One common Google search that brings a new visitor to this blog will include some version of “listening to God” or “hearing God.” People are hungry for interaction with God and not just knowledge about Him. The most common Google search to find this blog, if you’re curious, is one including the word “burn-out.” Perhaps there is a connection between the often unmet hunger to hear God’s voice and the great spiritual weariness than many feel.
Much of my ministry these days is to leading church and ministry group retreats which provides mentoring and space to listen to God. I run into many new friends who have read a book on spiritual formation recently, but have struggled to actually try on what they’ve learned. I’m grateful for the honor of often being the one to introduce others to the practice of listening to God. If you live in Southern California, for example, I’ll be leading a series of Saturday retreats in the coming we’re calling An Unhurried Day With Jesus. If you’re looking for a day set aside to deepen your conversational relationship with God through Jesus, this would be a helpful day. Or if you’d like to plan such a day for your church or ministry out of the Southern California area, I’d enjoy talking with you about this.
On the theme of listening to God, I recently read this thought-provoking word by Frank Buchman, quoted in Gary Thomas’s great little book, Sacred Parenting. I’ve made Buchman’s language more gender inclusive. I’m quite sure Buchman was not just speaking to men.
“We accept as commonplace a [person’s] voice carried by radio to the uttermost parts of the Earth. Why not the voice of the living God as an active, creative force in every home, every business, every [legislature]?…
The Holy Spirit is the most intelligent source of information in the world today. He has the answer to every problem. Everywhere when [people] will let him, he is teaching them how to live… Divine guidance must become the normal experience of ordinary men and women. Any [one] can pick up divine messages if [they] will put [their] receiving set in order. Definite, accurate, adequate information can come from the Mind of God to the minds of [people]. This is normal prayer.” (Buchman, Frank. The Revolutionary Path. London: Grosvenor, 1975, p. 2-3. Quoted in Thomas, Gary L. Sacred Parenting. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004, p. 63.)
That the Holy Spirit is the most intelligent source of information in the world today is an idea that Dallas Willard affirms in his latest book Knowing Christ Today. The Spirit gives God’s people real, workable, useful knowledge—if they will listen. He desires to teach us how to live—really live—and to live well. God is speaking to us by His people to give us counsel and insight we need to live our lives and do our work.
How might you be making space to listen for God’s voice in your own life these days?
Buy a copy of Gary Thomas’s Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls on Amazon.com
Buy a copy of Dallas Willard’s Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge on Amazon.com