Hearing the Voice of God - A CLEAR DIRECTION

 This week in the Link, Fr. Michael Sorial talked about some of the things that prevent us from a Clear Direction in Life and how it is that we need to ABIDE AND OBEY TO HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD.


alright so today we're going to be talking about how it is we could have a clear direction in life how it is that we can like hear the voice of God and know that it's God was calling us what like what are the ways that God speaks and how can we remain connected to him so that we can hear his voice this past monday morning i was i was probably coming out of REM sleep i was laying in my bed it's about seven-thirty Moore's about to leave the house kids are just getting up and I'm staring up the ceiling count the little dots within the texture on the paint in the ceiling I am like probably like I just you know when you're awake when you're not awake that's why was that so more walks into the room kind of opened up and she goes hey Mona I'm like yep and she goes she starts talking you this this is what I heard okay that's what I heard you ever see the payments all I heard for about three minutes was one woman just they just said that variant she goes okay I was like and I just I was like yeah great that's perfect and she walked out and I went back to countin the dots on the ceiling and probably about 10 minutes go by and I was like I gotta get up out of bed now and I thought to my honey listen what did war do stuff like she could have said anything she could have said I hit the car she could have said more pregnant she could sir like anything so I caught up on my cake uh what what what did you say to me and she goes she was one and I said when we were talking and so she goes oh I told you the kids homework just make sure you check it out and all I could think this under really it was like a we're not having another fourth time my car isn't everything is good in the soy ale house this week all right a lot of times were present but we're not connected and so when we're present what we're not connected and we're kind of like all over the map and so this morning we're going to be talking about how it is that we can be present how it is that we can remain connected and how it is that in so doing we have a clear idea of what we're being called to do in life hey where is we should be walking when we should be gone when it should be stopping one of the most frustrating things in relationships is especially for those who are perhaps not yet married or earlier marriage is this idea mixed signals a lot of times someone says something but they don't really save and so we don't know how to take it we don't understand like what are they really trying to say one of the things that it's taken about 12 years of marriage tomorrow we celebrating 12 years marriage and finally we've got to the place where we like there's a clear expectation that when you want me to do something if you want me to do the dishes just say can you please do the dishes right and it's kind of taken a dozen or so years to where there's a clear expectation of how things like just st. because otherwise if it's just like you know we hands around things hey would you mind you know my back is hurting you know there's a lot of dishes in the sink and I'm like I'm not sure if she's just revealing things or inner thoughts to me or if she actually wants me to do something okay everyone we will get some head not to the guys are like let's just say what you mean okay in relationships with each other it can be frustrating in relationship with God and even more frustrating more frustrating we're going to talk this morning about a number of people and those people are gonna represent characteristics for us on how adaeze that we can have clear direction in life how does that we can have clear direction with god i'm going to give you four characters characteristics to start with on how it is like these are four characteristics of people that are all tuned in to God okay the first one is these are people who walk in God's provision exodus chapter 13 verse 21 tells us the story of the children Israel they were walking they went before says in the Lord went before them by day and a pillar of cloud to lead the way and by night and a pillar to fire to give them light so as to go by night and by day and night okay so people who are alternative to God these are people that are walking with God Dave nights God is present in their lives he's president after work he's present their families he's present when they're alone he's present when they're on vacation with their family he's present when nobody's watching God is present with these people day night they're walking in God's provision he is feeding them he's provided them he's protecting them he's caring for them and they're constantly looking to God the second characteristic of people who are all tuned in are these are people who refused to walk in darkness two characters in the Old Testament that I think stand out to me as people who refuse to walk in darkness the first one is Joseph in Genesis chapter 3095 the story of Joseph dealing with Potiphar his wife and what we find here is the scripture tells us there Joe Josepha speaking says there is no one greater this house than I in order to kept up anything like you because you are his life so here is Joseph's boss's wife tried to seduce him and he's saying like I have everything I want the only thing that your husband has told me not such as you how then can I do and so look at the connection he now makes this is how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God he says I'm refusing to walk in sin I'm refusing to walk in darkness people that are all tuned in they refuse to walk in darkness regardless of the cost we know what happens with Joseph he gets thrown in