Does God Speak?
Hearing God – Message 1
June 11, 2023
Introduction: New series of messages entitled, Hearing God.
- Exodus 33:11; Hebrews 1:1-2
A. We begin this series by asking, “Does God speak?”
- Theme verse: John 10:27 (NLT) — “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” (Which certainly implies God does speak and that we can hear Him.)
- This issue is crucially important to Christians who want to please God with their life choices of spouse, career, parenting, and use of finances.
- We want God’s guidance for all important decisions, and the Bible provides many directions for us, but sometimes we need specific answers to certain questions.
- Can we receive individual, personal, direct, clear, communication?
- The question: Does God speak to people? (Many in our church say He does!)
B. God speaks to…
1. Reach the unsaved. (1 Samuel 3:10; John 5:24; 10:27-28; Romans 8:30; 10:17)
- Romans 8:30 (NLT)—And having chosen them, He called them to come to him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.
- We come to faith by being called, individually and personally, to come to God.
- We are invited singularly, into a relationship with Him, by the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Samuel 3:10 (NLT)—And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, Your servant is listening.”
- God awakens us spiritually with His voice! Hearing His voice is an experience that introduces us into a personal, dynamic, relationship with a spiritual Person: God!
- When God calls to us, it is not to recite a set of facts and theological beliefs that we must accept to become Christians. (John 5:39–40; Philippians 3:7-8,10)
- The fundamental nature of Christianity is a relationship between God and people, not merely an agreement about biblical principles.
- Gail’s story (Cormier): I was very discouraged hearing about having a "relationship" with Jesus. How do you have a relationship with someone not flesh and blood? I tried but always failed. I blurted out, "I guess I don't know You, then!" Audibly, He said, "You may not know Me, BUT I know you."
- God’s Spirit comes to us and speaks! He initiates the intimate relationship that follows.
- Close relationships require communication—two-way communication.
- When we are born again, God makes continual communication possible by placing the Holy Spirit permanently within us. (John 16:13-15)
- APP.: Has God spoken to you? Reaching you to call you to Himself?
God speaks to…
2. Reveal Himself. (Psalm 103:7; Isaiah 55:8-9; John 17:3; Colossians 1:9-10; 3:10)
- John 17:3 (NLT) — “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth.
- Having eternal life does not only mean being born again; it refers to living with a spiritual, eternal, nature (as well as a physical one) in this world, not merely focusing on heaven.
- Living with eternal life is dependent on having a growing relationship with God, knowing Him, in ever-greater ways.
- Knowing God means more than possessing information about Him; it refers to experiencing Him intimately. (Every relationship requires many experiences to grow.)
- God must reveal Himself to us, because spiritual truth must be disclosed to us by the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14; Isaiah 55:8)
- God communicates with His children to let us know Him, as He did Moses.
- Psalm 103:7 (NLT)—He revealed His character [lit. ways (NIV and others)] to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel. [ways = Greek derek, deh´-rek; a road walked; fig. a course of life or mode of action TLB: will and nature]
- Reading about, or even observing, the deeds [Greek ʿălîlâh, al-ee-law´; an exploit or work (of God)] reveals the actions of God, but not His nature, motivation, or personality.
- Moses knew God’s ways because, According to Exodus 33:11 (NLT)—Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.
- Exodus 33:13 (NLT) [Moses to God] — “If it is true that You look favorably on me, let me know Your ways so I may understand You more fully and continue to enjoy Your favor.”
- God also wants us to know Him; He created us for intimate relationship, close friendship, with Himself – both now and forever—and this requires regular communication.
- Michelle’s [Loftis] story: At age 10, I moved across the country and did not know anyone. I was very lonely at school. I prayed one night, crying out to God, He said "Talk to Me, I am your friend." It was the first time I ever heard Him. It changed my life. I knew from that moment He was more than just a big powerful God up in heaven. He was my friend, with me and approachable. And when I was at school, I would talk with Him in my head. He kept me company and I learned that He cared about me so much, even just to "chat."
- God’s Spirit whispers insight to us so we can understand God, so we can know Him.
- Jeff wrote: Soon after accepting Jesus I was driving down Woodruff Road and confused about how God can be everywhere, answering prayers in Greenville and Paris at the same time. I asked God “how can You do that” As if He were in the back seat He clearly spoke to me saying “you are judging me by human standards” It was an Ah-Ha moment that brought me peace and has prompted me to pray every day for God to help me better understand Him.
- APP.: What has God revealed about Himself to you?
God speaks to…
3. Require a response. (Job 33:14-18; Matthew 28:20; Luke 1:38; John 14:21,23-24; 15:14)
- When God has a plan for a person, or for a nation, He speaks to the person He has selected for the task directly, in a way the person can understand and won’t miss.
- When God speaks, a response is unavoidable, and the condition of God peoples’ heart, and the strength of their faith, is revealed in that response.
- Examples include Moses called to lead Israel out of slavery at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-22; Acts 7:30-36) and Noah’s assignment to build an ark to survive the coming flood (Genesis 6:11-22).
- In the New Testament, the Christmas story illustrates the response of a teenager.
- Luke 1:26-27,38 (NLT)— 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel… 27 to a virgin named Mary. [He explained God’s plan for Mary.] …
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
- God not only speaks on matters of worldwide significance through supernatural means; He also speaks to each of us to protect, direct and grow us personally.
- God cares about us; He is aware and concerned about everything that concerns us.
- ILL.: My physicians told me to [end] my pregnancy, as I was high risk and near death. God told me that He would take care of my daughter. She was born at 26 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces. She is now a Senior at USC Honors College and has no lifelong medical issues. She is studying to be a neonatal nurse. And, she loves Jesus!
- APP.: Has God spoken to you in a way that required a response?
God speaks to…
4. Respond to requests. (2 Chronicles 20:12,22-24; Psalm 25:4; Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 33:3; James 1:5-8)
- Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT)—5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
- Sometimes we need from God a direct answer to a direct question.
- At times, we are asking for His intervention in matters beyond our control.
- Ask God your questions; ask Him to provide specific direction for definite circumstances—and ask with expectation that He will reply.
- He answers at the time He determines—and He answers according to His will, not ours.
- When you make a request of God, are you willing to accept His decision?
- When we ask God to make our plans successful, we may not receive the response we want to hear.
- When we ask God for guidance so we can align our lives with His will, adjust our lives to His plan, the Bible says we will hear Him clearly. (James 1:5-8)
- James 1:5–8 (NLT)—5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
- ILL.: I was engaged to be married at the time. I was struggling with what God was asking of me. One day I heard Him say to me: "You do not need to be married to this man, or any other man, right now." I ended the relationship, feeling secure, loved, and confident that God had a much better plan for me and HE DOES! It gets bigger every day.
- APP.: Are you asking God for an answer? Will you obey the direction He gives?
Questions for message series Hearing God:
- Have you ever heard God speak?
- What did He say?
- What resulted?
Submit responses to brookwoodchurch.org/hearingGod.