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DO YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD?

A SERMON ORIGINALLY DELIVERED AT
THE HIGH HILL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
AND
THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS

10 MAY 1992

By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:

2 Kings 7:1-2, 16-17
John 10:22-30

Do you hear the voice of the Lord speaking to you?

Do you hear Him speaking right now, this very minute?

Or do you hear a lot of chatter and noise within your head?

Can you hear your own thoughts?

Of course you can; and it's that same kind of inner voice that we most often hear when God is speaking to us.

So, I ask you again, do you hear the voice of the Lord?

Or, perhaps, are you having trouble knowing if it is the Lord speaking to you; for you are hearing your own thoughts, my voice, and the other noises that seem to be ever present?

As most of you know, I'm a pilot; and while I am flying, I must listen to the radio so that when the air traffic controller calls me, I will be able to respond.

He or she may be talking to many other airplanes, but when I'm called, I must be ready to respond.

Now this doesn't sound too difficult, if you are relaxed and just waiting to be called; but flying can be quite involved, with many things going on all at once.

In fact, there are many times when I must listen to several radios, all at the same time, and I must also be able to hear when the controller calls me.

I may be listening to an automatic weather briefing for the airport at which I am landing, and at the same time monitoring one of my communication radios, which has an almost constant string of short messages, requests, and replies.

I must be able to distinguish the weather and landing information from the other chatter, and write it down on my knee board.

I also must be prepared to hear my own call sign, and respond immediately; for there's a lot going on, and air time is valuable.

And proper communication is necessary to insure safety.

This is exactly how we should be training ourselves to hear God calling us.

We may be doing many other things, and thinking about something else; but we also should be monitoring God's frequency, for we don't want to miss His personal call to us.

In John 10:22-30, Jesus spoke similar words to the leaders of the temple and to us now.

22. At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;

This is the festival of light, Chanukah, which takes place at Christmas time.

23. it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

24. The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."

Jesus had been speaking plainly to them for some time, but they weren't listening.

They most likely even heard His voice among much chatter, but they could not distinguish it so that they could understand.

They could not hear, because of their lack of faith.

25. Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you would not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me.

26. "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.

In other words, He's telling them that they can't distinguish the truth from a lie.

They don't hear the truth, for they are not wholly tuned into God's frequency.

So Jesus continues, and tells them and us how to hear.

27. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

28. and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.

29. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

30. "I and the Father are one."

Those who deny the truths of God, or who have hardened themselves so they can no longer hear the voice of the Lord, are those who try to discourage the sheep of God.

But as Jesus says, no one can snatch them out of His or the Father's hand.

If we want to be with God, no one can prevent us.

If we want to hear God's voice, we can; no matter what else is going on around us.

But we must want to.

If I decided that I no longer wanted to listen for the voice of the air traffic controller, I would probably either get killed, or I would lose my license.

And the same conditions apply to our life and safety with the Lord.

If we don't listen for the warnings of danger in our life, we might fall into the hands of the devil, and even die without God, if we let our indifference go long enough.

But if we listen intently for the voice of the Lord, He will guide us safely through our lives, and no one can take us from Him.

During the days of Elisha, the prophet, most people had tuned out the voice of the Lord; and in 2 Kings 7:1 and following, we are told of such an accounting.

The people had been turning away from God for many years, and the Lord had allowed them to suffer at the hands of an oppressive nation; but now He is giving them another chance to return to Him and to retune their ears to listen for His voice.

1. Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of the Lord; thus says the Lord, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’ ”

While Samaria was being besieged, there was a severe famine in the city; and what food there was, was selling for extremely high prices.

Now the Lord is telling them that tomorrow they will have plenty of food.

And the only way this could happen is if the siege is lifted.

But will the people and their leaders hear?

2. And the royal officer on whose hand the king was leaning answered the man of God and said, "Behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?" Then he said, "Behold you shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it."

Do you hear the negativity in this officer’s voice? ... if the Lord should grant us the miracle of looking into heaven, this thing could not happen.

So, instead of receiving a blessing, he received a curse.

Note verse 16 and following:

16. So the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. Then a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.

The officer couldn't hear the voice of the Lord, even when His words were spoken to him directly.

He had allowed so much evil to enter in, that he could not discern the Lord's words of truth, through the chatter of the lies he lived with.

17. Now the king appointed the royal officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate; but the people trampled on him at the gate, and he died just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him.

What's going on in your heads right now?

Are you hearing the voice of God and His message of life?

Or have you tuned out the word of the Lord, and wish I would shut up and sit down?

God doesn't force His word on anyone.

He has given each of us a free will; and it is what we do with our free will that determines whether or not we enter heaven.

Stretch out your will toward God.

Tune your ears to hear His voice.

And you will indeed be blessed.

Amen.

Your Comments are welcome

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