If a person states that God speaks to them on a regular basis they are considered a bit kooky in many Christian circles. With our wider cultural context in mind, imagine the firestorm that would stem from one of our presidential candidates declaring that he frequently hears God speak. Yet, Jesus tells us:
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. – John 10:27
The idea that God communicates in an understandable way to His disciples is not only foundational to the Bible and the Christian faith, but possibly at the core of discipleship–being one of His sheep. Over the past year, this truth has dramatically shifted my understanding of what it means to “grow” in my faith. For much of my life with Jesus, growing closer to Him has been directly related to growing in my knowledge and understanding of who God was–both of which are important. As of late, however, the Lord is challenging me to think of my relationship with Him in terms of hearing His voice and obeying. How could I be close to Someone who never speaks to me or to whom I don’t listen? I’ve learned that God is most always speaking, but I’m not always listening.
So how do we listen to God? How does God speak to people today? Seeking God and answers to these questions would benefit any believer. I would like to recommend a very short, FREE resource that may help. This ebook, that I’ve read in the past, has now been re-released to include video (yes, a digital book with video integration!). A Simple Guide To Hearing God, by Felicity Dale (who also will be speaking at our upcoming conference!) is available for free download by simple subscribing to her blog (link below). It will only take few minutes to read.
Rarely do I read something that I agree with 100% and this book is no exception. However, I think that you will be encouraged, challenged, and equipped to be a better listener of God if you spend some time considering and implementing the lessons of this book.
Also, at the end of the book there is an assignment (via Mark Verkler) for your church group the next time you come together. I would like to emphasize it here (our simple church is going to do this on Sunday!). When you come together and after you have enjoyed your meal together, encourage each person to get alone with God for ten minutes or so and do the following:
1. Quiet yourself.
2. Fix your eyes on Jesus (use Scripture and your divine imagination).
3. Listen for spontaneous thoughts.
4. Write down spontaneous thoughts.
Then come together and share your thoughts with the group and then see if the Lord seems to be saying anything to the group as a whole. Often times, we can hear the Lord through our thoughts and emotions (our soul) when we ask His Spirit inside of us to reveal what He desires to say. You will enjoy the discussion on this (Body, Soul, Spirit) in the book and I pray that we all may enjoy even more our relationship with the Lord and His Family as we grow in our ability to hear and obey His voice.