To Whom Are You Listening? – Dr. Charles Stanley

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To Whom Are You Listening? – Dr. Charles Stanley

We’re sometimes overwhelmed by instant communication, information, and entertainment. Do we let these drown out the voice of God? He has been speaking to us ever since creation, so we know He wants to communicate with us. How do we give Him the time He deserves?

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And the son of god, Jesus, the lord said, I am the way the truth and the life.
No one comes to the public, but by me. Therefore, go into all the world.
Teach and preaching the gospel to every single president that are modest parts of the hurricane.
In touch, the teaching ministry of Doctor Charles Stanley.
Next on in touch, to whom are you listening?
This is the generation of earbuds, iPhones, and all the things electronic.
And if you’ll think about it, oftentimes you sit down to eat with someone and what happens?
They pull out this crazy iPhone, and they’re talking to somebody who are you sitting there eating with them trying to have a conversation, or It’s a sneaky deal.
They put in the airbuds over here, and they’re talking to somebody else while they’re looking at you straight in your face.
And so what happens, I personally, I think it’s discourteous. Just my personal opinion. Anybody else agree?
Now, whether you agree or not, I still think, is this courteous?
Because we’re just trying to carry on a conversation.
And sometimes people carry on that other conversation, but it may not be the kind of conversation they ought to be having or with a personnel to be having.
And so This is the kind of generation we’re in, but here’s the thing that bothers me most.
We have our ears tune to where our mind and our hearts tuned.
That’s to the world.
And so I have to ask the question, what’s the first noise you hear in the morning?
What’s the first voice you hear? What’s the first sound you hear?
Do you wake up and turn on the radio, turn on the television? You have a favorite music?
Are you interested in listening to what god may have to say to you in that given day?
You said, well, god’s never spoken to me. Well, wait list messages over and let see if that’s true.
Because god is interested in speaking to every single one of his children.
He’s interested in speaking to those of you who are not followers of Jesus Christ so that you understand who Jesus is and the kind of life he’s prepared for you.
So I want us to turn, first of all, to the book of Hebrews.
And I want us to look at 2 or 3 scriptures here.
And I wanna talk about this whole idea of who are you listening to.
And in Hebrews, the very first chapter, and the first couple of verses, The scripture reminds us that fact that god’s been speaking, and he says in the first verse, god after he spoke long ago to the fathers and the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days, He’s spoken to us in his son, that is through Jesus, whom he appointed air of all things, and through whom also he made the world.
Now I want you to go back, if you will, to John chapter 14.
And I want you to look, if you will, in this 26 verse, because god not only spoke to the prophets in their old testament, although he backed Adam, But he says in this 26 verse, Jesus now getting his disciples ready for his departure to ascend to heaven, he says in verse 26, But the helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I’ve said to you.
So what he’s promised here is this, that not only to his disciples, but to all of us, after he was gone, the Holy Spirit, who would come and into a every single believer, and he’s living on the inside of you.
He would give you guidance and direction and speak to your heart.
So that when the Holy Spirit speaks to us, that’s god speaking to us. So I’d ask you this.
How much time do you give in a given day to listen to god speak to you?
And I wanna tell you this morning, god speaks to his children, morning, noon, and night.
It’s a matter, are we listening? Do we set aside any time to hear god speak?
And think about this, the sovereign god of this universe who created it all, who sunned out on the cross for our sins, He purposely has made it possible to speak to you and me all the days of our life.
From the moment we trust him as our savior, from that moment on, he’s there as our friend, our guide, the one who loves us unconditionally, so that you and I can live life at its very best.
But in all of me to know what that is, I must learn to listen to him.
And so as you think in your own life, how much time do you spend in any given day a week listening to god?
Or do you spend any time at all in any given day being quiet and listening to god and asking god to speak to you?
Now the think about this.
The fact that I think that I can live a full day and that I don’t really need god’s and his guidance and his direction and his wisdom is a very prideful thought.
You say, well, I don’t think I don’t think I’m prideful, but but but what?
If I live it out in a given day and ignore him and pay him no attention whatsoever, don’t listen to him.
I’m expressing the attitude that I can do without him. No. We can’t.
So let’s think about this for a moment. What are the primary reasons people don’t listen to god?
Well, number 1, they don’t have a relationship with it.
Many people don’t listen to it because they’ve never been saved. Therefore, they don’t have a relationship with it.
And, therefore, because they don’t, they can’t hear god speak.
But once you trusted him as your savior relationship, so he’s speaking, because he wants you to know the truth so you can walk in the truth because that’s best for your life because he loves you unconditionally.
A second thing is this. Many people don’t expect god to speak to them.
And oftentimes, I will say to somebody, but is that what god said?
Well, I don’t know if god doesn’t speak to me. Yes. He does.
