Hearing God’s Voice Today

God Speaks but Samuel fails to discern His voice

Daily Spirit & Word: 531: Hearing God’s Voice Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s going to be an exciting Lord’s Day, because the first Sunday of the month is Feast Day in West Norwood. People will come from miles around to visit our part of London. They’ll come to sample: food, music, art, crafts and creativity. They come to be with friends in a friendly atmosphere, they’ll gather in the gardens and sit down to eat and watch their children playing. They come because they’ve got a hunger within; but there’s a problem, they don’t really know what it is they’re hungering for. Some of them think they do, and would probably argue about what I am going to say, but non-the-less I’m going to put my neck on the chopping-block and say; “They’re hungry for God, but they don’t know it”. They’re trying to satisfy the deepest hunger anyone and everyone could ever have or ever will have, with the created things, rather than with the Creator.

We’re living in a time today, very much like it was in the days of Samuel. We’re going to see today that Samuel had some problems and so have we, but he found the answers and so can we: But Samuel needed someone to tell him what to do to get his answer to the problems, and so does everyone in the world today.

Samuel Hear’s God’s Call:

1 Samuel 3:1-11 1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
2  One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.
3  The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.
4  Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
5  And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6  Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7  Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8  The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realised that the LORD was calling the boy.
9  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11  And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

A Little Background About Samuel:

Samuel was God’s gift to his mother. For years she couldn’t have children, but went to the House of the Lord to pray about it. The House of the Lord in those days was the Tabernacle: The Tent of Meeting. Priests would serve the Lord there. So Hannah went and prayed and the Lord answered her prayers. She called him SAMUEL BECAUSE “The Lord Hears” or “God has heard”, that’s what Samuel’s name means.

Once Samuel was weaned, i.e. She was able to give him ordinary food and not breast milk: She took him to the Temple of the Lord and dedicated him to the LORD. She left him at the Temple to serve the LORD all the days of his life.

Imagine that: The most precious gift anyone could ever be given and she gives it back to the Lord. The gift was a child and Hannah was so overjoyed, that she gave her son away at a very young age to serve the Lord forever.

In those Days: The Priests who ministered before the Lord: Offering Sacrifices, were very wicked indeed, but Samuel grew up and served the Lord faithfully. He became popular with all the people of Israel who came to the Temple to offer their annual sacrifices to the Lord.

Samuel was being instructed by a man called Eli: (It was Eli’s sons, the priests, who were the most wicked).

Problem 1: God’s Voice Is Rare: (But the Lamp Still Burned).

(He’s not giving many visions). {Because of Wickedness: Sin cuts us off from God}

The reason God’s Voice was RARE: Was because everyone was doing what they wanted to do, instead of what God wanted. Judges 21:25 (AMP) “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

  • They did what they thought best. 
  • They didn’t seek God.
  • They didn’t care about what God wanted or had said.

Even the ones who’re meant to be ‘Good’ were ‘Bad and Corrupt’: The Priests working in the Temple (The Meeting Place with God).

1 Samuel 2:22 (NIV) “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.” (See notes about God’s Judgement at the end).

However: There is HOPE because “The Lamp Still Burned”: It hadn’t gone out yet. (1 Samuel 3:3 and Leviticus 24:2).

And we too live in similar circumstances: People are wicked, they do what they think is right in their own eyes, the priests and ministers are wicked, they like Eli, don’t try and correct the wickedness of our day, they go along with the world’s ways instead of God’s ways. However, there is HOPE: Because the Lamp is still burning today.

Jesus is the Light of the World: But the WORLD (Just like Samuel didn’t recognise the voice of the Lord at first), cannot see Jesus for who He is…

John 1:9-10 “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.”

My friends, Jesus can give us the Light we need in our lives today. But will we let Jesus the Light of the World into our lives?

