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Hearing God’s Voice

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One of the many awesome things about God is that he actually speaks to us. Isn't this fact incredible? It is so incredible that we don't believe it sometimes thinking that it is our imagination. We say how could God possibly speak to me? This thinking is especially true of new Christians, but God is God and we have no right to tell him what he can or cannot do. The fact is he created us to hear his voice and the stinker devil tries to tell us that the things inside that we hear is apart of our imagination.

I know that when I was a new Christian myself, I thought little about God's wanting to speak to me. For who was I to interfere with his busy schedule? Surely, he had much more important things to do than to talk with me. This kind of thinking was vane imagination that the bible tells us to cast out.

We say that God cannot speak to us because we think that he is too busy. Also we don't feel that we are worthy for God to talk with us. Yes, in ourselves we are not worthy for him to have anything to do with us. But because of his son dying for our sins, we are made worthy to have an open communication with the Lord. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Yes, the God that made heaven and earth as well as everything in it speaks to us, and he speaks to us individually at any time if we give him the time of day. So, it is really not that God is too busy for us but sadly enough we are too busy for him. This is mind boggling to me. How about you?

And sometimes if we don't give him the time of day, he wakes us up in the middle of the night when there is no distractions to have a conversation with us. With all due respect, I am here to tell you that he is a chatterbox longing to communicate how he loves and wants to uplift us.

He is also quite a comedian. One night I was having a conversation with him, and I asked if he knew about a certain matter that he could advise me on. A moment later I heard a deep voice in my spirit only saying I am all knowing.

Luckily, I was in bed because if I would have been in my chair I would have fallen over cracking up with laughter. As it was, I rolled in bed laughing at the Lord's sense of humor about his omniscience or all knowledge for two solid hours.

So, in the middle of the night, we have the choice of joining in on the conversation or to shine it off by rolling over and trying to go back to sleep. It is our choice to have intimacy with him.

Isn't it a lot better to give him the time of the day? If we don't give him the day, he will try to sneak nights only because he is madly in love with us and wants so much to commune with us.

We are going to discuss this with some personal insights, but first let's read about the good shepherd and him talking to us his sheep. So would you please turn to John, Chapter 10 Verses 1 through 18.

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." Jesus used this figure of speech but they did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd." The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me"--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

This is an analogy of how the shepherd speaks to his sheep the same way that the Lord guides us by speaking to us. If we give our hearts over to Jesus, we should know his voice when he talks to us.

I have been thinking about God trying to speak to his frustration and us if he has any in getting through to us. He speaks in many different ways from a thunderous voice to words in the Bible to a small still voice in our spirits.

Most of the time through reading the bible or through our spirits, he speaks quietly and gently to us rather than a voice of thunder. It is a challenge for us Christians to both recognize and hear this small voice of the Lord, but it really should not be.

Verse 10 of our text says the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it in full.

The devil only wants to steal us kill us and destroy us. Many of us know this better than others, and that is why you are here in these services hopefully tired of being duped by the adversary. But Jesus Christ gives a full enriching exciting abundant life! There are not enough adjectives to describe it! How many can testify to it?

When we hear a voice inside to abandon this full life, it is from the pit of hell designed to take us down again to where we came from. Let us carefully listen to whose voice that we are hearing the good shepherd or the thief.

Please let me say this again. If you don't have a bible or something to write it, on write it in your minds. Okay. One of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves is, if the voice we are hearing to do something is going to add to our intimacy with the Lord or is it going to take away from it.

If it is going to take away from the intimacy by stealing killing and destroying it, then for Heaven's sake, don't be stupid by listening to that voice. If you are still not sure about which voice you are hearing from, search for the answer in the bible which is our owners manual. But it does not take much intelligence to figure it out. It is not that complicated because God made it so that the simple minded have no trouble understanding. The second that we know that the voice we hear is not from God, we must command that thought to leave In the name of Jesus!

Simply invoking this command providing if we are sincere about it, the thoughts that are not from God will leave because Jesus has authority over the devil and will order him where to stick it! There is no ands ifs or buts about it, as Satan is scared of the name of Jesus and will run with his tail curled in back of him.

I am one of the pastors for the Green Oak Ranch Realing Community in Vista whose residents are recovering from sustenance abuse. My joy is coming there to build relationships with them as well as, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. I love it! I miss it when I go on business trips. The down side is when residents listen to the voice of the enemy, and in their craving for the flesh they first lose intimacy with the Lord. And then like cancer sin eats them up.

But God is a jealous. God is jealous for our love and does anything and everything to get us back, including breaking our leg if we are that stubborn, so he can carry us back to the fold where we belong. But even in this he exercises great restraints as love cannot be forced. He waits patiently and gives reminders gentle or stiff until we come to our senses.

In having my disability with people thinking that I cannot do anything, I know a little how God must feel when we put God in a tiny box by not paying attention to his voice. I say we because I do the same.

The first identification with the Lord that I feel, I share at least a little is getting people to realize that I communicate with them.

They first realize that they can talk to me when they start a relationship with me. Likewise, we learn that the Lord desires to speak to us personally when we first found out that we could actually know him. The key is a relationship. We read this in our scripture before. Jesus says in Verse 14, "I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me."

Up above in Verse 4, it says "when he has brought out all his own he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice."

So, in hearing the Lord a relationship with him is first required, just as people know that they can communicate with me after we have established a friendship.

One of the things that I suspect God gets awfully tired of is when we do all of the talking in prayer. I am just as guilty as the rest of you because I need to shut up!.

I need to stop babbling so the Lord can get a word in edgewise. Prayer and especially a relationship is a two way street, not only one-way. We must be quiet sometimes so the Lord can speak also!

I marvel at the grace of God for us because I know when people constantly talk to me without letting me get a word in edgewise, I become frustrated. Eventually during their babbling I just shut down and don't hear anything that is said.

Though most of you have good speech you can relate when another person dominates a conversation. We just shut down. Don't we?

I wonder what God does when we do that to him. He is much more patient than I am, but we have to learn to be quiet so he can speak to us..

Also, prayer, or talking to the Lord is not a means of automatically getting something we need. While it is true that God loves to give good gifts, he did not intend for prayer to be some kind of wish list where we rub his tummy the right way in praying to get what we ask for.

Instead prayer is conferring with the Lord to ask if the things we want and need are apart of his will for our lives. He knows best the things we need, so why shouldn't we run them past the Lord first?

I still remember very vividly about 15 years ago when a friend told me that he was going to get married. I was excited for him but I asked if he had prayed about it.

He told me that he did because his fiance said yes when he proposed to her. My spirit was uneasy from thinking that he might have prayed, or rubbed God's tummy or crystal ball to receive what he had wished for.I hoped that I was wrong, but my friend separated from his wife within a few months and then the marriage ended in a divorce. How I wished that I could have explained that praying was not making a wish list and rubbing God the right way, but it is conferring with him to ask if it fits in his plan. We get ourselves into a whole lot of trouble when we don't consult him first. Then, we have the gull to ask the Lord why he got us in to the mess!

So, whether it is big or small things let us learn to run them past the Lord to see what he thinks. Besides