Thursday, October 10, 2019

How to Hear God's Voice

How to Hear God's Voice

Some practical steps to help you hear from God more clearly.




Scriptures:
  • 1 Samuel 3:1-11
  • Luke 10:38-42
  • 1 Samuel 2:12
  • Daniel 4:4-6
  • Proverbs 11:14
  • Mark 1:35
  • Acts 14:23
  • Esther 4:16
  • 2 Chronicles 20: 17-23



Outline
  • My story of hearing God’s voice
  • Your story
  • Samuel Meets God
  • God Speaks When You are Ministering to Him
  • God Doesn’t Only Speak to Mature Christians 
  • God Speaks in a Way You Can Perceive
  • Practical Tips to Hearing From God 
  • It’s Not Eli (Conclusion)
Stories: How you began to hear from God

Can you minister to the Lord even if you don’t have a relationship with Him?

My Path to Hearing God’s Voice

  • Grew up in the church
  • Served in many ministries
  • Didn’t have a relationship with God
  • Bible study assignment to pray every day at the same time daily
  • Turned into my Quiet time
  • Worship, read bible, pray, listen
  • God’s voice started becoming clearer
·   
Stories

  • Path to leading the men's group
  • Stranger at a New Year's Eve Party

Samuel Meets God

God spoke to:
  • Adam in the Garden
  • Noah
  • Elijah in a cave
  • Job in his time of need
  • Abram
  • Samuel
  • Jonah
  • Ezekiel
  • Paul on the road to Damascus
God used to primarily speak to prophets, kings, judges, and priests

Because of Jesus‘s death we can all hear from God
  • When Jesus died he tore the veil to the holy of hollies
When God spoke to the prophets, did he always speak to them clearly?

1 Samuel 3:1-11
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare [limited supply; valuable]in those days, visions were infrequent.
2  It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well),
3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was,
4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, "Here I am."
5 Then he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call, lie down again." So he went and lay down.
6 The LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he answered, "I did not call, my son, lie down again."
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.
8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy.
9 And Eli said to Samuel, "Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10  Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening."
11 The LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.
  • The Word of the Lord was rare

God Speaks When You are Ministering to Him

1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. ..

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.
  • Samuel was ministering to the Lord yet he didn’t know Him

He was ministering to the Lord
  • He was not ministering for the Lord
  • He was not ministering to the people
God was The recipient of his ministry

Ministering to the Lord is vertical
Ministering for the Lord is horizontal it is to other people

Ministering for the Lord

  • Teaching a class
  • Ushering
  • Homeless ministry
Which is more important?

Story:

  • I want you to be a witness of what I'm going to do

Luke 10:38-42
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word.
40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."
41 But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
  • Merry was spending time with the Lord

Ministering to the Lord

Ministering to the Lord is when your ministry is focused on the Lord and not the church or other people
  • Who is receiving your ministry?
  • Who is blessed by your ministry?
  1. Worship
  2. Prayer

God Doesn’t Only Speak to Mature Christians

  • God didn’t speak to Eli
  • He spoke to a child
Samuel didn’t know God’s voice
  • This means he was immature
Eli knew God’s voice

God often Shows up in the lives of new converts

When we get older we become cynical, pessimistic, know it all’s

You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubt
as young as your self confidence as old as your fears
as young as your hope as old as your despair
So long as your heart receives message of beauty cheers courage Grandeur and power from God
so long are you young
But when your wires are all down in the central places of your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism
then you are growing old indeed make God have mercy on your soul
  • You are old when you lose faith
Sometimes old Christians put up walls and barriers
  • God doesn’t still speak
  • God doesn’t do this or that
Samuel didn’t know the Lord
  • He hadn’t heard from God
  • He didn’t have a personal relationship with God

Eli’s Children Didn’t Know the Lord

1 Samuel 2:12
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD

But God Can Speak to Whoever He Pleases

God spoke to Samuel before he had a relationship with Him

God spoke to
  • The magi
  • Abimelech about Sarah
  • Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel 4:4-6
   4“I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. 5“I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. 6“So I gave orders to bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.