Problem 2: Didn’t Recognise God’s Voice:

{Because of Ignorance: We don’t recognise God’s Voice}

Though Samuel was serving in the Temple (verse 3) and Ministering before the LORD (verse 1) The problem was, he didn’t recognise the voice of the LORD when He called out to him. (verse 5). Three times the Lord called out “Samuel, Samuel” each time the boy ran to Eli and said, “What do you want master”. He just didn’t know it was God speaking to Him.

People today don’t Know God: They can’t Hear God. God is still speaking, He’s still calling out to people, He’s still drawing people and putting a deep hunger in their hearts, but they don’t recognise His call today. They also mis-interpret the deep hunger and try to fill it with the things of this world. It will never satisfy, because it was only meant to be satisfied with God Himself.

Thankfully Eli came to the rescue:

He realised it was the LORD calling Samuel. (Verse 8).

1 Samuel 3:8 (NIV) “The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realised that the LORD was calling the boy.

My friends, there is a way for people to HEAR God’s Call: We’re the Priests like Eli. We know God is calling people, we just need to do what Eli did and say, “It’s the LORD calling you”… To those who’re trying to satisfy God’s call with the things of the world. They’re confused and mis-interpret the hunger. They’re not hearing or perceiving or understanding that God put that deep hunger for significance and meaning for life within them. It’s God that put eternity into everyone’s heart.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

It can only be satisfied when they come to Jesus who gave them the gift of the knowledge of Eternity in their hearts. (I.E. People know that this life is NOT all there is, because God has planted ETERNITY into everyone’s heart).

Christians to the Rescue:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9  not by works, so that no-one can boast.” God gives the gift of faith or FAITH is a Gift.

How do we get the Gift of Faith: Faith comes by Hearing God’s Word:

It comes by Hearing His Word: (The Call). Romans 10:17  “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

When people get the faith as a gift, they’ll hear the call of the Gospel. But the World needs someone, like Eli, to tell them, “It’s the LORD who’s calling you my child”.

Christian are called and equipped by the Lord to take His message to a world that’s in the Darkness needing the Light.

Problem 3: Not Knowing What To Say:

{People need to know HOW to respond to God’s call}

God’s speaking, but people don’t know HOW to answer Him.

Samuel heard God’s voice, didn’t know it was God and Eli told him what to say.

1 Samuel 3:9-11 (NIV)

9  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11  And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

Samuel only had seven words to remember; “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening”

Did you notice that He missed out the most important one: LORD!

Because Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

My friends, People in the World today: Have these same three basic problems:

1) Because of Wickedness: They’re cut off from God.

2) Because of Ignorance: They don’t recognise that God’s put a hunger in their hearts.

3) They Don’t Know How to respond to God: The need to be shown HOW to respond.

What a wonderful word from the LORD today. Even though Samuel missed out the most important word: “LORD“, the LORD still came and spoke to Him.

My friends, it’s NOT the word’s that are important: It’s the response of your hearts. 

If you recognised that God is calling out to you today: Just open up your life to Him. He’s still calling and standing with His outstretched arms:

Matthew 11:27-30 27  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus is saying to you today: “Come to Me” “Come”.

People often respond; “Yes, but HOW? How can I come to Jesus?”

Here’s HOW:

  • Believe: that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins. (The Barrier Has been Broken).
  • Repent: Turn from your sins and believe that He’s paid the price: Death for sin. (Respond to His call).
  • Receive: Trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour from sin’s curse, and receive Him as your LORD. (Take Him as your Saviour).
  • Serve: His yoke is easy and His burden is light: He’s got things for you to do and a way for you to be.

Can you HEAR the voice of the LORD today?

  • He’s calling His Children to take His Message to the World.
  • He’s calling the World to Himself.
  • He’s waiting for a response from both; His Children, those who’ve trusted Jesus and received Him as Lord, to be reaching out to a world that’s in darkness, that needs the light in their lives, to be faithful like old Eli and point them to the Lord.
  • He’s waiting for the world to hear His voice: Those who’ve yet to; believe in Jesus death, repent of their sins and receive Him as Lord. 

