GOD CAN SPEAK AUDIBLY.
The Lord Calls Samuel
1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. 2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. 6 Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” 7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. 10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:1-10 NLT
- God spoke to Samuel as a child in the temple.
- God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush and told him to free His people from Egypt (Exodus 3).
- God spoke to Elijah not through an earthquake or a great wind but with a “still small voice, the sound of a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:11-12).
SO HOW DO I HEAR GOD’S VOICE?
- We must seek him and listen for how he wants to speak to us.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NLT
“I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.” Proverbs 8:17 NLT
- God speaks to His people through miraculous events, signs, dreams, and visions.
- God speaks to us through the Bible. God tells us how to live the life He has called us to live.
Reading and studying the Bible, spending time in prayer, doing life with other followers of Jesus, serving, and sharing Jesus are part of our seeking God. God encourages us to do these things because they help us to learn about His character and learn to recognize His voice.
- God speaks through people, wise counsel.
- God speaks through the Holy Spirit.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. 12 There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.” John 16:5-15 NLT
- The presence of the Holy Spirit in your life changes everything about hearing God’s voice.
- Spiritual oneness with the Father leads to understanding and knowing God’s voice.
- You cannot expect to hear God’s voice if you do not regularly focus your attention on Him as fully as you can.
WHAT KEEPS US FROM HEARING GOD’S VOICE?
- Busyness… Busyness steals your ability to slow down long enough to hear God’s voice.
- Outside influences… worldly messages, TV, movies, false teaching.
- Attitudes… Attitudes like jealousy, ingratitude, bitterness, cynicism or a critical nature.
- Unconfessed sin… For those who have not surrendered their life to Jesus, every sin is unconfessed and unforgiven.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 NLT