When my job as a morning DJ with Moody radio ended nearly 8 years ago, I penned what I thought was to be my second book. Praying the Scriptures was my first. Going through some old emails, I found the manuscripts once again. Over the next few months, I will be posting the series on Hearing God on Sunday’s. This is reflective more than priority sequential. In other words, the second chapter does not build on the first chapter and so on. Today’s blog is the introduction of the book. I hope it peak’s your interest to want to know God more and to hear His voice leading you moment by moment.
We each sat comfortably in our chairs listening attentively to one other as we were accustomed to doing. The small group of pastors gathered weekly to encourage one another through talking, praying and then sharing a meal together. One pastor shared a story of following the still small voice of God for direction.
He wanted to attend the funeral of a friend several states away, but he did not have the extra money for the travel. So, he and his wife went to sleep planning not to attend. But during the night, God spoke in that still small voice that elicits faith when we hear it. “Go, I will take care of the finances.”
The next morning the pastor told his wife that they should attend the funeral, but he chose not to tell her about God speaking to him in the night. Maybe it wasn’t God speaking to him or maybe it was, either way they went. After the funeral, they spent time talking with several friends. As they got in their car to go home, a friend got out of an adjoining car and approached the wife. The exchange was quick, they just rolled down the window to express their goodbyes. The lady friend expressed how good it was to see them again and placed something in the wife’s hand. As they drove away, they counted enough rolled up cash to pay for the gas for the trip. At this point, God spoke gently to my pastor friend. Rather than a still small voice, it felt more like an elbow in the rib as if God was saying…”see, I told you I would take care of it.”
Then the pastor asked the rest of us in the room, “Does God speak to you like that?” The eyes of each of the pastors revealed that each man had an intimate relationship with God, that God did indeed speak directly and clearly in their personal lives and ministries. But we also shared how there were times when we missed responding to that still small voice in obedience. Sometimes the consequences of rebelling to listen were very weighty.
How do you learn what God’s voice really sounds like? Is it so subjective that we are unable to teach it to a new believer?
I asked the pastors if they had a clear method for teaching someone how to “hear God for themselves”. As we went around the room, each man shared that it seemed to be more caught than taught. Each man was clear that we could hear God, but we were not clear on how to teach listening to God so that a person would become accustomed to have a regular conversation with God.
This bothered me a lot. If we are pastors and we struggled to teach something so vitally important to the Christian life as “conversing with God”, how much more might the laity find it difficult?
Throughout the next couple of weeks I tried to think of books, sermons and training that I could recommend as tools to help us. I thought of lots of books that help us with engaging God in prayer, but not many that told us how to “pray without ceasing through hearing and responding with God”. I am passionate in helping people walk in communion with God continually and I was having trouble picking the right book.
I finally decided that I would choose the book “Hearing God” by Peter Lord. I was actually on staff at his church when he began preaching the principles of “hearing God” that he would later use to write the book.
As I was thinking about the book, I felt God say, “Greg, I want you to write another book on hearing God”. I, then, began to negotiate with God. “Not me! These other authors are seasoned. These authors have a clearer way of expressing. Nobody would want to read my book.”
Then God, spoke again, “If you will ask me, I will help you!” Within the next few minutes, I felt as if God was downloading much of the biblical information of this book. I chuckled at how easy it is to “see” principles in scripture when God “opens our eyes to understand the scriptures” like He did for the two guys on the road to Emmaus.
So, I invite you to join me as we look at biblical stories to see patterns in the way God has spoken. As we catch the way He has spoken in the past, perhaps He may speak to each of us in similar fashion. Sorry, this will not be a 3 easy steps to hearing God better. Rather, I hope that you will find stories in which you identify saying, “that’s exactly how God speaks to me, or now I know that was God speaking to me”. I KNOW that our heavenly Father desires to speak with each one of us intimately, consistently, and often. Why? Because He said so…my sheep hear my voice and they follow me. John 10.
Each chapter will be short enough that you can read one a day and complete the book in one month. Maybe you will engage in a modern day story. Perhaps God will speak to you through the biblical text. Maybe reading the closing prayer will be your connection for the day. Or you may take on the daily challenges to see how God is able to sharpen your sense of “seeing” and “hearing” Him in your daily walk?
God, I believe that you love me so much that you want to converse with me moment by moment. I miss your voice far too often. My life is cluttered with activity that crowds out the opportunity to hear you. I ask that you open my spiritual ears to hear your voice. I believe that I am praying in agreement of your will for my life. I ask that you create an explosion of hope in me that I will have such a close access to your voice like the apostle John who during the last supper heard your HEART beating.
I’m looking forward to the journey of hearing God together. This book is not published, I am submitting the chapters each week with a goal of compiling the book at the end.
Blessings Love y’all