My prayer is; “No matter who you are today, you’ll respond to God’s Call, and quickly.”

Amen!

Don.

Notes: The Prophesy Against Eli’s House:

Reveals the wickedness of his sons.

1 Samuel 2:27-36 27  Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?
28  I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father’s house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites.
29  Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honour your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
30  “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me for ever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.
31  The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line
32  and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man.
33  Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34  ” ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day.
35  I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.
36  Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so that I can have food to eat.” ‘ “

Yes you can my friends, it’s easy to hear God’s Voice Today.

Hearing God’s Voice Today

Two Types of Faith

Daily Spirit & Word, 505: Two Types of Faith.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 21: Two Types of Faith. John 20:26-29.

Good morning my friends, we saw yesterday how Thomas had sincere doubts about Jesus being resurrected from the dead and how he made the declaration, “Unless I see the nail-marks, I refuse to believe” However, Thomas was granted his desire just a week later. You’ll notice that there are generally two types of faith: one that needs to see or know before it will believe. This is almost like Scientific Proof Type of Faith. Even today people will say to us as we share Jesus on the streets, “Show me God and then I’ll believe”… Another way this type of faith is expressed is, “When God grants me all my wishes, then I’ll believe in Him”… I can’t tell you how many people have said that to me.

What they’re really saying is, “If I can’t see it, I won’t believe it” or “I won’t believe until I see”. 

Then there is the Biblical Type of Faith: That believes God without being able to see any evidence. However, even Biblical Faith is not merely Blind Faith. We believe because of something. There is a reason we choose to take the step of faith and put our trust in God and His faithfulness.

When we look at faith it’s almost as if it’s something we have to muster up within ourselves, but it’s not, because faith is a gift that needs to be received. God gives faith and once we’ve receive the gift of faith, it’s then that it needs to be put to use or exercised. Let’s read and see how Thomas used the gift of faith that the LORD gave to Him.

John 20:26-29 26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We simply don’t know if Thomas reached out and touched Jesus crucifixion wounds, personally I don’t think that he did, because of what Jesus said to Thomas after his declaration “My Lord and my God”. One of the best and clearest claims that Christians have for the Divinity of Jesus Christ, Jesus is God. What did Jesus say to Thomas? “Because you have seen me, you have believed” Notice Jesus didn’t say, “Because you touched My wounds, you have believed.” That’s why I think Thomas didn’t actually need to touch those wounds.

We’ve probably all made a Thomas kind of declaration, only to eat humble pie later. However, as I said, Thomas made one of the strongest declarations of faith in the whole Bible; Upon seeing Jesus, Thomas knew Jesus was both LORD and God. WOWzer! That’s the revelation that every single person needs to get as well. Jesus said it like this, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Yes my friends, that you and me. We can’t see Jesus but we believe (if you believe). We don’t believe becuase we’ve seen Jesus, we believe because we’ve become convinced and convicted of our sins.

Personally, I knew Jesus was alive, I believed in Jesus for a few weeks before I eventually put my trust in Him as my Lord and my Saviour. But my knowledge that Jesus was real, was alive and was God came because I was attending church. I’d heard sermons and it was the evidence of the people of God, how their lives were different from mine. It was quite a long, slow process of my journey to eventual trust in Jesus, almost three months, but by the end of that time I KNEW who it was and why it was that I was turning to Him in faith and repentance.

That’s why one of my favourite verses in the Bible is  Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” 

Faith come by HEARING: So many times Jesus used the phrase, “Let him who has ears to hear”  i.e. “Let him who’s been given the gift of faith, exercise that gift and put their trust in God”. Why? Because FAITH comes by HEARING.

