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Who Do You Say That I Am is the question that draws out the essence of Christian faith. In this episode, we learn about hearing God even when we're unaware. 

Who Do You Say That I Am

Harmony Of The Gospels Series-24, Mt 16:13-28 (also Mk 8:27-38, Lk 9:18-27)

For more information about Jesus see these books on the History of Jesus Christ.

For more information and application of this episode, see these books on Who Do You Say Tha I Am? 

Ever had someone say, "God told me…" as an excuse for doing something? Maybe a person wanted to win an argument, or put you in a position where you couldn't question what they said, so they claimed it was from God. That kind of thing happens among Christians a lot. There is no stronger leverage than saying, "it's from God." One time I was teaching on this subject to a small group of Christians and mentioned God had told me something. When I was done speaking, no one wanted to talk to me. Usually a speaker gets a little attention after talking, but they seemed to want me out of there. It was like that old saying:

Speaking to God is called praying. God speaking to you is called insanity.

It seems strange, though, that people who identify themselves as having God living inside them (Christians) still think we can't hear from Him directly. There are people who talk to Him every day that think He doesn't talk to them. How sad! Maybe some of you feel God has never spoken to you. If that's you, I want you to start wondering why, just like I did. It's a funny thing; I knew I had heard from God on a number of occasions in different ways. My call to ministry, a miraculous confirmation, instructions of where to get my ministry degree…but I still felt there was something missing. In Bible college, I kept hearing students say, "God told me…" this and …that. After a while I started feeling like I hadn't heard from God, at all. Every day I would pray for God to speak to me and every day I would hear silence. This went on for 3 months, then he spoke. I'll tell you what he said later on, but right now it's just important that you know this from our Scriptures, today, no matter what your experience has been…

It's Possible For Every Person To Hear And Understand God.

1. Hearing Vs 15-17: "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."

Peter had heard from God, that Jesus was the long awaited Savior, the Son of God in a human body. Can you imagine how that must have impacted Peter? It seems like Peter was just answering a question, but it was God's answer. How many times have we asked for something in prayer, gotten the answer from some human source, and not even remembered we asked God. Once, in the Old Testament, God uses a donkey to speak to a prophet, because the prophet was no longer listening to God. Most of the time, the issue isn't that God isn't talking, it's that we're not listening. We ask Him and then ignore His answers…or we don't ask him at all. My brother, back when he didn't believe in God, asked me why I thought God would talk to me and not him. I never said God wouldn't talk to him, so I asked my brother, "When's the last time you asked God for His opinion?" That was the end of the conversation. We can't complain that God isn't talking if we don't want to hear Him.  One of the ways we hear Him is through the Word He's already spoken, recorded in the Bible. If we're not spending time trying to receive the Word He's already recorded for us, we can't really expect Him to fill us with a bunch of new revelations. Want to hear God? Read and study His Word. There are an unlimited number of ways God will speak to us if we want to hear. Sometimes, through people who, like Peter, don't even know they're speaking for God. They just say whatever pops into their noggin.

Here's a key to hearing God: Accept that He's already speaking to you.

God doesn't want us to be in doubt about his will. Jesus said He'd let us in on His plans. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit was given to comfort and guide us. Don't you know God has spoken to you? Did we come to God because of an idea of our own? The Bible says no one comes to God except God draw them and no one says Jesus is Lord except by God's power. We sit here thinking we haven't heard God unless the clouds part, a beam of light shines on us and a deep voice calls us by name, but we're actually hearing Him all the time. The bible says God causes us to desire and to act in His good purpose (Php2:13). We don't need to walk around in confusion and doubt. Of course we're gonna make mistakes, but we should start with the expectation that His Word is true and we're hearing Him whenever we have a good and unselfish idea. His Word is also the way we comprehend what He is saying.

Continued at Who Do You Say That I Am-2

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