We are led by the Voice of the Spirit. We must listen and hear from Him. He will lead us into a lively life of faith. His Voice never condemns. (John 10:10-17; Jeremiah 10:23)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11353
11:00 AM on 10/22/2017
Before we preach the message, I want to ask you to think with me. Is the Spirit of God moving in your life? Have you in the last week sensed the peace or love, joy, freedom, worship maybe in prayer? Have you been in prayer? We said Wed. night I praise God I’m in his presence and I ask him this and that, and then I’m done. Or are you learning I enter his courts with praise. I can make my request but I’m adoring him and worshipping him. I cast my cares on him but I don’t have to ask him for all these things. There is another part of prayer. I can say, Lord, all my stuff, that’s not the priority. Right now in my life I don’t have to ask you for anything. I want to listen to you and wait on you. I wait on you and listen to you and worship you. I let you talk to me. Have you ever had a phone call with someone and they are talking and talking and you put the phone down, or put on speaker phone, and go build a house while they are – if you want me to say something I’m available! We come to God with so much of our stuff we are not listening. Lord, I don’t have anything more important than your stuff. You have something about my life and I’m going to wait on you, listen, and be there for a while. I’m not running to my precious phone. And I have one of them. It dings and dongs and vibrates but that’s not in the room. I really want to meet God and have him speak to me. Has anything happened in your life this past week? I say God visited me in my life. All of us others that are not raising our hand we need to be encouraged by them and think about it. God cares about you and speaks to you. Some of us got so excited in our hearts and we come to the church and we have it in our life and we like to encourage others in it. I get in a place where I can be encouraged on a spiritual level. You go to a movie and be encouraged in – P. Love said nothing! P. Hadley said notta! I could be encouraged in a movie in my soul or entertainment in intrigue or mystery. I could go to a bar room and look for a girlfriend. I could go for a walk in a park and not look for anything, just zone out. Many people get in trouble because they are not seeking and finding God. Learn to seek God. Learn to wait on God and hear from God. We are sheep and we tend to get in trouble. One way sheep get in trouble is they lie down and the ground has a dip in it per chance. They lie down and if they roll a little their feet are up like this and it’s called casting. They are cast. They are upside down and there is no way for them to be put right up. They will die in the sun. They will dehydrate with their feet up like this kicking. They can’t get back up…only way out of it is the shepherd. The other sheep can’t help but the shepherd turns the sheep over and says you’re free. The sheep goes off and he’s ok. Christ is our Shepherd. We need help. We are in a world where we need to pay attention to the voice of the Shepherd. God brought you and me here to hear a message on that subject. Get in the habit of hanging out with God’s people. They are not perfect but they hear the voice. I want to hear the voice of the Shepherd (Jn 10).
I’m reading from our Wed. night service here and it was how to listen to the voice of God from one of our graduates here at the Bible college, P. Carl Silva, who is the pastor in Bombay, India. From the 12th chapter, he wrote “one of the greatest thrills for every Christian is God wants to speak to you and guide you personally on all the major and minor decisions of your life.” P. Scibelli called and said he has two more conferences, one in Bangalore and one in Mumbai. Keep him in prayer.
What a joy to be here today. Great to see P. Phil and Janet. The Wed. night service was on this subject and it’s been resonating in my heart for the last few days. I got home and was talking with my wife and said the message is so relevant for the time we are living in. We are not all the same. There is a lot of diversity amongst us but something we all have in common that we are born again. We are born of the Spirit, regenerated, made sheep. At one time maybe you were a wolf.
I asked the taxi driver in Moscow how are you doing. He said I have to live like a wolf. I said I’m a sheep and I’m nervous right now! He said I have to fight and steal and do all I can to survive.
Jesus spoke about Herod when he wanted to see Jesus’ miracles and meet him. He’s a fascinating, popular person. Christ said go tell that fox. Another animal that’s clever and very capable versus sheep who are very vulnerable. When you are born again, we said this morning when a child is born in the hospital, ever met an excited parent? Come on, come on. I got to show you my son! My son! My daughter! Come quick! Look! Look! That’s an earthly birth, natural.
