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Hearing God's Voice

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2022 8:00 am

Hearing God's Voice

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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May 24, 2022 8:00 am

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Surfers don't create waves, they ride them. And they're being guided along. Dr. Tony Evans says allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us is a lot like that. In other words, you're not forcing it anymore.

You're not making it happen anymore. You're riding the wave of the thoughts that He's brought into your life. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. It's important to know what God has to say to all people, but Dr. Evans says it's equally important to know what God has to say specifically to you.

Let's join him today as he provides biblical insight on hearing God's voice. Have you ever watched and been engaged in a television program and right when the hot action was about to take place, they went to commercial? You know how irritating it is to get interrupted when things are going good? Worse yet is when they come to the end of a program and they're getting ready to hit that sweet spot and it says, to be continued.

And they just leave you hanging. In 1st Chronicles chapter 14, beginning with verse 8, we have a situation when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel. All the Philistines went out in search of David and David heard of it and went out against them.

So here's the problem. David and Israel are being attacked by an enemy. The Philistines were the enemy of God and they were the enemy of God's people and all the Philistines wanted to do was create pain. They wanted to destroy what God was putting together and consolidating his people under the leadership of David. This was not only physical warfare because they were coming against another army and another people.

It was also spiritual warfare because as you'll see in a moment, they were also coming against Israel's God. David in verse 8 went out on his own before talking to God. Something happened out there that made him back up and it says, inquire of God. He asked God, should I go?

And if I go, will I win? Please notice his inquiry. It was a specific prayer about a specific situation, about a specific enemy attack, about a specific problem in order to get a specific answer. One of the reasons we're not seeing more needs met, miracles established, prayers answered is because we're satisfied with saying grace. We're satisfied with saying, now I lay me down to sleep.

And we do not name specifically what we're dealing with, how we're dealing with it. God had an answer that he didn't know about until he had a conversation with God. Prayer is not something you throw out just because Christians ought to do it.

It's something you are engaged in because you need heaven to intervene in history and to make contact. When you go home or drive, you turn on your radio. There are no instruments in your radio. There are no singers singing songs in your radio. There are no bands playing in your radio. Your radio is simply a point of contact. It takes a signal through the mechanism so you can get a hearing of the music you're listening to. The radio is merely a point of contact. However, without the point of contact, the signals are still out there. You just don't get to hear the song because you need a point of contact to connect you with an invisible signal so your ears can get an audible sound.

Prayer and inquiring of God specifically is his mechanism to activate the receiver, and the receiver is called the anointing, and every Christian has it. Life has many options. Which job should I take, this one or this one? Which person should I pursue in a relationship, this one or this one? Which place do I move to, this place or that place? Which home would be best for our family, this home or that home? Life has a multiplicity of options. The question that we have to ask is, what's the best option?

But some options look so close, you don't know what the best option is. Enter inquiring of God, allowing God to intercede in giving you direction, particularly when it's under a spiritual attack. That's why there's so many verses in the Bible about listening to God. So many verses in the Bible, Isaiah 55 verse 3 says, I want you to incline your ear to what I have to say.

Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verse 1 says, shut up, you're talking too much. Since when you come, you come to listen. That's why the Bible says in the seven churches of Revelation, he that hath an ear, let him hear, because just because you have an ear, don't mean you're listening.

Any of you ladies have trouble like that with your husbands? When you're looking at a football game, and it's hot, or basketball game, and it's hot, and then you get this other voice, this other voice that's coming at you, because this other voice wants you to pay attention, but it's at the wrong time. They're going for a touchdown, it's the end of the game, there's two minutes left, and you're trying to be courteous, because you know it's going to be worse if you don't at least be courteous.

So you try to be courteous, but it's clear that you're not listening even though you are hearing. What a lot of us do is be courteous with God. While we're doing our human thing over here, we'll say a little amen over there. While we're doing our human thing over here, we'll do a little praise the Lord over there.

While we're doing our secular thing over here, we'll say thank you Jesus over there. So we'll give Jesus some courtesy while we entertain ourselves with human wisdom. That's not inquiring of God. Inquiring of God means he has your undivided attention, and with your undivided attention, he doesn't have to compete with other sounds and other scenarios. We're told that David inquired of the Lord. He wanted to know what God thought about what he should do and how he should face this crisis. Habakkuk chapter 2 verses 1 to 3 says, wait on the Lord until you hear him speak, because guess what? Verse 10 says, then the Lord said to him. Then the Lord said to him. I got good news for you today. God talks.

I got good news for you today. God talks. Oh, he writes, but he also talks. The Bible is God's inerrant, errorless written word, but the written word does not cover every scenario. It has principles and precepts for every scenario, but not specifics for every scenario. You won't find in the Bible which job you should take. You won't find in the Bible whether to marry Bill or John. You won't find in the Bible whether you should invest here or there. You will not find, unless it's sin, you won't find in the Bible strategies for every particular situation.

