Hearing from the Lord
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
From this verse I get my most fundamental definition of disciple making. Disciple making is helping others learn to hear the voice of the Lord and follow him. Hearing from the Lord is absolutely essential. Think about it. God calls us into a personal and intimate relationship. A personal relationship requires two-way communication. Image trying to have a personal relationship with someone where you did all the talking and never stopped to listen to what they had to say. It wouldn’t be much of a relationship.
God’s sheep recognize God’s voice
According to Jesus, we are his sheep, the flock of his pasture. John 10 expands on this wonderful theme. As Jesus’s sheep, we should be able to listen to his voice and follow him because we clearly recognize his voice. Jesus is able to lead us precisely because we hear his voice and follow after him. “The gatekeeper opens the gate for [Jesus], and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:3-4).
In the next verse, Jesus makes the point that we should not follow any other voice. “But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice” (John 10:5). Later Jesus alludes to the gentiles who will also hear his voice and follow him. “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16).
Our Lord Jesus is happy to lead us as his disciples and those who follow him should be able to hear his voice and receive the guidance we need. Often, those we disciple need a little help learning to listen to and discern the Lord’s voice.
Hearing God’s Voice
These four actions help.
- Stillness: we still ourselves by meditating on God’s word
- Focus: we quiet our minds, and give Jesus our attention by focusing on his presence.
- Listen: we ask for God’s perspective and listen quietly and expectantly
- Respond: we respond with gratitude and obedience (and write down what he says)
Recognizing God’s Voice
Whenever there’s doubt, here’s how we test what we hear.
- Does it align with God’s Word? (2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness)
- Does it align with God’s character? (Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.)
- Is it constructive and never condemning? (Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus)
- Does it align with the spirit of God’s people? (Proverbs 12:15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.)
When God Speaks
Some of the things he might say include:
- He might reveal a truth to embrace or a lie to reject
- He might instruct you to do something or stop doing something
- He might bring to mind someone to love or forgive
Church Multiplication Network:
Please join us for our next Church Multiplication Network online gathering as we hone our disciple-making skills and consider the importance of helping disciples learn to hear from the Lord.
Please join us at 3pm (Frankfurt) 8am (Panama), Tuesday the 13th of September.
Your Church Multiplication Leadership Team looks forward to seeing you!