So many things are clamoring for our attention. Wanting us to listen to this or that, pay attention to this or that. Then sometimes we have trouble with a connection. Last week we talked about how to begin hearing despite the noise and also to learn to differentiate between your voice and the voice of the Lord. Jesus told us the Holy Spirit will speak to us, tell us things we need to know and guide us.
We start this week again with Jesus’ words promising that He will speak to us and we will hear Him
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
The implication here is that the shepherd (gatekeeper) calls them by name. He speaks to them and they follow him. If he was not speaking to them, they would not know where to go. As he calls them, he leads them. Please notice that it is easy for us to hear His voice Jesus doesn’t say they might hear him, or that they should, but that they clearly hear (recognize) His voice, no doubt about it, and follow Him!
There is a very natural listening to Him and being able to follow
Are there ways that we hear God’s voice that truly are very natural for us?
First, let’s measure the truth of what we are understanding as God’s voice by the peace we walk in. The Lord has asked me to do some things that were against my nature, made me uncomfortable, at times were even dangerous or had the potential to place family in danger but despite all of that…I had peace
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts….”
Our peace is built on relationship with the Lord, God may ask you to do something and you don’t have peace because it is uncomfortable or it is stretching you, or you just don’t feel like doing it. We have to learn to seek the Lord even when we don’t feel comfortable or even like what we are being ask by the Lord to do….which he will do through one of the ways I am about to describe….it is his peace not our comfort that determines God’s blessing.
If you have learned to quiet the noise, you have learned to wait on the Lord then you are ready to really dive in to learning to hear His voice and separate His voice from all the other voices in your head.
God’s word –
The number one way most will hear and understand the voice of the Lord is through reading, studying, and knowing His word. Most people know a few scripture verses and some even take them out of context or don’t know the context. The Bible is God’s love letter for us…
Hebrews 4:12 (last week)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
As I mention last week, God’s word is living, as a living document it can speak life to us and help us to understand what the truth is. The Holy Spirit, works through God’s word to clearly define for us what is right and what is wrong, helping us to grow to become who the Lord has designed us to be!
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
As a living and powerful word, it can direct us for today and give us guidance for tomorrow. It contains all the things we humans struggle, walk through, and need for wisdom for today (guiding my feet) and for tomorrow (lighting my path)
2 Timothy 3:16,17
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
God speaking through His word to us lovingly challenges and corrects us, causes us to grow and equips us to accomplish the fulfillment of his plan and purpose
However, many times we also need guidance into understanding clearly what God’s word is saying so it brings us to the next point of hearing God’s voice
Godly people can speak to us from God’s heart
When we learn to wait on the Lord, we learn to hear him well. However, be aware, just because a person says they have been a Christian for a long time does not mean they are mature.
Signs of a mature Christ-follower
Listen to their language, their attitude
Look at those around them that are closest to them do they feel loved by the person
Look for the fruit of the Spirit in their lives on a regular basis
Look at their habits, are they in the word, prayer, and are they generous
Anyone can have an off, day but, If they are consistently walking like Jesus walked then you may hear the Lord through them.
Proverbs 15:22 says this
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
I don’t take investment advice from people that are broke. I don’t take success advice from people that have never succeeded, I don’t take advice on hearing what God has to say from people who don’t live like they have a real relationship with Jesus.
However, in this church there are many that have been walking with the Lord a long time and have overcome much to be who they are and have the relationship with Jesus that they have!
Look for proven track records and don’t be discouraged if the people do not have advice for you right away.They may need time to pray about what you are looking for, to help you hear from the Lord and make a real connection.
They may also give you advice on how to hear better what the Lord has for you, yourself.
Learn to listen for yourself
Waiting is key to learning to hear his voice and make the connection but the scripture also encourages us to ask for help in hearing the voice of the Lord.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
One of our greatest challenges is learning to discern what is our voice from the voice of the Lord. God promises if we ask, he will give us wisdom but wisdom, like faith is often a learned tool.
Often, we need to come to the Lord because we can’t trust our own understand but that in itself shows wisdom
Often when you are asking the Lord for wisdom, as we talked about the roles of the Holy Spirit…He will lead you into truth and cause you to remember a passage of scripture or a spirit-filled teaching, or some godly advice you have been given in your past.
Learning to hear his voice on your own, is a gift that He desires for you to have. He will meet you there but as you are receiving wisdom and insight from him, learn by comparing what you are hearing to God’s word. You can’t go wrong getting more of God’s word in you. Learn by sharing it with godly men and women that you trust who can verify it is the Lord.
Then each time there is verification you grow stronger in your ability to hear from the Lord. In the Old Testament there were schools of prophets and discipleship. Elisha clarified things in the school of prophets and John the Baptist (the last of the Old Testament prophets) and Jesus, showed us that discipleship was a way to grow and learn to understand the Lord’s voice.
Making the connection…
Gives us peace as we are at peace with what the Lord is doing in our lives
Gives us confidence to know the Lord is with us and for us
Causes us to stand against the confusion from the world, flesh, and the enemy
Bonds us better with our brothers and sisters in Christ
Protects us from being miserable, worried, anxious and so much more
Causes us to have success in all we do, success by God’s definition