prison there's another story of a young lady her name is Susanna we read her story on bright Saturday it's daniel chapter 13 which isn't me the deuterocanonical book or the Septuagint version of the book of Daniel and what we find here is Susanna speaking to these two elders these big guys okay these are Jewish leaders they're accusing her and listen to what she says by the way these two men want her to they say to her you are going to sleep with us you're going to commit adultery and she says the bomb I prefer to fall innocent it's your power than to send in the eyes of the Lord hey so Susanna is ready to be accused by these two great leaders she's refusing to walk in darkness so people are all tuned in to god they walk in God's provision they refused to walk in darkness number three they try to live in peace with others they try to live in peace with others in First Samuel chapter 24 we read a story about David King David dealing with salt now at this point what we find here is that David solves asleep and David goes down and look at what he does then the better David said to him this is the day which the lord has made behold i will deliver your meet your hand you may do to him as seen as it seems good to you David rose secretly cut off the corner of Saul's rope so David had the opportunity to kill Saul who has been hunting them and all David does is he lets all know I could have done something but I don't want to I want to live in peace with you he goes on to the rest of the story tells him the rest of the chapter and he says like why are you hunting I could have killed him I don't want porn for you Romans chapter 12 verse 18 st. Paul tells us if it is possible it is possible as much as depends on you live in peace with others live peaceably with all men he says if it's possible as much as in your control you're going to say but listen I have a crazy boss or my spouse is anger management issues or my kids are like uncontrollable as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men what examines here is we can live in peace with others as much as we can control ourselves now that doesn't mean it's going to change other people but what it does mean if I'm all tuned in to god I'm going to do whatever I can that's in my control to live in peace with other people fourth characteristic we find the story of Hosea we spoke about it a few weeks ago but Hosea was seeking to be a living witness to God and people were all turning to God these are people that seek to be a living witness to Christ and when we spoke about was a at 31 a couple weeks ago share with y'all that God calls Hosea to go marry a prostitute why because the children of Israel were prostituting themselves to the other gods and so God says I want you to be a living witness to the people for me he says whatever the costs okay okay he says I'm going to use you to be a living witness for me way back in the beginning when God creates Adam he tells him you are going to you were going to be my friend like basically Adam is created as the image of God in the world to reveal to the world who got it and so Adams responses that he begins to name the animals as an act of worship after God and so I'm going to give you a couple of names of animals like so why he basically does imagine he looks at the dog now I know some of you growing up have been perhaps referred to by certain words okay the Hebrew word for dog is Caleb or Ken right it sounds like it's very similar to the Arabic okay I just want to offer to you that perhaps your parents were just telling you that you were brave because the word Caleb work needs brave okay so god Adam that looks at the dog and it reminds him of how brave courageous got is he looks at the camel and for those of you who your grandmother perhaps my grandmother used to tell us that were a gamma a gamma a camel okay like we're tall and like abundant like so the word camel just means to deal adequately or bountiful okay now there's another word for cattle it's bahama okay you ever called thinking about that is the Hebrew word for cattle you're not a lot like no luck here it just means beasts are under vigil so you were there is no beauty there okay okay so what Alan does is he tastes the animals and for some of them that they remind him specifically the dog the camel and other animals he gives witness to God through creation people were all tuned in to God these are people who are walking constantly in God's provision they refuse to walk in darkness they tried live in peace with others and they seek to be a living witness to God today our our big idea are our principal for today is that we need to abide and obey to hear the voice of God both are important both are critical we need to abide and obeyed hear the voice of God John chapter 8 verse 31 32 says that the jesus said to the Jews who believed him if you abide in my word you are my disciples indeed you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free the word I'll bide here the greek word is Menem and it literally means to live or to dwell or to lodge oneself he says if you abide in my word if you live in my word you'll be free when he says I'm body's saying that you are making that his the word Christ Himself revealed to us in various ways and certainly through the scripture we're going to talk about some of the ways he reveals himself to us when we live there were made free the second we said we've got to buy but we also have to obey John 8 tells us most surely I say to you if anyone keeps my word that word is sometimes try Oh Bay's my word he shall never see death and John 14 if you love me keep my Commandments the Greek word here T nao means to guard or to protect so we are saying we're going to live in the word and we're going to do whatever we need to do to protect it my little kid my two-year-old understands this concept very