Listening to the Voice of God
Today we are trained to assert ourselves and it’s often easier to speak than to listen. In this brief clip from this series The Basics of the Christian Faith, Sinclair Ferguson explains how we can all begin to listen.
So when we read the Bible we have the sense that we are actually listening to the voice of God. He’s speaking to us, and so we say as you remember Samuel was taught to say, “Speak Lord, because your servant is listening.”
In some ways, that’s the most difficult thing in the world for us and it’s becoming more difficult because we’re living in a world where young people are educated to have opinions. I’ve noticed over the years that I’ve taught in seminary there has been a tremendous shift in people’s ability to write because they’re not encouraged to write. They are encouraged to have opinions, and the more they are able to articulate themselves and have opinions, the more impressive they become. And hardly anybody notices that what that transformation in society is doing is producing a nation of people who talk but hardly ever listen and you see that in ordinary life, don’t you? People want to talk to you, but if they say as they often say, “How are you doing?” I sometimes say this to friends, “Hold on to their hand as they shake your hand tightly and say, “Actually I’m not doing very well” and then experience the power struggle because they don’t really want to listen.
And if that’s true at the human level, it’s also true at this other level in relationship to God. And so we need to come to Scripture and to pray that God will help us to listen. You know, one of the things that Paul says happens to you when you’re a Christian; when you become a Christian, one of the big things that happens to you and it’s the sign that somebody really has become a Christian is that you shut your mouth. Remember where he says that in Romans 3? He says one of the things the truth of the gospel does to people is it means every mouth is shut because everyone realizes that they stand guilty before God. And that’s when you begin to listen. And Paul is speaking about that here. The truth of the gospel comes out of the mouth of God. And in a world in which we are so encouraged to have our own opinions and now that people speak about false news, we realize that so much that is fed to us is inherently false and just people’s authoritative opinions, and we need so much to hear the voice of God, and the place where we hear the voice of God is here in the Word of God.