On an average day, we make 35,000 decisions. The way we make those decisions determines the course of our lives. We’re in a series called Decision-Making 101. Last week, we talked about how God is trying to make us into people of wisdom, which is the learned ability to choose the right path. We talked about how, if we keep the main thing--seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness--first in our lives, He will provide us with what we need, including the answers we need. Here’s what I want you to remember most from this series: As we walk with God and become the people He created us to be, we learn to make good decisions. But sometimes, God speaks to us unexpectedly, steering our lives in a brand-new direction that we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. My decision to enter the ministry was one of those moments. So how does God speak? And how can we be sure we’ll hear and understand Him? That’s what we’ll be discussing for the rest of this series.
How does God speak? Think about stories you remember from the Bible about God speaking to people. How did He speak to them? In a variety of ways; Sometimes it was through an audible voice, or an angelic visit, or a dream or vision. Does God still speak in all these ways? He certainly can. I have heard stories of people hearing from God in these ways, and some of them sound credible, although I’ve not experienced them myself. Let me give you a warning, however. In Scripture, whenever God spoke to a person through a dream or vision, it was obvious to that person that it was God speaking, and it was obvious what He was telling that person to do. No interpretation or guesswork was necessary. Recently, I had a dream that I was sliding down a freeway on one of those mats you ride at a waterpark. Instead of trying to interpret that dream as a sign from God, I laughed it off…as should you.There were other ways God spoke to people in the Bible. Sometimes it was through the words of Scripture itself, or through prayer, circumstances of life, or through the counsel of His people, the Church. God seems to speak most consistently these days through those four means.That’s what we’ll talk about for the next four weeks. This Sunday, we’ll talk about how to hear God’s voice through His Word, the Bible...and how NOT to make decisions using Scripture.