Going Deeper 11/23/18

The Gospel reading for Christ the King Sunday...
John 18:33-37   Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"  Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"  Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me.  What have you done?"  Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."  Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?"  Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king.  For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

Do you listen to Jesus' voice?  What does that even mean to you?  Are we talking about an audible voice speaking clearly to us?  Does this mean having some kind of dream or vision?  Or does this involve some kind of internal hearing... almost like a strong urge?  What exactly does it mean to listen for and to the voice of Jesus?

I have known people who say they have heard Jesus' voice in at least one of these ways.  Some say that God is speaking to them in an ongoing way, giving them detailed directions or calling them to a specific action or set of actions.  Others say they have such experiences, but rarely.  One thing I have noticed through the years is that sometimes the voice clearly seems to have been from God and has led to some awesome experiences and missions.  On other occasions, I have heard some who claim that God has given them a vision or directive, but the end result makes one wonder if it truly was from God.

One thing I have come to believe quite strongly: the only truly and consistently reliable way to hear the voice of God is to have Him speak to us through the Scriptures... and especially through the Gospels.  As the writer of Hebrews points out in his opening statement, "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.  He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word." 

If we seek, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to listen to God's voice through the Scriptures, He will speak to us the most important things we need to know!  We may or may not receive specific guidance, but we will receive what God most clearly wants us to know: the truth about sin and grace and our calling to live as children of God.  Listen for that message from God above all things!

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