Elements City Church
Whispers series: Listen Carefully (wk3)
Do you know how to tune in and hear the voice of God? He’s still speaking friend. We're beginning the year reminding ourselves to listen up - learning how to hear from the voice that spoke all the cosmos into existence. One day this voice will make all things new. He still speaks to us. Guiding. Leading. Loving. Teaching. God often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close. Lean in.
Locations & Times
  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    Sunday 5:00 PM

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As we begin a new year, we wanted to take 3 weeks to challenge one another to get ‘tuned in’ to hearing from God. To encourage one another to live out a proactive pursuit of hearing from God – to learn how to attune our ears and hearts – to Listen Closely, Listen Up and Listen Carefully to the whispers of God for each of us. Here's 2 books that you might find helpful:
Whisper, by Mark Batterson
Hearing God, by Dallas Willard
Listen carefully – is something your mamma would say to you when she wanted you not just to hear something, but to truly soak in her words & hear her heart behind them. The same is imperative for us, as we lean in, attune ourselves to hearing the whispers of God. We need to not only listen for His words and their meaning, but His Heart behind them as well. We need to become familiar with His voice.
God loves you. He’s familiar with you and longs for you to become familiar with him. He still speaks friends.
“The one who does not expect God to speak will discount every single time that God does speak.” -AW Tozer
The Good Shepherd knows your name. He calls to you, to follow him.
One of the perks of getting home to heaven with God is that we get to learn the nickname Jesus has for each of us:) Friends: attune your life in order to listen carefully to the voice of your good shepherd…he knows you and knows how to connect with you.
Mark Batterson speaks about the 7 love languages God uses to communicate with us: (check out his book: "Whisper")
1. Scriptures
2. Desires
3. Doors
4. Dreams
5. People
6. Promptings
7. Pain
God will predominately speak through His Word (the Bible) and The Word (Jesus) - we said this the first week. Our takeaway was: God speaks most clearly to those who are mulling over His Word consistently.
“It cannot be stressed too much that the permanent address at which the word of God may be found is the Bible. More of God’s speaking to me has come in conjunction with the study (reading) and teaching of the Bible than with anything else.” -Dallas Willard

“The (written) Word is the wire along which the voice of God will certainly come to you if your heart is hushed and your attention fixed.”
–Fredrick B Meyer
As we engage the Bible – we seek to encounter the ONE who inspired it: we don’t read to just get through the Scriptures - we read in order to get them through us. We don’t read to accomplish some assignment, but to encounter the ONE who still speaks through them to connect with us.
We don’t read to endure, but to experience and engage God and his heart.

4 unique ways you can practice engaging the Scriptures in order to hear from God and grow to know Him and his heart better.

Devotional style:
-Lectio Divina – leaning into a passage to listen for one word, one phrase God wants to unpack and serve up to minister to you; that you may know him better. Ask Him why that word/phrase is sticking out to you? Ask Him to show you how that can grow you to love Him and love people?

-Circling a passage - you take a passage of Scripture and you read until you feel a nudge to stop (see something you haven’t seen, sense the HS quicken your pulse on a word, phrase, reality unfolding in the story. Take 5 days to circle it. Day 1: read until the Lord stops you on a verse, phrase (ask him to speak to you from that place). Day 2 Read it again and ask Him to apply this portion to a specific situation. Day 3 Read it again and ask him to convict your own heart from this portion today. Day 4 Read it again and ask Him to reveal Himself – a facet of His nature, character, attributes, heart to your from within that portion. Day 5 Read it again and ask Him to use this portion of Scripture to fuel your prayer that day and how you can apply what you’ve been discovering/hearing from Him.

-Narrative integration (inserting yourself into the story; picking a character within the Scripture (parable, story) and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your contemplation of how things unfolded for that person; what God might want to communicate to you as you reflect about His heart, his truth, how he wants to move your heart as you contemplate through that character’s thoughts, feelings, reality.

Study Style:
-deep dive (informing our mind so it impacts our heart) – this is about getting to dig into the original language meaning of words (hebrew / greek) to understand the nuanced meanings of language and cultural context to help us more fully comprehend what’s going on in the text. It’s studying to KNOW ABOUT – then reflecting on how that helps us KNOW BETTER. Knowledge can puff us up – but biblical knowledge must lead us to being a person that more deeply loves God and loves people. Our study & reflection on what we’re learning about - must drive us to live out what we’re learning in grace and truth.

=there are more than these 4 for sure, but these can help you as you seek to hear from God in His Word.
Lectio Divina was developed as a formal discipline for Scripture meditation in ancient times by Benedict of Nursia (480 – 547). It has been expanded further over the centuries by monks who follow Saint Benedict’s “Rule,” but it isn’t just for monks. Lectio Divina is a tried and true approach to meditating on passages from the Bible. It’s a practiced way to taking the Word of God deep into our hearts and lives.

Centers around 4 R’s
Read (read 2-3 times – slowly; followed by silence, being still with the word or phrase that is standing out to you)
Reflect (what’s stirring within me; why?; what am I meant to hold onto?)
Respond (prayerfully offering our hearts to him in response)
Rest (thanking God for nourishing your heart, whispering & meeting w/ you)

questions to ask:
-read through verse/psg -- 2-3 times and sit with it for a few moments
-what phrase, word or insight is sticking out?
-why might God be bringing that to mind?
-how does this help me know God better, see him better, love Him more?
-how does this help me in loving others better?
Lectio Divina (practice text)
John 10:1-3; 11-14
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd… 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.

-what phrase, word or insight is sticking out?
-why might God be bringing that to mind – stirring your heart with that?
-how does this help me know God better & see him better
--how does this help me in loving God & loving people?
=what’s your take-away; what’s God whispering to you?
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IF YOU'RE NEW: we throw a 10-minute party immediately following the service in the back corner of the room, if you're new, we'd love to meet you and welcome you!
REMINDER: we are NOT having Sunday service next Sunday evening. We are doing our SERVE SUNDAY in the morning instead. Meet us at Catalina High School at 9am next Sunday morning! SEE THE APP FOR FULL DETAILS (under events for Feb 3rd).