Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This message is the fourth in a series focusing on our five senses and how we use these senses to respond to God. The purpose of this message is to be reminded that we can get God’s attention in all circumstances and so we should not be slow to come to

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The sense of hearing is a sense which you have which is designed to get your attention.

You can be in a crowded place, or at a location where there are lots of conversations going on.

Maybe you are at a shopping centre.

Or it could be after church at morning tea.

In these situations there are many conversations going on. But you can … r most of us can … block out those conversations and focus on the small group of people you are talking to.

But the moment that you hear your name you will naturally divert your attention to the location where your name has been spoken.

Even if it is there is a mother on the other side of the shop calling for her own child.

If she is calling your name you will still look.

There is actually a technical term for this - it is called “The Cocktail Party Effect”.

We identify and tune in when something gets our attention and we tune into our names.

You see the same thing happening on the train when people get a facebook notification, or there is a tone to indicate you have a message.

Watch how many people will pull out their own phone to see if it was a message for them.

We tune into specific sounds, specific tunes, specific names, specific voices.

If you want to have real fun go to a golf course.

Just stand there and yell “fore”

Everyone will duck and cover and protect themselves because “fore” means the ball is going to hit you.

Hearing - it is designed to get our attention.

The wonderful truth is that, because God hears, we are able to get God’s attention and God gives us his attention.

2 “This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name (just so you are clear this is the LORD, his name is repeated three times): 3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Jeremiah 33:2-3

This is a promise that God listens.

The constant reminder of the Scripture is that God inclines his ear to us and he hears.

In all sorts of contexts he responds to those who call out to him.

There is a story in Genesis 21 about Hagar and Ishmael who are sent away from the household of Abraham and Sarah because Sarah doesn’t want them in her house anymore.

So Hagar and Ishmael end up in the desert and she has got any water left.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.” (Genesis 21:17).

Ismael is crying out because he is thirsty. The cry isn’t necessarily even directed to God.

But God hears.

God resonates with the needs of the child and he responds to his needs.

That is our God - he is a God who responds to us in all sorts of circumstances.

Which is a great comfort to us - because knowing that we have the attention of God in all circumstances gives us hope.

You might be in a circumstance where you are going through a time of darkness and despair.

The key struggle that we have in the times of darkness and despair is the mind games. That place where your mind tells you that everything is so terrible … and you are hopeless … and you are not worth anything. And you go down into this spiral.

The blessed hope is that, even though this is a mind game, God hears it.

And God responds.

Psalm 6:6-9

6 I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears (that is someone in deep darkness isn’t it). 7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

Here I am in the deepest darkest place and God listens - that is the promise of the Scripture.

God listens at other times as well.

Those times when we are in the wilderness. The wilderness is that place where we wonder if God exists.

Does God care for me?

Is God on my side?

Can I have a place in his plan?

Do I have a purpose?

It is the spiritual wilderness.

In that wilderness we can cry out to God.

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