What Can I Change?

Have you ever asked “How do I know God is speaking to me?” or “How do I hear from God?” In John 10:3-5, Scripture tells us that His sheep recognize His voice. Sheep know their shepherd’s voice and will come to him, even if they are mixed in with other flocks of sheep. Their shepherd has a certain way of calling them, and they will separate from other flocks and follow that call. John tells us that God’s followers (sheep) follow Him because they know His voice and they WON’T follow a stranger. We need to know God's voice. Proverbs 3:6 says if you seek God’s will, He will show you the path to take. NOTE: God doesn't have a speaking problem. We have a hearing problem. We need to work to listen and understand, and learn to cut through the noise. In Luke 8:5-8, Jesus shares a parable using soil and seed as an illustration. Further down from this passage, Jesus explains the parable to his disciples. God's word is the seed. This parable in Luke gives us four scenarios that show how our hearing is impacted by the different conditions of our heart. Let's look at how to get the soil ready so we can hear God. The seed of God’s word needs good soil to land in. The first seed in the parable fell on the footpath. This is symbolic of God’s word landing on a polluted heart, allowing the devil to take the word of God away and prevent the listener from believing. When we have junk in our heart, we can’t hear. We all deal with heart pollution. One way our hearts get polluted is by our own choices. If we have un-repented sin, we are carrying burdens such as guilt and shame around that we do not have to carry. Jesus died and rose again to relieve us of this burden. We need to give our sin to God.

Sometimes pollution sets in because of what other people did. The devil stirs these things up and tempts us to focus on how we’ve been hurt. This is the devil’s way of trying to get us not to hear God. In fact, his goal is to get us not to hear God ever. James 1:21 says to rid of all evil and filth and accept the word of God into our hearts. Another way of saying this is “repent”. God invites us to turn, to change the way we think. We need to forgive others. This will free us up and help us focus on God’s word and will for our lives. Some of the seeds fell on rocky soil and couldn't grow roots. I think this is a picture of a distracted heart. The word of God was received with joy in this case, but because of distraction, belief is stunted and the word is not established in the heart. When faced with temptation, the young believer falls away from what they learned because they have no root. Something is competing with the word. The message was heard but forgotten. This is a sign of a distracted heart. Noise and competing voices distract your attention and win, over hearing and understanding God’s word. Luke 10:39 shows us Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and Martha being distracted by her service to Jesus. Don't be so busy serving that you don't spend time with God and put yourself in a position to listen. Turn down the world's volume. Other seed fell among thorns and weeds. This is a symbol of neglect, those who hear but all too quickly, the word is crowded out so they never grow into maturity. A good example of the benefit of maturity is the difference between the way we speak to a three yr old vs. a teen or adult. God wants to be able to speak to us on mature matters, steak vs. milk if you will. Do you need to grow up a little bit? Go deeper? It takes discipline to be mature. God wants to give you some sophisticated adult conversation. Get in an environment with relationships where you can take the mask off and be challenged in your maturity, learning God’s word with real application.

The last type of soil in the parable is good soil, depicting the prepared heart. It grows and produces harvest. It represents people who hear God's word and cling to it and patiently watch what God does in their lives. That’s the kind of heart I want. So, how do we prepare ourselves? How do we get rid of the polluted heart, work on not being distracted, and grow in God to a higher level of maturity?

Here are three things to help you:

Repent from any sin past or present.
Refocus, renew your commitment to read and hear God's word.
Revive, ask God to bring revival to your heart, to fall in love with Him again.
2 Corinthians 7:1 challenges us to make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. We are exhorted to make our life a fit and holy temple for God.

Are you desperate to hear from God? Listen, you can't grow bananas in Alaska!! Put your heart in the right place. God's voice is clearest in a prepared environment. God wants to speak to you and is trying to speak to you.
  • Hits: 996