But it Takes Faith to Believe It Was God

  • Nebuchadnezzar got faith when he put the 3 Hebrew boys in the fire
  • God didn’t have to explain who He was

God Speaks in a Way You Can Perceive

The technical term for this is ‘divine accommodation’.
God spoke to Samuel in a voice he clearly understood
Although you might not recognize that it’s God
In the story of the birth of Christ, God spoke to:
  • Shepherds through angels
  • The Magi through a star
  • Joseph through a dream
  • Mary and Elizabeth through an angel
For some people the bible is sufficient
  • Some people need an audible voice

You Might Not Recognize it as God

What should you do since there is a chance that you will not recognize the voice of God?

Proverbs 11:14
 14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
            But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Samuel heard God’s voice but didn’t recognize it. Eli had to point it out.

A Mature Christian Can Help

  • Eli told Samuel it was God
They can help:
  • recognizing God’s voice
  • interpreting what he says
  • confirm it’s God’s voice we’ve heard and not our own thoughts or subconscious desires.
  • Confirm it’s not another voice

Be Cautious Before You Know God’s Voice

Story: Ride Along
  • Omar
  • Kevin Hart
Just because you hear a voice doesn’t mean that it’s God

Practical Tips to Help Hear From God

Cautions:
  • Don’t turn an experience into a process
  • Example: my lucky shirt

Make it a Lifestyle

You have to make it a lifestyle… Make it a practice. You can’t just lock yourself in your room when you need to make a big decision and say God speak to me now.

The way you prepare to hear from God in a crucial time is to pray and fellowship everyday

  • Some people call God once every 5 months and are surprised they don’t get a clear answer

“Sleep where God dwells”

In the ancient world one hoped to discover God’s plans by sleeping where God was thought to dwell.
  • Samuel slept in the Temple
  • Moses was on the Mountain of God
Go to church

Get into the habit of talking to God regularly

If we’re not in the habit of talking to God daily then it will be much more difficult when every 4 to 6 months we have a big decision and try to hear from God.

Set a time and a place

  • It’s easier to start a new habit if you do it at the same time each day
  • Pick the time when there are no distractions
  • Set a specific place that you always use
  • A room
  • A chair
  • A lake

Read the Word

Slow down and Spend time in the word
God has already written us a letter

Example: Ikea
  • Complained that a desk was too complicated to put together
  • Didn’t read the instructions
  • Start with the process they recommended

Pray

Mark 1:35
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
We never see Jesus teaching the disciples how to:
  • Heal
  • Cast out demons
  • Evangelize
  • Worship
  • Analyze the Bible
But He taught them how to pray

Listen

Listen when you pray don’t just talk
Listening is an act of submission

Fasting

Acts 14:23
23When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
  • They fasted to consecrate to God
Esther 4:16
16 "Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish."
Jesus fasted

Worship

2 Chronicles 20: 17-23
17‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”
      18Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
      20They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” 21When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 22When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 23For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

Stories:

  • Asked to give $1,000
  • Pain from giving $100
  • Give up your shoes

It’s not Eli (conclusion)

Example: driving from here to Disneyland
  • We felt that God wants us to go to Disneyland
  • We know it’s South on the 5
  • We hopped in the car and got on the freeway
  • We figure we’ll look for signs along the way
Some people are hoping for a sign from God
  • They need an answer or direction
God wants to get in the car with us and guide us
We are looking for a sign when God is looking for a relationship

God Speaks to Our Spirit

We are often trying to hear God with our natural man when He talks to our spirit
The voice of God often comes as an internal desire
  • Something gets activated when He speaks
Sometimes you’ll read a verse and your heart will leap
  • You may not understand it yet

Pay Attention and Listen

“Show me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are”
Some people pay attention to all the good thing Trump does
Some people pay attention to all the bad things Trump does
Some people go to church they pay attention to
  • Type of song
  • Participation of women
  • Temperature
  • clothes people wear on stage
  • what books the sermon from
  •  Old Testament or the New Testament,
  • Did the sermon have three points,
  • Did he talks about Satan
  • Did he talk about grace
  • how many people other specific ethnic group are there,
  • what type of instruments are they using,
  • what are the ages of the congregation,
We need to be paying attention to: “is God speaking”
Maybe It’s not Eli
  • It’s not your boss who fired you
  • It’s not that man that broke up with you
  • When your schedule gets interrupted
  • When you find a penny on the ground 

Instructor: Michael Leadon


Extra

Fasting

Matthew 17:14-21 (NASB)
14When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16“I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
  19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21[“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]
  • Mark 9:29

References

How to Hear God’s Voice – Three Keys

Hearing God's Voice - 1 Samuel 3 - Jon Courson

Bill Johnson 2018 - Hearing God - (Bethel Church Sermon)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

How God Speaks to Us 3

The conclusion of a discussion about how God communicates with us in modern time


Scriptures:
  • Exodus 3:1-6 (NASB)
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • John 4:24
  • Acts 13:2 (NIV)
  • 1 Chronicles 28:19
  • Genesis 18:20-21
  • Genesis 19:1
Stories:
  •  How God has spoken to you
Outline
  • Introduction
  • Moses Meets God
  • Burning Bush
  • Mountain of God: When God Speaks
  • How God Speaks to Us (continued)
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Has anyone heard that God Speaking to each of us all the time?
I’ve heard it said that God is speaking to us all the time but like a radio transmitter you have to be tuned to the right frequency.  
  • I don’t believe this.  
  • I can’t believe God is up there chatting away knowing we won’t hear Him.
He speaks when we “could” hear Him
Story: delayed choice experiment
  • John Wheeler
  • Photon or wave
  • Light doesn’t exist in the time realm
God won’t speak unless you have the ability to hear at that moment
Prayer changes the reality of the future and the past

Moses Meets God

Who were shepherds
  • Abel
  • Abraham?
  • David
  • “The Lord”
Shepherd
  • Cares for the vulnerable
  • Can kill predators
  • Tough and self reliant
  • Had to do it on your own

The skills required to maintain these herds would have involved grazing and watering, birthing, treating the sick and injured, protecting animals from predators and thieves, as well as locating strays.

Key Scripture

Exodus 3:1-6 (NASB)
Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
  • Took off his shoes because it was Holy Ground

Burning Bush

  • The bush was burning but it was not consumed
The combustible source that is keeping the fire going is not the bush
  • The fire isn’t fueled by the bush
God was the source

Mountain of God: When God Speaks

  • Moses was on the Mountain of God
  • He wasn’t just walking in a random desert
  • He was on Holy Ground
God engages us when we are on Holy Ground
God is more likely to engage us when we’re in a holy place
  • When we’re seeking Him
God speaks more when you are engaging in:
  • Prayer
  • Worship
  • Reading the bible
Stories:
  • Forgive Your Ex-Wife
  • Call Your Enemy

How God Speaks to Us

What are some ways God speaks to us today?
  1. Bible
  2. Unusual circumstances / coincidences
  3. Fleece
  4. Prayer
  5. Pastors / teachers
  6. Prophetic words
  7. Tongues / Interpretations
  8. Dreams / Visions
  9. Peace
  10. Closing doors
  11. Bringing things to your memory
  12. Audible Voice
  13. Inspired thoughts
  14. Prompting of the Holy Spirit
  15. Draw your Attention to something
  16. Nature
  17. Worship / music
  18. Emotions
  19. Writing
  20. Angels

Inspired thoughts

  • When you have an idea/answer/solution out of nowhere

Out of the Blue

We get thoughts that come into our heads 

They are not all good ideas

What comes into your head is different than what you are thinking. If you are thinking there was a voluntary effort about it.  

People don’t think… Thoughts appear to them appear to them. 

Example:
someone cut you off on the freeway and a dark thought comes into your head that you should ram to their car

“What would happen if I”
  • did…
  • said...

We Then Criticize the Thought

After you get those thoughts you can criticize them which is thinking.  
  • and then we judge them

Thought From God

  • Self evident
  • You don’t have to criticize it
  • Wasn’t something you thought of
  • Something feels different about it
Sometimes we get a thought that is such a great idea that it is self evident that it is the right answer. But it is not something that we consciously concocted or created.

Stories:

  • Surprised friend with wisdom
  • Solved your own problem
  • Help someone in supermarket aisle
  • You woke up today because somebody needs you
  • Your actions impact your family - son

Where Do Other Thoughts Come From?

2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
Why do we need to take our thoughts captive?
  • Because every thought isn’t a good thought
Where do our Thought some from?
Source:
  • You
  • God / Holy Spirit
  • Satan
What does “you” mean?
  • Unconscious mind (ex: dream)
  • Your Spirit
Could a thought be a dialogue between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.

