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Hearing God’s Voice


A man goes to his doctor and says, “I don’t think my wife’s hearing is as good as it used to be. What should I do?”

The doctor replies, “Try this test to find out for sure. When your wife is in the kitchen doing dishes, stand 15 feet behind her and ask her a question, if she doesn’t respond keep moving closer and asking the question until she hears you.”

The man goes home and sees his wife preparing dinner. He stands 15 feet behind her and says, “What’s for dinner, honey?” He gets no response, so he moves to 10 feet behind her and asks again. Still no response, so he moves to five feet–still no answer. Finally he stands directly behind her and says, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

She replies, “For the fourth time, I SAID CHICKEN!”

*****

Have you heard God today? That’s a question we don’t usually ask. Sometimes we ask or are asked, “Have you prayed today?” Lots of times we focus on the part where we talk, and less about the time God talks to us. So, have you heard God today?

Abram seemed to have a knack for hearing God’s voice. In fact, our focus stories up to this point have a common theme. Adam and Eve seemed to talk to God like I can talk to my kids at the dinner table. Noah seemed to talk with God without any reservation that he was just hearing things…even when being criticized big time by those around him. No second guesses here. Abram’s story seems to be following this same pattern. Chapter 12 opens up with “Then God told Abram…”

So how do you and God talk? Our secondary story for the week is about Elijah (1Kings 18-19). He also seemed to be one who just “talked” to God. It was as if God and He were beside each other all the time and just turned to each other for a chat every now and then. I wonder if their relationship hinged on the first decision we see Abram making. God said, “Get up and leave. Follow me.” Obviously, Abram did as God asked. Sounds a lot like how God called the disciples, huh? “Follow me.”

Every once in awhile, I’ll asked the kids in Kid’s Worship if they’ve heard God before. Almost always every hand is raised. When this happens, my adult skepticism peeks. I look around and ask what did God say? I always get very simple and truthful answers that make sense. I wonder if they’re being truthful or not. Then I think back to those verses that talk about ‘having the faith of a child’ and I’m put in my place.

So why, when we become older, do we become more skeptical at talking with God or hearing His voice? Why do we look at these stories in the Bible and wonder why we’re not like these people. Why can’t we just hear God talking? Well, first, let’s cover one thing. In Adam and Eve’s case, they were basically in a place and time when they were “one” with God. Perfection was still in place on the human end of things. Then humanity listened to another voice and was led by it to sin and disobey God. At this point, that oneness with God is now imperfect. Still, we marvel at how Noah and Abram just “hear” God. Are you jealous? I am. So how do we get to the point of hearing God with accuracy and confidence?

Steve has outlined a few things very important in our relationship with God that helps us ‘hear.’ First, we have to listen for it. We can’t just expect God to surprise us. Of course, He has all authority to do that, but I think He wants to see that we’re making the choice to try. Second, we need to realize that there are distractions. Remember, we are not perfectly “one” with God as in the beginning. Distractions will be there either by our creation or Satan’s plans. If we can’t hear God when we’re trying, we need to look for obstacles that are in place. They could be anything and everything. Third, we need to be open to hear His words. Things God told His followers were not always flowers and candy. There are sometimes tough things God needs to talk to us about. Next, we need to be willing to obey His word. Satan hates it when we can line these things up in our intent to get closer to God. Like in the joke at the beginning, it’s not God’s problem that we can’t hear Him. The husband found that he had the hearing problem. We’re in the same boat.

Can you imagine our church family if only 10% of us were trying to do better at Hearing God? Think what our family would look like if half of our family was fiercely intent and totally committed to hearing God better. Do you think God would bless that? Here’s a final verse to ponder.

“You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.” Jeremiah 29:13-14

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