well that I'm to showing you a cute picture of my kid I'm showing you a picture of my kid who was walking around with a bunch of stuff in his hand if you've noticed there and you probably can't count but he has five toys in his hand hey he usually is walking around with about ten things in his hand a couple weeks ago is walking around yet so many things in his hand you couldn't take hold of the rail he went tumbling down the stairs bumped his head drop something starts crying picked him up and he's like pointing four things on the floor as soon as he picked him up quit okay he wasn't hit certain that he smacked his head on the cement o Allah whatever the wall anything like that he was concerned that he lost the things out of his hand one of the thing reasons he picks those things up as he doesn't want anyone else to grab hey in our own relationship of God well we're being told is we need to abide in his word but we need to take hold and protect his word in our lives if we really want to hear the voice of God we're going to be fighting in order to hold on to his voice to his word to his presence in our lives very easy to get distracted i'm going to give you a number of reasons why we can get distracted ok number of reasons why people who do not stand strong or take hold of God's Word and why they're unable hear the voice of them in first Kings chapter 19 we read the story of Elijah Elijah had just gotten finished doing battle with the priests about he goes out into uh into the wilderness God calls him out and he's looking now there's says that there's fire okay and pick up with me where it says a good word right there at the beginning since then he said go out stay on the mouth before Lord behold the Lord passed by at first it was it was a strong when it says a great strong wind torn to the mountains broke pieces before the Lord but the Lord was not the wind so there is this thunderous wind and Elijah saying is that God that must be God description said no it's not the Lord but then it goes on it says and after the wind and earthquake Lord was out of the earthquake and after the earthquake and fire to Florida's not the fire a lot of times we look in the wrong places even places that we think it's the voice of God okay and some of the places that some perhaps mentioned are in the discussion section our places that we looking say no that's for sure the voice of God sometimes people will look at all the wrong places all the wrong places char Julian tells us this is in a year to around here 218 he says let our seeking therefore be in that which is our own he says if you're going to seek the truth seek it within that which is our own and from those who are on and concerning that which is our own that only that which can become an object of angry without impairing the rule in analogy of faith the truth he's saying if you are going to seek the truth secret from the right source secret from right so don't go looking for the truth in your horse stone or the psychic year you're not going he's saying look for it in the right place he's saying look for within the church from your own teachers look for within the scripture as it's understood within the body to Christ looking in the wrong place is sometimes can call us to get distracted number two reason is sometimes the truth can be twisted out of you Genesis chapter 20 tells us about Abraham and how we met King Abby Malik and he is terrified now because he thinks the king is about to kill him because his beautiful wife Sarah and so what does he do he tells the king he says she's my sister so he's ready to throw his wife under the bus so some doesn't happen to him but it wasn't a full line it was just a little twisting the truth just a tad just a literally because he explains to the noise because kingdom acts like why did you do that like why didn't you just tell me the truth and Abraham respond so he says because i thought surely the fear of God is not in this place and they will kill me on account of my wife but indeed she's truly my sister she's the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother and she became my way so it was like technically she's my wife twisting the truth just enough we spoke a few weeks back by about four or five weeks back now about our own need to be completely committed to being in the truth okay and the more we live in the truth more we living the life where we live a life of freedom third reason is that sometimes we give in to ungodly designers second Samuel 13 tells us a story of this guiding a blob who wanted to sleep with his half-sister named tomorrow and I'm done Amnon tells his friend Jonah dad his love for tomorrow and in verse 14 he comes and tries to speak with his sister his half-sister tomorrow and it says and she's I telling you no no no and he's saying is his yes and it says in verse 14 he would not heed her voice and being stronger than he forced her and laid with her when we give in to ungodly designers that control us that overtake us sometimes it distracts us from hearing the voice of God and I think I think the world in which we live today there's a lot of things that are drawing and one of the statistics that I've heard recently was just to be the extraordinary rate at which people inside and outside the church but my concern here in this case is inside the church are watching pornography like it is mine alone mind blown and so when we give in to those ungodly desires whether it's that or other ungodly desires often times folks he'll distract us from hearing the very clear voice of God when we take something that is good out of the proper context or season or environment it can often times cause us to miss the here miss hearing the voice of God just a few other reason is sometimes we listen to the wrong voices job chapter 4 verse 7 tells us that one of job's friends is talking