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Hearing God Revisited

• Kevin Johnson

It was great to hear from Kevin Johnson, our Community Pastor this week! Kevin pointed us to a couple of key passages on hearing God in the Gospel of John. The first passage asserts that God’s sheep hear God’s voice and follow. The second reminds us that not only will God’s people follow God, but that God will abide with us. All of this points to the important truth that God desires to speak to us because it is in God’s nature to do so.

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It was great to hear from Kevin Johnson, our Community Pastor this week! The title of his message was “Hearing God Revisited.” In that spirit he picked up where he left off with his series on hearing God several months ago. As it turns out, listening to his own advice resulted in a lot of changes for Kevin and his family! Kevin, Kathy and Kenny Johnson will be moving to The Hauge which is in the Netherlands! Kevin has accepted a lead pastor position there and will be sent out by Woodland Hills as one of our missionaries.

Kevin pointed us to a couple of key passages on hearing God in the Gospel of John (Jn. 10:27, 14:23). The first passage asserts that God’s sheep hear God’s voice and follow. The second reminds us that not only will God’s people follow God, but that God will abide with us. All of this points to the important truth that God desires to speak to us because it is in God’s nature to do so. The many passages that emphasize God’s desire to be close to us, as a father, as a mother hen, as a lover, these analogies reveal that God wants profound relationship with us! This indicates communication as the basis of the relationship.

Kevin worked hard to emphasize that nothing is more important that realizing that the Creator of the Universe desires to speak to you! The real question is, what are we doing to position ourselves to hear? Are our lives arranged to cooperate with God or do our lives conspire against the very thing we were created for? A give and take, a life lived in dialogue with God! Kevin identified three primary ways that God speaks to us. These are not the only ways, but they are three of the most important ones.

1. God speaks to us through friends who love God and love us. Kevin experienced this in his small group when they challenged him to consider a radical idea they were sensing—that the Johnson’s might be called to ministry in another place. They asked Kevin and Kathy to just be open to what God might call them to.

2. The Johnson’s entered a time of prayer and fasting where they sought God’s guidance, and during this time, God moved them to read Psalm 30. This encouraged their openness to what God might have in store for them beyond Woodland Hills. Scripture is another primary source for hearing from God. But how your position yourself with it matters.

3. The third primary way we hear from God is what we refer to as God’s “still small voice.” For Kevin this was not exactly audible, but it was clearly distinguishable from his own thoughts. Again, the posture we take before God has a lot to do with whether we are able to hear from God. It was through further prayer and fasting that Kevin and Kathy realized that God wanted them to be open the “wider river” of God’s Kingdom.

There is more to the process of the Johnson’s finally making the decision to move to the Netherlands, but each step of the way, it was guided by prayer and fasting and genuinely seeking God’s direction. There was definitely enough answered prayer to know that God was doing something, but there was enough ambiguity that the choice to step out in faith was still very real. We are well advised to heed Kevin’s summary:

To position ourselves well to hear from God we need to: saturate ourselves with Scripture, surround ourselves with friends who can help us listen, and create space to hear God’s still small voice.

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Focus Scripture:

  • John 10:27

    My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

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"We have been podrishioners for several months. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids moved back to California after living in MN for 10 years. They attended Woodland Hills for about a year before they moved. Now we all go to the beach together on Thursdays, come home and have dinner together, then we watch last Sunday’s sermon together. It is a special day for our family."

– Dale and Patricia, from California