Session 5: Am I COMMITTED to Hear God’s Voice?
How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. We need to transform our knowledge into love for Him and others. In this session, Chip invites you into his personal Bible study time to give you a glimpse of these lessons in action.
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Welcome to Session Five of How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture. In our last time together, I taught you a skill that I learned from a missionary in South America. It’s called the PPROAPT method. It’s a way for regular people like us to literally systematically go through, in our time with God, so that we hear God’s voice. What it is, is each letter stands for something. Just by way of review, the first letter P, it’s pray, preview, read, obey, apply, pray, and then tell. What I want to do, it’s very awkward, but I think it would be helpful. I want to have my quiet time. It’ll be abbreviated. I just want to show you what I do in real time. Okay? So, if there’s something to learn here, great, and I’ll try and pretend you’re not there.
Father, I pray right now, knowing that your word is living and active, where you open my eyes and my heart. I want to hear from you. Okay. Preview. How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. It’d be like a tree firmly planted by the streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf doesn’t wither, and whatever he does prospers. The wicked are not so, but they’re like the chaff of the wind that’s driven away. Therefore, the wicked don’t stand in the judgment of the righteous nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Okay, a quick thought. Now I’m going to pause, and I’ve got a picture of this. Okay. How blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord? And in His law, he meditates day and night, and he’ll be like the streams firmly planted by the streams of water which yields its fruit in its season. Its leaf doesn’t wither, and whatever he does, he prospers. God, I want you to know, as I read this, I want to be that blessed man. And there’s a few observations here. Verse 1, he’s walking not with the wicked. He shifts to standing. He doesn’t do that. And third, he doesn’t sit with them. But, in contrast to someone who hangs out with sinners, just sort of casually, and other people who would literally stand and start soaking in unrighteousness, and people who would sit with him, and I mean allow that culture to squeeze them, the man who’s blessed of God is someone who meditates day and night in Your word.
And the picture here is that my life would be like a stream planted by water. That a tree that would grow up, and regardless of the seasons, regardless of the difficulty, regardless of circumstances, the leaf doesn’t wither. God, what an amazing promise. Whatever I would do would prosper. The whole second half of this is about the wicked, and basically, man, their life is a train wreck. I love this. The Lord knows the way of the righteous. I like this little note in my Bible, the word knows there means approves, or he has regard for, but the wicked will perish. Lord, as I observe this, I just want to tell you that I do not want to sit, or stand, or be a part of things going into my mind, or relationships that pull me away from you.
God, I thank you for the great friends you have in my life that inspire me and encourage me. I thank you the people at the gym that live really, really crazy and weird lives, that I can connect with them, and I can share with them, and we can be friends, but boy, there’s certain places I just can’t go with them. And Lord, I would confess that I think my deepest challenge is I’m watching a game, or something comes on the screen, and I can go from just walking past that, to watching it a little bit longer, to finding myself sitting, and then pretty soon people are getting blown up, and the scenes move in a different direction, and I just know that’s not right. So God, would you help me to be disciplined in my eye-gate? God, you know, the same thing happens when I travel.
I want to have a pure heart. Just sometimes I look up, and there’s just women that are not dressed very well, and I just want to control the second look. I thank you for how beautiful you’ve made some people, but some of them, they don’t cover up your beauty very well, and you know I’m a man. God, I want my life. I want to end well. God, when I think about my kids, my grandkids, and what’s at stake, would you please help me to know that you approve, and that every area of my life will be blessed as I meditate on Your word? In terms of application here, last Sunday I was totally wiped out. I traveled, and I would confess to you I didn’t watch one football game. I watched two football games, and every time there was a commercial I changed the channel, and I sat in front of the TV for three and a half hours, and when I got done, I felt . I felt desensitized. I didn’t feel close to you.
Would you help me when I’m not motivated to watch TV in a way that’s positive and good, because I want to, and not sit around and eat and watch TV just out of fatigue? Lord, in like manner, I want to just jot down a couple words here, because I had jotted some things last week that I prayed about, that you would prosper my life, and I am so grateful that I can put a check mark and a check mark on two specific things I’ve prayed, about things I asked you to do. Thank you also that by Your grace, as I think through the lives of my kids and my grandkids right now, praise You. Thank You. God, I am in awe as Theresa and I, through all of our ups and downs, and struggles, God, that this passage is true.
You have prospered our life. You’ve given us kids that love God. You’ve given us kids that married well. You’ve give kids that are healthy. Those 12 little grandkids, and they’re getting raised in a way that thrills our heart, and coming from our background, God coming from alcoholic families, Lord, you have put Your stamp in our heart and our life. Here’s my prayer today. You know the way of the righteous. I want to live in integrity before You. I’m going to get my phone out, and I’m going to text my buddy Rick. Oh, I guess that’s not my phone, but I’ll get it later, and I’m going to tell him what I read today, and I’m going to tell him no more than one football game. No matter how tired I am.
Thanks so much. Please guide my day in Jesus’ name. Now, it’s really hard, candidly, to be as authentic as I can, but that’s just what I do. I just get up, and I pray, and then I just preview it, and then I read it slowly, and I make some observations, and I see some contrast, and then I just, whatever comes to my mind, you know? If God speaks to me and it has something to do with being pure, caring about other people, being generous, I’m thinking it’s probably not from me. It’s probably from Him. If He brings someone to my mind as I’m reading to pray for, out of that text, I pray for him. What I can tell you is, then I usually, I actually … Are you ready?
I had these little cards. Maybe a verse will stick out to me, like Verse 2. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” I write them on these little cards, and I memorize them, and then I review them, and so maybe I’ll be sitting on a plane or later I’ll take a walk. God keeps speaking to me. Here’s what I want to get to, is that sometimes you need variety, so that’s my normal practice, but sometimes I get up, and I just feel like I need to talk with God, so I’ll take a walk and I’ll just talk with him. Other times I’m struggling, and there’s all kinds of stuff in my head, and so even before I even read, I’ll just get out my journal. I’ll usually start with yesterday, and I’ll just write out how I feel.
The Lord is nearer to those who call upon Him. To those who call upon Him in truth. If you don’t get anything else out of this, just get honest with God. Get ruthlessly honest with Him, honest with yourself. Be open with Him, and here’s what. He’ll speak. He wants to speak to you and to me more than we want to hear Him. And so, I hope this journey’s been helpful for you. I pray that you would develop a systematic way to meet with God. that you would use whatever approach is most helpful. You might try this for 30 days. We’ll give you a little assignment, and help you begin the journey, but here’s my prayer.
My prayer is that you would hear the voice of God, and that as you do, you’ll obey. And as you respond to that light, He’ll give you more and more light, and you will be the kind of person that we all long to become. More and more like Jesus. You know, when we do that, God uses our life to impact other people. We’re the salt and light that Jesus talked about. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you’ll join me for some other courses in the days ahead.