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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - What Does God's Voice Sound Like?

James Meehan - What Does God's Voice Sound Like?

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    James Meehan - What Does God's Voice Sound Like?
TOPICS: Culture Makers, God's Voice

Dominique: What's up, Culture Makers? We are so excited to have you today. My name's Dominique and we have James with us today and we're gonna be talking...

James Meehan: AKA, the Professor.

Dominique: Oh Lord. And we're gonna be talking about how to know the difference between our voice and God's voice?

James Meehan: Come on.

Dominique: A trash movie, according to James.

James Meehan: Haven't seen it yet.

Dominique: And Demi Lovato's new song, "29".

James Meehan: It's a bop.

Dominique: Yep.

James Meehan: I don't know. I haven't listened to it either.

Dominique: Hey guys, the question of the week is "How do I know the difference between God's voice and my voice"?

James Meehan: Number one: His voice, probably a little deeper than yours. You probably haven't even hit puberty.

Dominique: Oh, mercy, James. Not at all. Okay. Let me start with this.

James Meehan: Ooh. Okay.

Dominique: I would say His voice is kind. And I find myself, even now, I find myself sometimes just letting myself negative talk, cloud His gentle conviction. And so honestly, in those times where it's like I have 101 things going on, one small thing after another that's super negative. That's like, oh my God, I just need clarity. If I can center myself and just focus on Christ, I always know that His voice is different from my negative talk because it's just so clear and it's sweet.

James Meehan: I think it's so important because the thing that I often find myself doing is every time I mess up, I will be my harshest critic. I'm an Enneagram one, so we're the perfectionist, the reformer, we're renowned for having a really harsh inner critic. And so I have a tendency to mess one thing up and assume everything is on fire. Everything's falling apart. But I think what Dom said is so, so beautiful and powerful in the sense that our Father loves us. When He reveals Himself to us in the person of Jesus, we hear that He's full of grace and He's full of truth. So that means is He's not going to deny the fact that we probably did fall short, but He's gonna do it so kindly, gently, and compassionately. So if we find ourselves getting wrapped up in all of this negative self talk that's just tearing us down, that's probably not the voice of your Father.

Dominique: No, yeah. And I find it consistent every time. He's so patient with me.

James Meehan: Come on.

Dominique: I mess up and I allow the enemy to cloud my thoughts like time and time again, but He shows and reveals Himself to be patient and just give me those kind words. So it's so amazing to know I have confidence in my Father whenever He does gently convict me and everything. So that's good.

James Meehan: That's so good. So the first thing we would say is that His voice is kind. The second thing we would say is that His voice is clear. Now this doesn't mean that it's always obvious. I think that would be a bad way to understand what we're trying to say, but it is clear in the sense that when God speaks, a lot of the noise sort of gets cleared away. I remember back whenever I was pursuing my wife, before we started dating, there was this time where we were hanging out, getting to know each other, and I'm really praying and asking the question, "Is this person the person that I'm gonna spend the rest of my life with? Should I pursue a relationship with her"? And at the same time, there was another person that I was friends with that I could tell was expressing some interest in me. And I wasn't quite sure. "Do I pursue my wife, Mandy, or this other person"? And so I prayed for two weeks and I felt like I got nothing. And then after two weeks, what I felt like God was revealing to me was, "Hey, really the thing that matters is not who you pursue as long as you pursue Me".

Wow. That's good.

And when I heard that... And it wasn't like an audible voice, it was just this thought that popped in my mind, all of the confusion was settled and I was, "Oh, okay, well, cool. I really wanna pursue Mandy. So I'm gonna do that, but I'm gonna make sure that I stay true to the calling that God's given me first". And from that point on, that has been our philosophy. Even when we first started dating, even now in marriage, it's like, hey, we put Jesus first. And as we've put Him first, He's drawn us closer and closer together. And like I said, though, it took two weeks of intense prayer, wrestling with all of the pros and cons, I drew up a pros and cons list and that did not answer my question.

That's a one you are.

When I felt like God spoke, that cleared up a lot of the confusion.

That's so good. I find myself sometimes at night, I will run the day through my mind until I feel run down and I'm trying to go to sleep to find rest. But sometimes I know I just have to call on the Lord. I said, "Jesus, just clear my mind". And I'll literally pray in those moments just to find the peace that I need because I know He is my peace when I need it. And so that's really good. I love that.

