Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Session 3: Whispers - hearing the voice of God
Ps Corey Turner

1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.

2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 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 Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, "Here I am." 5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.

6 Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
"My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

1 Samuel 3:1-10

  • Note that Samuel was lying in the temple of the Lord
  • If being physically deaf makes it difficult for us to relate to people and hinder us in what we can do, think about the consequences of not being able to hear in the supernatural - not hearing those whispers from God and having a heart that is hardened results in a spiritual walk that is dry and barren
  • Our lives are shaped by our responses to what God whispers to us
  • Remember that we are communicators, just as the Godhead is in perfect communion and covenant communication
The "doctrine of revelation"
  • A fundamental doctrine of Christianity, which asserts that God has chosen to reveal Himself to His creation
  • Remember that you DID NOT find God. God was NOT lost! God did not need any finding!
  • All revelation and communication was initiated by God
1) General revelation (available to ALL)

- Through creation
  • Rom 1:19-20 - "...what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine anture - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse"
  • Intelligent design implies and intelligent designer
- Through our conscience
  • An inward knowledge of good and evil
  • Before Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they were in he state of sinless perfection, where they knew only good
  • Rom 2:14-15: "Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them."
- Through human history
  • Acts 17:26: "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."
2) Special revelation: communication from God available to some

- Through miracles

- Through prophecy

- Through Jesus
  • Jesus is the Word (John 1:14)
  • God came out of His comfort zone to relate to us, by becoming flesh and blood
  • Application: stop being wierd, diconnected and super-spiritual. Start being out there, be real, engage, because there's a world out there asking how you are relevant to them. Jesus was REAL. Jesus was LOVED by sinners. Be flesh to the world!
- Through Scripture, the Word of Life
  • Stop equalizing personal revelation with revelation from Scripture
  • Remember that the majority of what you hear from God will be from the Bible
  • If you operate by your own revelation -> own ideology -> half truths -> cult
  • The Bible is completely the Word of God, but you need to interpret it right, live it, and embrace it. Read more of it; it's where all the power of God in your life comes from, not from some other Christian book written by some other person
  • Stop feeding on spiritual milk and move into the meat of God's Word and live it out

  • Only 3 voices in your life: God, devil, your own
  • All you need to do is check your motives to know if it's from God or you.
  • And the devil isn't gonna be the one telling you to do more good, to serve more etc, so it isn't that hard to figure out!
  • Everything is to lead us to a personal relationship, through personal experience
  • God already knows everything that you're thinking, but so often we talk and ask so much that we forget to hear what He has to say
  • In 1 Sam, the reason or God's voice being rare was because all the leaders were so busy doing. You won't hear if you don't position yourself
  • Remember that God is hiding your call FOR you, not FROM you
  • Do you honestly expect God to speak if you only go to Him for guidance rather than a relationship? Stop treating Him as a genie in a bottle if you want Him to move specifically in your life

4 points on hearing God's whispers

1) When God's voice is distant, you're the one who's moved away from Him, not the other way round
  • It's time to crawl back into the prayer closet
  • Take responsiblity for your own spiritual walk and stop waiting for another sermon, another pep-me-up
2) Don't despise the Eli in your life. You'll need them one day
  • If you were fit to lead, God would've called you. But guess what? He didn't! He put that person there to lead and guide you
3) Needs a willingness to obey
  • God sometimes refrains from revealing things because we aren't ready to receive it
  • He'll reveal enough to let you know just the next step to take
  • Remember that fruitfulness comes from obedience and remaining in Christ
  • Stop asking God to reveal more if you haven't already obeyed what He has already revealed and asked you to do!
4) Stop looking for God to only speak in the spectacular
  • Life ain't gonna be exciting all the time! =p
  • If you think God only speaks in the spectacular, you'll miss 90% of what God is speaking
  • Remember 1 Kings 19: the wind, earthquake, and fire. Wow! But it wasn't God. God came in the still small voice and spoke to Elisha, and this set up his entire ministry
  • God mainly speaks in the mundane and routine of your life