Lk 15 when we are saved, the angels are in a similar way rejoicing. I wonder what it’s like. There is some spiritual communication happening. The birth of a saint, a child of God. Born again. Saved, washed in the blood of Christ. Their name is in the book of God, the Book of Life. Wow, amazing. Angels are so spiritually in tune. We have said if you leave a can of coke a cola out on your back patio, what insects come? Wasps. Leave a pound of hamburger and what comes? Flies. Where do they come from? How do they know? How do they figure it out? Nature is the evidence of the world we cannot see. Invisible world is expressed to us by the visible things. The flies and insects and animals and snakes is an expression and speaking to us of a world better than this one. The city of God, the spirits of just men made perfect. Also our new birth where we are like sheep and able to hear the voice of the Shepherd.
Jn 10:7-9, Unsaved people. It’s great when they are 97% different from you and me. They are unsaved, very different from you and me. There’s so little in common. Let’s just say they are immoral or blasphemous or have bad habits or drug addiction or fornication or homosexuality or any number of ideas they might have as an unbeliever. Do you remember you were an unbeliever? Do you remember you were very different from the way you are now? Do you look at people and judge them? Do you speak of the 97% difference or tune into the 3% that are common. They like to have a good time, a sandwich, a child, a job, a paycheck. What do we have in common with unbelievers? Unbelievers are awesome, made in God’s image. They are important. Unbelievers are people without Christ. They are victims of their decisions. They have made decisions born in sin like all of us. What they need is for you and me joyfully, lovingly to relate to them without judgment, without any hypocrisy, any negative communication. That is one way to talk to them. But they might not want to hear it. The sheep hear his voice and he leads us in the capacity to care for lost people. To know lost people. To spend a little time with lost people. My life changed long time ago when I’m mostly with believers. If you have a secular job and work in the community, you’ll be surrounded with unbelievers. They are made in God’s image and have a life. They don’t know what you and I have. He’ll lead us beside still waters and green pastures. Golly gee. It is good. There is something going on in my life. I’ll tell you some day. I got a secret. I found something. I found something that encourages me that is the joy of my heart that releases me, that will never die. I found something that is important. In that ability of empathizing and caring and understanding, I know life can be hard. Sometimes we make bad decisions and I have done that myself and reaped the consequences. I’m still learning but I want to share something with you. That’s behind what we want to say here today.
Jn 10:10, want to hear something fresh. When Lucifer was in heaven, in a way he was a shepherd because the angels were under his ministry. In a way he was in charge. When iniquity was found in him, God gave him some opportunity to communicate to the angels and 1/3 followed him. In a way he is still a shepherd. When he met Adam and Eve in the garden, he misled them. He shepherded them to hell, – he wanted that to happen. He shepherded them to kill and destroy, into legalism, into being a nobody. One of my friends was from Central Asia in the time when the Soviet Union changed, he had no passport and no identity. At a border crossing he had a piece of paper. The border guard said you don’t have a passport. You have a piece of paper. I want you to know you are nothing. I could kill you right now. It shook him. For you to be “a nobody” is a very powerful thing in your soul. No man cared for my soul the psalmist said. That’s like suicide. So twisted by what sin does in my soul. I suffer for that. They don’t need a judge. They need a Savior. They need my message of the Gospel not words of condemnation. Some are so politically oriented they lose sight of the deeper message and that is my sheep hear my voice and follow me in faith. They are born again in the hospital of God, the work of grace. The angel says come, come. Look. The man is converted, saved. I have a video clip of sheep that the question on it is, Do sheep really hear the shepherd’s voice? They did a little test.
Jer. 10:23, it’s not in man to direct his steps. It must be that God would order our steps and lead us. It must be that God would speak to us. If I told my unbelieving family that God talks to me, they’d go to the telephone and call the hospital. Does he? Jesus said it. My sheep hear my voice. There are other voices.
vs. 10. Does the shepherd lead us into abundant life? If we hear him, will he lead us in abundant life? Ok.
vs. 11. What about Lucifer who is now called Satan in this world. What does he lead people into? He steals, kills, and destroys. You can’t help but think of the opioid addiction problem in our country with people dying. At one McDonalds, I read about in West Virginia there was a dad and mom in a car with a baby in the back seat and mom and dad both overdosed and the child alive in the back seat. What tragedy. What terrible choices. What killing and destroying happens in the world we are in, this one.
vs. 12. I like to put in a babysitter. A babysitter is not a bad person. You want to have a good one and a faithful one but there is a difference between the babysitter and the mother. If there is a fire in the house, who gets out first? The babysitter. If the mother is in the house, who gets out? The baby. The baby will live and the mother will die. You can hire him for money but he doesn’t have the heart for it. He will not lay down his life. Christ is the Shepherd that will do whatever he has to do for the sheep. He is doing it today. It’s the same spirit, the same person, the same message, the same self- sacrifice and care for you and I forever. He is a Good Shepherd. He doesn’t want us in drug addiction. Following his voice is a lot more fun. P. Jeff Phelps from our era that we had in Lenox, he felt he had to go to China. God was leading him. The story is he was in China 14 years and how he went from Lenox. God put a burden on his heart and God said it’s time to go. Make your plans and leave. In one year he had two or three people and they prayed and spoke to the leaders. They only had enough money to go from Boston to California. They packed for China…on the first day in California they met a young woman, a receptionist at a book store and was watching them. Waiting on God to get the rest of the money so they could go to China. The woman said I believe God led me to save this money so one day I could go to China. God is leading me to give you all you need to go there and come back. So they got to go to China. Does God speak to his people and what does he say? There are many hang ups we must learn to bring to God. The slothful man said I can’t go on the streets. There is a lion in the streets. What’s wrong with that picture? Lions are not in streets. They are in the jungle. It’s a made-up excuse. Lions are in the streets. I am shy. I am afraid. I don’t go with those kind of people. I’m an artist and those are engineers. The sheep hear a voice higher than our lives, higher than our stuff, than us. When we are listening in prayer. When I want to bring my stuff to God and listen in prayer and the Lord says you are making up a phony excuse. You are just not willing. Yes, Lord. Here I am like little Samuel. Walking with God takes some courage. God may not endorse what I am saying or thinking but I will wait on him and hear him tell me the truth. Or I can go through my duties and the Lord will say whenever you are ready to hear what I have to say I will challenge you. I want you to be Spirit filled and blessed with an abundant life.
vs. 12. That is like Satan. He is not a good shepherd. Someone said Satan will encourage people to go to some church because no moving of the Spirit or message of the Gospel. There may be legalism or antinomianism which is you can live any way you damn well please. Ear tickling. I can live any way I want but it’s great when I come here and I say I want God to do business. You go to any church where I want God to do business in my life. I expect to be changed in a year’s time. I expect to find peace in the midst of trouble. He’s a Good Shepherd. Other voices he will not hear. The kids are screaming out what they knew and it didn’t have the sound. It wasn’t a clear sound. And we don’t follow it. Halleluiah. We don’t agree with the other sound. Halleluiah. We get a message from this amazing book. Halleluiah! We care about the lost people because this life is short. Our brothers and sisters are passing into eternity. Have you noticed it? We follow the voice of the Shepherd, and he’ll lead us and get outside of our own circles. We have our friends, relatives, and our own circles. The unbelievers at work, in our community. We have to spend some time and sit with them, not judge them or be critical of them. Be relaxed and have a good time. I got something going on in my heart. I’m not going to hang out with people who lead me in the wrong way and follow another voice. But if I’m built up in my faith we have a ministry to unbelievers. They need help. A message of some kind. Some fascinated with what we have to say. A word in season. Some encouragement, a good old sense of humor. Have a good time and make fun of things. Help them understand you have something going on. Making them thirsty. What do you got? I got something. I can’t tell you right now. What do you have? I’ll tell you later. No, tell me now. You don’t want to hear it. It will sound religious to you. You can’t hear it. I believe God is on your trail. He’s after you. God loves you. I have something going on in my life. How did you get that car? (He pointed upward). That’s not fair. How did you get that family? How come when you got a parking ticket it didn’t bother you? What do you have going on? I have something going on in my life and this voice doesn’t have it because their voices lead them to murder and destruction and twisted and complicated lives. We have compassion on them. There was that newspaper in Maine where 60 people overdosed in a couple months’ time. They had all the pictures and you read their name and what they did for work. 60 people gone. And you say my picture could be there. That’s me. There is no difference between me and any of them. My picture could be there.