He also said, that there would be many who’d be constantly HEARING, but never perceiving… We’ve got Churches full of people who hear God’s Word, who hear the Gospel many, many times, but for some reason don’t come to the point where they put their FAITH AND TRUST in the Lord. I don’t know why that is. It’s one of the greatest frustrations of those who’ve actually seen the light, heard the good news and responded. We’re dumbfounded sometimes why other can’t see it. Just the other day a lady said to me, “Why can’t they see? Why are they coming to church and settling for a mere form of Christianity without the power”. I said there are many reasons for it; first we must remember that faith is a gift that God gives. It comes in response to His call. He calls us by His Word. That’s what happened to Abraham when he exercised Biblical Faith. He trusted God’s Word and it was credited to him as righteousness.

So my friends, when we hear God’s Word, Faith comes to us, but it’s when we exercise that faith or use it to trust in God that it becomes effectual.

There are people who’ve been given this gift and don’t use it. It’s like believing that a chair can hold your weight, but instead of sitting on the chair you choose to sit on the floor instead. That like having Faith in Jesus, but not putting your trust in Him for your Salvation” So saying “Oh yes I’ve got faith” is not enough, we must use the gift of faith the Lord has given to us, we must turn in repentance and actually use it to TRUST IN JESUS. “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and ye shall be saved”

Romans 13:11-14 11  And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
12  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.
13  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

How do we put our faith to work? How do we use the gift of faith to trust in Jesus? We do it by RECEIVING Jesus as Lord and Saviour. John 1:12.

John 1:12 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God …”

Once you’ve exercised that Kind of faith, the Biblical type of faith, then you will be SAVED.

Once Thomas had seen Jesus, at that moment his doubts vanished and he expressed the strongest faith, “My LORD, My God” Have you gotten to the point in your life where you don’t just believe it, but you KNOW it, that Jesus is YOUR LORD and YOUR GOD?

Conclusion: There are two types of faith: One is the physical proof type of faith, i.e. I need to see it first before I’ll believe. And there’s Biblical faith; Which is believing faith exercised by trusting in Jesus and His promises. Christian life is a walk of that kind of faith, constantly putting our trust in God’s promises, but once we do, we’re given amazing revelations and great joy.

Points to Ponder:

  • Think about it and ask yourself, “Were Thomas’ doubts justified?” and “Are any doubts justified?”
  • If someone asked you today, “How can you believe in a God you cannot see?” What would your response be? How do you know that you know Jesus?
  • Are you filled with the “Inexpressible and glorious joy” because you’ve trusted in Jesus? If not can I encourage you, don’t stop at saying “I believe in Jesus, I have faith”, but go the whole hog, go the whole distance and put that fiath to work and TRUST in Jesus by receiving Him as Lord. It’s an act of faith that will save you my friends, not a simple belief. Remember, the Demons believe, but they tremble. Everyone who’s not trusted in Jesus will also tremble before Him, if they’ve not trust in Him before the Judgement day comes.
  • Is there any was today that you need to hear Jesus words that He spoke to Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe”?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you so much for the gift of faith that You have given to me, and the fact that You helped me to use it to receive You as my Lord and Saviour; by turning from my sin in repentance, putting my faith in your death upon the cross for me and receiving You as my Lord and Saviour. Help me today to reach out to those who may know about You, but have yet to take that step of faith, those who’ve not yet received you as Lord. Fill me with Your LOVE and Compassion for them. Amen.

What a wonderful evening of prayer we had last night in church. We were dancing and proclaiming the Lord as KING of Kings and LORD of Lord’s as we prayed for the upcoming election. We prayed that the Lord would bless every future Member of Parliament with the gift of FAITH. Now I’m praying today, they won’t just have the gift of faith, but that they’ll use the gift of faith that God gives to them and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their King. Amen!

Have an amazing day with Jesus my friends. 

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Two Types of Faith: Seeing Faith and Believing Faith.
Two Types of Faith: Seeing Faith and Believing Faith.

Day 21: Two Types of Faith.