WARM UP:If asked, how would your spouse or best friend rate your listening skills on a scale of 1-10: 10 being perfect and 1 being deaf as a doorknob?
Let’s admit it. We are not always the best listeners. We often miss what is actually being said because we’re listening with just our ears and not our hearts. The same thing is true when it comes to hearing the voice of God the Holy Spirit.
God created you for a relationship with Him. Just as he walked with Adam and Eve, he longs to walk with you. He longs to share his heart with you. He longs for you to know his purpose and his plans for your life. The intimacy that God longs for in our relationship is not the kind that comes from reading about it in a book or hearing about it from someone else. It comes by getting up close and personal with Him. It comes by getting to know God the Holy Spirit.
Without the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit, we are going to find the Christian life downright confusing and frustrating. Learning to recognize His voice and learning how to truly listen is vital. It keeps us on track and it keeps us out of trouble. More importantly, it helps us grow closer in our relationship with Him.
Bible Study Section: Acts 16:6-10
1. Has God ever told you, “No!” but you refused to listen? How did that work out for you?
When Paul tried to take the gospel message to Asia, the Holy Spirit kept closing the door. The Holy Spirit kept slamming the door of opportunity in his face; not once, but twice.
2. At this point, do you think Paul is being stubborn or that he is just hard of hearing? What question should Paul have been asking God at this point?
When Paul went to sleep that night, he had vision of a man from Macedonia begging Paul to come over and help them. When Paul woke up, they immediately came to the conclusion that God was sending them in that direction.
3. In what ways has God spoken to you in the past or tried to get your attention?
a. ____________________ b. _______________________ c. ______________________
From the Message: Have someone read these scripture passages before tackling the discussion questions.
The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. John 14:26 (CEV)
But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:17
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. John 16:13-14 (NLT)
· From John 14:26, what are the main functions of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer?
· This morning Pastor Steve said, “Having the Holy Spirit living inside of us takes intimacy to a whole new level.”In what ways do you find having the Holy Spirit living within you comforting? Why?
· In what ways do you find having the Holy Spirit living within you troubling? Why?
· Pastor Steve said, “Many Christians believe in Jesus without ever really listening to Him.” How so? What predictable problems do you think will occur in your relationship with God if you hear Him but don’t learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit?
· What struck you the most from this morning’s message? Why that?
· What challenged you the most? What changes do you plan on making as a result?
Reflection and Prayer: God will draw you as close as you want to get. If you ask Him to back off, sadly He will—for a time. If you ask for a deeper, closer relationship, you’ll find that He wants it as much as you do.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8 (NKJV).
What is drawing near to God all about?
It is about relationship.It’s about seeing him, appreciating him and embracing him. It is about experiencing the Lord’s love, and loving him in return. This is what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. He teaches us what the relationship is all about so that we might grow closer in our intimacy with Him.