In today’s post, I want to discuss the thorny issue of hearing the voice of Jesus.
First, I grew up in a movement where it was common for people to say, “The Lord told me this,” and “God showed me that.” They said it so confidently, with such assurance, projecting the image that God talked to them as unmistakably as when a solicitor calls you on the phone.
Interestingly, whenever I’ve said to such people, “We really need a practical book that shows people how to practically recognize the Lord’s voice,” they became animated saying something like, “Oh, I really want to read a book like that!”
The only conclusion I can draw from this reaction is that these same people aren’t absolutely sure they are hearing from God (despite their confident claim that God speaks to them every time they blink).
Second, ever since I began following the Lord at age 16, I’ve found the whole issue of hearing the Lord clouded in mystery. Mostly because when I’ve heard people announce that God told them such and such (with absolute confidence), they made it sound like His voice is so different from their own thoughts that there’s no way they could mistake His for theirs.
Third, while there’s still a very small percentage of Christians roaming Planet Earth who’ve swallowed the unbiblical idea that God no longer speaks to His people today, the overwhelming majority of Jesus-followers are convinced that the Lord still speaks to His people today. And the New Testament stands with them.
Fourth, all told, there’s a tremendous hunger among God’s people to hear directly from their Lord. This is why the book Jesus Calling has sold over 10 million copies. Whatever you may think about that book, its success in sales sends one unmistakable message: God’s people are hungry to hear their Lord speak to them.
So let me press a few questions:
* What if the whole process of hearing the voice of Jesus could be demystified in a way that any believer could learn to recognize His voice? Not just pastors and Charismatics?
* What if you could have your own “Jesus calling” experience if someone simply showed you how? This, opposed to having to read someone’s book where Jesus allegedly spoke to them?
* What would happen if God’s people – even a small percentage of them – starting hearing the Lord’s voice regularly and began responding to what He was telling them? What sort of effect would this have on their own personal lives, on the body of Christ, and on the world?
Consider those questions for a moment.
Let me end this update with seven points that I’ve come to conclude over many years of experimenting, exploring, studying, and learning about the way the Lord speaks to us today:
- Jesus is alive and well. No has put duct tape around His mouth; He’s not mute. He still speaks to His people today. And not just when they read their Bibles.
- What Jesus says to His people will never contradict what He’s said previously (in the Scriptures).
- When Jesus spoke to people in the New Testament after His ascension, it was usually internal, not audible.
- The Lord’s voice comes to us mostly through our own thoughts, feelings, desires, and impressions.
- Scriptures gives us some very definite clues as to how to recognize the Lord’s voice from our own.
- You can sharpen your spiritual senses to hear His voice. You simply need some practical help on how to do so.
- Up until the 1800s, the vast majority of people were illiterate. Even today, 15% of the world still cannot read. While the ability to read is wonderful, it’s not a requirement to hear the Lord speak.
In Part 2, I share a few practical handles I’ve discovered that will help you to recognize the Lord’s voice in your own life.
New Book — JESUS SPEAKS – covers the waterfront on how to recognize and respond to the voice of Jesus Christ.
PICK MY BRAIN
Readers frequently ask me if they can “pick my brain.” I never liked the image that this phrase conveys, but I get it. In that connection, I love sharing what I’ve learned (and am learning) with others. I’m a problem-solver by nature. A good chunk of my Christian life has been spent seeking solutions to the struggles we all have and then sharing my discoveries with my readers. (I’m still on that journey, by the way.)
For those of you who’ve asked, here are 9 ways in which you can “pick my brain” (so to speak) and get my best work.