That's great. So how do you know the difference between your voice and God's voice? The first thing is that God's voice is kind. The second thing, His voice is clear. And finally, His voice is true. It's always true. It'll always be true. And this is why it's so important that we learn how to discern His voice from ours. Because if we get it mixed up, we might think that our voice or the voice of the enemy is the thing that's true, and that will end up leading us into ruin. But when we can come back to God's voice knowing that it is true, that's gonna keep us moving in the right direction. So how do you make sure it's His voice and not your voice? Because what if I'm being kind to myself? What if I'm being clear in what I'm thinking?

I think for me, if it doesn't align with His Word and it aligns with what I want, that's how I know it's not His voice. But when I know it's His Word and it aligns with His Word, that's how I know that's God guiding me.

That's really good. One of the things that I like to remind people of is the fact that God has spoken to all of us over the course of about 1,500 or so years, and it's been collected in this thing that we call the Bible which is the inspired Word of God, written down from generation to generation, passed on to generation to generation. And what we believe is that His Word is true. That it's helpful. That it guides us in the way that we're meant to be. And so if you want to know the voice of God and make sure that what you're listening to is His voice and not your own voice, then man, make studying the Bible a consistent part of your life. Because the more you know His written Word, the more you'll be able to tell when it's actually Him who's speaking to you. And I think that's one of the most helpful things to do. Like, in the same way that when I go to pick up my son and I hear his laughter, even though there's like 20 other little kids in the room, I know it's his laugh because I spend time with him. I'm familiar with him. And so for you, as you are trying to navigate whose voice is it that's speaking to you, God's or yours, I would just encourage you to remember that His voice is gonna be kind, it's gonna speak clearly, and it's always gonna be true. And the more time you spend with Him, the better you'll be able to tell when it actually is Him speaking.

You ready to go into news?


And segments.

"And segments"!

The new Samaritan movie is described as a dark new take on superhero movies.

Yeah. Can't wait. They've never done that before.

Yeah. Is that true?

That's not true. That's such a lie. Here's the thing. Here's the thing. I feel like I thought we were kind of past this, this era of movies where we're subverting expectations for the sake of subverting expectations. It's like, "No, no, if you're gonna have a cool twist, make sure it actually makes the story better and the characters deeper". Now this movie may have that. I don't know, I haven't seen it yet for sure. All I know is that when movies come out, making claims like this, "Oh, this has never been done before". I'm just immediately skeptical. Cause 20 years ago there's a movie called Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis, who's also an eighties action hero just like Sylvester Stallone, where it was meant to be this gritty, realistic take on superheroes. And then we had the Christopher Nolan Batman films. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, with Batman The Dark Knight, with Heath Ledger's Joker as the greatest superhero movie of all time, bar none. Don't @ me bro, because you are wrong. But that was a dark and gritty take on superhero movies.

It was, yeah.

But you've got some shows on Amazon right now called The Boys, which I don't watch 'cause there's too much nudity apparently, but it's meant to be a dark and gritty take on superheroes. And so I say all that to say it might be good.

Oh my God. I can't tell.

Listen, if it's good and there's not nudity, I'll watch it.

Man, I didn't know. Well, I don't really care for action. I saw the trailer and I was actually very...

Yeah, don't judge.

I saw the trailer and I was like, "Okay, this looks good". And I'm not gonna lie, I thought it was original. But apparently I don't know anything about action.

Well, who knows? Maybe.

I don't know. I'm a big fan of Homeboy from Rambo. I forgot his name.

Sylvester Stallone.

There it is.

He also played Rocky.

Yep, yep. There it is. So I'm excited for it.

I am really interested because the title of the movie, "Samaritan," seems like it's gonna be a play on the parable of the Good Samaritan, that Jesus spoke of this stranger who has mercy, compassion on these people who are hurt.

Come on, James. I see it. I see it.

So I'll be really interested to see where they go with that. I don't have a lot of hope for it, though. I've been kind of ruined by most movies and so I want something to rebuild my hope in them.

Let us pray and intercede for James and his hope in the action movie.

'Cause I love movies and they just keep letting me down.

For sure. Man, I get that. Okay. Next we got music. Demi Lovato drops a new song called "29" that speaks on age-inappropriate relationships and is prompting other people on TikTok to share their stories.

