Jesus distinguished His true followers from the rest of the world with this simple statement: “My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27). So how do you know you’re hearing from Him? How can you be sure?
There’s no shortage of people today who claim to hear all sorts of things from God. For some, God gives them clear impressions on what they need to do. Others gain personal reassurance after hearing a divine voice. There are even those who claim to receive specific information from God about other people and their futures.
It has been said that time and truth go hand in hand. And time has invariably revealed that many who claim to hear from God are clearly mistaken. The God of truth is incapable of communicating an erroneous message. We need a means of hearing from God that doesn’t leave us vulnerable to our own subjective impressions.
John MacArthur’s sermon, “How to Listen to the Lord” clears away much of the confusion by pointing us back to the place where God always speaks to us without confusion or error—Scripture.
The greatest grace gift given to us, of course, is salvation. But we would know nothing about that salvation were it not for Scripture. So in reality, the greatest grace gift is divine revelation. Nothing is more important than divine truth. You have to have the truth in order to be saved and sanctified and to have the hope of glory and to be instructed in righteousness. So the greatest thing we have is the Word of God. This is the divine revelation.
Alongside that, the distinguishing characteristic of true Christians is that they listen to the Word of God. They hear it. They believe it. They love it. They obey it. That’s what distinguishes a Christian.
In this message, John examines Christ’s parables of the Lamp and the Growing Seed (Mark 4:21–34) to uncover four characteristics of how a good spiritual listener hears from God.
We don’t need to seek any specific message God would have for us. “How to Listen to the Lord” points us to God’s revealed Word and clearly explains how we should listen and respond to that revelation.