My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
~ Jesus, John 10:27
Countless Christians today are hungry to hear God’s voice. The trouble is, many don’t know how. In a warm and practical way, Jesus Speaks teaches readers how to listen for the voice of Jesus. The book explores the various ways in which Christ speaks today and how His sheep can grow in their ability to recognize and respond to His voice daily.
By exploring how the disciples interacted with the risen Jesus—from the Gospels to Revelation—Sweet and Viola unpack the myriad of ways the Lord speaks to His people today. They demystify the process, providing practical handles on how you can recognize the voice of Jesus in your own life.
In 2009, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola set out on a journey of discovery. They had one goal: to help restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ above all else. Soon after, they released their national bestseller, Jesus Manifesto. Two years later, they released Jesus: A Theography, beautifully establishing that all Scripture unveils a person—the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Speaks is the long-awaited third volume in their JESUS trilogy. Read it and be equipped to hear the voice of your Lord.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
A large segment of Christians claim that God speaks to them. One of us grew up in a movement where the phrase The Lord told me was the order of the day. “The Lord told me to call my friend.” “The Lord showed me whom to marry.” “This morning I was in my kitchen and the Lord said to call my mother.” And similar reports.
The result is that an even larger segment of the Christian community is left feeling, “Why doesn’t the Lord speak to me like that?” Or worse, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I hear the Lord like these other people do?” The result: We have people claiming that the Lord speaks to them constantly. And we have others who feel God is giving them the cold shoulder.
Either way, countless Christians today desperately want to know how to hear the voice of their Savior. But if they are honest, they will admit they don’t quite know how. If this describes you, then this book was written for you.
In this volume, we aim to make one simple yet critical assertion: Jesus Christ is always speaking to His followers. It is up to us to learn how to recognize His voice. And when we do learn to identify His voice,
it becomes as familiar as our own heartbeats.
If you are one of the Lord’s true sheep, your heart is already attuned to hear His voice. Now you just need to learn how to distinguish it from all of the other voices jamming your frequencies.
Radio stations are constantly sending their unique signals through the airwaves. But unless a person’s radio is tuned to a particular frequency, he will never pick up the signals.
Hearing the voice of Jesus Christ is much the same. Because Jesus dwells within every genuine believer through the Holy Spirit, He is always speaking, always leading, always revealing. And He speaks in many different ways.
Scripture presents a paradox when it comes to hearing the voice of Jesus. In John chapter 10, the Lord plainly said, “My sheep hear my voice” (v. 27 kjv). So the Good Shepherd speaks to His sheep, and His sheep unfailingly hear His voice.
But Jesus also said this to His beloved sheep, “Whoever has ears, let them hear” (Rev. 2:7). Here Jesus says that the one who “has ears” must “hear” His voice. If Jesus asks us to hear, then it is not automatic.
How do we resolve this conflict? It’s the difference between having a sound wave hit your eardrum
(hearing) and discerning what’s being said and who is saying it (recognition).
So while the Lord frequently speaks to us and we “hear” His voice, we don’t really hear it unless we recognize it. This book is an exploration of what it means to listen with both sets of ears.
From the Introduction.