From a very young age, I’ve known Jesus (in evangelical terminology) as my Lord and Savior. But, in the last few years I’ve discovered that there’s another dimension of relationship that the Lord desires with me.
You may feel like I’m playing with words. I know how you might feel. I probably would have felt the same way myself if I’d read this article a few years ago. But now, I know – by ever increasing experience – that what I’ve realized is the heart-beat of the abundant life Jesus promised His disciples.
The Savior and Lord Dimension
I responded to Jesus as my Savior at a very young age. My parents had introduced me to my need for forgiveness. My heart embraced the truth of that and I asked Jesus to come live in me.
The sense of peace that flooded my heart was incredible. Jesus was my very own Savior. As I grew, I knew that I could always call on HIm to rescue me from all kinds of hard situations, and I could pray and ask Him to help my friends and family, too, when they needed it.
As time went on, I learned the importance of His Lordship over my life. He was God and it was important to acknowledge and live by His supremacy. I also learned about Jesus in terms of Priesthood and Kingship. He was always the interceding High Priest of my life. He was also the Sovereign King to respect like no Other.
The Partnership Dimension
Somehow it had alluded me that His design and purpose for “us” was a naturally supernatural partnership as co-laborers. I was very familiar with the illustration of being yoked together. But, I think I also felt that to simply mean that I was invited to “yoke up” with Him as a kind of submission.
I had not fully realized (nor do I fully now realize) the sense of “co-ness” His heart desired. He wanted to work along side me much like the relationship of best friends or a healthy husband and wife companionship. His desire is to walk through the ups and downs of daily life working side by side to climb every mountain, ford ever stream…(as the song says.)
He also desires to walk arm in arm while feeling every low I feel, being exhilarated by every event that excites me, giving guidance beyond my natural wisdom, and basking in the peace of satisfaction that comes with important solutions solved.
The Communion In Communication
As I have “grown” in our partnership, I’ve discovered that hearing His voice plays even a more important role than Him hearing mine.
Important Side Note: He loves the sound of my voice as I partner with Him. I’ve simply been adapting myself to the fact that it’s far more important to hear what He has to say.
What If You Don’t Hear His Voice?
Can a person have a partnership with Jesus if it’s not an understood two way communication? I would like to say, yes. I guess…sort of. But, it will be experienced with far less security and pleasure if the communication isn’t clearly two-way.
But, If You Are His Child, You Do Hear His Voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)
You simply may not have learned the “sound” of His voice.
It was important (no it was VITAL) for me to practice the art of developing hearing ears. Here’s what I’ve learned about what His voice sounds like because the phrase, “Hear His Voice” is a human attempt to describe a multi-faced language.
Here Are Just A Few Of The Ways I Hear Him Speak To Me:
1. I am reminded of a Bible verse or story—or one is highlighted to me when I am reading the Bible. I’ve found that studying and pondering the scriptures creates and atmosphere that is most conducive to experience clarity in His “voice.”
2. I ‘see’ a picture in my mind’s eye that “emerges” without my conscious effort to imagine it.
3. An idea or impression comes to my mind. It’s usually very non intrusive and I have to pay attention to the “hunch” for it to increase in clarity.
4. I feel something emotionally or physically. This is variation of “seeing” with my minds eye. It registers in my body or in my emotions rather than in the form of a picture. There are times I will suddenly, for no seeming reason, be encountered by a wave of depression. I am learning that to often be a call to intercede for someone. I also will have waves of unusual confidence, joy, or peace. Sometimes an understanding of what it applies to comes with the emotion. Many times I need to ask the Lord to help me understand what or who it applies to.
5. A word comes to mind or I ‘see’ a written word in my imagination.
6. Something will “stand out” when I’m talking with someone. This happens especially if I’ve been seeking for an answer to a problem or situation. This also happens during a teaching I’m listening to. And…would you believe, I say things at times when I’m preaching that I think, “that’s for me, too.”
7. Dreams. I don’t remember the majority of my dreams on a regular basis. However, if I do remember – even parts – of a dream long after I’ve awakened, I pay attention to it and ask the Lord to help me further with it. I don’t put heavy weight on dreams for life direction, but I give them a much more respected place in my life than I used to.
8. Talking to myself. I used to wonder if some of my thoughts were me or the Lord. Since then, I’ve realized that since He is one with me. When I am asking the Lord a question, I will sometimes get an inner response that sounds like I just answered myself. For me, the check on this is to look to how those thoughts “felt.” When it’s the Lord, my inner voice will sound wiser than I actually am. It will be a thought that’s fresh and seems to linger in a positive way.
I used to be afraid to “listen” for two primary reasons:
1. I was afraid of what I feared He may ask me to do. So, I didn’t really try to listen.
2. I was afraid that I wouldn’t “hear” anything, or that what I might here would be the devil.
I just simply had to get over both of those fears.
Bottom Line: There is nothing more satisfying (if not at times a bit frustrating) to have an ever increasing partnership in this life with the Lord.
He is my Savior. He is my Lord. He is my Partner and Co-laborer. I treasure that.