to Joe and he's trying they're trying to make sense of like what's going to open jobs life by like why you jumping on all these hard times and so these three friends come and start like putting these voices into jobs head remember now whoever parish should be innocent or wherever the upright ever cut off so Joe's friend is coming to the tailless and something's gotta be wrong upright people good people that things don't happen to good people something's got to be wrong and so we began listening to this voice a wrong voice and it ultimately caused Joe later because this goes on for I would say about 25 chapters and then finally job starts attacking accusing God all because he's hearing the wrong voice he's having this distorted image of God created in his face a lot of times we listen and watch things and I tell people if I read watch listen but be fair be objective okay listen to both voices people i know people had spent hours watching documentaries that are complete that they have some distortions in them but they wouldn't consider invest in the same amount of time and when i say documentary certain documentaries that are really attacking the christian faith they wouldn't consider spending the same amount of time to watch or to listen or to read documentaries or read books that tell the other side of the story okay so if all we're doing listen to the wrong voice it's going to cause us to disconnect from God number five reason is all our values book about this recently also in first Kings chapter 11 when Solomon it says at the very end there the very last verse that God had appeared to Solomon twice and he rejected him refused right because it's hard and turned to the Lord God of Israel would appear to him twice so he turns his heart from God kind of pierced him twice he says I am i'm going to do my thing i'm going to do when this is all our done people say I I know what God's I know the scriptures I didn't know the Church teaches but I'd rather do things my way okay and then they get frustrated because there's mixed signals they don't know they're up clearly what has God love to me what's going on where is he calling you I don't have peace I don't I don't I don't know what's going on my life two more reasons our past sometimes holds us back sometimes our past becomes such a focus that we miss what's right in front of us this is the reason why when God is calling lot and his wife to leave Sodom and Gomorrah he tells him don't look behind you and what happens with lot's wife she turned round she looks behind her turns into a pillar of salt a lot of times when we focus so much on her past and the mistakes that were made and what we've done wrong what we wish you could have done differently now if we could have done it all differently over again would it doesn't completely different we focus so much in the past that we miss God saying but I have something beautiful compare I'm calling you somewhere glorious God can redeem our past if we'll let go and let him lead us in the parade of reconciliation in the Divine Liturgy we pray we say God cleanse us from all blemish all guile all hypocrisy or mouse and the remembrance of evil entailing death the remembrance of evil telling them when we focus so much in our past in the past mistakes that entails death it holds us back and so we're saying God cleanse us from the remembrance of that evil that entails that last but not least and someone said it during the discussion section and I would say this is kind of an overarching reason is that sometimes we just fail to prepare we fail to plan nobody plans to fail they just fail to play they fail to get ready a lot of people show up Sunday they're like they're they're excited they're here worshiping God is like present with them they get encouraged they go home and then by like monday afternoon or tuesday it's like back again and i think part of the reason we we just we don't plan we don't schedule things after 12 years of marriage I know one thing if I don't plan time with my wife I will halftime on my way not because I don't love her not because I don't want to spend time with her there's a lot of things that are going to pull up my time if anyone here has a great excuse to constantly be busy like I could claim I'm doing God's work I'm saving souls but if I don't schedule time with my wife it's that we're going to happen in the same respect if I don't schedule or playing time with God it's not going to happen folks I could tell you I could serve God all day all week and not spend time with God good I can feel pretty good at what I'm helping people but I'm disconnected from God now i'm just giving to people for me I'm not giving to people from him if we want to hear the voice of God we have to abide and open have to be willing to make him our home our Twilight place and we've got to be willing to hold on for dear life to what it is that we received from it I'm going to very quickly give you five ways that we can hear the voice of God and then when it closed up with what it is that we need to do five ways to hear the voices about the first one first and foremost is through the Scriptures the scriptures are critical for us when you look at the way the early church viewed the scriptures it was central for them origin talks about how when we read the scriptures it is a mystical experience he also says that when we read the Old Testament before the coming of Christ it's like drinking water after the coming of Jesus when he's present with us like imagine opening up the scripture and Christ Himself is present with you he describes it the conversion of water to wine he says it's the most joyful thing in the world it brings flavor to your life it brings joy to your life second Timothy 3 tells us that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine like sometimes you want to say like