Summary: Through the Holy Spirit we hear God's illuminated and individual word, but what does this look like practically?


Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the several other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified. Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!” The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ All of you heard it but did not understand it. This young man did so the job is his.”

We live in a world that is full of busyness and clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as he speaks to them. What about you? Are you tuned in to God’s voice? Do you hear him when he speaks to you?

Today we are starting a new 6 week series called Hearing God. Throughout the series we will be having a workshop where we will be providing the opportunity for everyone to not only hear but to practically use what we will be talking about.

Why are we doing this series? Because hearing God is important. You cannot understand God’s will for your life without hearing His voice. You cannot be truly obedient if you do not know what God is asking you to do.

Hab 2:1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. 2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it."

When I was growing up, what I heard mostly in church was that God does not really speak to us today. Christians who hold to this position are called Cessationists. They believe that there are some gifts of the Spirit that are still available to us today but that other more ‘miraculous’ gifts ended with the Apostles.

It is through the Holy Spirit that we hear God speak.

1. Hearing God’s Illuminated Word

We need the Holy Spirit to understand the bible, God’s written word. God speaks to us through His word. There are those who downplay the role of the Holy Spirit when it comes to reading the bible. We wrongly see charismatics as those who focus on the Holy Spirit and conservatives as those who focus on the bible. There are those who believe that the best interpreters of God’s revelation are the ones who have the best interpretive methods, most knowledge in the original biblical languages and the historical backgrounds of the biblical period – the ones most educated and disciplined.

I am not saying that these are bad things. However, it is interesting that the people in the day of Jesus who knew the scriptures the most completely missed the fact that He was the Messiah. Scripture can’t be properly understood apart from the revealing ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that none of the people that showed up to witness the birth of Jesus had found their own way there. They all were people who had been given direct revelation from God: Mary was told by an angel; Joseph had a dream; the shepherds heard it from angels; The Magi followed the star; Simeon and Anna were both told where to find Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The most striking absence at the manger were the Bible scholars of the day!

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