Summary: Hearing God must be tested through commanding scripture, common sense, counsel of the saints and core supporters
HEARING GOD – BALANCE IN LISTENING FOR GOD’S GUIDANCE
A family was driving to Tampa, Florida. As far as the eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit. When we stopped for breakfast, I ordered orange juice with my eggs. "I'm sorry," the waitress said. "I can't bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken." At first I was dumbfounded. We were surrounded by millions of oranges, and I knew they had oranges in the kitchen -- orange slices garnished our plates. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly. We were surrounded by thousands of gallons of juice. The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to get it. Christians are sometimes like that. They may be surrounded by Bibles in their homes, but if something should happen to the Sunday morning preaching service, they would have no nourishment for their souls. The problem is not a lack of spiritual food -- but that many Christians haven't grown enough to know how to get it for themselves.
When we follow God’s will for our lives we will bear fruit that will last. One of the most important things we must do as Christians is to follow God's will for our lives. George Truett said, "The greatest knowledge is to know God's will, the greatest work is to do God's will. Success is knowing God's will and being right in the center of it. " God has a plan for your life.
Col 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
Today we are concluding in our series Hearing God and we want to talk about balance. Balance is important. For the last 5 weeks we have been talking about why it is important to hear from God and how to do it. Perhaps some of you may be wondering where the line is concerning what we should be going to God for in terms of guidance and what we should not need to go to God for. For example, we somehow know that it would be absurd to ask God if He wants us to eat meatballs or turkey for supper tonight; or if He wants us to buy a yellow T-shirt or a red one. It does not matter what you have for supper or the color of your T-shirt.
Psa 32:8-9 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.
God says that he will lead us and teach us, but in the same breath he says that there are somethings that we just need to figure out on our own. There are things that require guidance, but other things that just require common sense.
I grew up in a conservative Baptist church where there was really no exposure to the charismatic. I remember going to a Pentecostal church with a friend in university and telling the person sitting beside me to stop talking because I was trying to listen to the message. I had no idea of what tongues was. When we went to Kuwait for the first time I was suddenly exposed to the supernatural on a regular basis. I also quickly saw the problems and accesses that it brings. We need to be balanced. So how do we hear God in a ways that is appropriate and balanced?
Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert
Jesus was lead by the Spirit in everything that did. So how are we to be led by the Spirit? Hearing God is important, but as we listen we must also consider 4 important things;
1. Commanding Scripture – bible study
God’s rhema word must be balanced by His logos word. As we have said repeatedly through this series, God will never directly tell you to do anything that contradicts what He has already told you in the bible. The first and primary way we hear God’s voice is through His word. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. You do not need to ask God if it is His will for you to commit adultery. The answer is clearly NO. If you feel led to do something that the Bible declares wrong then it is not God calling you to it! There are many things that God has laid out in His word for our direction and these are things that are black and white. The problem often is that we do not read it.