Monday, February 7, 2011

How To Hear God's Voice! Part 2

There are many people who have written on this subject. I am not going to say anything they haven't already said, with great wisdom.  Before we get started I wanted to list one person in particular who has the clout to talk about hearing from God and acting on what God says. His name is Bill Hybels, Pastor of Willow Creek Church in the Chicago area. Bill wrote a book called The Power of a Whisper. He has waited 30+ years to write the book so that He could back it up. Check it out here.
© Rob Blissett |
[Part 2 of 3]

God speaks to people in different ways.

1. The Sinai Experience: 
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you.  -Exodus 19:9 NLT
Sometimes God speaks audibly.  Not often, but sometimes.  If God does speak audibly, it's always for the sake of those listening.  In the Sinai Experience, God spoke audibly to Moses in order to give Him the law for the people.  He spoke audibly so the people would hear and know the Lord is God!  His purpose was for the people.  That they would be filled with awe and trust in His name and His laws (Since God's laws were put in place for our good).  When God speaks audibly His purpose is always for those listening—to respond with action to His words.

2. The Whispers:

In the book of 1 Kings chapter 19 we see one particular way God spoke to a very important prophet named Elijah.  Elijah had just won a great contest between 450 prophets of Baal and the LORD (You can read about it in 1 Kings 18).  The end result proved Baal a false god.  God accomplished an incredible victory through Elijah.  Yet, after the contest, Elijah fled out of fear for his life because one person wanted to kill him.   He had just overtaken 450 prophets of Baal but fled due to one person's threat. (How often do we do that?) That's where we pick up the story.  Elijah fled to a cave where God spoke to him.  Here is the conversation:
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.  13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  -1 Kings 19:11-13 NLT
God chose to speak to Elijah through a gentle whisper.  Many people expect the God of the universe to speak powerfully (like He did to Moses):  A blast of wind, a powerful earthquake, or a firestorm.  But God chose to speak through a whisper.  This begs the question: What is a whisper?

A whisper can be an insight God gives us from His Word that challenges us and those around us to act accordingly.  A whisper can be a prompting of our hearts, by the Holy Spirit, in a situation where God wants us to step in and act on His behalf (By the way, that is what the church must do for a lost world!).  A whisper can be a thought God puts in our minds, through prayer, that leads us in a new direction for our lives!  A whisper can even be God speaking through someone else in a conversation, blog, or other type of communication.  

When necessary, God will speak to us like He spoke to Moses, in a cloud on top of a mountain.  Most times, though, God will speak through whispers. 

To Recap:  God is always speaking.  When we hear Him, we must respond.  After all, that is what listening means!  God speaks through Sinai experiences (sometimes) and whispers (most often)!

Part 3 to follow.

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