Dwight Fletcher | Can you hear me now?- Part 1
Today, we will look at a two-part series about hearing from God. One characteristic that dominated Jesus' life was his constant communication with God. He said "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does ..." John 5:19-20 (NIV).
Many people would like to be sharper in hearing from God so we can live more purposefully. But, sometimes when He speaks, like the Israelites, we just ignore Him.
God has always wanted a close, vibrant relationship with us individually and collectively, and He is asking 'Can you hear me now?" He is speaking to us, but if we are not hearing, we will not understand what He has to say God's major forms of communication with His people was through the prophets and various other methods like dreams, visions and angels. But a superior form of communication has come in the person of Jesus Christ so we can experience the God life - Him living inside us.
God speaks to us through Jesus, and He says, for all who are burdened by their sin, 'come to me and I will give you rest.' Once we have entered into this relationship, God speaks to us in order that we might experience the exciting journey of an increasingly deep relationship with Him.
Relationship with His son opens the door for God to communicate fully. Four main ways that God communicates with us are:
1. Through His Logos - the Bible:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work". 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV).
When we have problems, complications, and distress and need direction in our lives, we can go to the scriptures and find what God has to say on the matter. It means therefore, that when we pray and seek guidance from the Lord, we should ask Him to speak to us through His Word, to direct us on what decision to take. As we meditate on His Word with our request or decision in mind, God will often lead us to scriptures that will relate to what concerns us. It may deal with our specific experiences or the principles that should inform or determine our decisions may be prominent in the text.
2. Through the Holy Spirit
Before Jesus left, his disciples, he promised them the Holy Spirit. He had to go so that the Spirit could come. Jesus said about the Spirit: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." John.16: 13 (NIV). Today, God speaks to our spirits through His Holy Spirit, who now lives in us. If we surrender to His Spirit, we can claim His presence, direction and guidance.
3. Through other people
The scripture clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit can empower others to speak God's will for our lives. Other persons are preachers/teachers, who in the simple act of preaching, can speak to us on behalf of God. The scripture encourages us: "Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good." 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (ISV).
While God can speak to us through other people, we must be prudent, vigilant and test everything. We must search the scriptures for ourselves.
4. Through circumstances and nature
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3 (NIV). Modern science through research is now pointing to a high being directing, controlling the universe. We know that it is God.
So, the Lord is speaking today. He speaks through His Son, the Word, His spirit, other people, nature, and through circumstance. But why? What is His goal? God never says anything unless it is important and worth remembering. When He has something to say, He says it precisely to achieve the objective in mind. So it is to our benefit to know His goal in speaking to us. And, as Hebrews 3:7 (NIV says), "today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts."
Join us next week as we continue looking by at God's goals for speaking to us.