We hear what we ______ to hear

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Core Devotion September 23, 2012 Text: 1 Kings 19 (p. 301) Why did we have _____________ _____________ as children? We really didn’t want to hear what our parents were saying (or at least we didn’t want to hear what we thought they were going to say).

We hear what we ____________ to hear. I submit to you that even though most of us are a bit older, we haven’t outgrown our _____________ ______________ near as much as we think we have. And just like in childhood, it is actually counter-productive. It is ____________ us far more than we think. _________________ are generally reserved for our closest, most intimate relationships. We have to lean into one another – get close to one another – and really listen. We have to really want to hear. One of the most incredible truths we find in the Scripture is that the God of the universe wants a heart-felt, active, ____________ relationship with each of us – the kind of relationship where “whispers” happen. It is imperative that we, like Elijah, know that God is not only __________ but He desires to be _________, close enough that we can hear His whisper. How convinced are you that Jesus REALLY wants you to have abundant life? We know the answer to that question by how well we _____________ to God. (Jn. 10:1-5,10)

The key to us actually living in the abundant life Jesus promised is that we, like sheep with a shepherd, learn to recognize and ______________ His voice. His voice is what _____________ us. His voice is what protects us. His voice keeps us away from those that will destroy and rob from us. His voice is what leads us into all truth. Each one of us (and not just a special few) has the ability to learn to recognize and ____________ the voice of God. In fact, I will be so bold as to say it is ______________ that followers of Jesus learn to recognize and follow God’s voice. (Rm. 8:14-15)

I think if we’re intensely honest, we have to admit that our greatest struggle with hearing God is the same reason we had selective hearing as children. It’s more of an issue of ____________ than ____________. The most important factor in hearing God is to really ____________ _______ because most often God whispers. God whispers not because He wants to make Himself _______________ to hear. He whispers to communicate His desire that our relationship go beyond rules and power. He is the Almighty who is also Abba – a father who whispers to His children. His heart for you and I is good even when we, like Elijah, think the opposite. His heart is so grand and wonderful that He sent ______________ that we might have full, abundant life. And far more often than rebuke or discipline we will hear the whisper of His ________________ ____________ for us, His children.