Hearing The Voice Of Jesus

Do you believe Jesus speaks to you?

I do.

I’m not getting all ooky-spooky about this. I don’t hear voices or anything like that. In fact, that’s precisely the problem. Most of the time, I don’t hear anything at all. But I don’t think it’s because He’s not talking.

The problem is that I’m not very good at listening.

In John 10 Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd. In a couple of different places He says that His sheep will know Him and will follow because they recognize His voice.

He’s also pretty clear that those who don’t believe are not part of His flock. They apparently don’t follow because they don’t recognize His voice.

Hmmmm.

I absolutely believe I’m one of Jesus’ sheep. Because of grace and His sacrifice, I’ve heard and recognized His voice.

Last evening I sat around a table with a group of guys who share this belief. We all agreed that we’ve had brief moments in which God has led us in a specific direction. We also agreed that, in general, we’re not consistent in seeking His voice.

So we asked ourselves “Why.” Here’s some of what emerged.

Fear. Standing up for what’s right might involve all sorts of risks. We may encounter social ridicule or significant professional consequences. It’s awfully easy to imagine the terrible things that might occur and forget the eternal perspective from which we’re supposed to operate.

Busyness. We allow every moment to be consumed with tasks. Whether they’re unimportant, important, or critical doesn’t really matter; it’s simply a fact that there’s simply no time to stop, be quiet, and listen. Our culture makes “quiet time” a vice—if you’re not doing something, you’re doing nothing. It’s no longer acceptable to “Be still and know that I am God.”

Stuff. We pursue stuff for its own sake. We go to work to get the money to buy the stuff, as though the stuff somehow adds value to our lives. And of course there’s never enough, and we end up feeling like a hamster running on one of those wheels that spins but never moves.

Comfort. We worship comfort, and we sort of inherently know that God often calls us out of our personal comfort zones. If we really listen we just might hear that shepherd’s voice asking us to step somewhere we’d rather no go.

Security. Right here feels pretty safe. I’ve got my IRA and my insurance and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Of course it’s all pretty much the illusion of security, but it’s a comforting illusion. I’d kinda like to hang onto it.

Impatience. God seems to have His own sense of timing. This men’s group is studying the story of Nehemiah, who prayed for four months while waiting to ask the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem. Four months? I lose focus after four minutes. Either God needs to talk faster, or I need to listen slower.

What would you add? What gets in the way of you hearing Jesus’ voice?

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Dixon
Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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