Sermon No: 176523-Hearing the Voice of God - Part 4



SERMON TOPIC: Hearing the Voice of God - Part 4

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 7 August 2022

Topic Groups: MUSIC, HEARING GOD, WORSHIP

Sermon synopsis: God speaks to us in music.

The purpose of the Church.

People have all kinds of ideas about churches and why they should exist. If we were to survey people in churches and ask them, "What is the main purpose of the church, or why does the church exist?" we will get a number of answers. People start churches for all kinds of reasons that miss the biblical point.

Many would suggest, for example, that the purpose of the church is fellowship. It's a place to make friends, to provide activity for the family, to enjoy friendships, to enjoy spiritual activities together, recreation, cultivate relationships, to work together in families, and raising children, etc. And sort of hang out together until death or the rapture.

God speaks through creation and nature.

God speaks through his son.

On rare occasions God speaks with an audible voice.

God speaks through his Word.

God speaks in a still small inner voice in our heart and mind.

God speaks through people.

God speaks through circumstances.

God speaks through dreams and visions.

God speaks through Angels.

God speaks through signs and wonders.

God speaks through the Godly example of others.

God speaks through music.

Sadly it often takes adverse circumstances for God to get our attention.

At Pentecost, Peter quoted the prophecy in Joel.

Acts 2:17. In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams

Hebrews 2:1-4.

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 

For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? 

Hebrews 2:1-4.

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? 

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Wives being a godly example to unsaved husbands

1 Peter 3:1-2.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

John 6:44.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.

Drawing near to God is not something we initiate; it is responding to God drawing us.

Two Biblical ways to respond or open the door to the Lord is through praise and prayer.

Psalm 22:3.

The Lord inhabits the praise of His People.

The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music. Jonathan Edwards

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. Martin Luther

Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy, for it removes from the heart the weight of sorrow, and the fascination of evil thoughts. Martin Luther

My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary. Martin Luther

Godly music encourages us and inspires us in hard times. It gives us joy and lifts us up.

1 Corinthians 14:26.

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

Ephesians 5:19.

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves and making music to the Lord in your hearts.

Sound Doctrine is important and is sadly lacking in some modern-day lyrics.

Colossians 3:16.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

What are we learning from the songs that we are singing?

Praise and Thanksgiving are central

Psalm 147:7.

Sing out your thanks to the LORD; sing praises to our God with a harp.

Psalm 95:1-2.

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Praise and Thanksgiving are central

1 Chronicles 16:23-25. 

Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!

Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. 

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.

Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 

Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.

This passage should inspire some song writing.

Although there are things that can be done to enhance corporate worship, there is a profound sense in which excellent worship cannot be attained merely by pursuing excellent worship.

In the same way that, according to Jesus, you cannot find yourself until you lose yourself, so also you cannot find excellent corporate worship until you stop trying to find excellent corporate worship and pursue God himself.

Despite the protestations, one sometimes wonders if we are beginning to worship worship rather than worship God.

Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended and forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel?

I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who did a great Vegas-style act at the grand piano.

Both papa and son could turn on the tears and put on a fantastic show. The boy did a spectacular display of repentance and sorrow each year at our summer camp’s final-night altar call. He craved the spotlight.

Moments after his public mea culpas he’d be back to his crass self, wanting to know if I’d scored with my girlfriend, claiming he was going to sneak away with his latest blonde during the baptismal service.

Privately, he and his dad were cynical and profane.

But my childhood buddy has gone on to minister to a glittery mega-church much applauded in his denomination, a church distinguished by flash and showmanship and big attendance numbers – very much in the footsteps of his late father.

A few weeks ago, my friend’s son took his own life. It didn’t make the headlines like another mega-church preacher’s son’s suicide out in California.

But I wish I had taken time with my friend’s boy. I wondered if he was ever exposed to the true gospel of Christ’s self-denying love.

Their Prayers have a lot of “Me”, “My” and “I”

Their Songs have a lot of “Me” “My” and “I”

Their own problems take centre stage in their prayer lives and their songs are centered on themselves and the promises and blessings they believe are theirs with little focus on God’s Glory and Majesty.

Luke 4:5-8.

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours. Jesus answered, It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.

