Summary: 5 Factors that influence our ability to hear from God. 1. Circumstantial 2. Physical Location 3. Timing 4. A Divine Causing 5. An Obedience
There You Will Hear
Text: Jeremiah 18:1,2 (I am using the KJV for this message because of its unique wording of verse 2, being caused to hear as opposed to other versions where the prophet would simply have the word of the Lord announced to him, or him simply receiving a message)
Jer 18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 18:2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Seek and you will find. This is a message dealing with the reason for delay. Delay in getting answers.
A Jeweler often displays his golden wares on a black velvet background. The contrast is to heighten the appreciation, and to also remove distractions from your view. So it is, that often before we get some fresh insight from God, we often experience a season of silence. I don't know about you, but I am sick of food, this Christmas season. How many dainties have you walked away from this holiday season, because you were already full. There were about 6 or 7 different deserts at dinner last night, I really didn't want any. This verse encapsulates how I was feeling:
Pr 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Sometimes we experience a season of dryness in our soul, because God wants to communicate something to us that will stick with us a lifetime. Against the backdrop of silence, a fresh revelation of Him is more greatly appreciated. We will be like Mary treasuring those things in her heart. It will be a jewel box we open from time to time and relive the beauty that was communicated to us.
As a pastor it has taken me a long time to realize that one thing said well, has more impact than many things said well. A laser is a highly focused beam of light. Words spoken in a drought of hearing are like the jeweler placing his beautiful golden wares on a black backdrop that only enhances our appreciation because of the stark contrast.
Jeremiah the prophet is told to go down to the potters house and, "there I will cause you to hear My words." (Jeremiah 18:2) He goes down to the potters house and while watching him work his mind is illuminated by a thought from God. Why couldn't God just speak to Jeremiah where he was, why did he have to go to the potters house to hear God? From this passage we learn that there is often:
A circumstantial factor which will impact our ability to hear.
A physical location we need to be, to hear from God.
A timing factor which will impact our ability to hear.
A causing from God, that is necessary to be able to hear.
An obedience that is necessary to hear from God.
1. A circumstantial factor which will impact our ability to hear.
In Jeremiah's case the piece had to be marred and then redesigned before he could hear and understand what God was wanting to tell him about his nation.
Often God puts unfolds living parables before our eyes and then with them as a backdrop He speaks to us.
Illus: Once helping my son to deliver newspapers I felt a strong urge to pray. Halfway through his route I felt the urge to pray again, part of me said it was foolish to pray I had already done so, the other part of me said to that mocking voice, shut up you don't know what you are talking about, you don't know what is around the corner for me. Immediately after the second prayer I saw a boxer loose as my son and I were delivering papers. I said to Dan, "I wonder if that dog bites?" Dan said, "I guess I'll find out," as he prepared to get out of the car and deliver the paper, then out of nowhere a puny little 3 legged dog came and chased the big old boxer away. Dan and I sat there jaws dropped and watched the whole thing. Dan said the boxer was a wimp. I said the boxer didn't know who he was.
That is when I figured out why I had a burden to pray. Not for protection from the boxer but for the realization that the boxer shouldn't have been the one to run.
Le 26:8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. You are not the three legged dog, the devil is. You are the boxer that needs to start walking in your God given authority.
Often times for God to be able to communicate with us, He first has to set up the chess board, and then He can make His move. I had a living parable enacted before my eyes. Often in life we need certain circumstances to be played out before us, in order to get in the right frame of mind to hear what God wants to communicate to us.