This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Hearing God’s voice louder

Our theme this year in our congregation at Trissels Mennonite Church is “Moving toward Jesus together.” Occasionally during a worship service we will ask a person to share “something Jesus said or did that strikes me.”

Here’s the thing about Jesus that strikes me most right now: the amount of conversation he had with his Father. For instance, at his baptism Jesus was praying, and a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22).

I had long talks with two persons last week about this. They were telling me about negative messages they received from persons around them, pulling them down, making them angry. I encouraged them to focus on the messages God is giving them.

That is what Jesus did. The Gospels describe him not only praying at his baptism but also praying early in the morning (Mark 1:35) and late into the night (Luke 6:12, Matt. 14:23) and many other times as well (e.g., Luke 11:1, Matt. 26:36-44). Indeed it seems that he interacted with his Father all through the day — so much so that he said, “the Son can do nothing by himself” (John 5:19).

That is what strikes me most about Jesus: he made sure that his Father’s voice could be louder than the other voices around him.

Imagine our life being like that! A life where we sense God’s love so strongly that we spontaneously call out “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6). A life where we hear God’s call to love ourGo neighbor so often (Lev. 19:18, Matt. 22:39, Rom. 13:8-10, Gal. 5:14, James 2:8) that such love becomes instinctual.

Many today shrink from the idea of persons listening to God, because people have done horrible things while saying that they are hearing God’s voice. Thankfully, when people are moving toward Jesus, we don’t need to worry about them quite as much. Because Jesus died for his enemies, praying, “Father, forgive them,” rather than killing them. He was a man for others, caring even for the poor and the outcasts. The only ones he gave a hard time were hypocritical religious leaders.

Hearing God’s voice, the one speaking words of strong love for me and for those around me, opens up the possibility of life on a whole new level! We are moved toward an inner buoyancy by God’s words of love to us. And are moved to show grace and patience to those around us by God’s words of love to them.

Harold N. Miller is pastor of Trissels Mennonite Church, Broadway, Va. He blogs at Interacting With Jesus, where this post first appeared.

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