Series: Hearing, Renewal of the Mind
Sunday am 19 February 2017 – Kobus Swart
Gen. 12:1-3; 1 Sam. 3:1-10; (Ex. 3:1-5); Num. 22:22-33; Isa. 30:21; Rom. 8:14; Phil. 2:13; (2 Cor. 11:14-15);
Acts 9:3-7; Rom. 12:1-2 (Amp); John 5:24-25 (Msg); (Col. 3:2); (1 Cor. 2:16); 1 Kings 19:1-19
It is not impossible for God to speak in a loud, clear voice, but the chances are that what you hear has come through your own paradigm and you interpret it that way. There is a mighty shift in the Church in general; God is shifting us from one level to another. That is why it is so important for us to hear from God and discern His voice. In the Old Testament God spoke directly to people, Abram is one example (Gen. 12:1-3). Moses heard a voice from the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-5). Another example is the boy Samuel. Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was. Being positioned correctly will help us discern the voice of God more easily (1 Sam. 3:1-10). Amidst the chaos of the world today, amidst the millions of voices and sounds, we need to discern the voice of God.
You may be in certain circumstances and you want to go forward but things do not move. You become angry, but in the meantime the Lord is standing in the way. But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him (Num. 22:22). God positioned Himself as an adversary against Balaam. Normally the name “adversary” is given to the devil. Balaam should have woken up when his donkey spoke to him. God forbid that any one of us have our eyes so closed in this season and so blinded that it takes a donkey or whatever vehicle or situation to speak to us. May the Lord open our ears to hear His voice when He speaks to us. There are so many people in difficult situations, what is God saying? Are you listening to what He is saying in the situation? Are we listening? Stop and listen to the voice of the Lord! Many Christians use Isa. 30:21 when referring to the voice of the Lord. It is not impossible that voices will be behind us at times, but I sense in the New Testament is that Christians who have the Holy Spirit on the inside, the voice is no longer behind you, the voice is within! Those who are sons of God are led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14). Spiritual maturity requires that you do not listen to a lot of outside voices, but the voice that is within you. God is at work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
There are conditions that will help you discern the voice within. God can speak to us through many things; He can speak to us through His servants prophetically, and it should be confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses. How about listening to the voice of God in difficult and painful situations? It is very easy to turn away, push it aside instead of listening. “Lord what are you saying under these circumstances?” Do you see His hand in what you are going through? Look for the hand of God in what you are going through. It is very important! Can we discern the voice of God among many voices which may include the voice of satan? He also has a voice; he comes as an angel of light. Satan is a religious spirit and his ministers as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15). He is the accuser of the brethren, he is a divisive tongue. Can we discern the voice of God amidst these multiple voices? While some hear the voice of God, others just hear the noise. Paul’s eyes were opened and he took what God had to say but the others saw no-one (Acts 9:3-7).
What we need is the devotion of hearing, Jesus had that. Whatever He heard His father speak, He did (John 8:38). He was connected to His Father. He demonstrated what it was to have the devotion of hearing. We are trapped in busy-ness, trapped in tensions and stresses. We need to get away from it and be alone at times. Be by yourself with God. What hinders me from hearing God’s voice? My attention is somewhere else! Let us nurture this devotion of hearing. We need to make sure our mind is aligned with God’s mind. This is where the battleground is. There is something that needs to change constantly, not just a one-time experience but on-going one. There is an on-going renewal of the mind that has to take place (Rom. 12:1-2 – Amp). Do not go for second best if it is not the will of God. Set your mind on things above (Col. 3:2). We have the mind of Christ; it is a corporate experience (1 Cor. 2:16). Seek the hand of God even in the chaos of what is happening.
A living Word is vital, more than a sermon; a Word that will bring life (John 5:24-25-Msg).
Elijah destroyed a multitude of the false prophets. He had a walk with God and heard from God. Then Jezebel threatened to kill him by the next day. He ran for his life and went into the wilderness. How does the Lord get you out of depression? Arise and eat and go to the next level (1 Kings 19:1-19). While hiding in the cave, the storm came, but God was not in it. Then the earthquake came and after that the fire, but still God was not in it. Then came the still quiet voice of God…
These are valuable keys for when you find yourself in troubling and challenging situations, that you will not listen or be intimidated by the wrong voices. Elijah was intimidated by Jezebel. In the still, small breeze God spoke to him. The first thing Elijah did was he departed and found Elisha who was to be the son with the double portion. Take time in the quietness before the Lord and discern His voice. Listen to the voice of the Lord. In the multitude of voices God will give discernment of spirit, sensitive ears and circumcised heart. Then you can say like Samuel, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”