By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
“Follow your heart.”
“When one door closes, another opens.”
Those might sound like spiritual sayings. But they can be misleading, Chad Moore warned his Chapel listeners Monday at Grand Canyon University Arena. There’s a lot more to hearing God’s voice, he said, than just wrapping some “Christian-ese” around life’s circumstances.
The lead pastor of Sun Valley Community Church wrapped his talk around this passage in John 10:27-30:
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Moore likened God’s voice to the words and pictures floating around the internet, seen by us only if we capture them on our cellphone, tablet or laptop. You don’t get them if you don’t tune in.
And he likened the way we often talk to God to a Spice Girls song, the one that goes, “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.”
“It’s not, ‘God, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want,’” he said. “It’s, ‘God, what do You want?’”
In other words, he said, we want magic – we think a fortune cookie or coin flip will magically tell us what God wants.
But the only way to truly know God’s will, Moore reasoned, is to read God’s will in the Bible, which he called “different than any other book written in the history of mankind.” After all, what other book was written over 1,500 to 1,600 years by more than 40 authors on three different continents?
“When God speaks to you, primarily He will do it through the Scriptures,” Moore said. “If you are needing guidance in your life, stop looking for a sign and start looking for a verse. God’s will is found in God’s word. We want magic, God wants trust.”
Moore noted that there was a 400-year gap between when the Old and New Testaments were written, and Jesus still fulfilled every single one of the 300-plus prophesies in the Old Testament.
“If you want to know what God is like, you look at Jesus,” Moore said. “He’s the word of God because you will never get a clearer, more comprehensive picture of the almighty God than you’re going to get in Jesus. All of the Bible is about Him.”
So the Bible is most definitely the No. 1 way to hear God’s voice. Moore suggested that there are four others – authority figures, Godly others, “still small” voices and life’s doors that open and close – but we must make sure whatever we hear is in accordance with what God teaches in the Bible.
This is where the magic we expect from God becomes really tricky.
Moore said the “Godly others” aspect is particularly important. He cited Proverbs 13:20 (“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”) and said it’s important to examine whether those advising you truly love you, care about you and love Jesus.
“You want to listen to people who care more about your future than they do your feelings,” he said. “What a lot of us do is we decide what we want, what we want, what we really, really want, right? And then we just look for people who tell us what we want to hear – what we want, what we want, what we really, really want. …
“It’s impossible to live the right kind of life if you’re hanging out with the wrong kind of people.”
The “still small” voice is like a prompting you feel, but you have to be careful about this one because it can be affected by the culture around you – a culture that often lies to us. Again, we must look to God’s word in the Bible.
“To rationalize is to tell yourself rational lies,” he said. “… A lot of people will say, ‘Follow your heart.’ Don’t do that. Your heart will lie to you.”
And then there are those doors that supposedly open and close.
“This is the one most people use,” Moore said. “It’s the least reliable. Here’s why: I can open a door … and I can close doors. Sometimes, we know what God wants us to do, but it’s difficult. And so here’s what we do: We just wrap some Christian-ese around it. ‘Oh, God closed that door.’ No, He didn’t. It’s just hard.”
Moore closed with this thought:
“If you’ll do the general things that God asks of you, then when it’s time you’ll know the specific things that you’re supposed to do.”
Clearly, that’s what He wants, what He really, really wants. That’s all the spice we need.
● Chapel replay.
● Next Monday’s Chapel speaker: Sean McGever, Young Life
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.