Summary: God speaks, even to evil men. Why is hearing God's voice so necessary.
We are going to talk tonight about the voice of God, but first let me tell you about Manasseh.
2 Chronicles 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.
2 Chronicles 33:10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.
God speaks; even to evil men. Here we see God speaking and Manasseh pays no mind to what God is saying. How often has God spoken to us and we paid no mind? How often has he spoken, and we had no idea that he did? We probably have no idea how many times. But when God speaks, he is always acting in grace by providing an opportunity for us to have faith and respond to his word. How important and wonderful is it then to hear the voice of God?
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
The word “word” in this verse translates rhema in the Greek. This means words which are uttered in speech or writing. When Christ is preached in speech or writing we can then have faith in him. When God speaks through his speech or writing we can have faith in what he says. We cannot have it until he has spoken. We cannot have faith without the voice of God; whether that be the voice of God through man, through Scripture, or directly to us.
Romans 4:18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
Abraham heard God speak and that was the beginning of his faith. He could now respond to, and fully serve God in faith. God’s voice allowed Abraham to look past his own circumstances to what God could do. If you want strong faith begin to listen for his voice and believe in it. Habakkuk had the right attitude:
Habakkuk 2:1 I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
Habakkuk waited on the Lord to speak. He positioned himself to hear what God would say. He prayed for God to speak for him. He did not just simply assumer God would speak if he got quiet. He implored of God to answer.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
If we will but ask of God for him to speak, he will not hold back. God wants to speak to us.
1 Kings 19:11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
God speaks to us individually, most especially when we are expecting it and asking for it. Sometimes this word is confirmation for us of what we are to do, and sometimes it is for others. It is important to recognize that God will confirm his word to you. That may happen through the voice of others, circumstances, or it may simply mean what he says will happen happens.
Acts 21:4 And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.