Draw Your Attention to Something

Draw attention to something
You feel that it is special

Gives Clarity

It answers a question you’ve been praying about
It gives you confirmation
You hear something that you feel is “speaking to you”:
  • Bible verse
  • Song lyrics
  • Conversation

Revelation

“That’s why that happened”

Foretelling

  • “There’s something special about this”
You know this is information you’re going to need
  • Gift of word of knowledge

Story
  • 9V battery In box 
  • Dream about hospital 
  • Opportunity to apologize 
  • Opportunity to connect to the church

Prompting of the Holy Spirit

 We get an unction
  • Don’t go in there
  • Don’t trust that person
  • Convicted of sin
Conviction 

God
  • Towards Holiness
  • prevents you
Satan
  • towards shame
  • reminds you

Spirit to Spirit Communication

John 4:24 
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
This is saying that communication with God is sometimes Spirit to spirit, not brain to brain or mouth to ear, the way we communicate in the physical realm.

Worship / Music

  • Singing, dancing, instruments
Acts 13:2 (NIV)
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
When we are drawing near to God

Worship
  • To esteem with worth
  • To honor
  • To place the highest value on something
  • To bow down to something
  • To acknowledge in all things
  • Perpetual gratitude
  • To ascribe credit of all things to
Singing, dancing, instruments
  1. God is not interested in your song if it is not to him
  • It’s not worship when we sing to audiences not to God
  1. This source is more important than the resource
  2. Worship does not begin when you start singing or dancing or playing
Worship begins when you acknowledge the source

Praise describes God.  Worship ascribes to God
  • Worship is to surrender to Him.
  • Giving Him credit

Emotions

  • Giving you compassion for others
  • Give you supernatural joy
Some with the gift of healing say that they feel sadness when God wants them to heal someone


Story:
  • Preacher in wheelchair 
  • Overwhelmed by a song

Writing

1 chronicles 28:19
All this," said David, "the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern."
Example: Bible study
  • “Wow that’s deep! … Who wrote that?!?”
Not channeling 

Stories:
  • God telling you what to pray for

Nature

Stories:
  • Beauty of nature
  • Crow following me


Angels
  • Angels act as agents of God
  • Could be via one of the other means
Genesis 18:20-21
20 And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
  • God said He was going to go and see
Genesis 19:1
1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
  • Two angels actually went down

Conclusion

We see that God can speak to us in many ways.  He speaks to us through our spirit, our bodies and our minds.  God can use all 5 of our senses to communicate with us.  He speaks through other people, through nature, and through our circumstances. God can communicate to your conscious or your subconscious mind - asleep or awake.
God doesn’t speak to everyone the same way.  He will speak to you in a personal manner.
We need to be willing to stop and listen at any moment.

Turning From Your Path

In the text, Moses saw a bush burning and not being consumed

He noticed that the fire was not fueled by the bush...so he stopped and paid attention

God spoke to Moses when he turned from his path
  • He turned off of his regular path
  • He stopped what he was doing
  • He noticed something unusual happening and took time out to learn more
  • Took time out to get closer
To hear God, We have to notice when something is a little different
  • God makes the first move but we have to notice it and respond
  • We have to turn away from our normal path in life
We have to allow ourselves to be distracted by God
We have to be willing to pause our busy schedule when God wants to talk
God isn’t going to always speak to you in your quiet time
He may come to you in your noisy time

Will you make room in our schedule?
Will you  be watching?
Will you be listening?

“Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Presenter: Michael Leadon


References

Meaning of Numbers in the Bible The Number 40
Lessons from the Burning Bush - Christopher C. Moore
3 Ways God Speaks

Extra

Acts 7:20-33
20 "It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father's home.
21 "And after he had been set outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son.
22 "Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.
23 "But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.
24 "And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.
25 "And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.
26 "On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?'
27 "But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, 'WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US?
28 'YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?'
29 "At this remark, MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he became the father of two sons.
30 "After forty years had passed, AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HIM IN THE WILDERNESS OF MOUNT Sinai, IN THE FLAME OF A BURNING THORN BUSH.
31 "When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord:
32 'I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC AND JACOB.' Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look.
33 "BUT THE LORD SAID TO HIM, 'TAKE OFF THE SANDALS FROM YOUR FEET, FOR THE PLACE ON WHICH YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND.