear God’s voice.
Preparing to Hear God’s Voice
Faith Basics, part 1
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
August 29, 2007
1 Sam. 3:1-10
My favorite back to basics story is about the Green Bay Packers, perhaps you’ve heard it. Green Bay had been a losing team for nearly ten years. Morale was sagging. Vince Lombardi comes on as the new coach all excited and he starts leading a practice, pumping up the players, training them, motivating them. But pretty soon he got so frustrated with what was going on that he called a break in the practice and asked everyone to gather around. He said, “Let’s start at the beginning, and picked up the pigskin. This is a football, he said. You are the players, and I am the coach. These are the yard markers.” And he went on to explain the basics of football. Today we begin a new series that I have entitled Faith Basics. Let me give you the titles of these messages, because I want to give you an idea of how basic we’re going to be for the next few weeks.
Today’s message is called Preparing to Hear God’s Voice. Next week is, Recognizing God’s Voice. We’ll follow that up with, When God Makes You Uncomfortable, Substitutes for Relationship with God, Excuses for Rejecting God, Finding God’s Heart, and we’ll finish the series with a message entitled How to Respond to God. My desire in all of these messages is to draw you again and again to the most basic things in the Christian life. Christians here today, you need this. You can get so distracted by all this weighty and deep spiritual stuff that you can forget what it really means in the first place. Non-Christians here today, I’m excited for you. I can’t think of a better time for you to be in church than today and in the next six weeks. You are going to hear some foundational stuff about Christianity. If you are considering becoming a Christian, this series will help you decide, and will even give you an opportunity to make that commitment. I’m going to tell you right now, that’s where we’re going. Every week we will edge closer to a time when I will call you to respond to what I am saying by committing your life to Christ. By the time we get there, you will understand this stuff better than you ever have before. One caution for you. If you sense a desire to commit your life to Christ before we get to that time in our series, do it right away. The Bible says, “Now is the accepted time. Now is the time of salvation.” It also says in Psalms, “today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.” See the most important thing in all this is not that you follow my schedule, but that you show up for this series aware that God is doing his own thing in your life which may or may not correspond with my preaching calendar. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart, because now is the accepted time of salvation. Can we pray together?
God, you are in charge this morning. We are here to learn from you and we offer ourselves to you this morning. Would you move in each of our hearts exactly how you need to, and may we be flexible and ready to respond to you today. Amen.
Let’s dig in. Our text this morning comes from the Old Testament book of 1st Samuel, chapter 3. It starts with the prophet Samuel as a young boy, serving in the temple under the priest Eli.
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NIV)
1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual 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. Samuel answered, "Here I am."
5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
6 Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.