VoicesJun 01, 2023
Have you ever been around somebody, and you know that when they speak, you are going to be so encouraged? You can’t wait to be around them because they will speak life, wisdom, revelation.
Here are some examples:
Then...there are people you know that will be negative and critical by the time the conversation is over. They will always find something wrong with something and have to say something about it.
I preached a sermon at HopeFront Church sharing a parable about the different voices we can choose to listen or not listen to.
John 10:1 (NLT) “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
In this parable, three voices are talking:
God - The Good Shephard
Satan - The thief who has come to steal, kill, and destroy our lives
Us - Me & You (The Sheep)
They all speak with a different motive and different sound from one another. However, they are very consistent with their tone and the culture their words create.
Our words do create a culture.
Don’t like the culture of your marriage? ~ Change your words.
Don’t like the culture of your home? ~ Change your words.
Don’t like the culture at your workplace? ~ Change your words.
Each voice, when it talks, has an agenda and a purpose.
God’s voice is always life-giving.
Satan’s voice is always lying - he is the father of lies.
Our voice is sinful and has to be redeemed. Unless we allow God to change our voice, it will be a selfish, self-centered voice.
Let’s look at these three voices and see what they speak.
God’s voice is Loving and draws you to Him.
He says I love you, I am for you, and you are chosen.
You are accepted, you are not abandoned, and I will never leave you or forsake you.
God’s voice is also encouraging and life-giving. Even when He corrects you, it is so life-giving that you still want to follow HIm.
For example, the woman caught in adultery- He said, Neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more.
God’s voice gives clear, specific instructions.
~ Believe in your heart, confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and you will be saved.
~ Get baptized after you are saved.
~ Give 10% as a tithe and give an offering out of revelation.
~ Don’t have sex outside of marriage. (In The Song of Soloman, married people have sex!)
~ Forgive one another.
~ Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
God calls us by our name. He is a personal God.
God’s voice speaks truth into our lives and will even convict us of sin and offer's us forgiveness. Conviction draws you closer to God, and He says Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.
God speaks in supernatural ways.
God offers hope and strength. All things are possible with God.
God’s voice stretches you. I can do all things through Christ….
God’s voice doesn’t compare you to others. He created you in your mother’s womb and loves you the way He created you.
God’s voice speaks of ample provision. God satisfies your desire with good things. All the wisdom I need, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.
God wants you to trust Him only - You will have no other God’s before me.
God wants all the glory! He deserves all the glory, so we should give Him all the Glory.
Satan’s voice drives and forces. He and his demon's say things like:
Is that the best you can do?
You need to make something happen.
You need to do more, and your kids need to do more.
How are they going to get into college?
They can miss church.
They don’t need to be involved in student ministry.
They’ve got activities to do.
You need to work more.
Satan’s voice intimidates, demands & threatens.
It says that everybody is doing it, so you should too.
If you get off of social media, you will miss out.
You will look stupid.
If you don’t have sex with them, they will leave you.
If you really serve them, you will become a doormat.
And then after you sin, Satan condemns you on the other side, saying, I can’t believe you did that? You are such a loser. Who would ever want to be with you?
Satan exaggerates and gives vague & confusing instructions. He says words like you never… and you always... his words bring chaos.
He ask us, is the Bible really relevant, it was written so long ago?
Satan’s voice uses derogatory, negative speech. It says you call yourself a Christian? You are stupid and a loser. He cusses and says, that’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
Satan’s voice lies, attacks, devalues, condemns, rejects, and blames. Condemnation causes you to run away from God. He says that God could never forgive you for that. Satan speaks rejection saying, they don’t love you or accept you. It’s not your fault; you are the victim.
Satan uses magic, tricks, spells, sensationalism.
Satan instills fear and doubt.
Satan’s voice limits what you can do.
Satan forces comparison.
He says look at what everybody else is doing.
Look at their marriage, family, and how much they are making.
Satan’s voice says we will never have enough.
Satan wants you to trust anything but God. Therefore, he will put idols before you.
Satan wants all the glory. (That is why he was kicked out of heaven. He wanted to be God.)
Our voice desires attention. It says, look at me.
The clown, the loud one, the victim, the sad one, the whiney one. Whatever it takes to get attention—even the quiet ones.
Our voice has unreasonable expectations. Tells us we need to be perfect. We tell ourselves that we can’t tell them what I did, so we will cover it up and avoid it. Nobody has to know.
Our voice analyzes all instructions.
Do I really need to forgive them?
Why do I need to save sex for marriage? If we live together, we can save money.
Does God really understand today’s culture?
Our voice is self-promoting or self-demeaning.
On one side, we are talking about how great we are and trying to get people to notice what we have done, and on the other side, we are talking down about ourselves. We can tell ourselves that I am the worst mom, dad, husband, or wife.
Our voice tries to control and manipulate. We control with anger and demands. You are wrong, and I am right!
Our voice uses reason and logic. So it has to make sense in my finite brain.
Our voice depends on self and pride. I am woman, hear me roar, and nobody is going to tell me what to do.
Our voice limits us to natural ability. There is no God factor.
Our voice compares ourselves to others and makes assessments on our worth. It says that I have to put you down to lift me up.
Our voice is materialistic and self-sufficient. It says I am going to work hard and make a name for myself. You tell your family I am working long hours to provide for you. I need to do this so you can get a scholarship to college. I... I... I...
Our voice wants us to trust ourselves. It says if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.
Our Voice - We want all the Glory!
So who’s voice are you listening to?
God’s, Satan’s, or your voice?
Music is influenced by one of these voices. So what music are you listening to?
TV shows are influenced by one of these voices. What are you watching?
Movies have a voice, and books have a voice.
Snapchat, TikTok, FB, and Instagram all have voices.
Who’s voice are you most familiar with? Your’s, satan’s, God’s?
If I am listening to God’s voice, then He will get the glory because my words and actions, and life will change. And when my life changes...
My marriage will give Him glory.
My parenting will give Him glory.
My relationships will give Him glory.
How do you know who’s voice you’re listening to? Look at your life. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. What you put in comes out.
Look at your attitude and how you treat others.
So how can you hear God’s voice?
He is always talking, but are we listening?
1. Learn the Word of God.
John 1:1 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Fatih comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
2. Listen to the Word of God.
Listen to the teaching of the Word of God, through sermons.
Listen to the Bible app.
There is a book 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders that is a great overview of the Bible. It is an easy read and yet really brings the Bible to life.
Have people in your life that will speak the truth of God’s Word in your life and that you can ask questions. If you are a leader, be willing to say to others, follow me as I follow Christ.
Are you teachable? Submission to authority doesn’t even begin until you disagree.
God loves you, and He is for you. But you have to trust Him and know that what He is telling you is for your good.
When you don’t listen to Him, He gets quiet. He will not force Himself to be heard.
However, satan’s voice and our voice will get loud when we don’t listen to it.
Who are you choosing to listen to?