Whether I listened or not is one thing, whether he speaks or not, oh, yes, he does.
He wouldn’t be the god that he is if he’s saved you and said, okay.
You do the best you can. That’s not who god is. The third thing is this.
The messages of the world drowns god out.
And as we said in the very beginning, people get up in the morning.
They turn on the music, the television, say, I don’t know what’s going on in the world.
What’s going on in heaven? What’s going on in your heart? What’s going on in your mind?
What’s going on in the mind of god about you for that day?
Do not let the world drown out the voice of almighty god who loves you perfectly and intensely.
Then, of course, the to ignore the word of god.
If you ignore the word of god, you’re not gonna listen to him. Here’s what happens.
When you ignore the reading and meditating on the word of god, here’s what happens. Watch this carefully.
What happens when you ignore the word of god?
The world gets larger and larger and larger in your thinking and in your feelings.
And after a while, you don’t pay attention to what god says in his word because you’ve filled your mind and your heart and your spirit with what what we say is loud music or whatever you read or relationships or whatever the activities may be, you cannot live a godly life.
I will say this over and over again. You cannot live a godly life and ignore this book. You cannot.
God gave us this book as an instruction book.
And if I’m if I’m gonna listen to him, I’ve gotta be sensitive to what he’s saying.
And sometimes he speaks in the old testament, sometimes he speaks In the New Testament, god speaks to us primarily.
Watch this carefully, primarily through his word.
He’ll lead us to some passage of scripture, but he doesn’t limit it just to lead it just to his word.
Then some people have a rebellion spirit. They’re just living in sin. They don’t want anything.
Just don’t tell me how I’ve got to live.
And so as a result, they don’t listen to god. They’re not interested in him.
They’re only interested in trying to watch this, satisfy something within them that only, holy god can satisfy.
This is why you see people spend out their money, they reckon, run their lives, their marriage, and whatever else may be going on as a result of refusing to listen to the ways, the will, and the word of almighty god.
This book was not given to us as a souvenir.
It’s given to us to bring us to salvation and to show us how to live a godly life.
Also, people are deceived by the sounds of the world. The world has an awesome appeal.
If you’ll notice the commercials, for example, colorful, the light, the joyful, the lots of music, and lots of sound, anything to get your attention.
You know what? They get your attention. But think about this.
What does some commercial compare to holy almighty god. Who’s the sovereign of the universe?
Can he not get our attention?
If he cannot, it’s because we have so tuned our minds and our hearts and our ears and what the world has to say what we’re implying is we’re not interested in what god has to say.
And the last thing I would say is simple this.
When people harbor sin in their life, They can’t hear god.
When you point out to them that this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, and they ignore it and harbor sin in their life.
They can’t hear god. Sin, listen carefully, defens the ears.
Of a child of god.
Sin defens the ears of a child of god.
So here’s a heavenly father who desires speak to you, guide you, lead you, all the things that all of us need.
And yet, we’ve we’ve allowed the world to grab our attention, grab our heart, and grab our way of life.
It’s tragic. Tragic when a person does not know how to listen to god.
Somebody says, well, I don’t know how. Well, we want you to learn how.
And I’m gonna help you learn how if you don’t know how. But we have to ask a question.
First of all, why don’t people listen to it?
Now the question comes now, how can you identify the voice of god? That’s what people often say.
They’ll say, well, how do I know whether it’s god speaking or whether I’m just thinking this up.
Well, I can understand that. And if a person’s not done a Christian very long, especially, how can I discern the difference between what I want what my will is, what I desire, what I wish, and the voice of god?
How can how can I know the difference? So let me give you a few suggestions.
They’ll help you think about that. And one of them is simply this.
Always, without question, god’s voice will be consistent with the word of god.
God will never tell you to do anything that is inconsistent with the teaching of scripture.
Because this is his word. God doesn’t speak in contradictions.
He doesn’t say one thing one time and something else, the other.
So one of the ways I can know whether I’m listening to god or not is does the voice of god match the word of god on the printed page?
Does the voice of god in your heart in your ear match the word of god in the printed page?
God gave us this book as a guide book. A second thing is this.
And that is oftentimes what god says will conflict with human nature.
God may tell you to do something. Oh, I couldn’t do that. I don’t have the ability.
I don’t have the skill. I don’t have the education. I don’t have the experience.
God may require of you something that is an absolute conflict with the way you see yourself and the way you think you can handle or cannot handle something because he knows how he equipped you.
Every single one of us has spiritual gifts. God knows them perfectly.
So therefore, If he requires of you something, if you think, well, I couldn’t do that, then what you were saying is, uh, god made a mistake.
When god gives us a command, he didn’t make any mistakes. I may not understand it.