So you need to inquire about specifics. Even though you have the word of God to give you the governing guidelines for the particular request, particularly when you're under assault or attack and the Philistines are after you, whether it's the Philistines of health or finances or being emotionally distraught or relationally divided. Whatever it is, when you need that strategy, you inquire of the Lord for what the Lord has to say.

Let me put it this way. If you listen to the weather report on any of them channels, they tell you what's happening in this section of the country, this section of the country, this section of the country, unless it's some tornado or something, they give you generalities. But if you want to know what's happening on your side of the street, well, local news is going to help you with that because they're concerned about a more narrow sphere of communication. Well, when you come to church, you generally get national news, but you probably brought in a local issue. So you want God to speak to your local issue. The problem is I'm only preaching one sermon, so it's national news.

I'm preaching to everybody the same information. So you need somebody to localize what has been given to you nationally into the Holy Spirit, who is the anointing. The job of the Holy Spirit is to give you local news within a national scope because the Holy Spirit's local news will always be consistent with God's national news. But God's national news won't always address your local need for local news. The Holy Spirit's job when you inquire of God, which means you made the contact, is to reveal to you the specifics about your situation, particularly when you're under attack. So if there is not a relationship with the Holy Spirit, you've not flipped on the switch of the contact to the spiritual realm, which means the God who you want to deal with it is not engaged with your particular situation. People coming to church are generally satisfied with national news because they don't understand God still speaks.

He still speaks. Dr. Evans will help us identify ways God speaks when he returns in a moment. First, though, one of the things that sets Christianity apart from all other faiths is that it didn't begin with us seeking God.

It began with God seeking us. He wants to meet your eternal needs, so he's hard at work to prepare you for the future. And because the Lord builds upon all your past and present experiences, Dr. Evans says God can turn your yesterdays, no matter what they looked like, into better tomorrows. God is up to something great. That's the title of an uplifting book Tony's written that explores how the positives and negatives in your life all add up to an encouraging future. We'd like to send it to you as a way of saying thanks when you make a contribution to help support the work of the alternative.

And for a limited time, we're bundling the popular book, God is Up to Something Great, along with CDs or digital downloads of all ten full-length lessons in Dr. Evans' message series, Bold Belief. Just visit us at TonyEvans.org to get the details on the special double offer and make the arrangements before time runs out. Again, that's TonyEvans.org or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that contact information for you after part two of today's message and this. I'm standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God's great creation. And I want to invite you to join me and our urban alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We're going to have a magnificent time in God's Word and in God's creation. We're going to enjoy great fellowship, great fun, great food, and I'm looking forward to meeting and greeting you on our TUA Alaskan Cruise. Register to be there.

Can't wait to be with you. To find out more about this unforgettable Alaskan Cruise, visit TonyEvans.org today. That's TonyEvans.org. In 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verses 9 to 16, this is something you should read maybe once a day if you're interested in God talking, because it says, What I have not seen, what ear hath not heard, what has never entered into the heart of man, you haven't even conceived of it yet, God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. He says the Spirit does a Google search. You have a spiritual Internet inside of you called the anointing. The Spirit, He says, searches, Google, searches the deep things of God in order to reveal them to us. He takes spiritual truth based on the Word, and He speaks to the mind. He says in verse 16, you have the mind of Christ. So the way the Holy Spirit speaks is to your thinking. Romans chapter 8 verses 1 to 13, you have the mind of the Spirit, same as the mind of Christ, where you get to think God's thoughts after Him, where God puts His thoughts in your thinking. So you begin to pick up on a spiritual wavelength in your thought. The Bible calls it the renewing of the mind, where your mind gets online, and your mind gets online and begins to perceive.

Now, God does it in a lot of ways. He may bring a person into your life who says something. He may bring a situation that does something.

He may bring a reversal that transfers something. But He brings something to the mind to engage a thought so that He is speaking in the spiritual to the mind. What the brain is to the body, the mind is to the soul. And so just as the brain tells the body what to do, the mind tells the soul what to do. You don't see your brain, but you know your brain is working because your body is operating. You don't see your mind, but the soul is supposed to be operating off of data that comes from the Spirit of God based on the Word of God tied to your specific scenario.

You say, but how do I really know it's God? Because you get to ride the wave. You've seen a surfer, right? Surfers don't create waves, they ride them.

So when the wave starts billowing, they get on the surfboard and they're being guided along. It's called the peace that passes understand when God is guiding you along. In other words, you're not forcing it anymore.

You're not making it happen anymore. You're riding the wave of the thoughts that He's brought into your life. And so the peace that confirmed the thought that you have, and sometimes it gives extra validation when needed so that he can address the specific situation that you are facing. I'm trying to tell you, God talks. God tells him, you go up into verse 10 and I will give them into your hands. That was a good thing to hear.

You go, I got you. So they came and they defeated them. And he says, God has broken through my enemies by my hand like the breakthrough of water.