God what are you like what should we be believing the scriptures there as profitable it's beneficial for doctrine what we believe it's profitable for reproof work group to be rebuked sometimes we need to read the scripture and be reviewed by it we read temple and any convicts us and we're beautiful like oh it's uncomfortable we need that on folks its profitable course it's good for correction it's good for instruction in righteousness that it may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good word psalm 119 verse 11 tells us that your word Thomas says your word I have treasure in my heart the reason I have an image of a hole with my tub is this word treasure literally means the way they used to before there were banks they would dig holes and they would bury the money in the ground they would treasure it in the ground and so if the psalmist is saying is I've taken your word I've dug a hole and I have placed it in them I'm protecting it in the midst of my heart I'm holding it in the closest place to me that I can possibly hold the second way that we hear the voice of God is who the still small voice to the Holy Spirit who in dwell upon us sometimes refer to that isn't on chance but I preferred her fortuitous that still small voice is the Holy Spirit Himself who speaks to us who can fix us who corrects us and so after after God says I'm not in the wind not the earthquake about the fighter it says that he comes in a still small voice the three words in Hebrew for still small voice still literally means in this there was no cams if we want to hear the voice of God we need silence we need to be free from the chaos of our lives the second word that that word small literally means a particle of dust it's time in other words you have to be searching for it and the word voice there it's not just like to say make a sound the word voice their Hebrew literally means a thundering voice in other words when we listen for the still small voice and the client and it's really tiny we are searching for it thundering in other words you're not going to miss the voice of God you will miss it you won't miss his voice it's funny it's unmistakable just like the wind and the fire and the earthquake were unmistakable the still small voice so we have to be still and quiet and search once we search we find we will miss it third reason the third way someone said is through other people through other people other people are in communion with God in numbers chapter 22 we read a story about how God spoke to Balaam through his dog and I assure you God can speak to people through a donkey he can probably speak to us through one another okay just to be fair he can probably reach us through our spouses through our kids through other people in our lives who are also living in life of communion with God proverbs chapter 11 verse 14 tells us where no counsel is the people fail within the multitude of counselors there is safety there safely if we want to hear the voice of God we're reading the scriptures we're listening to the still small voice but we're also seeking godly counsel we should all have at least one or two persons in our lives or living a life of communion with God who we can open up to and listen to we can see godly counsel number four is through life circumstances sometimes things happen in your life your life man it is so clear well God is trying to say so click romans 8 28 tells us we know all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose sometimes you you lose a job and you're like don't doesn't make sense does it make sense and then something like interested a little bit later like a binocular a few years back I was trying to figure out what I should do about leaving my job or going to serve at this school and national and literally two days before injured in my letter of resignation they called me in to give me a like they're doing force reductions so I wasn't getting fired I was getting laid off with a healthy severance package okay how's like okay god I've been praying been reading and talking to folks life circumstances sometimes like eight they just fits together blast last but not least someone also said it during discussion is the peace of God will be present now what's critical here is not that we pick and choose which part we want we say oh well Bible says it doesn't matter what everyone else tells me doesn't matter what else is going on life doesn't matter if I have no peace but the scripture says it I'm good because I want to fulfill what I want what's critical here is these things are working together sometimes we say it doesn't matter what the scripture says but this person who i really trust mike says this to me i'm going to go with them so what I'm talking about here is how we hear the voice of God these five methods or channels and there there's others but these are the five primary ways that we could say we want to listen and make sure that things are working together an army okay what's needed for us in order to hear the voice of God is balance in our lives we got to have balance folks so I know you're here this morning and you're listening your present and then you go back to work tomorrow god bless tomorrow's my nail all right so enjoy all right but I'll be back on Tuesday don't worry but then for you guys Monday for me tuesday rolls around and it can be chaos so what's needed in our life in order to hear god through these various channels when they close out with three quick points three quick points and this is probably the most difficult some the other stuff is just been informational this next step is for us to actually put into practice this is what's either from us to do okay very first thing in this environment of chaos this is this culture of noise that we live in where the very first thing we do when we get the cars turn on the car before we put