Communicating with God III: God, is that you?
How many of you have prayed and either you aren't sure if you understand God's response or have even gotten a response at all? We have an influx of information always coming our way; family, friends, social media, television, music…its information overload. God also speaks to us through many avenues but most often through our own mind. But how do we know its God that’s speaking? Sometimes even mature Christians think they "hear" God but are in fact hearing their own hearts or worse hearing Satan's lies. So how do we know it's God that is speaking to us and what does it mean when we hear nothing at all?
How do we know it’s God speaking to us?
God never contradicts himself. At its most basic level a contradiction is a lie. You cannot say "I am not a thief" then go out and steal from someone. That means that saying you are not a thief is a lie.
Hebrews 6:18 So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
You must ask yourself, does what I am hearing contradict what I know about God nature and God's Word? God's voice is always biblical.
God does not create confusion or conflict (only we can do that). How many people know they are hearing God's instruction is that they have an overwhelming sense of peace about what they are hearing and feeling even if the instruction takes you out of your comfort zone. Think about missionaries who travel to foreign and sometimes dangerous places. How can they be so sure this is God's plan for them?
1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Philippians 4: 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
You must ask yourself, do I have a feeling of deep inner peace when I consider what God is telling me to do? God's voice will never lead you astray.
When there is conflict within you must ask yourself, is it because I don't like God's answer and are allowing my own desires be more important?
What keeps us from communicating with God's?
Sin. But wait, we established last week that we are all sinners and we can still hear God's voice?!? What gives?
John 8:47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished (loved) iniquity (wickedness) in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Being a sinner who seeks God's will in their lives is a vastly different person than the one who "loves wickedness".
You must ask yourself, is there something in my life that is sinful and hindering my communication with God? Maybe this is a sinful behavior, relationship that you are not willing to let go of or even a desire in your heart that you have not acted on.
Confess any wrongdoing, eliminate anything that might distract you from living a godly life and commit your life to God who can make your path straight (Proverbs 3:6).
Our own agenda. God is not here to give us what we want, He is here to give us what He wants for us. It is our role as his children to want what he wants for us.
1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
You have to ask yourself, am I seeking God and God's will for me or am I asking God to give me what I want?
But what if what you are asking for is God's will for you like a happy home life or good health? Now you must also ask yourself, what is God's will in light of my current situation? Is he wanting to show you something to grow your faith.
Not listening and being a bad friend. We all have those friends that do all the talking and don't care about what is going on in our lives or the friend who only calls us when they need something. Our relationship with God is the greatest friendship we will every have and we must also be a good friend to God.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Do you only talk to God when you need something? When you do talk to God do you let him get a word in edgewise? We do not always have to be the one speaking. It is also our job to be quite and listen.
You must ask yourself, does my conversation with God allow Him time to speak back and when I do speak to God am I only interested in talking about myself?
And finally, what kind of friend am I being to God?
God is not on our schedule.
2 Peter 3:8-9 8 but do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
God is not beholden to our schedule. He does not owe us an answer. The bible does not only tell us to make requests but also to wait on him and trust that he will answer us in his time.
If you have confessed wrongdoing and taken steps to eliminate sin in your life and if you know that you are praying in accordance to his will and not yours be patient. We know from scripture and our study about God's promises that he will answer you.
What are some things in your life that keep you from hearing God speak to you?
What are ways you can be a better friend to God when you are speaking to Him?
Please write down a prayer that includes:
Giving God glory and honor:
God you are…
Confessing any sin that keeps you from hearing God:
God, please forgive me for…
Asking for the ability to set aside your own agenda:
God please help me to…
Asking for the ability to be a good friend and be patient and listen:
God please help me to…
Asking for the ability to tell the difference between God's truth and Satan's lies:
God please help me to…
Thanking him for specific blessings he has given you:
God, thank you for…