This sermon is years old. The foundation of it lays in a prophetic word I gave in 2014.
This message has been one of the most impactful sermons I’ve ever received or given, and while it was pertinent a number of years ago, I believe it’s even more so now.
Are you a notes person? Here’s my preaching notes for this message. A few ‘caveats’ since these are just copied from my notes. T/S means ‘transition statement. ILL means illustration. APP means application and EXP means exposition. 🙂
INTRO: I have a little baby girl named Sophie, and one thing that absolutely melts my heart is how she responds to my voice. She knows my voice when I say her name because she knows ‘that’s my daddy.’ When I walk in the house tomorrow night and say ‘Sophie,’ even if she doesn’t see me she is going to get a huge smile on her face and begin looking for me and crawling towards where my voice came from. She has learned to identify, even at a very young age, the voice of her father.
This same ability MUST be true of Christians. Jesus said of His followers that ‘my sheep know my voice.’ It doesn’t say my older sheep. My more anointed sheep. The sheep that have been saved the longest. The pastor sheep. Or the worship team sheep. It just says ‘my sheep.’
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T/S: My desire is to ignite something in you that doesn’t just hear God’s voice, but craves it and obeys it. Valuing it above every other voice in your life.
Let’s open up to Genesis 27.
Part of the way that we grow in hearing the voice of God is by identifying the illegitimate voices and learning, really making up our minds, not to give them any influence in our lives.
Synopsis. What’s happening is that Isaac is getting close to dying and he has to bless his son, Esau, before he dies.
Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so
dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”
And he answered him, “Here I am.”
2 Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
4 And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. 6 So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7 ‘Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9 Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”
13 But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice,….. and go, get them for me.”
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The principle here is that you will obey the voices that you are around the most, and for Jacob, that was his mother.
Earlier we read in Genesis 25 that Jacob was a quiet man living among the tents. Translation? He was a momma’s boy. His mom was the pronounced voice, was the loudest voice, in Jacob’s life. And because it was the loudest voice, he inclined his ear to it.
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EXP: Obey only my voice. His mother became the voice coaching him to do something he KNEW was contrary to his father’s will.
APP: What is the loudest voice in your life? Is it the voice of God, the voices of those you trust to lead you, or is it the voice of the culture, the voice of media, the pressures of life, the voices of friends that are perfectly content with leading you astray.
ILL: Many of you are giving your ear to these other voices because you don’t see where it leads. Your life is on a path, and it’s destination is determined by what voices you give your ear to.
Many of you young men hear will hear porn say ‘obey only my voice’ because you don’t understand that it’s going to screw up your marriage in ten years.
Young people are listening to main stream media say ‘obey only my voice’ because you don’t understand music is a way into your heart that can shape who you are becoming.
Many young women will hear a razor blade for cutting say ‘obey only my voice’ because you don’t understand that that is a precursor for suicide keeping you from giving your ear to the voice of Jesus telling you that He can save you and make you whole.
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APP: Many in this generation are giving their ears to the wrong voice, but I believe there is a remnant, a growing remnant, that is rising up and saying ‘I have heard the voice of my beloved and my king, and He alone has my ear.’
A generation that says I will not cave to the pressure of obeying the voices of those around me that are saying something different than what my father is saying.
Guard your ears beloved. Choose carefully which voices you let in to influence the way your soul leans.
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T/S: This part of the story is tragic because not only is Jacob listening to the wrong voices but his father Isaac gives away everything he owns not based on the voice of the firstborn but how he feels.
15 Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 So he went to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”
20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”
And he said, “Because the Lord your God brought it to me.”
21 Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.
EXP: I don’t know if you caught that. Isaac said ‘you FEEL like Esau, but you SOUND like Jacob.’
Isaac is about to give away everything he owns to his oldest son Esau, but Jacob is able to steal this blessing because Isaac based his judgement off of what he FELT and not what he HEARD!
Wouldn’t that have been enough for you and me? Esau, why is your voice so high pitched, cuz Jacob was a momma’s boy and all, stop doing your impersonation of Jacob and talk regular so I really know it’s you.
That would have been my reaction. But Isaac was focused on a feeling. Isaac wasn’t paying attention to the voice! Isaac based his judgement off of what he FELT and not what he HEARD! Why is this important to us.
Because Jesus Christ is the true firstborn. And Isaac gave everything that was meant for the firstborn to someone else because he wasn’t listening for the voice of the firstborn, he was looking for what felt right.
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APP: Haven’t we done the same thing? Our worship is determined by how we feel and how much ‘anointing’ we feel, and how good we feel the service was.
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We base the impact of a service off of how many goosebumps we have and what we feel instead of the truth being released in a microphone.
And instead of giving everything to Jesus we give it all to a feeling and say ‘that was a powerful service’ when often it was just a good show.
Why? Because we care more about how the other son feels instead of what the firstborn says. We care more about how we, the sons of God, feel than we do about what the firstborn, Jesus, has to say.
We’ve made our Christianity about a feeling and instead of giving our hearts to the voice of God we’ve given it to the emotions of man.
This is the danger of movements that cater only to seekers and strive to keep everyone happy, especially the parts of these movements that say ‘come in for an hour, eat your doughnut, I’ll preach a feel good message, and you can leave feeling good about the fact that you went to church this week.’
We’ve made it man centered. We’ve made it about how the people that come to church feel and in doing so we’ve
grieved Jesus by compromising the truth, compromising the voice because it still FEELS right.
The question is not do our gatherings feel right, but is the voice coming out of them voice of Jesus, or the voice of a preacher posing as a man of God that cares more about how many butts go in how many seats instead of caring about being the voice piece of God that he was called to be before he chose Jacob over Esau.
Don’t get me wrong, I do care about how you feel, but I care a lot more about being true to his voice than I do catering to your feelings.
The reason I don’t cater to feelings is because the world does that enough. Isn’t that what we are taught? If it feels good it must be right. If it feels good it must be good.
The entire reason we have shallow churches that call people to a life of church participation instead of a life of discipleship is because leaders have become more comfortable asking the question ‘how do you feel’ instead of ‘what is God saying.’
Beloved, there should be an OUTCRY in you when you go to school and teachers hand out condoms because sex
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feels good instead of teaching abstinence because that is what the word of God says.
There should be a boldness that comes on you when homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle and the word of God is trampled underfoot in favor of being politically correct.
There should be a holy anger that comes over you when your parents are watching junk on television and when you walk in the room you say ‘that’s contrary to the word of God and if you are gonna serve the same God I do you can’t watch that mess.’
Giving your ear to the firstborn, the true voice of God will produce in you a lifestyle of purity and holiness.
God doesn’t desire you to know the voice of Jesus for the sake on just enjoying His company. If you can learn His voice you can change the world.
And I’m not just talking about the voice of God through a preacher. Anyone can hear the voice of God through a man of God with a microphone. Anyone can hear when I shout a message, but have you learned to incline your ear when He is whispering revelation.
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I’m talking about the voice that you learn in the secret place when no one else isn’t around. The voice that you learn by abiding in him.
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ILL: My Sophie doesn’t just light up when she sees my face because she just magically knows it. The REASON that she knows it is because she lives with me. She hears me all the time. She’s learned my voice because she is around my voice.
APP: The way we learn the voice of God is by learning to abide in Him.
John 15 talks about how Jesus is the true vine and we are the branches, and we are to abide in him.
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