We love this kind of language: 3 tips to… The secret of… The one thing you need… The key to hearing God’s voice…
It’s the language of sales and marketing and it works well when you’re selling the latest product or looking for a quick solution.
But when it comes to hearing God’s voice?
Simple ‘keys’ and one-word answers would look like this:
- Spend this amount of time with God.
- Pray this prayer.
- Implement this technique.
But hearing from God doesn’t quite work like that.
Let me explain by sharing some feedback I received recently. A church in Wellington, New Zealand (Abundant Life Centre) was studying The Other Side of the Conversation DVD series in their small groups. One leader wrote:
Our group did week 5 last night and each week it gets better. We went around the room for a quick survey of ways members heard from God and we had a full list. Didn’t do same survey at the start of series but I’m sure the list would have been a lot shorter. (Kay.C Chiew)
That was awesome feedback, but the really interesting and unexpected comment came from Kay.C’s wife after watching Episode 4:
We are enjoying the series particularly the episode called ‘Tale of Two Lovers.’ There ended up being lots of discussion about our marriages! (Jet Chiew)
Watch this 2-minute video from Episode 4 to get an idea of how that could happen:
I’ve reflected a lot on Jet’s comment. Isn’t it interesting that hearing God’s voice will impact, not only your relationship with God, but also your relationship with others?
Knowing God is a real relationship. So hearing his voice is not about perfecting a technique: ‘spend 15 minutes a day’; ‘take these three steps’ or ‘use this formula’. Communication happens in the context of a relationship. So if we want to hear from God, it’s the state of our relationship with him that becomes the focus.
So in our quest to hear God’s voice, we would do well to ask ourselves:
- When did I last connect with God?
- Have I listened and responded to what he said?
- Are there unresolved issues blocking our communication?
- Am I opening up about the issues on my heart?
These are all relational questions. They are the kind of questions we might ask of our friendships and marriages. But they are also profoundly relevant to our communication with God. After all, this is the God who describes himself more as a ‘friend’ than a master; more as a ‘groom’ than a boss (John 15:15).
So if there was a key to hearing God’s voice, that would be it!
Have a great week,
PS. Can you help us? We want to get the message that God wants his voice to be heard out across the world. Simply share the video with a friend using the links below!
Use this webisode as a conversation starter in your small groups:
READ: Isaiah 62:5, Hosea 2:16
CONNECT: What metaphor of our relationship with God do you best relate to?
THINK: Compare the difference between knowing God as a ‘master’ compared with a marriage partner.
APPLY: Using the marriage metaphor, what advice would you give someone who is wanting to hear more from God?
We’d love to hear your answers at the comments below!
This excerpt is from The Other Side of the Conversation Series shown on both the Australian Christian Channel and Shine TV in New Zealand. The series is available as a boxed set including DVD and guidebook, at Koorong (Aust), Manna bookstores (NZ) and at godconversations.com.
Coming Next WEEK: Look out for a special discount on the boxed set!