Summary: God seems to love the "Quiet Game" and seems to be the world's most skilled player. How can you hear Him when He seems to be so quiet?
Pt. 2 - Hearing Aids Pt. 1
Are you ready? OK, on the count of three. 1, 2, 3. Go! . . .
See it does my heart good to know that some of you aren't any better at playing the quiet game than I am!
I love childhood games like Freeze Tag, smear the guy with the ball, Crack the Whip but my least favorite game was the Quiet Game. No sound. No action. No movement. I didn't like it then and lo and behold the disdain for the game has carried over into my adult life.
But we have already learned that as a believer there seem to be long seasons of silence when we deal with God. If you haven't experienced that, then just hold on that day will come. I much prefer the moments when I hear God clearly. I much prefer the seasons when at every turn God's voice is easily discernible and recognizable. The issue is that more times than not I find myself in Deuteronomy 5:22 - "He spoke in a tremendous voice from the fire and cloud and dark mist. And that was it. No more words."
So what do you do when God is hard to hear? When your prayers bounce back? When silence isn't golden but annoying? Having no ability to hear is terrible. The fact that as I age I find myself saying "what" or "huh" more is bothersome. We know in the natural that when someone starts to lose their hearing there are two options one is we ask the people talking to shout louder or we invest in hearing aids. In dealing with God, we learned last week that He is consistently and persistently speaking. We also learned that He has a still small voice and He throws His voice so we may experience prolonged periods of silence if we wait for Him to raise His voice. So, I want to suggest to you that we must learn to embrace and employ hearing aids.
Jesus said this, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
Jesus directly connects our ability to hear His voice to our ability to follow Him. If we can't or don't hear His voice it becomes a struggle to follow. Jesus says that those of us who are His sheep hear his voice however, He doesn't address quiet seasons so if He is expecting us to hear we should use every tool possible to better hear Him.
So what hearing aids are available to help me tune in to His voice so that I can follow?
The Bible gives us 7 hearing aids that are designed to help us filter or judge the leadings, promptings, counsel, and guidance of others. In the midst of a quiet season or stretch these hearing aids help us know how to proceed. I want to deal with 3 today.
This has been and will always be the foundation for hearing. All the other aids in hearing must be bounced off this because it is the standard against which all other voices are judged.
I am convinced too many of us discount God's written Word because we have developed a preference for the convenience/easiness of His spoken Word. It is easier just to wait for it to be read to me on Sunday. However, we have forgotten that this Word was spoken and this Word overrules and is the foundation of all true spoken Word. In fact, some of us get in trouble because we don't using the hearing aid of Scripture and since we are not versed in verses any voice that sounds like God can trick/mislead/misguide us. We must have an adequate scriptural underpinning to help us discern.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We tend to not like this hearing aid because we have grown lazy. Not hearing His audible voice? Need direction? Need help? Need advice? Here it is in black and white but you will have to dig. Quit chasing prophets and prophecies especially if you haven't spent any time listening to this! I submit to you that often times our seasons of silence are self-inflicted simply because we won't open His written Word. If God never spoke again, then He has already spoken enough. Volumes of direction, guidance and principles that apply to every step of our life. How to live, who to marry, how to work, how to navigate relationships, how to mourn, how to rejoice, how to give, how to parent. It is all here. A wordless believer is a hearing impaired believer. Consistent hearing requires consistent reading.