One of my favorite books of all time is “Hearing God” by Dallas Willard. Spiritual life has always been something I’m aware of, and I even taught a course for several years at the college level on “Christian Spirituality”. I would say that although I know much from an informational standpoint about the Christian spiritual journey, my personal growth in that area has taken off to places I wish I had experienced earlier in my walk with God in Jesus Christ.
Why? I’m not sure. It may just be age and the generations of life as I catch hold of what is more important and slow to a wise pace rather than a “productive” pace. It may be the volume of Scripture reading that has accumulated over the years. I don’t do a ton well, but I’m disciplined and my Bible reading is where it needs to be, and it’s increasing. I want more and more of God’s word. I find life with the Holy Spirit in the pages of the Bible, and I only want more not less. I wish there was a way to convey it in words that capture what that life is like and that it can be had by all who come to Jesus. It may be the trial and error of “methods” that have led to me just finding the groove that works for me with God the Holy Spirit. It’s hard to nail down, but I’m loving where I am and want to grow more.
Hearing God is part of prayer. Prayer is not just about talking to God. Prayer is also about hearing from God. Prayer is one of the ways we relate to God. Prayer is not just about getting things from God. Prayer is how we listen to God and know his heart for good, glory, and joy.
This word from Dallas Willard is helpful for me: “You are an unceasing spiritual being, created for an intimate and transforming friendship with the creative Community that is the Trinity. Learning to hear God is much more about becoming comfortable in a continuing conversation, and learning to constantly lean on the goodness and love of God, than it is about turning God into an ATM for advice, or treating the Bible as a crystal ball.” – Hearing God, Dallas Willard, p. 10
- We are unceasing spiritual beings. We are not merely physical. We are physical beings who are also spiritual all tied up together. We have to tap into that.
- We are created for intimate friendship with the Trinitarian God that transforms us daily.
- We are to be comfortable in an ongoing conversation with God.
- We are to know and experience his love and good for us not using God for what we believe we need at the moment.
How are you doing in comparison to those 4 items?
Do an inventory on your relationship with God. Begin practicing what the Bible says about us and God if we have believed in Jesus. Try to grow in understanding and practicing these four realities.
You’ll find your faith a joy and great adventure.