Hearing Under Pressure

Title of Message: Hearing Under Pressure. Getting My House In Order Part 6

Speaker: Tyrone Jones

Text: Genesis 22:1-14  (NLT)

22 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

 

Introduction

It is critical to be able to hear the voice of God when you are under pressure.  We spend a lot of time focusing on speaking/talking/praying to God, as we should.  However, it is also important that we focus on how on how to HEAR and LISTEN to God!

·       In order to have an EFFECTIVE relationship, there must be EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

o   Don’t just talk to God, but also LISTEN to HIM

o   Focus on what God has to say to us

o   Must practice hearing from God (What does His voice sound like)?

·       Revelation 3:13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

·       Natural ears & spiritual ears (inner ear – hearing the inner voice)

o   We cannot hear God when there is so much noise!

·       Must be able to hear God if we are going to walk with Him

o   He’s our GPS! If we can hear Him, He will show us how to navigate through any situation!

·       Don’t run to phone friends or Social media. Go to God first. He will talk to us, but we must let Him in.

·       When the stakes are highest, it is important to hear God.

·       God will give us tests/assignments to see if we position ourselves to hear His voice!

 

 22 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

 Tests are opportunities for our hearing to be fine-tuned. They are training opportunities!

o   God will TEST us, Devil tempts us!

o   Tests are used to develop us, to see where we are spiritually, and they also help to develop our faith.

o   God brought Abraham through various test.  God used these tests to develop Abram into Abraham. 

§  Piece by piece, part by part, month by month, year by year!

o   Genesis 22 details the biggest test of Abraham’s life, the test to offer his promised son Isaac as a burnt offering.

§  In a burnt offering, the animal was first tied and bound and then set on fire as a sacrifice to God.  The sacrifice was burnt before the Lord.

o   God is using the test to train Abraham how to hear His voice under pressure

o   Tests are training opportunities! God uses tests to train our ears to hear His voice.

 

The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

 

GOD WILL SPEAK TO US AS WE WALK WITH HIM!

o   God may not give you all the DETAILS in the beginning.  In Genesis 22:2, God tells Abraham to go to one of the mountains that God will show him.

o   Too many DETAILS can FRUSTRATE your FAITH!

o   Too many facts can hinder/deter your faith!

·       God will use both the DESTINATION & the JOURNEY to develop our ability to hear His voice.  Too often we focus on the destination and miss that God is teaching us a lot on the journey.

o   As we walk with God, he will give us more. He will show us the way and guide us each step we take.

o   If we have courage to take a step into the unknown, God has the power to bring about the impossible!

o   Can you walk with Him? Can you trust Him even if you don’t have all the details?

o   God will give you more details as we walk with Him, as we move in faith.

o   Once we begin walking, God will fill us in on the next moves!

·       Can we ENDURE THE SILENCE? Though He speaks to us at pivotal moments in our life, there are times when God is silent. In the silence, He is developing us. He doesn’t talk just for talking sake.

o   God will put us in certain tests to train our inner ear to hear His voice

§  It can be uncomfortable and inconvenient.

o   During uncertainty, Abraham is called to trust God and he is called to hear by the inner ear. 

On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

 

CONSECRATION requires SEPARATION.

§  Consecration/separation is required during pressure situation

§  Amid difficulty, I may need to separate myself from others!

·       Not everyone will understand!

§  Abraham told his servants to stay with the donkeys so that he and his son could go higher, go to worship.

§  There comes a point where God will require us to separate from people we know so that we can go to a higher place to worship!

·       Certain relationships will hinder our ability to hear from God

§  Some people will have to stay behind with the donkeys, mules, etc, figuratively speaking.

§  You cannot have dedication without separation

·       Faith will bring us to a place where we may have to separate from others so that we can get closer to God to hear His voice.

§  The closer you get to God’s will/destination, the smaller the crowd becomes in your life.

§  God will talk and speak to you when we are alone!

So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.

·       God gives you confidence as you journey with Him! 

o   Abraham shows trust when he talks to his son Isaac

o   Abraham was not worried about the provision, He knew God would provide!

o   Confidence comes from an inner knowing when you are in the center of God’s will

o   Confidence comes when I walk with Him

o   Confidence comes when I trust Him and He shows up!

·       God allow difficulties (tests, opportunities, training centers) where we learn to hear and trust him while we are walking in those dark places.

 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” 12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”

Must be able to hear a NOW word

o   Abraham hears a NOW word not to kill Isaac. He heard the word at just the right time, in the moment he needed to hear it!

§  NOW words come when I am near God

§  NOW words come when I obey God

§  NOW words come when I worship God!

Don’t kill your dreams because you are deaf to the Lord’s voice!

o   As he raises his knife to slay his son, he gets a NOW word to refrain from killing Isaac (his dream/his promise)

o   If Abraham couldn’t hear God, he would have killed his son

o   Sometimes folks kill their dreams because they can’t hear God!  We get distracted and allow things to hinder our ability to hear His voice.  As a result, we end up killing our dreams because we cant hear God’s voice to get the directions we need.

God did not want Abraham’s son, He wanted Abraham’s ear.  In other words, God wanted Abraham’s obedience, his heart.

§  God wants to know that if things must change, are we willing to listen and obey?

§  God says if I interrupt your plans, will you be able to hear and will you obey? 

o   God had a ram in the push.  There was provision on the other side. Everything that Abraham needed was on the other side. Abraham was able to receive those instructions because of his ability to hear and obey God.

 

Reflection Questions

How are you responding to the test you are now facing?  Do you see it as opportunity for your faith to grow?  Are you allowing the separation to take place in your life that is necessary for you to go higher in worship?  Does God have your ear, does He have your obedience?