Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
"How do I know which voice to listen to?" is one of the most often-repeated questions when the Quaker practice of listening to Jesus Christ is discussed. "There are so many competing voices, both within and outside, that often it seems impossible to tell when God is speaking."
Yet Lewis Benson has written of a voice that speaks to men and women with "absolute authority, in which they cannot disbelieve, and which evokes a response of humble unconditional obedience." [George Fox's Message is Relevant for Today] This points to a definite experience of hearing the voice of God and of being able to discern whose voice it is. Why this apparent contradiction between being confused about who is speaking and being clear about it?
The answer lies in our inner state: are we listening or not? Confusion arises from divided allegiance, and the closer we draw to the Lord, the less trouble we have hearing His voice. So if we want to hear clearly, with no doubt or ambiguity, as Benson states that we can, our job is to turn ourselves over to God without reservation. Then we can know the reality of Jesus's statement, "His sheep know his voice."
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