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LISTENING TO GOD

Date: 
August 19, 2018
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
I Samuel 3:4-10

THEME: we must know how to listen to God…

INTRODUCTION

  • My time with you as your interim pastor is drawing to a close… please know how very much Marcia and I have enjoyed ministering to you and with you. Our time at the Dennis Union Church has indeed been a wonderful blessing for us. Thank you for making it so!
  • I am leaving you in good hands. Nelson Murphy will do a marvelous job as your Bridge Pastor for the next several months and I’m very excited about the candidate that the Search Committee has selected to serve as the settled pastor beginning in January.
  • This morning I want to share with you my final bit of advice for The Dennis Union Church… it’s really quite simple: keep listening for the voice of God… and allow God’s voice and the power of the Holy Spirit to lead you forward.
  • I believe in God and I believe that God is still speaking… our God is not silent… our God is a God who wants to claim our attention… God still speaks with the authority and power with which God spoke in the Bible… God’s voice is just waiting to be heard.
  • One of the most valuable lessons we can learn is how to listen to God.

 

SAMUEL

  • Samuel was one of the mightiest prophets in the Old Testament.
  • The very first lesson Samuel had to learn was how to listen to God…
  • When God spoke to Samuel, Samuel thought it was the voice of his mentor, Eli, but wise old Eli perceived that the voice Samuel was hearing was indeed the voice of the Lord.
  • Eli said to Samuel, “If God calls you again, you must say, ‘speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’”
  • What a wonderful way to respond to God, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”
  • How shall we, you and I, listen to God?

 

HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD

 

EXPECTANTLY - If we are to listen to God, we must come to God expectantly

  • We must anticipate that God will speak to us… we must not doubt God’s ability or willingness to speak…
  • We must be like the prophet Jeremiah who waited on tiptoe to hear God’s voice…

 

QUIETLY - If we are to listen to God, we must listen quietly

  • The Psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)
  • If we are to listen to God, we must listen quietly and allow God to do the talking.
  • Our prayers are filled with petitions to God, but rarely do we sit silently in prayer waiting for God to answer… I suggest that you end your prayers in silence and wait quietly for God to answer…
  • If we are too busy, we will not hear… if we are too noisy, we will not hear… if our minds are too cluttered, we will not hear… but if we are quiet – still, we may hear the voice of God

 

PATIENTLY - If we are to listen to God, we must listen patiently

  • One of the most important things we need to understand is that God’s time is not our time…
  • God does not always answer our prayers immediately, and we find it difficult to wait… like children, when we want something, we want it NOW.
  • In the waiting, God may be preparing us for his answer…
  • Listen patiently.

 

 

ACTIVELY - If we are to listen to God, we must listen actively

  • Active listening is involved listening… it calls for us to use all our senses, not just our ears
  • Active listening is careful listening so that nothing is missed
  • Active listening means hearing and meditating on the word of God

 

CONFIDENTLY - If we are to listen to God, we must listen confidently

  • We must be confident that when we listen to God, we will hear what we need to hear…
  • What we NEED to hear may not always be what we WANT to hear, but God communicates to us what is essential for our faith journey…
  • Not only is God’s time not our time, but God’s ways are not always our ways…

 

DEPENDENTLY - If we are to listen to God, we must listen dependently

  • We must realize that we are dependent upon God… our well-being is in God’s hands, not our own
  • He is our God, and we are his people… the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3)
  • To hear God’s voice, we must have a right relationship with God… like the relationship between the shepherd and his flock… the sheep are totally dependent upon the shepherd

 

OPENLY – If we are to listen to God, we must listen openly

  • To listen openly means to be willing to hear God correct us as well as comfort us, to hear God convict us as well as assure us.
  • We must be open to all that God has to say… selective hearing is dangerous…
  • To listen to God openly is to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit…

 

ATTENTIVELY – If we are to listen to God, we must listen attentively

  • Listening to God demands our full attention…
  • We can not always predict how, when and where God will speak to us… (the road)
  • God may speak to us in ways we might never expect…

 

SUBMISSIVELY – If we are to listen to God, we must listen submissively

  • We must be willing to do God’s will…
  • We must be willing to say, “Here I am, Lord… I will go, Lord, where you lead me!”
  • We must be willing to follow God’s leading and heed God’s instructions…
  • Samuel said, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”

 

GRATEFULLY – If we are to listen to God, we must listen gratefully

  • Rejoice in the fact that our God is still speaking…
  • Be grateful that God has words for you…
  • Draw near to God with a thankful heart.

 

REVERENTLY – If we are to listen to God, we must listen reverently or prayerfully

  • Reverence means to be in awe!
  • We should indeed be in awe that we can speak to God and that God still speaks to us…

 

CONCLUSION

  • Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.
  • Here I am, Lord… Is it I, Lord?... I have heard you calling in the night… I will go, Lord, if you lead me… I will hold your people in my heart.  (Hymn by Daniel Schutte)

 

AS TIME ALLOWS, I MAY INCLUDE A READING FROM ROBERT MOSS TITLED: What are you saying to us, Lord?

Sermon Seed

  • How To Listen To God  by Charles Stanley (chapter 6)
  • Here I Am, Lord… hymn by Daniel Schutte

 

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