Saturday, October 21, 2023

A Disciple of Jesus Learns to Hear the Voice of Jesus


I began hearing the voice of God before I became a follower of Jesus.  

One time, when I was twenty, I was playing in a band, in a bar. Out of heaven, the thought came to me, “John, you are messed up.” That was wild. And, it was true.  

I heard this in a way that felt different and deep. It penetrated my defenses, and took up residence in my soul. In retrospect, I saw it was God, speaking to me, calling me to himself.

Today, over fifty years later, I am a disciple of Jesus. A disciple is an “apprentice.” An apprentice learns to do what their teacher does. This requires hearing from God.  

My life is apprenticed to Jesus. I am a student in The School of Jesus My Lord. This is the greatest opportunity I have in life! If you are a disciple, you are in this for life, and joyfully so.  

Jesus is our Teacher. I know what “teacher” means. Linda and I are both teachers. Linda did her bachelor’s degree in education, focusing on special needs kids and behavior-disordered kids. I taught for eighteen years at Monroe County Community  College (Michigan), and have taught in several theological seminaries.  

I also know what it is to be a student. When a teacher teaches, the student hears their voice. This is basic. Jesus is mentoring us to be like him in his character, and in his abilities. As Jesus once said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  

Jesus knows his committed ones. He speaks to his disciples. His disciples recognize His voice. His apprentices follow Jesus their Lord.

I want this for you, too.

I have been a follower of Lord Jesus since 1970. I have grown in learning to hear his voice. I have learned that hearing the voice of Jesus is directly related to intimacy and familiarity with Jesus. So, I spend much time with him.  

I have learned that I am to focus on intimacy with Jesus, rather than on hearing his voice. Because with greater intimacy, hearing comes. Live as a branch, connected to Jesus, the Vine. Abide in him, and your life will bear much fruit. This includes hearing God’s voice.  

We learn to hear God’s voice by spending time with God.

I want this for you.  

Abide in Jesus. Grow in intimacy with Jesus. Grow in ability to hear his voice.

(One resource that currently deepens me in this area of discipleship is Hearing God Through the Year: A 365-Day Devotional, by Dallas Willard.)  


I take much time to spend with God.

I am more familiar with Jesus than I have ever been.  

I find that God, as my Shepherd, has much to say to me, his sheep.  

God speaks to me about many things.  

I love hearing the voice of God.  

I am a student in The School of Jesus Christ, and he is my Teacher!

(From my book 31 Letters to the Church on Discipleship, p. 16)