Frequency Week 1 . Preparing to Hear

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You could have the nicest radio on the market, but if you don’t tune it in you’re still not going to receive anything. That doesn’t mean no one is broadcasting, someone’s still broadcasting, but you can’t hear it until you tune it in.

The most asked question people ask about their relationship with God is, “How do I know I’m being led by God?” We serve a speaking God and He’s spoken throughout time.

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.”  John 10:3

So a shepherd leads his sheep, even sometimes into another flock crossing the same road. The sheep might mix together and all the shepherds would need to do is make their particular sound to their flock the the sheep will follow their shepherd.

“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”  John 10:4-5

“Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, [In everything.] everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:6 MSG

Many people think that if they could just hear an audible voice from God that it would be the most superior way to hear from God. It’s not necessarily the best way. You can hear an audible voice and still be confused.

You talk with your audible voice to people every day, and people sometimes walk away confused. The times in scripture we read about God or an angel using an audible voice to communicate to someone, you’d think they’d be so sure for the rest of their lives. That they’d never doubt again, but they still doubt. They still get confused.

When we say God is speaking, it can be something that’s even better than an audible voice. It can be so deep within you that it could only be of God. It’s louder than audible.

Jesus makes this bold statement in Luke chapter 8. Here, Jesus tells a parable where he says, “God doesn’t have a speaking problem. We have a hearing problem.”


Preparing to Hear

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear!”  Luke 8:8

This verse is right in the middle of a story. Let’s look at the story the precedes this verse. Then we’ll hit this verse again and go beyond it.

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. When he said this, he called out, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear!’” Luke 8:5-8

In the verses following, Jesus retells the story but with an explanation this time.

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11

The Word of God is the voice of God. These were God’s spoken words. He was speaking to his people. The problem isn’t that there’s not a speaking God, it’s what’s on the receiving end.

The farmer in this story is extravagantly scattering seed in all directions. God is extravagantly spreading His word, and you are in one of these four different scenarios.


“Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”  Luke 8:12

In the first version He says, birds came and here He’s explaining that it’s the devil. Every time God tries to speak to you, the devil is trying to throw something in the mix so you don’t receive it. God is trying to speak, but you have junk in your heart.

1. The polluted heart.

The enemy tries non-stop to pollute all of our hearts. So it wouldn’t matter what God was saying, the pollution is taking over. That pollution, is coming in one of two forms.

The first one is the choices we make, the sins we commit and the junk we create. We all have sin that we haven’t given to God. Things you haven’t let Him forgive you and it creates pollution in your heart.

The second form of pollution is not from yourself, but other people. People wronged you. Every time we try to draw close to God, the devil will try to stir up any relationship he can, primarily in your family, your marriage, your kids or someone close to you, and that problem between you and that person is not about you and that person.

This was the devils attempt to get in the way of you hearing from God and he’s using that. Because it will mess you up. Every time life slows down or you sit down to pray, you think about it. If possible, you gotta clear the air with them.

If you say God never speaks to you, it may be because of all the junk. Some of us aren’t having conversation with God, because we’ve allowed sin in our life we’re not repenting from and some of us have let something come between us and someone else.

“Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your soul.”  James 1:21 NLT

God invites you to turn. That’s what the word “repent” means. You’re headed in this direction, repent and turn the other way.

We can never begin a new life until we turn from the old.


“Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” Luke 8:13 NIV

It’s because something else competed with it that it couldn’t take root.

2. The distracted heart.

The distractions can even be good things or neutral things, but it has all of your attention. For a lot of us, we’re not hearing from God because we’re hearing from someone else.

All hell is trying to keep us from God. It can be evil things or just all the other voices. In the Bible, Jesus visited Mary and Martha’s house. Both women have 2 different experiences while He was there, because one of them has ears to hear and the other doesn’t.

“And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving.”  Luke 10:39-40 AMP

Serving is a great thing and Jesus asks us to do it, but He wants both. 

To hear God’s voice, I must turn down the world’s volume.

There’s something in the world that has to shut down, that’s fasting. You’ll have to figure out what those are for you. Ask God to show you what’s distracting you and what you need to just eliminate for 21 days. After that, put it in its proper place.

