Gordon Smith’s The Voice of Jesus has been an influential book in my spiritual formation. I am taking two small groups through a leadership development journey, and the first theme is “Personal Spiritual Formation.” Spiritual leadership first begins with learning to hear the voice of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. There were a couple of quotes from Smith’s book that resonated deeply with us:
“The genius of the Christian life is the resolve, willingness and capacity to respond personally and intentionally to the prompting of the Spirit” (p. 16)
“For us as individuals, the danger is that we might never develop an inner life. It is easy to live by duty, the expectations of others, the routines of our work and the inertia of culture and religious tradition. Surely what we long for, though, is an authentic interior life in which we know to the core of our beings that the Spirit of God is present to us and speaking life to us – a life that is personally and dynamically our own. With a well-developed interior life, we live our lives in response to the Spirit. We chose to live that which we are called to live – our life, not someone else’s life” (p. 17).
“Nothing is so foundational to the Christian life as the affective awareness of our spiritual adoption and the inner confidence that we are loved by God” (p. 44).
“Joy is authentic only if it leads to integrity of life and character; otherwise it is false and vacuous. Meanwhile, moral reform without joy is legalism or moralism, not the authentic transformation of character that arises from an encounter with the gospel” (p. 45)
“Christian discernment is the spiritual discipline by which we listen to God by attending with heart and mind to the presence of the Spirit in our lives” (p. 55).
You can download The Voice of Jesus study guide here: