When God Seems Silent
week we talked about the Princess Syndrome, and how many people are just wanting to
look after themselves, fuss over themselves; and in doing that, Jesus said: you can't be
My disciple, unless you deny self, take up your cross, follow Me. In other words, He's
saying very simply this: I'm called to something much bigger than looking after myself.
He said: I am called to change the world, and changing the world will involve Me
suffering, dying, going to the cross. Peter's response was: don't even think of doing that;
and Jesus said: listen, if you don't actually deal with this issue of self -interest, and
embrace the difficulties and hardships accompanied with My mission, you can't be a
follower of Me.
Then He went on to say an interesting thing - I don't want to develop it today, I want to
look at something else. He said: if you save your life, in other words, if you look after
yourself, you'll lose it. He said: if you try and preserve your selfish interest, you'll end up
immersed in problems beyond what you can imagine; but He said: if you will lose your
life for My sake, you'll find it. What He's saying is something like this: If you engage with
Jesus, with Him and His work, you will discover the true identity, and call of God, on
your life. If you focus on using God just to get your needs and whatever met, He said
you'll end up inward-looking, and non productive. You'll actually lose your life.
So I don't want to go into that. I want you to look with me in John 10:27. We're still
looking on the theme of following Jesus, and this is going to be quite practical for you,
very practical. Verse 27: My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.
Here it is: My sheep hear My voice. They follow Me. Now what could be simpler than
that? So here it is, right in a nutshell, what we're talking about today. We're talking about
hearing the voice of God. Jesus said: if you belong to Him - here's the first thing - you
hear His voice; and two, you respond to what He's saying. So at the end of the meeting
today, I'm going to ask you this question: What impression, or what impressed you
about today's message? In other words - or in today's service - what impressions did
you have, that impacted you? In other words, I'm going to ask you to start to reflect,
what you actually received today; then the second question is: what will you do with
that? What steps will you take, or what choices will you make, because the Bible's very
clear. If we come into gatherings, and we spend a lot of time listening to messages, and
never respond, we end up in a religious, deceived state. The Bible is always very
practical, God calls us to act; to listen, and then to respond, so I want to just pick up this
thought here today about hearing the voice of God. So tell someone: actually, you need
to hear the voice of God.
How can you follow someone, if you don't know where they're going? That's pretty
simple isn't it? How can you follow someone, if you don't know where they're going?
How can you know where they're going, unless they tell you where they're going? So if
you're going to follow Jesus, you need to know where He's going. You've got to be able
to listen to Him, so essentially to belong to Christ means very simply this: that we have
a capacity to hear Him. Every person here can hear the voice of God. Listen, even if
you are not saved, you can hear the voice of God. Adam, after he fell, heard the voice
of God. Every person can hear the voice of God; and if you become a believer, then
hearing the voice of God becomes absolutely vital, totally vital to your life! So here's the