The most fascinating thing to me about our faith in Jesus is that God speaks. Right now, His very voice is being heard by all creation and is resounding throughout the whole earth. Creation, alive and in constant movement, is responding to His voice, following after His voice, and participating in the sound of His voice. In John 10, as Jesus attempted to bring Israel into faith in Him, He declared Himself the “Good Shepherd”. He instructed that His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him; for they know He goes before them, calls them by name, and leads them. They know the sound of His voice, but they will flee from the voice of a stranger. (see John 10:3-5).
This all comes with belief. Believing unlocks voice recognition! Which stands to reason, since “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom 10:17). However, this hearing is practiced with hearts wide open to Jesus: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness…” (Romans 10:10). And, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:15).
Jesus– Full Disclosure!
Just recently, I was speaking with a young mother at church who wasn’t sure if she could hear God’s voice. Her dilemma wasn’t that she couldn’t hear His voice; she just hadn’t learned to have confidence in her hearing. She needed help with her “voice recognition” of Jesus. When we speak of Jesus’ voice, we are speaking of His sound: Who He is, all He is, and all He has accomplished and become. The word “voice” in the Greek is translated “Phone,” and pronounced “Fo-nay’”. Yep: It’s where we get the word “phone”. It means “sound with the purpose of disclosure”. In other words, Jesus reveals His voice in many ways and in many sounds; He discloses Himself to us, to know Him and be known by Him. For instance, when you hear a worship song that warms your heart, and awakens love from Him which responds in love back to Him? That’s His voice. Or reading a scripture that brings hope and awakens desire? That’s His voice, too. Walking through nature and being drawn to the majesty of God in His creation? Yes, His voice. Being quiet and sensing or feeling His peace? Again: His voice. His voice is active and alive and able to come to us in and through all situations!
“You do hear His voice,” I said to this young mom. “It’s just that you think it’s some big audible sound of literal words. . .so you are missing the subtle nuances, the subliminal whispers, the little kisses of God.” After sharing with her, I wondered how many of us are hearing the voice of God, but don’t know it? Do we lack God-confidence to attribute these subtle “disclosures of Jesus” as Jesus’ voice to us, and are we therefore missing key faith moments and promptings to follow Jesus into more LIFE–and that more abundantly?!
There are countless ways the Lord can speak and disclose Himself. Of course, Scripture is the highest authority, but without a soft heart to hear His voice, Scripture can be read as law and not lead us to Christ. We can become obsessed, legalistic, or just give up; we can feel we just don’t “get it”. But we do hear; we just need to quiet ourselves, return to rest, listen for love, and hear His goodness.
God speaks Jesus
God speaks to us in His Son (Hebrews 1:2), so everything said to us now and forever is inside of Christ and all He has accomplished. All our “knowing” is in Christ and what He has done for us. When we begin in Christ and continue in Christ, we will hear His voice in everything and follow Him freely. We are accepted, so won’t hear rejection; we are redeemed, so we won’t listen to condemnation. We will recoil from the voice of the stranger and thief! The thief speaks death. Jesus speaks life. We will not accept condemnation, or shame, or punishment, or fear. No. God speaks to us in His Son! God speaks Jesus. Jesus calls us by name, we hear His voice, and we follow Him.
Scripture is important in order to build in us a clear and complete picture of our victorious Lord, Jesus Christ. To know Him in Scripture is to enjoy Him in life. He is there, always giving life and that more abundantly! Maybe not fixing everything outwardly (He’s not our butler!), but always speaking hope, healing, and love. Jesus is our Husband, not our servant. His voice comforts, His voice leads. His voice subdues all things to Himself, especially our fearful, timid souls. His voice speaks love, life, and light into every situation and into every area of our hearts. No matter where we are, Jesus comes to us, calling us, leading us into life. Deeper in and deeper up, into Him. We follow Him, and He gives us more life–eternal life–and such assuring security in Him.
Believing Hearts Hear the Sound
Yes, we do hear His voice with our believing hearts– in sounds everywhere, every day, always. Quietness helps silence all other competing sounds, and stillness brings His peace and rest. Listening for His goodness and love creates a ready heart to believe. Oh, what a joy it is to hear His voice, and in hearing, to believe.
We, His sheep, can say, “We do hear His voice and know Him and He knows us, and we do follow Him into eternal life!” Try meditating these verses in John 10 as truth for you and your “NOW” experience with Jesus: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10: 27, 28. Listen for His goodness, His heart, His love and assurance for you, His Beloved one. . .