5 Things about Hearing from God

nick   September 3, 2017   Comments Off on 5 Things about Hearing from God
5 things you need to know about hearing from God
It’s a question that a lot of Christians struggle with. In fact it’s sad that one of the most liberating things, to be able to hear from God, is one of the things that ties people up so much. That people spend too much time feeling guilty because they don’t feel they hear from God enough or at all, or confused  because they did think they heard from god and everything  went pear shaped.
5 pretty straight forward things. To bring us into greater freedom. Not comprehensive.
1. God wants to speak to you
First of all we need to start with the basic assumption that God wants to communicate to us. He is not unwilling. He wants relationship. He wants it more than us. Any relationship requires communication. More communication = better relationship. We need to rid ourselves of the idea that God doesn’t want to speak to us or that he withholds from speaking  because he is disapproving of us. He is a good good father who wants reslationship.
We can feel inadequate when we hear other people talking about how they hear from God. “God said to me this,” “God said to me that” We can feel “other people seem to talk about it with such certainty and clarity, but I never hear from God like that”. Sometimes their experience is not much different to yours. They are certain this is God speaking, you are not. The experience may be similar, the interpretation of it may be different.
I want to assure you that God is as interested and eager to talk to you as anyone else.
It is normal to hear him
John 10;4 my sheep follow me for they hear my voice
If you are a follower of Jesus – you hear his voice. In fact you must have heard him speak to you to know that you need to follow him
2.  God is not shouting from a distance – he has put his sprit in us.
If you are born again of the spirit, you now have his spirit in you. That changes the dynamic of God speaking. It is not just external, it is internal. In the Old testament they didn’t have the Spirit in them – God’s speaking was always external. Now it is external and internal.  It is now natural to do his will. As Christians we often don’t need to ask “what is your will?” It is now our inclination to do his will.
Phil 2.13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.
So you don’t always need to ask what is the right thing, what do you want me to do – God is at work in you to know what it is and to want to do it
Normal Christianity is to be led by the spirit.
We might talk about this as Gut feeling, I just feel this is the right thing, I just feel this is what God is saying.
Let me give you an example I’ve used before. I was at a conference last year in the bookshop and saw the Hosting the Presence course. I had an idea – we could do this together as a church. I had a gut feeling about it. Did I say God has told me we should do this course? No. I talked to Judy about it. I talked to Mike about it. I got the views of others. We did it and it was really good. Did God lead and inspire me – I would say yes. But I don’t feel I can describe it “God spoke to me about doing it”
This might shock some Christians – I never asked God if I should marry Judy. It was obvious! I didn’t need a word from god – yes or no
Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of God.”
3. God speaks to us through scripture.
The bible tells us to love one another  repeatedly – we don’t need God to specifically speak to us about loving people. It is there in scripture. We may read that verse and it comes alive to us.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work
However it is still true, it is still what God is saying to us even if it doesn’t “come alive”. It is objective.
Beware a fortune cookie approach!
Should I marry Judy – I know I’ll go to the bible. 1 Cor 7:8 – “it is good for the unmarried and virgins to remain unmarried” – that settles it!
Having said that – Story of moving  to new addington – was it safe for our children – advised against.
Isaiah 11.8  The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.
God’s promise that our children would not be harmed
God brings circumstances together
4. God speaks through the wise counsel of other christians.
I’m just a bit wary of an individualistic approach-  I’ve heard from God and that settles it. In the example of Hosting the Presence I submitted it to Mike
Prov 14.11   For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
Proverbs 15:22  Proverbs 20:18  Proverbs 24:6
Jackie Pullinger – turned down by every missionary society but knew she was called to China went to Hong Kong and did a great work getting people off drugs, turning peoples lives round and seeing people come to Christ… but for every one story like that there are probably 10 of people who ignored the wise counsel of others and came a cropper.
Every major decision – invite the wise counsel of others. That’s not lack of faith it’s humility. God has placed us in a body – interdependent.
5. Prophecies, dreams, visions etc.
These are normal, but not everyday. This is not necessarily the level of how we live our lives – waiting for someone to bring a prophecy or to have a dream or whatever.
Every prophecy must be weighed. Is it from God, what does it mean, how should I respond?
Bringing personal prophecy – with humility.
Don’t say God has told me …
Involve someone else
Tell them to weigh it. Make it very open ended.
We need to handle this well – for our own sakes and for the sake of others. In New Addington a young lad was seriously ill with cancer. In one of our prayer times one lady in the church said God had told her he would be healed. She was always telling us what god had said to her. The boy was not healed .  My concern is not whether she was right or wrong but the emotional damage and hurt that resulted when the boy was not healed and died.
Example – Jonas. You weigh it, don’t let it be a burden. Now in fact it fitted exactly with what he felt God was saying.
If we feel God is saying something that has implications for someone else we need to bring it with humility and then leave it.
I always want my preaching to be prophetic – I’m encouraged when people say “when you were talking it was as though God was speaking to me personally”. Church should be a place where we hear from God – through prophecies, through the worship and through preaching.
A final word –  it sums up some of what I’ve already said – We’re not in heaven yet!
We don’t hear God as perfectly now as we will in heaven. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Sometimes we will hear imperfectly. That’s why prophecy needs to be weighed, that’s why we need others to weigh what we feel God is saying.
Paul said this ..
1 Cor 13.9 NIV
For we know in part and we prophesy in part
1 Cor 13.12 NLT
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Even Paul with all his encounters with God, with all his revelation said this.