And he has certainly has challenged me to do things in my life and my first response was god.
You have the wrong person. And sometimes I’ve had to say to him, I don’t think I can do it.
Secondly, to be honest, god, I’m just afraid. I’m just scared.
So that I I just don’t think I can do this.
But a wonderful god that he is, he just keeps putting the pressure there until finally we say, alright, lord.
And we open our eyes and begin to realize that he will equip us to do whatever he calls us to.
He will never call you to do something without equipping you to do it.
And so we can know that he’s speaking to us. The third thing is he’ll challenge your faith.
In other words, god is listen. God is he he watch this carefully.
He is not going to allow you to remain on the same faith level. He’s not gonna do it. Okay.
Because what that means is he’s just not gonna let you grow.
If you insist on refusing to do what god calls you to do because you think you can’t and because, uh, you just don’t feel adequate then what you’re saying is you’re challenging the mind of god about your faith.
And so when god is speaking, one of the ways you can tell he’s speaking is he’s gonna challenge your faith.
He won’t challenge you to do something that’s erroneous.
He’ll challenge us often times to do things that we don’t think we can do.
And then after we do them, we thank god. And what happens?
This is the will of god that our faith grows and grows and grows and grows, And he ex he expands our understanding and our faith.
And he listens to areas that we never would have dreamed of. That’s the way god works.
So when god tells you to do something or gives you a sense of direction, you think, oh, I couldn’t be god because he would never ask me to do that.
I can think of a few times when I just had to say god, to be honest, I’m scared.
And that didn’t upset god. What it did, it helped me to face up to the issue.
It wasn’t god who had the problem. I had the problem.
And once I was willing to admit that, it’s like my faith began to soar.
Because I said, god, I’m afraid.
I went straight to the word of god and looked at other people who’d been afraid.
And when they obey god, what did they do? That’s right.
To keep this book, in your life while you keep your ears attuned to almighty god, then you will progress in your Christian life.
Sometimes, god speaks quietly.
I can think of times in my life when I prayed about something, it was a big deal to me.
A big issue in my life And you think sometimes that, uh, that god is going to have fireworks and all the rest of showing you his will.
No? Oftentimes, it’s in the silent moments.
When everything else is just going along normal and without even thinking about What you’ve been concerned about, god just gives you an answer, and he speaks to your heart.
And I’ll I think about how many times I’ve said, lord, are you sure? Well, he was sure.
I had to get sure. God loves you enough to make it crystal clear what he’s saying to you.
He’ll never come in with some foggy idea that you have to figure out.
So if I’m gonna listen to him, one thing I can be sure of, I have to learn to identify the voice of god.
So why do I need to learn to listen to him?
Because of decisions I have to make in life.
Every single one of us have to make decisions every day of our life.
I need to know what is the will of the father in order to make right decisions.
You said, well, well, a lot about what decisions? Every decision. You can’t think of a single decision.
At least I can’t. I can’t think of a single decision I want to leave god out of.
Then sometime, we just need strength. Now all strength isn’t this kind of strength.
The most powerful strength is strength in the mind. In the heart. Yes. I can. Yes. I will, father.
Thank you. Thank you for giving me the will, and thank you for giving me the strength of the determination, the confidence and the assurance that I can do.
We all need strength at times.
And what if Paul say, I can do all things through what Christ who strengthens me We all need it.
And no one can get no one can strengthen you like the lord Jesus Christ.
Uh, how do I how do I know the will of the father?
By talking to him and listening to him.
People say, well, I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed, and I’ve heard a thing.
You know why? Because you ain’t listening. You you’re you’re doing all the talking.
And when I think about people who say, well, I have a prayer time to read the Bible and pray, and then I go to work.
Whether you read the Bible and pray and take time to stop and see if you gotta wanna answer something?
Listen. This is so simple. You just you just run right over it.
He needs us to be quiet and to be still primarily if he’s going to talk to us to and to be heard by us.
Then I need him to direct me in ways that protect me.
All of us need to hear the voice of god speaking to us to protect us, protect us from wrong decisions, protect us from wrong relationships, protect us, for example, in things that we make, like the of a purchase of a home or a car or whatever, and choice of a mate.
You need to know what’s the mind of god. What is he saying to us?
And so we need to hear him to protect us. No one can protect you like god can protect you.
But if I’m not listening, and I’m just sort of making choices on my own, gonna get in trouble.
Now which leads me to the last thing I wanna say, and that is their consequences, the failing to listen to god.
First of all, there is the consequence.
If I don’t listen to him, I love the world to draw me away from you.
And I think about a few people that just on my mind I’ve been praying for lately, who are not listening to him, and I know they’re not.
And the world or somebody or something, whatever it may be, is drawing them away from god.