Food is the greatest thing that connects us with our flesh rather than our spirit. That’s why the most biblical fasting is food fasting. You need to have seasons where you tell your flesh no. Where your flesh is screaming at you, and you can tell it no. There are different types of fasts and different things. Take a look at the 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting page on our website for resources and fasting information.


“The seed that fell among weeds stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they don’t mature.”  Luke 8:14

3. The immature heart.

Another condition of our heart, you might relate to is the neglected heart. Maybe it’s time to mature. Maturing won’t come naturally to you, but you will be glad you did it.

“Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up. We must focus on Jesus…”   Hebrews 12:1-2 GW

When’s the last time you said, I’m going to take this next season and for 21 Days or even the small group semester that starts next month and grow in my faith.

Notice the underlined words this time through, same verse, different emphasis.

“Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up. We must focus on Jesus…”   Hebrews 12:1-2 GW

“We” and “Us” run through this entire passage multiple times. Maturity can’t happen without people. You don’t mature just you and God. We’ve got to get in an environment with people who know you. When you get there, the conversation between you and God will change.

When you put yourself in that situation, it grows you. Many of you, your next steps of growth are going to come through leading. It forces you to grow up a bit. Some people never receive because they don’t mature.

Maturity comes when we stop making excuses and start making changes.

We’ve all got areas where excuses need to turn into changes. Places we need to grow, but you don’t mature alone. You do it with others.


“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”  Luke 8:15

4. The prepared heart.

Here are three ways to be prepared:

  • Repent.

Just change your direction. If you’re going the wrong direction, just turn around. God will forgive you. You can run a hundred miles in the wrong direction, it’s just one step back.

  • Refocus.

It’s time to go to bed a little earlier. Renew my morning commitment to God. Get back to reading the Bible. If you haven’t read the Bible in awhile. Just start tomorrow.

  • Revive.

Revive your heart. That’s what prepares the heart. God I want to fall in love with you all over again.

“Let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 MSG

This life isn’t Disney World, there are no seat belts, there are no brakes. You may be going through the toughest season of your life. But there is a guide and He’s not far away. He’s right there with you. He’s speaking, do you know His voice?

God’s voice is clearest in a prepared environment.

God’s voice is very clear, but you got to get your ears ready. You can’t grow bananas in Alaska. Bananas grow in Jamaica. Put it in the right environment, you’ll see the fruit. You’ll see a great harvest.


Check Back

Check back on your discussion from last week. Do you have any more thoughts, questions or conclusions about the message on 2 Corinthians 5 and being Brand New? How was Christmas? How was New Years?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcast or Google Play Music

Hear the Word

“Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:6

But how do we hear God? God has already given us the capacity to hear Him, and He is speaking to us, we just have to learn to listen.

How do we do that? We prepare our heart. God’s voice sounds clearest in a prepared environment.

To prepare our hearts we repent and turn away from sin, refocus our minds, and revive our hearts. The word repent can sound a little hard and intimidating. In reality, it just means, “to turn away.” If you’ve been headed in the wrong direction, just turn the other way. You can do it today, right now, and prepare yourself to hear from God.

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”  John 10:3-5

Read: Luke 8:5-15

Application

  1. Of the four heart conditions, which one do you relate to the most right now? Polluted, distracted, immature, prepared?
  2. “We can never begin a new life until we turn from the old.” What pollution in your life do you need to turn from so you can tune into God? Is there someone you need to reach out to and clear the air?
  3. “To hear God’s voice, I must turn down the world’s volume.” Discuss the things that distract you most and how to tune those out to focus on hearing God.
  4. “Maturity comes when we stop making excuses and start making changes.” What changes do you need to make to grow in your faith?
  5. “God’s voice is clearest in a prepared environment.” Discuss with the group how you create an environment to hear God’s voice. Explain what this looks like practically.
  6. Share a time when you were going through a situation and you heard God speak to you about it. How did you react, and what did you learn from God’s word?

Tell Someone Else

21 Days of Prayer has officially started. Make plans to join us as we pray and seek to hear God’s voice! For more information about 21 Days of Prayer and other prayer resources, visit RockBrook.org/Events

Who can you encourage with hope as a result of this message?

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