Navigating God’s voice in a world filled with noise
© 2020 Colin Cooper / Harvest City Church
To answer this question when there are many voices saying many things, we have to use the law of first mention and go back to the Garden of Eden.
Adam had clear communication with God as he walked and talked with Him in the Garden, but with the fall this perfect communing with God was lost.
1 Samuel 3:1 — in those days the word of the Lord was rare — THIS IS THE SAME TODAY, the word of the Lord is rare because men don’t hear from Him but just quote scripture.
John 5:38-39, you do not have the word in you even though you search the scriptures.
Many things are said from the scriptures by preachers who have not heard from the Lord, and that brings in confusion.
In Acts 8:26 the angel spoke to Philip and gave clear direction, which led to a Eunuch surrendering his life to Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:14 tells us that those who are led by the Spirit of God are the Sons of God.
Another example is in Acts 10:19 when the Spirit said to Peter “Go with them” and the result was Cornelius and his whole household gave themselves to Jesus Christ.
John 14:16-17, Jesus said the Spirit of truth is coming and He will show you all the Father has.
Evidence shows that the disciples heard what Jesus said because men who knew little about spiritual things were transformed in the three and half years they spent with Jesus. They worshipped and had fellowship with their God whom they could not see.
Jesus really said, I am leaving you, and another is coming who will take you into truth not yet shown, He will reveal the deep things of God and the hidden things, otherwise you will not survive in a constantly changing world.
IF HEARING GOD IS ESSENTIAL, THEN WHY ARE WE SO INSENSITIVE TO HIS VOICE?
Matthew 13:12 tells us how the Lord sows the seed of the word into us, but the evil one snatches it away.
Luke 8:4-10 & 11-15 The seed falls on:
- THE PATH — which is busyness, work, sport, friends, internet, religious activity etc. So we don’t hear.
- SHALLOW GROUND — where we grow quickly but have no depth, as it is all outward show. We are afraid to be sensitive, in fear that God may touch an area of our lives we would rather He did not.
- THORNS CHOKED THE GROWTH — distraction, wrong priorities, a crowded spirit. God is talking, but my Facebook, motor bike, Twitter, texting priorities choke the voice of God.
- PREJUDICE — when someone tries to tell us about wrong priorities or lifestyle, we don’t listen, because it’s said by someone we would not choose. John 1:46 is an example. Nathaniel could not hear Jesus, because he thought nothing good could come out of Nazareth, a place he would not choose. It’s difficult to hear God’s chosen vessel when it is one we would not have chosen.
HOW CAN WE BE MORE SENSITIVE?
Jesus had a hearing ear (Isaiah 50:4-5). In the morning his ear was awakened, at the start of the day he listened. Proverbs 15:31-33 teaches us that if we listen to rebuke, we become wise and the ear hears. Isaiah 30:15 says in quietness & confidence strength is found. Seeking the Lord is a major key for hearing Him.
The Sabbath is not religious rules to go and sing in a building and to hear a preacher, but it is for our spirits to be re-sensitised in rest. Busyness does not mean blessedness.
IF WE DON’T LISTEN, GOD’S FINAL RESORT IS TROUBLE, IF ALL ELSE FAILS
Psalm 40:1-3 tells us that in the pit of trouble David waited patiently, and then the Lord heard his cry. In the trouble you can’t do much else but listen; but it is better to listen before you get into trouble.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LISTEN?
We listen and get spiritual eyes like Jesus, when He said to Simon — from now on you will be called Peter (John 1:42).
Jesus directed the disciples to the water where a fish would have a gold coin in its mouth, so that they could pay the bills (Matthew 17:24-27).
To Herod, Jesus called him a fox! (Luke 13:32).
To the disciples, He directed them to a village to get a colt. Because He had a sensitive spirit and a hearing ear He could do this (Matthew 21:2).
My personal first major hearing from the Lord came when I was a company representative travelling to a pharmaceutical warehouse, to hopefully persuade them to purchase the latest drugs. While I was on the journey, I clearly heard a voice which said “you are wasting time on the trivial things of this world!” This shook me to the core as I was not sure what had happened; but today I realise that it was one of the rare times that the Holy Ghost spoke in a clear audible voice. This was the Lord calling me into His work more fully, and I will never forget that day.
The second time I heard the Holy Ghost speak in a clear audible voice, was when I was purchasing a car (with no money) as He guided me, because the car was essential for the work He called me to. Then as I was ready to order the car, I was prompted by the Holy Ghost to tell the salesman about Jesus, which I did. He came to church that Sunday and gave his life to Jesus and eventually his family did the same. After the service that same morning a businessman gave me an envelope with a cheque in for the exact amount that covered the cost of the car. The result of listening with a hearing ear was a new car for His work and a family who were saved, just like the household of Cornelius.
We are all looking for the door to go through, that purpose for my life in a disturbed world, so hearing God’s voice is not a case of being more spiritual, but it is a matter of survival.
Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us.
How the Lord longs for us to listen so that He can reveal things to us, but the information we already have keeps us from realising what we don’t know.
To NAVIGATE GOD’S VOICE IN A WORLD FILLED WITH NOISE, it is vital to seek the Lord and hear His voice.
So the Lord seeks to give us listening ears, which in turn gives us spiritual eyes; like Jesus who sought the Lord at the beginning of the day, and sought Him up in the mountains where He went to pray, listening is essential (Matthew 14:23).
Psalm 34:10 says that those WHO SEEK THE LORD lack no good thing.