Developing a Conversational Relationship With God
How do we hear God's voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What if what God says to us is not clear?
Being close to God means communicating with him, and this communication is a two-way street—telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but can also be so difficult. How can you be sure God is speaking to you? The key is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our Creator. Hearing God is but one dimension of a richly interactive relationship, and obtaining guidance is but one facet of hearing God.
This updated classic, originally published in 1984 as In Search of Guidance, provides rich spiritual insight into how we can hear God's voice clearly and develop an intimate partnership with him in the work of his kingdom. The reader will learn that divine guidance goes beyond the anxious, sometimes neurotic, quest for "what God wants me to do," to having a critical role in my becoming a responsible co-laborer with Him, the kind of person He expects me to be. God is inviting us to reorganize our lives in a way that keeps us walking so closely with him that it becomes easy to know his mind and hear his voice.
Chapter one clarifies the tension in which Christians live, believing that hearing God is very important to our walk with him but at the same time lacking a confident understanding of how it works for the individual in practice. Chapter two removes some common misunderstandings about God's communications with us. Chapter three explains the various ways in which he is with us. Chapter four examines some objections to the very idea of God's communicating with individuals. Chapter five deals with the various ways in which he communicates and explains and defends the centrality of God's speaking— God's Word—to his creation and to the process of redemption. Chapter eight clarifies how we can be sure that we are hearing God. Finally, chapter nine deals with what to do on those occasions, sure to come, when God is not speaking—or at least when we are not hearing him.
Hearing God may be a daring idea—some would say presumptuous and even dangerous. But is it not, in fact, more presumptuous and dangerous to undertake human existence without hearing God? Dr. Willard's hope is that Hearing God will leave you with a clear sense of how to live confidently in a personal walk that is complemented by an ongoing conversational relationship with God.