Can You Hear Me Now?
Have you ever gotten a phone call from a number you didn't know, you answer it, and you recognize the voice on the other end, you just can't quite pinpoint who it is simply because it's not a number they normally call from? Maybe they called from work, maybe they home phone, maybe a pay phone (I just threw that one in for nostalgia. By the way - have you ever wondered how Superman could change in a booth so small? I digress...). The point is this - you recognize the voice, then you figure out the name, and now all of a sudden your value that you place on what their saying is placed in who you know they are.
As a Pastor I get asked all the time - "How do you know when you hear from God?". I recently had the unfortunate privilege to conduct a funeral for a great young man that was in my youth group growing up. I had the honor to be his youth pastor, then his Pastor, later in life. After the funeral an older gentleman, with a seeming great understanding of the Bible and God, asked me this question - "Sir, how did you know that's exactly what God wanted you to say? It was powerful." I was obviously humbled by the compliment, but explained how I tend to know I'm hearing from God.
I get alone. It's not a hard concept, it's not ground breaking, nor is it the super spiritual answer most would expect from a Pastor. I get alone - by myself, no kids, no distractions - just me, myself, and God. And let me give you a little secret... sometimes I don't feel like I hear from Him. Sometimes you hear from Him in ways that you can't deny. Sometimes you hear from God in ways that you wonder. Craig Groeschel, Pastor of Life.Church in Oklahoma says this, "When your 100% sure of what God's telling you to do, you've waited to late to obey." What does that mean? Often when God places something in your heart, it's so big it's difficult to understand, therefore, you question it a lot - and that's OK! What's not ok is disobedience.
This week, we have a really special treat during our experiences to help us understand the answer to this question. But, I will give you this little nugget to get you prepared for Sunday morning. Your ability to hear from God is directly related to how close you are to Him. If you can't recognize His voice, sit and listen to Him a little more. If you can't recognize His movements in your life, study how He's moved in your life in the past. There's much more coming your way on Sunday that's going to help us all hear from God!