on our seat belt we turn on the radio wake up in the morning to reading our messages or listen to music the very first thing that we do most of the time is just create more noise and walk into the house one like some of us we just we love being around noise we're saving it up I don't when I walk into the house I want to go downstairs and just sit by myself I've been turn on the TV because we want noise okay we live in a culture of noise so what's needed from us three things the first thing is we have to be willing withdrawn to solitude and the way the Desert Fathers viewed solitude it wasn't being alone it was being alone with God it was withdrawing to be with God mark chapter 1 verse 35 tells us now in the morning haven't risen having risen a long while before daylight he went out and apart into a solitary place and there he prayed he wouldn't unload the very next verse Peter comes to me and he says Lord with the looking for you everywhere wearing you been and Jesus says you don't even respond he says let's go on to the next place what's needed and he moves on by his solitude was drawing up into the mountain to be with the father was critical in the boat the way of the heart by Henry nuin he tells us that the task is to persevere in my solitude he's now talking about the importance of solitude since the task is to persevere my solitude to stay myself made myself until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and they leave me alone folks being alone he's difficult it's hard if to be willing to persevere to struggle deliver some and I'll let me on it's like when I first started this it was hard like I didn't like being alone by myself because all these voices and what Henry doing is saying is these seductive visitors they pull us elsewhere they draw our attention away from know it's not just being alone but it's also being silent so we've got solitude and we have silence silence is the absence of noise but it's also an interstate of peace and us to focus all the still small voice a lot of times we can turn off all of the gadgets around us and it's completely quiet but in our heads it's racing so silence is not just an outer silence in some inner silence st. Ignatius of Antioch at the end of the first century he describes the importance of silence now think about creation of the beginning there is one God and manifested himself through Jesus Christ his son was his word proceeding from silence in the very beginning God creates by the logos out of the silence in the beginning there were silenced and then God said he creams but he also recreates in the Sun if we want to be recreated internally we have to struggle for inner silence one of the really interesting story that I read this this this week Pope Theophilus he died in the year for 1280 who is the Bishop of Alexandria at the beginning of the fifth century he goes to visit this this monk in the desert called ABBA pombo okay and when they arrived and I'm upon Bose apparently like this big like spiritual teacher in the desert one of the one of the guys who was accompanied in Pope says to up a pop-up he says give the Pope a word of benefits now if the Pope comes to you and asks you to give a word of benefit you're probably going to find something respectful to say something beneficial to say hopefully like if he says tell me something good of a pompous response if you will not be edified by my silence neither will be edified by my words this is to the like what you said what but it's the truth that's why I kept this regiment Cody if we can't be edified by silence no matter all the words that we hear will never be at fun we can hear a thousand sermons you can come every you can go to like a billion Bible studies and we listen to christian music all the time in our hand and and and servants all this kind of stuff if we can't be built up in the silence all the words that we hear also home village side third and five so we've got solitude we've got silence the last one is stillness stillness stillness is a state of bodily and spiritual rest that enables us to commune with God one of my favorite verses first verse probably that I memorized with psalm 46 10 be still and know that I'm gone because at the end of stillness that we commune with God we're alone we withdrawn we're wrestling with the thoughts were silent we're listening but now the stillness God says I want you to come in community this word this word for know in in Hebrew Jana in the Greek it's Ginoza it's the same word that's used for knowing someone in a carnal sense physically so when a man knows his wife it's the same language that's used in other words what God is saying is in this stillness in the silence and solitude that we're going to commit we're going to become one you're going to you are going to take you're going to know me in a deep personal if you want to know it clear if we won't have a clear direction from God want to know where God is calling us it's going to require from struggle we've got to if you want to hear the voice of God we need to abide and we need to keep obeying whatever it is I'm going to stop with that what I'm going to ask us to do these last few ism I'm going to close today without questions okay because what I'd like is to do is I want us to take five minutes okay I'm not going to i'm i'm not going to say work i'm going to set my clock for five minutes and i just want us to take that five minutes to close our eyes to be still in the presence of God physically mentally to silence our minds even though we're around each other to be in solitude with him okay and just be present and commune with him you can stand you can sit you can kneel you can say as you are if you want to stand if you want a line worship you just be present with God okay we're going to take five minutes and i'll call you out in what close together at the very