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SermonGod Hears…Do We?
An all-creatures Bible Message

God Hears…Do We?
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
30 April 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 116:1-19
Acts 2:5-13
Galatians 5:16-26
1 Peter 1:10-16

God hears…do we?
 
This is a perplexing question, because God always hears our cries and supplications, but for the most part human beings don’t really hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us; they hear only the world around them and their own voices.
 
And every one of us needs to learn to really listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and the heavenly will of God.
 
Paul addresses this in a slightly different way by telling the people about the ways of the world as compared to the ways of heaven in Galatians 5:16-26…

16. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

If we really listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and the heavenly will of God and desire to live in His heavenly will, then we will also walk by the Spirit, and not carry out the desires of the flesh which the world lives by.
 
Just because others don’t listen is no excuse for us to not listen.

17. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

There are people who only partially listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, for they are also listening to the voices of the devil and those who go along with the corrupt ways of this world at the same time, and it just doesn’t work.
 
We need to be of one mind.

18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

This is an interesting statement that we should think about.
 
If we are led by the Spirit we are also led by pure heavenly love, which would never consider doing anything that would harm any other human being, the other animals, or the environment in which we all live; thus, we are no longer under the Law, because we have already fulfilled the Law by doing everything the Law tells us to do and not to do.
 
This is when we can know the answer to our question: “God hears…do we?” For we know that we are indeed listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
 
Then Paul gives us some examples to follow, and not to follow, so that we can more easily understand how we are to be listening to the Lord.

19. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
 
20. idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
 
21. envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

If we are doing any of these things, or harming any part of God’s creation, then we know that we are not listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and we cannot hear Him because we are listening to the voice of the devil and the voices of those who follow his corrupt and evil ways.
 
God hears…do we?
 
We hope and pray that we do.

22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
 
23. gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

These should be the guiding forces in our lives, for these are the things and ways of the heavenly will of God, and the way that the Holy Spirit wants us to live, and encourages us to do, and if we do live this way, we know that we are also hearing.

24. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

In other words we are no longer living according to the ways of this corrupt world.

25. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

This means that God wants us to live in His heavenly will here on earth before others as it is in heaven.
 
We are not to hide our heavenly ways.
 
We are to show them to everyone we can, in order to encourage others so that they might turn away from their worldly ways.
 
However…

26. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
NASB

Because this would mean that we are returning to the ways of this corrupt world.
 
As we look at Psalm 116:1-19, let’s see if we can see examples of our question: “God hears…do we?”

1. I love the LORD, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
 
2. Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

This sure seems to indicate that the psalmist knows that God hears his prayers and that he also hears God; doesn’t it?

3. The cords of death encompassed me,
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.

The corrupt and evil ways of this world seem to be almost overpowering the psalmist, and that they may even be the death of him, and there are many others today who feel this way.

4. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I beseech Thee, save my life!"

This worked for the psalmist and it will also work for us today.

5. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.
 
6. The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.

And if we are listening to God, we will feel his comfort, too.

7. Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

Sometimes we know the truth, but our body doesn’t seem to understand and respond to it, and like the psalmist, perhaps we should also talk to ourselves.

8. For Thou hast rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.

In other words, by the psalmist talking to himself, it worked, as it hopefully will work when we feel the same way.

9. I shall walk before the LORD
In the land of the living.

To understand this means that we have a heavenly vision, and can see beyond the evil that is so prevalent here on earth and which leads most people to destruction; and with this new vision, we will be able to be a witness to others of the heavenly will of God.

10. I believed when I said,
"I am greatly afflicted."
 
11. I said in my alarm,
"All men are liars."

This happens, when we only see the evil upon this earth, and fail to see as God sees, for He pulled most of us from the clutches of the devil, and our witness could be the trigger to cause others to repent and see the amazing grace of God.
 
God hears…do we?
 
It all depends on whether or not we are truly willing to listen.

12. What shall I render to the LORD
For all His benefits toward me?

All God really wants is our repentant spirit, and willingness to listen and follow the unction of the Holy Spirit.

13. I shall lift up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the LORD.

This is an example of giving of ourselves to the Lord, which is really all that God wants.

14. I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

We don’t believe this is what God wants, for God is not looking for our vows, but for our commitment to serve Him and follow what He tells us to do, and He definitely does not want us to show off before others.
 
If we do the things that God wants us to do quietly, the glory will be God’s.

15. Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His godly ones.
 
16. O LORD, surely I am Thy servant,
I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid,
Thou hast loosed my bonds.
 
17. To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the LORD.

God never wants a sacrifice of an innocent animal; He just wants our total commitment to serve Him and live in His heavenly will.

18. I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

We find it odd that the psalmist found it necessary to repeat this verse, for we see this verse as a way of bringing glory upon ones self instead of upon God.

19. In the courts of the Lord's house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!
NASB

Our serving of the Lord is the only witness we need, and when we do this, we will know that God is pleased, which is all that we should want or need.
 
In Acts 2:5-13, we are given an account of what happened when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples following the death and resurrection of Jesus.

5. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
 
6. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language.

This is the way speaking in tongues is meant to work.
 
It is not to glorify the person or others in the church; it is to be a dramatic and miraculous witness to others that God is in their presence, so that they will also believe.
 
Far too many people fake speaking in tongues, and that only brings a curse upon them for trying to be something they are not.

7. And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
 
8. "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?
 
9. "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
 
10. Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
 
11. Cretans and Arabs — we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God."

This is what is supposed to happen when people actually hear someone speaking in tongues

12. And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
 
13. But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."
NASB

Our question, “God hears…do we?” is answered here; the people in verse 12 do hear, but the people in verse 13 do not hear.
 
Let’s now look at another situation that we are told about in 1 Peter 1:10-16…

10. As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry,
 
11. seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

The key is recognizing the presence of the Holy Spirit within ourselves, and our willingness to receive Him.

12. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look.

This is also the way God wants us to be to the corrupt world around us, for there are some people who will hear and respond.

13. Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This is what we are supposed to do so that we always hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, and do as we are directed.

14. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
 
15. but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
 
16. because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
NASB

To be holy as God is holy is to be living in His heavenly will and following the unction of the Holy Spirit, which also means that we are hearing Him.
 
We have seen examples of those who hear God and those who don’t.
 
And we believe that the people who don’t hear God really don’t fully believe that God hears them.
 
So we are left with the question which each of us must answer individually: “God hears…do we?”
 
We hope and pray that we do hear.
 
Amen.

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