Ps. 103 says bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me…he delivers your life from destruction. Living under a bridge, committing suicide, overdosing on something. What voices are these? These are the world. I just have to have a clear sound in my own life. Lies on the street. I don’t have time. I don’t have any authority to sort through any of that. I don’t have any calling to sift through it and come up with a message that would help people. Our message is easier. It’s just this one.
vs. 14-17. In closing, Samuel was a little boy and heard the voice. He didn’t know where it was coming from. Remember the guy taking the train and God said don’t get on the 9:30 train. Then the voice came clearer. He turned around to see who was talking to him. There was nobody there. He was struggling with the whole thing. He decided not to take it and took the 12:00 train. There was the 9:30 train off the rails in a crash and he knew God saved him from that disaster. I don’t believe I go around hearing voices but I believe God speaks to us from the Bible.
In those cases when we need a word…sometimes when I didn’t know the Bible God said clearly Joshua 1:5. I looked in the front of the Bible to see if there was a Joshua. I kept it in my heart more than forty years now. I know that God speaks. In the local assembly he speaks to you. Behind the voice of the pastor is the Word of God. You hear a voice behind you say this is the way, walk in it. When you get built up in the leading of God you realize your local assembly is very important. I said to my children, there are two people very important to you. Your pastor and who you marry. They are very important. They have a big influence on you because our life is based on hearing. He that hears, more is given.
Mk 4:24 hearing in that right way. Samuel heard. David heard. Should we go up against the Philistines? Yes, right away.
vs. 23. Should we? No, don’t go up. Wait till you hear the mulberry trees. The wind going across the trees, then you attack. Divine definition. Identifying the voice of God when walking with the people of God. Let’s close by saying my local church is so important to me. I don’t want to lose the sense. Small groups are important to me. Have small groups in your home, in prayer, in ministry, in sharing with each other. In a large church we hear a message but also need fellowship with quality, not just hanging out. Chill and hang out but does someone initiate? Is there blessing of initiation with the voice of the Shepherd. Is there a word or testimony. Is there a doctrine? Is there some joy or song we could sing. Young people could say we can’t sing but I’ve seen them sing on a street corner and it’s like angels sing. We see them get together and all they speak about is macaroni, and marriage, and motorcycles and movies! Everything starts with M. Older people all they talk about is medicine. That’s all they talk about. Could we move along?! Could there be a word in season. I am weary. I need my brother and sister to build me up. This can happen…it doesn’t give much to me anymore. I can leave it. I can walk away and I’ll go eat donuts on Sunday morning or the health club or a soccer game. I say boring, boring. I can’t say it enough. Totally unexcited. No challenge. Excuses accumulate. I can’t go out. There is a lion in the street. I don’t talk to people anymore. Boring. Totally boring. That’s what I escape from. I was in all of that. I have been there. The good life. Fishing all the time. Is that all I got?
No, I got the voice of the Shepherd. If i could get to hear the voice of the Shepherd may I be a part of that whatever form. Even our emotions. I walk around with something going on in my spirit and faith. Can we pray for the sick and they will be healed? Can our church multiply in great number? It’s not enough. Numbers don’t mean much but what means a lot is the voice of the Shepherd leading the sheep in good pasture by still waters. We need a clear voice from Christ. It’s God’s work and it’s with you. Pay attention to it. Enjoy it. Walk in it. One thing about the voice is it never will condemn you. It will correct you. Hello. I am reality. Turn the light on. God shows up. Scary but so exciting. So much the answer and what is needed. So much important. We that are worried about our country we have reason to be concerned but we have the answer, the voice of the Shepherd.
People hear the voice of the Shepherd and he will take care of us. The voice of the Shepherd. You cannot stop it. The voice of the Shepherd for our future, for the city of Baltimore.
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