Several weeks ago a friend said I should read Dallas Willard's book, Hearing God Developing a Conversational Relationship with God. I wish I had listened to him then. I could have used the help.
This week in our series Heroes of the Faith, I am addressing God's in-the-middle-of-the-night call to boy Samuel. (1 Samuel 3) I find myself wanting God to break into my sleep and speak as clearly as He did to Samuel, but that has not happened yet. I wake up a lot at night, but seldom to the voice of God--or, was it?
Willard scans the biblical record and offers the following ways in which God addressed people:
a phenomenon plus a voice
a supernatural messenger or an angel
dreams and visions
an audible voice [like with Samuel, Moses and Paul]
the human voice
the human spirit or the "still small voice" (page 91)
Willard describes each of these ways God communicated with people, and he concludes those are still ways in which we can hear God today. He has a healthy discussion of the Word of God and what that means to us and how we know what are God's words and what are our own.
Samuel had a special place in His-story, and he constantly heard God's voice as he served God and His call on His life. (See my thoughts on his life in Yahweh: Divine Encounters in the Old Testament.) The mystery of our relationship with God is that we can have that same kind of relationship with God today.
But, am I willing to sit still enough to hear God? Am I willing to take the time to know God's written Word so I know what I hear is in agreement with it or not? Or, am I willing to set aside my pursuits of passion long enough to become acquainted with the Living Word, Jesus, who willingly speaks to those who seek Him.
I'll let you know some of my experiences of hearing God on Sunday. I hope you can join me in the discussion as we converse with God together.