You’ll Find

Christians

Attitudes

Attitudes

Cats have servants

Dogs have masters

God Wants To Bless Me!

I Want To Bless God!

Both

Beat For

God

And

A Dog’s Heart

A Dog’s Heart Beats For

God’s.

GLORY!

A Cat’s Heart Beats For

God’s.

Gifts!

God Is A Means To An End!

God Is The End.

Blessed

God Glorified

Secondary Desire

<

Dog Theology.

God Glorified

Blessed

No1 Desire

>

Cat meology.

Worship

Attitudes

Attitudes

Another

Difference

Let’s Look At

Secondarily

Primarily

He’s Done

What

For

Us!

Who

For

He

Is!

Great

How

Thou Art

Indescribable…

Primarily

Secondarily

He’s Done

What

For

Us!

Who

For

He

Is!

Hebrews 12:29.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

What are the Angels singing around the Throne?

LOVING, LOVING, LOVING IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY?

NO THEY SING... “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.”

This week I was listening to the audiobook of “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripken and was amazed by how the Lord used Dimitri’s singing to convey a powerful message to his fellow prisoners.

If you were imprisoned, what songs would you be singing, would you like Paul and Silas be singing and praising God after you were beaten, would people be convicted and moved by the Spirit as you sang, not about all your imagined blessings and promises and privileges, but about the glory of God.

  Acts 16:25-30.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose… 

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

2 Kings 3:14-18.

Elisha said, As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you. But now bring me a harpist.

While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha and he said, This is what the Lord says:

I will fill this valley with pools of water. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands. 

Perhaps one of the ways I can sense God’s presence the most and “hear” His voice the best is when I am praising Him through music. Maybe it’s because in times of depression and difficult trials in the past, I would pour over David’s songs in Psalms, often singing them back to God with my own tunes.

Praise brings me instantly to attention, like a sergeant’s command to his soldiers. The words and the notes bring a soothing comfort, excitement, and passion that open my ears and heart and lift my spirits immediately.

In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat faced a huge army of enemies who could have easily destroyed His people, but he did a strange thing. With a declaration that his eyes were on God, he sent in a choir of praise singers:

2 Chronicles 20:21.

Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever’”.

God “spoke” clearly. He released His power, and Jehoshaphat’s army defeated their enemies!

We all must admit that most secular music does not pass the Philippians 4:8 test.

The lyrics are impure, and the devil uses it to influence people to sin or think about sin.

When listening to music you picture yourself in the song. It will affect you in some way. Are there secular songs that promote things that are noble and has nothing to do with evil?

Yes, and we are free to listen to them but remember we must be careful.

So, what about music? What about tending the garden of your heart with music? What about the ways we tend the soil of our soul that determine what kinds of things grow in it?

There is such a thing as worldly music. One of the marks of worldly music is the exultation of a worldly view of life. A worldly view of life is a life that leaves Christ out and approves of what he disapproves. That is worldly.

Worldly isn’t a sound; worldly is leaving Christ out. That is why it is called worldly and not Christly. And it approves of what he disapproves. It is called worldly because it treasures the world above the one who made the world. It revels in the very self-centeredness that gives rise to the miseries of the world. And what does God say about this? Here are a few texts:

Romans 12:3: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

So, my question is: Is the transformation of our minds helped by soaking them in a sin-celebrating world, the world we are trying not to be conformed to? Don’t be conformed to the sin-celebrating, Christ-omitting world. And I think the answer is patent: Garbage in, garbage out.

If you soak your mind in the Christlessness of the world, you will be less Christful. Is the music of the world a helpful path to renewing your mind to love what the world does not love? That is the key question.

Matthew 5:8:

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Is our pursuit of purity helped by enjoying the way the world enjoys impurity?

Colossians 3:1–2:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Does the music that exalts in Christ-less feeling and Christ-less thinking and Christ-less acting, does it help us set the mind on Christ? Paul’s concern is that we have the mind of Christ, that we love what he loves, we hate what he hates, we enjoy what he enjoys. Does the music we listen to help that happen?

Colossians 3:5, 8:

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. . . . But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”

We are to be actively putting to death in our hearts all things that we are prone to that are sinful.

Does feeding these inclinations that we are supposed to kill help us kill them?

Or should we starve them instead of nourishing them?

Music, has long been associated with Hell the Devil and his endless hoards of hellish minions.

Now while many musicians and acts have claimed to be in league with the Dark Lord in the past, only one has the dubious honour or co-writing a song with Lucifer himself. “Giuseppe Tartini”.

A baroque composer born in the 17th century, Tartini was an exceptionally talented composer and virtuoso violinist widely considered one of the most talented of his era.

So much so that Tartini was reportedly the first recipient of a violin made by the legendary luthier, Antonio Stradivari.

According to Tartini the Devil pledged to do his bidding for all eternity on the condition that Tartini became his student.

Instead of reacting in fear like a  lesser man would, the composer calmly passed his violin to Satan and asked him to play something.

Four years ago, I was called late one night to come to an apartment where supposedly there was a demon-possessed woman. I called Tom Steller and we went together while our wives prayed at home. What we found was a woman held in a room by some young Christian women who were intent on seeing the demon driven out of this woman. For about two hours I talked to her and read her Scriptures and prayed prayers of deliverance.

She became increasingly violent, knocking the Bible out of my hand and grabbing the prayer sheets and shoving me. At one point, about one in the morning, when the conflict rose to a fever pitch between the word of God and the satanic force in this woman, someone in the group began to sing. It was one of our familiar worship songs.

.

We sang it again and again and the Lord gave us new words for it each time. The effect on her was dramatic. She began to tremble and threaten us if we didn’t stop. Then she threw herself on the floor and screamed for Satan not to leave her. She went into convulsions and then went limp. When she came to, she remembered nothing of what happened and was willing to read Scripture and pray.

So, Tom Steller and I know from experience that singing to God is not a nice little emotional trip to spice up a worship service. For us, it felt more like a matter of life and death. That is what it was for Paul and Silas. And that’s what it is for our church

January 8, 1956, Jim Elliot and four other young missionaries approached the jungle edge where the Auca Indians lived. Their last recorded act according to Elizabeth Elliot was to sing a hymn together:

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling, And needing more each day thy grace to know, Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing, We rest on thee, and in thy name we go.

All five of them were killed that afternoon. But they, too, were protected by God, protected from a fate far worse than death. They were protected from cowardice and unbelief and fear, and I think it would be fair to say, protected with song.

Psalm 22:1-5.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season and am not silent.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

If you want to meet with God, he sets the terms.

Psalm 24:3-5.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his heart to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.

James 4:8.

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners and purify your hearts you double minded.

Where there is insincerity, dishonesty and deception, true worship is not possible. There are too many professing Christians who love to participate in emotionally charged worship, but are dishonest and lack integrity in their dealings with others.

Stephen Charnock (a English Puritan Presbyterian clergyman)

We may be truly said to worship God, though we lack perfection; but we cannot be said to worship Him if we lack sincerity.

Worship is a response.

It isn’t a list of songs or a dedicated period of time on Sunday morning.

Worship is what happens when we catch of glimpse of who God is. It is what happens when we realize what He is doing in and through us.

When we see Him, we will naturally respond by being in awe. When we see Him, we can’t help but drop our jaws and fall to our knees, surrendering ourselves to His majesty.

Maybe our worship experience is a little flat because we don’t have anything to respond to.

Maybe we have crowded him out of our lives, leaving no room for Him to work the miracles that only He can work.

Really, when was the last time you took a leap of faith, having no handrails to hold on to, and you just had to trust that HE was in charge of the result?

What does that look like? For me it is often

Giving when I have no money.

Serving when I have no time.

Sharing when I have no patience.

Speaking out when I don’t have the words.

Standing when I have no courage.

It is when I can’t that He proves that He can. He works. I worship.

A. Sleep till last possible minute before having to get ready for church, drive onto campus just as service is beginning, grab coffee while singing is going on, and walk into the service bleary-eyed and trying to find a seat, getting your bearings and figuring out what is going on just as the last song ends.

B. Arrive prayed up, knowing verses and songs so you can express yourself well and have the sensitivity to hear the voice of God. You can continue to have limited, dull, lifeless experiences.

Or you can take the steps to prepare your heart and mind to encounter the Holy Spirit in a life-transforming and church-revolutionizing way. Approach Sunday morning corporate worship expecting something incredible to happen!




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