Listen to the message
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Series: Hearing the Word
Sun am 29 November 2015 – Shane Egypt
John 10:27; (Rom. 10:17-19); Isa. 66:2; Gen. 32:24; Ex. 2:9-10;
(Acts 10:13); 2 Cor. 3:14; John 2:19; Mark 15:29; Luke 12:1-13;
(Matt. 7:24-27); (Matt. 21:28-32); Heb. 8:13; Rev. 21:5;
(Rom. 12:2); (Heb. 4:7)
There are a lot of voices wanting our attention. How you internalize what you have heard determines the result of your hearing. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27). So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). What children hear continuously while growing up and how they internalise it is the important factor.
God makes us vulnerable listeners. … But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word (Isa. 66:2). God wounds us, He makes us vulnerable. Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak (Gen. 32:24). God knows how to get us to a place where we are alone to enable us to hear. This encounter led to Jacob’s nature being changed. How did Jacob hear after the encounter?
Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son (Ex. 2:9-10). Until then what did Moses hear as a child growing up? What did Moses hear when he was in the palace under Pharaoh’s daughter? What made Moses kill an Egyptian? Then he fled and for forty years tended the flock of his father in law in the wilderness. Moses needed the wilderness experience in his life. De-construction had to take place. Many times God has to break down before He can build up. He does not want to build on inaccurate foundations of structures that may be in the way of His voice having impact. God had to deal with Moses’ thinking. How did Moses hear and internalize what God was saying? There was a process happening in Moses’ life. God breaks us down and makes us vulnerable to hear His voice. Whenever God speaks, what you hear goes through certain filters in our mind that interpret what God is saying. An example was Peter. While he was praying a word came which said, “Kill and eat” (Acts 10:13). Peter was stuck in a certain mind set and frame of reference, so God had to speak three times. How often must God speak to us to break a certain understanding or formula before we listen? But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ (2 Cor. 3:14). Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). The Pharisees questioned Him, not because of what He said, but because of what they thought He said. They could not see that He was speaking about Himself. Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days (Mark 15:29). Where was their focus and what was their mind-set? What had they heard?
The irate/angry listener: Jesus said a lot of things in Luke 12, but this man (an angry listener) in the crowd said something completely unrelated to what Jesus was saying. Obviously he was not listening and had no interest in what Jesus was saying. He missed the words that could save his life. He was more concerned with the natural things and provision. Riches are here today, gone tomorrow, but he had no interest in what was lasting and tangible and spiritual. He was distracted and wrapped up in his own interests.
The compliant listener: What are we doing with what is said? There are so many warnings in the word about non-compliance to what is heard. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall” (Matt. 7:24-27).
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him (Matt. 21:28-32). These passages are clear. We will get into trouble for non-compliance after we have heard what was spoken.
The emancipated listener: We are set free and emancipated. We have been placed on a frequency to hear God because we are his children. How can we have a wilderness mind-set in the land of promise? It was said we can be aliens in the land of promise. When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear (Heb. 8:13). And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5). Like us they are being changed and transformed, restored, purified, redeemed, renewed. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2). Only with the renewing of the mind can you accurately hear what the Spirit is saying. So let us hear with the renewed mind, the mind of Christ, set free from the filters and old frame of reference that is stuck in the old covenant. Jesus has become the guarantee of the better covenant. And Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant.
He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7). God makes us vulnerable and open listeners. Do not be distracted and be like the irate listener. We cannot be non-compliant listeners. We were emancipated, we were set free. Today if you hear God’s VOICE we cannot be in the old mind-set. God has renewed us and set us on a frequency to hear His voice because we are children of God.