Sunday Messages

Jan 09, 2022

Hear God Speak

2 Chronicles 14:9-17 & 2 Samuel 15:2-19 by Pastor Dan Walker
Join us for our message series Prayer That God Answers with the message Hear God Speak. Learn how to hear God speak to you, as you communicate with Him in prayer. Prayer is meant to be two-way communication, not just presenting God with a wish list. God desires to show you His plan for your life, so that you can follow it and be blessed.
Duration:36 mins 28 secs

Today, we continue our message series “Prayer That God Answers.” For the believer, prayer should be as natural and continuous as breathing. You don’t have to think about breathing do you, you just do it. As believers, we should just naturally be in constant communication with God, each and every day, each and every minute.

Our message today is entitled “Hear God Speak.” Listening to God is the most often neglected aspect of prayer. Yet, it is really one of the most important aspects of prayer.

John 10:27 (ESV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Sheep need to hear the shepherds’ voice and then follow that voice, wherever the shepherd leads them. Jesus is saying in this verse that all true believers are able to hear His voice and then follow His direction. You can’t follow Jesus unless you are able to hear His voice. The better you are at hearing Him, the more closely you will be able to follow Him.

Unfortunately, many people have a tendency to ask, or maybe I should say, tell God what they want Him to give them. They’re not really interested in what God has to say, they just want their prayers answered. There’s really something wrong with that picture, isn’t there? A mere moral human being asking/telling God what He must do for them. Rather, God is the one telling us what to do, and we are the ones who must obey.

Let’s watch a short video about how not to pray called “God-O-Matic.” I trust that none of us pray to God like that, that is not what prayer is all about. I believe that prayer is first and foremost about listening to God. Seeking to discern what God’s will is and then praying that will back to God and endeavoring to obey it.

Psalm 81:11-13 (ESV) “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!

In these verses, God speaks of what happens when His people don’t listen to Him. You see, not listening to God is really not submitting to Him. If they had submitted to God, they would have listened to Him. Since the people had stubborn hearts and would not listen to God, He gave them over to following their own wills. Yet God’s desire was for His people to listen to Him and follow His ways so that they would be blessed.

Notice that when you don’t listen to God, when you follow your own desires, you are following Satan’s lies and are on a pathway to destruction. Listening to God and following Him are essential for us as believers. So, how can we grow in listening to God?

Ask for direction

1 Chronicles 14:9 (ESV) Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim.

In our passage from 1 Chronicles 14, David had been anointed king of Israel. The Philistines, the enemies of Israel, had raided the Valley of Rephaim in Israel, challenging David and Israel. What should David as the new king of Israel do? David was a man after God’s own heart and he had learned …

Don’t make decisions without God

1 Chronicles 14:10 (ESV) And David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up, and I will give them into your hand.”

The decision to be made was whether to simply ignore the raid of the Philistines or to attack them. Rather than simply making the decision himself, David chose to inquire of God as to what to do. The Lord answered David’s questions and instructed him to go and attack the Philistines. The Lord also promised that Israel would win the victory over the Philistines. So, David chose to …

Obey God’s commands

1 Chronicles 14:11 (ESV) And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.”

David obeyed God’s direction, attacking the Philistines and defeating them. David attributed his victory to God breaking out against his enemies. Which implies God’s wrath being poured out on the Philistines in the battle. The place of the battle was named Baal Perazim, which means “the Lord who breaks out.” The Philistines had taken So, as David followed God’s direction, God brought the victory.

We need to ask for God’s directions in all our decisions. Often we’re tempted to think we know what to do, so why should we ask God? Even if you have calculated everything perfectly and are confident in yourself, you do not know what tomorrow holds. Only God knows the future. Only God knows His plan for your life.

So, ask God, as David did, should I do this or not? Will I be in your will if I go this direction? God loves to answer those prayers and He will speak to you if you have ears to hear whatever He says. Whether God says Yes, go ahead, or He says No, don’t go that way, we need to follow His direction. As you do, you’ll be blessed and God will be glorified through your life. When we ask God for direction, we must be careful to …

Listen for God’s plan

1 Chronicles 14:13 (ESV) And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley.

The Philistines apparently didn’t learn their lesson and raided the same valley again. Since God had given approval for David to attack them last time, should he not bother asking God again? David knew better than that.

Don’t assume you know God’s will

1 Chronicles 14:14-15 (ESV) And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”

David did the right thing. Even though it seemed as though the situation was the same, he inquired of God again. This time, God’s answer was different then the time before. This time, God told David to take a different approach. Rather than a frontal assault, he was circle behind them and attack them at a certain location in front of popular trees. God gave even more specific instructions on the timing of the attack. The attack was only to begin when David heard the sound of marching in the tops of the trees. The sound of marching meant that God with His angel armies had gone out in front of Israel’s armies to strike the Philistines.