And so you were telling me a little bit about this, about how Demo Lovato when she was, what was it? 17? Was in a relationship with somebody who was 29. And I think what's interesting about her releasing this song and kind of telling this story in the way that she is, it feels really timely to me. Because I think that what's happened over the last 10ish years or so is we've kind of just lost every sort of ethic around sexual activity other than consent. Like, as long as there is consent, then anything goes. And I do think that consent is a really great minimum, but it's probably not the ideal place. And I think what's interesting is historically speaking in a lot of places, minors weren't able to actually give consent until they were of the age of 18. And so what Demi Lovato I think is doing here is pretty counter-cultural, but I think it's really helpful and important because the truth is that as a 17-year-old being in a relationship with a 29-year-old, you are way in over your head because the types of things that are normal for me in my life today, I'm 27, are radically different than when I was 17. And what that type of relationship probably would've done is exposed me to things that would not at all have been good to me at the time. And the thing is you might be watching this and thinking "Yeah, but dude, I'm real mature for my age". And you may be, but there's no reason to force yourself or jump into a season of life that isn't actually gonna be good for you in the long run.

Yeah, no, for sure. I believe that. For me, whenever I heard it, I thought of her sharing her testimony and just the power of being able to share your testimony. I truly believe that when we go out and we tell people of the story of how God has radically changed us, it can be a prayer answered for someone that God has been waiting for you to just tell. You know what I mean?

A hundred percent.

And so I really commend her for this and my hope is that other people will start to share their story, whether it be about this subject, or another subject and just share the love of God, honestly. So I'm excited.

And for you, as a follower of Jesus, one of the most powerful evidences you can give that God is real, that He is love, is the way that He's changed your life. And so if you've got an opportunity, man, share that with somebody you know, because that could be a really powerful way to maybe open up their heart and their mind and their eyes to the truth that God wants to show them.

And one thing I love is God will send people to you because He knows what He's brought you through.

Ooh, come on.

And so please never allow the shame that the enemy will try to cover you with to stop you from sharing that testimony. Because again, that could be a prayer that they've been praying and you are the answer to that. And so I encourage you don't allow shame to stop you.

Come on. That's good.

Next we have sports. Duke volleyball there.


Yep. Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson reveals racist remarks every time she served the ball by fans sitting in the BYU Student Section. She says those remarks were not a reflection of the BYU athletes, but it is a chance to educate those who act in hateful ways. Man, what do you think of that?

I mean, I think anytime we, as human beings, are looking down on somebody else, period, it's wrong. And when we're looking down on somebody else because they're a different race than we are, that is actually evil. That is sin. It's wrong. And the good news of the gospel is that Jesus came to free us from that. And I think what's difficult is sometimes we can be blind to our own issues. And I love what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount where he talks about, "Hey, before you try to take the speck out of your brother or sister's eye, maybe deal with the plank in your own eye". And so while it would be really easy for me to sit here and condemn those people in the student section because what they did is wrong and it is evil. What I don't now want to do is start looking down on them because their sin looked different than mine. Because all of us, we are sinners who have fallen short of the standard of God's grace and all of us, we are sinners, who have fallen short of God's standard. But thankfully, His grace meets us right where we are and transforms us from the inside out. So that instead of being hateful, whatever, we can become people that are just like you talked about, when we share our story. We can be people whose story shows off the love of God. And so I really applaud Rachel for being able to respond with so much maturity and grace, because that is not easy. But I think what she did there is she really exemplified turning the other cheek, not casting a stone at these people who are hurtful and hateful towards her, but using this as an opportunity to bring awareness that, hey, we're human beings. We mess it up, but we can learn, we can grow, and we can be better.

I know we serve the God of love.

Come on.

And so if I'm not showing and sharing that, then I know I need to correct myself and He will correct me, too, and so I'm very happy for Rachel that she was able to, like you said, turn the other cheek, 'cause it is extremely hard, especially in society now. And everyone wants to just, "Okay, you're showing hate, I'm ready to come for you and you're done. You're done".

It reminds me of I think one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. as he talks about how "hate cannot drive out hate. Dark cannot drive out dark. Only light and love can do that". And so when we respond to hate with love, to darkness with light, then we can actually be a part of making something better come out of what is a really dark situation.

Yeah. That's really good. You ready for the challenge of the week?

"Challenge of the week"!

Take time to be with your Father so you can better learn His voice.

Come on.

Yeah. I like it.

Take some time this week, dive into God's Word. If you're looking for a place to start, we would actually really encourage you to check out one of our Bible plans we wrote a while ago. It's called Becoming like Jesus: Silence and Solitude. And the whole goal of that Bible plan is to help you create space so that you can experience the presence of God, discover His voice, and allow that relationship to deepen so that you can be transformed from the inside out. You can find link to that in the description of this video.

Awesome. I love it. Well, what a great day, James!

"What a great day. Peace".


And happiness.



See ya.

And for always.

Bye guys.

Goodbye now.
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