22 July 2010

The People Who Hear

God speaks to people who make themselves available to Him.
  • Remember we are meeting with a Person, not trying to accomplish a task
  • Set aside a daily time to meet with God
    • Psalm 5:3
      Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD.
      Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
    • Mark 1:35
      The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.
  • Be confident God will speak to you
    • Psalm 38:15
      For I am waiting for you, O LORD.
      You must answer for me, O Lord my God.
    • James 1:5-8
      5 If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 They can't make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.
  • Learn the Language of the Holy Spirit
    • Job 33:14
      God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.

God speaks to people willing to do His will
  • John 7:16-17
    16 So Jesus told them, "I'm not teaching my own ideas, but those of God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.
  • Hebrews 10:7
    Then I said, `Look, I have come to do your will, O God--
    just as it is written about me in the Scriptures.'"
  • Sometimes God will speak to us in "installments." We don't get the second instalment until after we have obeyed the first.
    • Acts 6:5-7 - Seven Men Chosen to Serve
    • Acts 6:8-10 - Stephen is Arrested
    • Acts 7:1-590 - Stephen Addresses the Council
    • Acts 8:26-40 - Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

God speaks to humble people

  • God spoke to Moseses fact to face
    • Numbers 12:6-8
      6 And the LORD said to them, "Now listen to me! Even with prophets, I the LORD communicate by visions and dreams. 7 But that is not how I communicate with my servant Moses. He is entrusted with my entire house. 8 I speak to him face to face, directly and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. Should you not be afraid to criticize him?"
  • No one in the Old Testament heard the voice of god as well as did Moses. He was also the humblest person on the earth.
    • Number 12:3
      Now Moses was more humble than any other person on earth.
    • Psalm 138:6
      Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble,
      but he keeps his distance from the proud.
  • Humble people:
    • Are small in their own eyes
      • 1 Samuel 15:17
        And Samuel told him, "Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel.
    • Know that it is not their physical strength, intelligence, nor luck
      • Proverbs 21:31 - Physical Strength
        The horses are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD
      • Proverbs 16:9 - Intelligence
        We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
      • Proverbs 16:23 - Luck
        From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive
    • Put their confidence in the mercy of God rather than in their intentions or abilities
      • Romans 9:15-16
        15 For God said to Moses,
        "I will show mercy to anyone I choose,
        and I will show compassion to anyone I choose."
        16 So receiving God's promise is not up to us. We can't get it by choosing it or working hard for it. God will show mercy to anyone he chooses.
    • Know that no matter how great their character or their abilities, they can do nothing apart from Christ
      • John 15:5
        "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
    • Put their confidence in the Holy Spirit's ability to speak, not in their ability to hear, and in Jesus' ability to lead, not in their ability to follow.
    • Are willing to associate with and serve people of lower positions
      • Romans 12:10
        Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
      • Galatians 5:13
        For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.
      • Philippians 2:3-11
        3 Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. 4 Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. 5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7 He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
      • Isaiah 57:15
        The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.
      • Isaiah 66:2
        My hands have made both heaven and earth, and they are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken!
        "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.
  • Humility is acquired through:
    • Pain
      • Hebrews 12:4-13 - God's Discipline Proves His Love
        4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

        9 Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever?

        11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening--it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
    • Being with humble people
      • Proverbs 13:20
        Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm.
    • A life long process
      • Philippians 3:12-14
        12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

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