Summary: God wants His children to learn how to walk in the Spirit and hear His voice so we can be a blessing to other people.
THE FAMILY OF GOD #4: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT AND HEARING GOD’S VOICE
INTRO TO TOPIC: Compare cell reception to hearing God’s voice. “Can you hear me now?”
THE BIG IDEA: God wants His children to learn how to walk in the Spirit and hear His voice so we can be a blessing to other people.
THE STORY OF PHILIP:
• Review Philip’s story: he was just a regular person who heard he could be used by God:
• “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:5-8).
“So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert.” (Acts 8:25-26).
• Here Philip too engaged the prophetic realms of revelation – he had an encounter with an angel. The angel spoke to him and gave him direction: “Arise and go…”
“So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” (Acts 8:27-31).
• Next, the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and told him to go to the chariot.
• When Philip obeyed the Spirit, he had a God opportunity to minister to someone.
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:35-38).
• Because Philip was led by the Spirit, he had an opportunity to lead someone to the Lord.
• We need to learn to listen for that still small voice, and obey it!
HOW TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT AND LEARN TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE:
1. Spend lots of time reading and meditating on the Scriptures.
• This is the language of the Holy Spirit. The more familiar we become with the written Word, the more we will recognize the spoken Word.
• 90% of God’s will for your life is in the Bible.
2. Ask God to speak to you.
• God’s Promise: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27).
• “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3).
• In the early church in Acts, believers heard God speaking regularly.
3. Learn to be quiet and listen in prayer.
• “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). Unplug from everything.
• “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).
4. Learn the different ways God speaks:
I. The written Word (Psalm 119:105: the primary way He speaks to us).
II. The still small voice (1 Kings 19:12: to our hearts in prayer).
III. Circumstances (Rev. 3:7: open & closed doors, provision, etc).
IV. Human messengers (1 Cor. 12:7-10: prophets or gift of prophecy).
V. Dreams & Visions (Acts 2:17).
VI. The audible voice, angels & heavenly encounters (this is rare).
5. Confess any known sin. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (Psalm 66:18). To start hearing His voice again, go back and obey the last thing God told you to do. (Remember – Jesus said my sheep follow me – that means you obey!).