Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How To Hear the Voice of Jesus

How to Hear the Voice of Jesus
My Musings on Scriptural Spiritual Discernment

Intro Resources:
Smith, Gordon. Listening to God in Times of Choice: The Art of Discerning God’s Will.
                      . The Voice of Jesus.
Willard, Dallas. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.

Initial thought – Hearing the Voice of Jesus (aka, Discernment) falls under the larger umbrella of discipleship, for we are all disciples of something or someone. All humans hear the voice of someone speaking into our soul. The question will be, "Which one will we follow?" - The voice of Jesus or all the other competing voices in our lives? We will either listen to the “Script of culture” or the “Scripture of the Kingdom.”

Great texts to ponder as we begin:
1.    John 10 – Good Shepherd; My Sheep Hear my Voice and Obey
2.    Ps 81:13, “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways; how quickly I would subdue their enemies”
3.    Ps 95:7-8, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (as later quoted in Hebrews 4:7)

How does Jesus Speak into our lives? Through what life events or spiritual disciplines?
1.    His Written Word – Make Bible a sacramental reading for the rest of your life
2.    His Preached Word
3.    Means of Grace (thank you John Wesley)
o   Prayer
o   Scripture
o   Lords Supper
o   Worship-Fellowship-Society-Accountability-Bands
o   Fasting
4.    Lectio Divina
o   Spiritual Reading – Truth found in historical Christian classics and contemporary material. Decide: who are your ancient writing pastors…contemporary writing pastors?
5.    Trusted Friends and Counselors
o   This is Body Life at its best. It is in clear opposition to the voices of so many others who speaks lies or non-truths into our ears (eg. See friend of Job)
6.    Angels
o   When we examine the Biblical evidence, we simply cannot deny the reality
o   OT
§  Abraham - Gen 18
§  Lot – Gen 19
§  Joshua 5:13
o   NT
§  Pre-Incarnation - Joseph, Mary,
§  Post-Resurrection - Women at tomb, Peter Acts 10
7.    Dreams/Visions
o   Abraham, Joseph, Daniel
o   Joseph (Matt 1-2, 4X’s), Paul (Acts 16), Peter (Acts 10)
8.    Speaking thru Created Order
o   Matt 6 – Consider the Birds of the air, Lilies of the field
o   Listening to the Lord while walking, observing, pondering His vast creation
9.    Circumstances
o   Obstacles in the way, sometimes deep and tragic which bring transformation
o   Doors that have been opened, which brings inner peace
o   Be cautious not to put fingers in the way of doors being closed!
10.  Inner Voice of the Holy Spirit - How do we “test the Spirit?”
o   Voice of Jesus is always in harmony with Scripture
o   Voice of Jesus is always in harmony with the character of Jesus
o   Voice of Jesus always tells us to move in the “Jesus way”
§  It's the “harder way” (add painful way…humble way…merciful way)
·      Smith Family Call Principle: “Planning to Stay…but Willing to Go!”
·      One should “remain” in the place 1 Cor 7:17-24 -
·      Stay in Ephesus…1 Tim 1:3
§  It's the more “sacrificial way” (add “costly way”)
§  It’s shaping the Imago Dei in us
§  It's never just “truth. Never just “love”. But it speaks the “truth in love.”
o   Voice of Jesus always draws us to Him…never away!
§  Opposite is when the evil one speaks. He divides, isolates, condemns
o   Voice of Jesus is usually the quiet-est
§  Still small voice - 1 Kings 19:10-18 (esp. 19:12)
o   Voice of Jesus is authoritative
§  It never argues…it does not need to justify itself
§  Simply speaks with self-authenticating authority
o   Voice of Jesus is usually “call-centered” not “need-oriented”
§  Remember, Missio Dei…. Triune God is on a mission and He asks us to serve within His Mission…not every human need (Mark 1:35-39)

Quote from Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

o   Words of Jesus to us: I love you for who you are, not for what you do. Many voices vie for control of your mind, especially when you sit in silence. You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not. Ask My Spirit to give you this discernment. Many of My children run around in circles, trying to obey the various voices directing their lives. This results in fragmented, frustrating patterns of living. Do not fall into this trap. Walk closely with Me each moment, listening for My directives and enjoying My Companionship. Refuse to let other voices tie you up in knots. My sheep know My voice and follow Me wherever I lead. (Ephesians 4:1-6; John 10:4)