Study Guide: Tuning In

Sunday February 23, 2020 | David Morrow

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

God is still speaking, offering an invitation to dialogue with him. However, this dialogue will be as unique as you as an individual are. The question for us is whether not we will take up this challenge and learn how to listen, or if we will simply go with the status quo.

Extended Summary:

God is not done speaking. This is the core message of the sermon provided by David this weekend. He asks, “How do I hear?” so that we might enter into the reality that God is speaking to us in a personal way. How anyone hears in a personal way will be unique to that person, and therefore there are a few layers to each person that we must navigate in order to better hear God’s voice. The first layer is that of one’s individual, unique personality. Then there is our family or origin and things like our culture. When we combine all of these together, we can better understand that God speaks to each person uniquely. There is not one uniform standard way that God speaks to all people.

The challenge we face in hearing God today is the reality of the noise saturation that we experience in our culture. We are overwhelmed with sounds that fill our minds and hinder us from hearing God’s voice.

In order to capture an imagination about how we might hear God today, David walks us through the story of Samuel when as a boy hear first heard God’s voice. This is found in 1 Samuel 3. When God’s spoke to him, we are told that the word of the Lord was rare, meaning that few actually heard God’s voice. Many today share this experience of the rarity of God’s voice. But it was actually in the midst of this reality that God speaks.

Samuel hears God speak to him three times, but each time Samuel ran to the priest Eli. After the third time, Eli told him that God was calling out to him. This was a reversal of order, where Eli was going blind—both physically and spiritually—God was speaking to a young man without position or stature. And God did so in a personal way.

This sets the stage for us to better understand how God speaks to us in a personal way. David shares five different ways that one can hear from God, as there is no one-size-fits-all pattern. These are:

  1. The Imagination: this has been re-introduced by Greg in a previous sermon in this series. Some hear God clearly in this way, but others struggle with it.
  2. The use of worship music and the arts. God sparks our imagination as we listen to music or mediate on artistic works.
  3. Breath prayer. This is where we pray a short few words as we breathe in and then another few words as we breathe out. While we are doing this, we are opening up ourselves to hearing God’s voice.
  4. Extended periods of silence and solitude.
  5. Diving into the Word of God. The Scripture serves as the beginning of the conversation with God, where God can continue his message to us through what God has done in a particular passage.

David concluded with some challenging questions that offer a way forward into hearing the voice of God. They are:

The challenge for each of us is to embrace the process of learning how each of us hears God in the unique way that God is specifically communicate to each person.

Reflection Questions: