Summary: Prayer with God also involves listening to what He has said and to the ways He continues to direct us.

1. Title: Your Servant is Listening

2. Text: I Samuel 3

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, April 17, 2005

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand that prayer is also a part of our “tuning in to God,” not just us speaking to Him. And for them to understand how to listen for and to discern the voice of God. Likewise, to challenge the idea that “God told me…” something when it is clearly not God Who spoke!

-for the people to feel like praying more, with an expectation that the experience will bring them closer to God.

-for the people to practice being still and listening to God. And for them to more intelligently distinguish the voice of the Spirit.

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to have a better grasp on what it means to “listen to God” and to be more consciously listening for Him.

6. Type: textual

7. Dominant Thought: Prayer with God also involves listening to what He has said and to the ways He continues to direct us.

8. Outline:

Intro - 32-year-old Nathan Dorrell said he prayed about whether he should drive to Pinellas Park, FL and visit the hospice. Then he got an answer. He said, "God told me to come, and juggle."

So Dorrell loaded his pregnant wife and two children into their minivan and made the 480-mile drive from Temple, GA. The family arrived at Hospice House Woodside on Wednesday morning and unpacked in a shady spot. There, they proceeded to juggle, out with the protesters who were there to keep vigil as Terri Schiavo struggled for her life inside. Because God told him to.

I’m on the internet, and there I find a manuscript by one Stephen Gray. He starts by writing: “Recently, I shared a word the Lord had given me with pastors and spiritual leaders in Sacramento, CA. The Lord has impressed me to write the word down and release it to the body of Christ . I believe this word is for the whole body of Christ.” I didn’t stop to find out who Stephen is. I just know that what he wrote was written, according to him, because God told him to.

On January 4, 1987, Oral Roberts launched his most notable campaign to date. He told his followers that if he didn’t raise a total of 8 million dollars by March, God was going to take his life. Comparing himself to the apostle Paul, Roberts begged not to let Satan defeat him. "God" he says, "clearly told me he needs me here on earth. And here’s why -- because of all the ministries, this ministry is the only one God has on this earth that owns a medical school." A breathe-a-thon! Some time later, Oral’s son, Richard, takes to writing to warn of his father’s impending doom. Without "the additional $4.5 mil, God will not extend Dad’s life" He then pleads, "Partner, we cannot let this man of God die. There is no reason for him to die." ... Because God told them.

Last Nov. 3, a man in Taipei, Taiwan, is visiting the zoo. He suddenly jumps into the lions’ den, and begins to witness to – the lions. “Jesus will save you!” he shouted to them. Apparently it worked, because right before they came over to eat him, people clearly heard one of the lions say, “For this meal we are about to receive, we are truly grateful. Amen” Just kidding. They didn’t really say that. And they didn’t exactly eat him – just chewed on him a little before he was rescued by zoo workers. Why did he do it? He heard voices telling him to.

God gets credited with an awful lot, doesn’t He? If you’re like me, you see a problem in people saying, “God told me…” or “God said to me…” The problem is when people say that and it isn’t true. God has always had a problem with that. Jeremiah’s time, there were false prophets. Listen to what God said:

Jeremiah 23:21-36 - (21) I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.

(25-26) "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ’I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?

(32) I am against those who prophesy false dreams," declares the LORD. "They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them.

(36) …every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God.

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