Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hearing from God

Hearing from God is both an individual and a communal practice. Gordon Smith, in his book The Voice of Jesus, makes it clear that there is danger in relying too much on ourselves or too much on the community of faith.

“The community, then, while it is essential to our individual identity, is also a threat to that identity. We do not find ourselves in isolation from the community and we do not find ourselves if we are subsumed within the community. When it comes to discernment, we realize that we do not know the voice of Jesus and the witness of the Spirit if we are lost within the community. The collective can become so strong that that we cannot hear what God is saying to us. We must be alone. We must remain ‘other’ from the community and not be absorbed into its powerful collective identity.”[1]

Personally, I have found that I hear from God best when I spend time in solitude with God first,  and then seek the input of the community. My time of solitude will involve reading the Bible, praying, listening to God, paying attention to dreams, paying attention to nature, and being alone with God. Then, I will go back to my trusted prayer partners, that is, my community of faith, for confirmation or correction in what I think I have heard from God. This has been a tried and tested method for me that I would recommend to others; but I also recognize that God works within our personalities and may function differently with others. Take a moment to respond to this blog and tell me the ways in which God speaks to you.

Works Cited

Smith, Gordon T. The Voice of Jesus. Downers Grove: InterVaristy Press, 2003.

[1] Gordon T. Smith, The Voice of Jesus; InterVarsity Press, 2003; p. 210.

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