So I just want to know anybody need a breakthrough. That's the word he uses twice. God broke through. God broke through this big problem. God broke through this big attack. God broke through this big enemy.

Verse 12 says, then they got rid of the idols because it was spiritual. Even though it was physical, physical war, it was a spiritual attack. That's why you have to ask, what is the spiritual thing behind the thing I'm going through? Not just what's the thing I'm going through.

Everything must be made spiritual first even though it may be coming at you physically, circumstantially, relationally, economically or whatever it may be. But now here's the kicker. Verse 13, the Philistines made yet another raid in the valley. Wait a minute, the problem I just got rid of in verse 10 has now come back in verse 13. So evidently yesterday's anointing doesn't solve today's attack. That's because I was anointed for victory last week.

Doesn't guarantee me victory this week when the same problem that I thought I got rid of last week shows back up. It says the Philistines came back again. I thought I dealt with that sickness.

I thought I dealt with that economic problem. I thought that relationship conflict was over and bam, it says, and the Philistines raided again. You ever had anything you thought God got rid of and it just came back on you?

That's because anointing must be kept fresh. I love 1 Kings chapter 6 verses 14 to 16. When the enemy was coming against Elijah and Elijah's servant said, Elijah, we got to get out of here. The enemy's coming. They're going to destroy us.

They're coming and attacking us. Elijah then looked up to heaven and said, God, open up his eyes because he doesn't see. And when the scales fell off of the servant's eyes, there were angels with swords of fire all around the enemy that he couldn't see. But not until Elijah prayed could he see that God was up to something he couldn't see. Do you know God is up to stuff in your life you can't see? But if you don't inquire of God, you won't discover what's behind what you can see. We got some big decisions to make in our life and our family and in our church.

You've got big decisions to face in your life, your work, your family, and your situations. But you must inquire of God because a sermon can't deal with all those individual situations. A sermon can't deal with all those scenarios.

But I know somebody with Google search and he can deal with every individual scenario of every individual Christian in this room who has the anointing, who is willing to turn them on. In football, we call it an audible. An audible is when the quarterback comes up and he sees what the enemy is up to. He sees them moving in the backfield. He gets behind the center and he says he calls the play, but then he'll throw in a word. He'll say like, Iowa, Iowa. Iowa, Iowa means original play has just been canceled because I see what the enemy is up to.

I see them moving out there. So I originally called a play action pass, but I see that the defensive back has come up and is playing right on the receiver. And I know how fast my receiver is.

I think he cannot run him. So original play of a play action pass has now been canceled. Iowa, Iowa, we are now calling a fly pattern to the wide receiver. He changes it, but he changes it in a way that the enemy doesn't know what he's talking about. He changes it in a way that the enemy doesn't know what he's saying.

Oh, but the whole team knows that there's a change going on because they've been with the quarterback so long that they understand what Iowa, Iowa is talking about. God wants you to be with him so long that when the enemy is coming against you, the enemy is trying to destroy you. You know when God is calling an audible because my sheep hear my voice.

They are aware of when I'm calling them. Somebody ought to come to God today and inquire of the Lord about your situation because you need a breakthrough. And I got some good news. The more who inquire will be the more who get a breakthrough. And the more who get a breakthrough will be the more who have a testimony. And the more who have a testimony will encourage other people to praise the Lord. In the Bible, you've got his revelation, but with the Holy Spirit, you get his illumination.

And when you turn on the illumination based on the revelation, you get a private breakthrough. And when you get a personal breakthrough, you won't need somebody else's testimony to get you going. You'll be able to say like Joe, I heard about him with the hearing of the ear, but now I've seen him with my own eyes because God still speaks. Dr. Tony Evans, wrapping a biblically insightful teaching on hearing God's voice. Now if you'd like to review this lesson again on your own or have it on hand to share with a friend, contact us to get the full length version, including plenty of material we didn't have time to share on the air. Better yet, get the message in its entirety as part of Tony's brand new audio compilation called Bold Belief. In this engaging series, Dr. Evans unpacks biblical truths that will help you learn how to respond to God's call, be filled with his peace and power, and live a life free from fear. As I mentioned earlier, we have a special double offer that includes this entire 10 lesson bold belief series on CD or digital download, along with a copy of Tony's uplifting book, God is Up to Something Great. This bundle is our gift to you, and thanks for your donation to help support the ministry of the alternative.

It's our way of showing appreciation for the continued support of listeners like you who make this program possible. Get all the details online at tonyevans.org. Again, that's tonyevans.org. Or you can call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Ancient Jews who honored the Sabbath day of rest were ridiculed by unbelievers for being lazy. Tomorrow, Dr. Evans will explain why there's much more to the Sabbath than just taking a day off. Be sure to join him for that. And until then, be looking for opportunities to show kindness to others for the benefit of our culture, your community, and the glory of God. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you. ? ?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-15 05:56:05 / 2023-04-15 06:05:16 / 9

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