God is with you as you obey

1 Chronicles 14:16-17 (ESV) And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.

David followed God’s directions exactly and God was with him as they defeated the Philistine army.

Not only did Israel win this battle, but notice that it was the Lord that made all the nations around fear him.

What was the result of nations fearing David and Israel’s army?

They would not attack them as the Philistines had tried.

When David inquired of and obeyed God, God was with him and fought for him.

You must listen for God’s plan.

Application

In our first point, David had a plan and simply asked God to answer Yes or No. In this point, when David inquired of God, God had more detailed instructions. God said,Yes go attack, but do it my way, so that you have supernatural support.

The same of true in our lives. We often bring our plans to God and ask him whether we can pursue those plans. Sometimes, God has a different plan than the one we had. We must be willing to submit to God’s plan, because following God’s plan will engage his supernatural help in fulfilling that plan.

What if David had ignored God’s plan and simply launched a frontal assault of the Philistines as in the first instance? I believe his disobedience would have led to defeat on the battlefield. Not only would he have disobeyed, but God would not have fought in front of him.

What kinds of decisions should we bring before God? I would say, every kind of major decision, such as: decisions with regard to relationships, decisions as to what job to take, everyday decisions on the job, where to live, major purchases, minor purchases, long-term planning, finances and the list could go on and on. Seek God’s wisdom both through asking Him directly and getting His direction through godly counsel of others. When God gives you instructions …

Don’t disobey God’s instructions

In our message so far, we’ve looked at two positive examples of listening to God from David’s life. In our final point, I want to look at a negative example of someone who heard from God, but chose to disobey God’s instructions. The man we’re going to look at was King Saul and God spoke to him through the prophet Samuel.

1 Samuel 15:2-3a (ESV) Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have.

God gave two instructions to Saul. First of all attack the Amalekites and secondly total destroy them and everything that they have. The instructions were very clear, but as we’ll see, Saul thought that he knew better than God what to do. He did not understand that …

Obedience must be complete

1 Samuel 15:13 (ESV) And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the LORD. I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”

Saul announced to Samuel that he had carried out the Lord’s instructions by defeating the Amalekites. Samuel asked Saul then what was the bleating of sheep that he heard and the lowing of cattle. Saul had it all figured out, or so he thought.

1 Samuel 15:15 (ESV) Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.”

 Sounds like a great reason doesn’t it. Why destroy all the livestock, when they could offer the best as a sacrifice to the Lord? Saul thought it sounded pretty good, probably thought that he had a better idea than God had. But Saul didn’t understand that obedience must be complete or it is disobedience. Samuel replied to Saul …

 1 Samuel 15:19 (ESV) Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?”

Disobedience is doing evil in the eyes of the Lord. All of the livestock should have been destroyed. Because of his disobedience, Samuel announced to Saul that God would take the kingship from him and give it to someone else.

Later in Saul’s life, while still king for a while, we see the result of disobedience. A Philistine army was massing to attack Israel. Saul was very afraid and so he attempted to inquire of God what to do. But God did not answer him in any way. Why? Because Saul’s sin had separated him from his relationship with God. God’s Spirit had been removed by Saul and he was regularly tormented with evil spirits. Obedience to God’s instructions must be complete.

We see over and over again in Scripture that partial obedience to God’s commands is considered disobedience in God’s eyes. Saul thought that he had a better plan, but it was simply disobedience and it cost him the kingship and ultimately his life. Living a life of rebellion to God will result in not being able to hear from God. When you don’t hear from God, the other voice you will follow is the voice of the enemy, which will lead you astray. So, choose to obey what God tells you and you will walk in God’s blessing.

God wants each and every believer to learn to listen to God’s voice. Bring every decision before Him and ask Him what you should do. When God tells you what to do, obey Him 100%.

Sometimes God will have a completely different plan than what you considered. Follow God’s plan, it will be much better than yours. God knows the future, you don’t.

In any decision, there are really only two options. The best and right option for the believer is God’s plan. The worst and wrong options are all other options, which are Satan’s plans. As you follow God’s plan, God goes with you to supernaturally cause His plan to work.

Make sure that you are saved, water baptized and Spirit baptized, as all three are commanded by God and are essential to hearing from God. If you still have trouble hearing from God, make sure that there is no known sin in your life. If there is, repent and turn away from it. Finally, get prayer from other believers that you will know God’s will in your particular situation. As you learn to listen to God, He will guide you in the right path for your life.