I can see it happening. I know it’s happening. And when I talk to them, I know it’s happening.
And I wanna say, Is that what god is that what god has told you? Well, I think so.
And when I say to them, god would never tell you to do that.
Their answer is, well, how do you know?
Well, so then I know, you know, we just sent to a big argument.
And so I just have to say, well, lord, you’re gonna have to show them.
And I hope it’s not too late that you show them what’s going on in their life, their consequences to ignoring the voice of god.
So, uh, we get drawn away. Secondly, we get easily deceived. Listen.
When your friends buddy up with you, And, uh, they tell you how things ought to be and decisions you ought to make.
And and it just sounds fantastic. And you’re not listening to god, but listening to them.
Oftentimes, you’re getting deep trouble. What’s the what what does god say?
And you need to ask yourself the question.
Am I living the kind of life that I don’t let my mind get clouded?
With anything that will affect the way I see and hear god speak to my heart.
Very, very, very important. Besides the fact that it affects your children.
That was they gonna do whatever you do, and usually children do more than we do.
We make costly decisions when we’re not listening to him.
And I can think of a few decisions I’ve made that, um, were not the right decisions.
I was gonna hope it was reasonable. You can’t go by reason when you’re dealing with god.
And so there are consequences to not listening and doing it on their own.
If we took a survey, any serving any group of people. You’re gonna find people who’d say, yep.
I made a decision on my own without asking god.
Or people who say, well, you know, I was out one night with my friends, and we were all just drinking and having a good time.
And I made a decision that has affected me all of my life.
Listening to god is an awesome protection for us.
Then, of course, we’re gonna miss his will.
And I think one of the most tragic things in life is for a person to miss the will of god for their life, making decisions very early that affect them for years to come.
And sometimes I just wanna get ahold of somebody and just shake them and just say, look.
We’re not talking about how it’s gonna affect you today.
I’m talking about 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years You you’re gonna be affected by this.
The rest of your life. Think.
You don’t obey You can wreck and ruin your life, and I’m thinking about how many fine, wonderful young people.
They set their course. With no thoughts of future consequences.
And there are some consequences that cannot be altered.
And, of course, there are eternal consequences. Now watch this.
When you reject Jesus Christ as your personal savior, You choose to refuse personally deliberately, willfully, Christ is your savior.
Well, that’s one consequence. And the consequence of that is this. That is you spent the eternity separated from god.
You lost. And all the reasoning and the encouragement the world has to offer cannot make you saved.
But suppose you are saved. And you choose not to live the will of god.
All these things, other things we’ve talked about are the other consequences when you stand before almighty god?
And you stand before him to give an account for your life, not just salvation, but your life.
You lose your eternal rewards.
You see, the devil wants you to think only about the day ahead of our field today.
What am I gonna win and lose today? Want you to think about the future.
So when you and I leave this life, on the other side, We will be rewarded, or we’ll lose our reward according to how we’ve lived.
That’s why it’s so very important that you and I listen to god very carefully and walk obedient to before him every day.
It’s the best way.
The only way the way they will reap the greatest harvest in your life now and hereafter.
And you may be listening and saying, well, I’m not a Christian. You mean, I’m gonna miss heaven.
You’re gonna miss it. But I’ve been good. I go to church.
I give. I try to do the right thing. Am I gonna miss it? You’re gonna miss it.
The only way you won’t miss it is to receive by faith Jesus Christ is your personal savior based on nothing that you’ve done, nothing that you will do, but on the fact the truth, the eternal truth that god sent him to the cross, paid the price for your sins.
Your guilt, your shame, your dishonor, with his blood when he died on the cross and shed his blood, that paid your sin debt in full, but it only is applicable to you when you accept him as your savior.
And you accept his death as payment for yourself.
If you have any wisdom at all, That is the most important decision in your life.
You need to stop listening to your friends.
You need to stop looking around you and look and look to see what looks good and ask yourself the question, what’s the mind of god?
What is god saying? And I can tell you, If you’ve never trusted Jesus Christ as your savior, he’s saying to you right now.
What this man is telling you is the truth. It is a truth by which you will be judged.
It is a truth that’ll make it possible for you to go to heaven.
It is a truth that also could make it possible that you’d be lost forever if you do not respond correctly.
Now if you question it, you just get your Bible start reading.
I just told you the truth. He says, if you confess with your mouth, Jesus Christ is lord.
And believe in your heart, in god’s resurrection of his son.
Placing your trust in him, you will be saved, period. That’s a choice.
If you’re wise, you will listen carefully and make a wise choice.
And, father, how grateful we are, that you’ve made it very clear and very simple in your word, that our eternal destiny and be settled in one decision.
I pray that you will impress upon every hero, have very, very important it is.
That we listen to you and obey you. And we pray this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

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