How do you follow God’s voice for your life if there are two of you? What if both of you hear different things? Or what if one person gets the low-down from God while the other doesn’t? How does God lead married couples? On the show today we have some guests who are brilliantly qualified to answer these questions and I know you’re going to learn a lot from them!
Brett Ryan is the CEO of Focus on the Family Australia. He’s spent more than 12 years as a Children’s Pastor at Citylife Church Citylife Church, Melbourne, Australia building a significant ministry to over 1,000 children across 3 different church campuses. Brett’s wife Kate has been a PE teacher for the past 24 years, first of all as a Primary teacher and then as a Secondary teacher. Today Kate and Brett work together to serve the community and the church with a heart to see families thrive.
In this episode, I talk with Brett and Kate about:
- The story of how God led them through the various career changes in their lives
- What the story of Manoah and his wife (Samson’s parents) in Judges 13 can teach us about hearing God’s voice
- How to deal with the scenario when one partner has heard from God while the other hasn’t
I have just put my salty swimming costume in the laundry when Mum calls us into her room. She is sitting on the edge of the bed – the one we used to jump in as kids; all five of us, loud and raucous under the blue and gold brocade quilt. Dad is standing near the doorway shuffling awkwardly. ‘Your father has something to tell you,’ Mum says, tilting her head towards Dad, but looking down at the carpet.
Us kids stand in an odd little circle around the room gawking at each other, anxious to finish our holiday unpacking and get to our favourite TV shows.
Dad clears his throat. He calls in Ruth, a woman who’d been our guest on our beach trip. Then he says; “I don’t love your mother anymore. I’m going to marry Ruth.”
There’s an awkward silence. My heart freezes like a still from a movie other people are watching. I look up at my big sister – Is this a joke?
I run into the garage choking and gasping.
In the end my Dad didn’t marry Ruth. He went on to marry another woman. Then another. And another. He was on his fourth marriage when he died suddenly of a heart attack four years ago.
You may have heard it said that being a Christian is boring – that it’s all about keeping the rules and making sure you don’t do things you’re not allowed to. Today’s interview turns that thought on its head.
I’ve often said that when we when we follow the Holy Spirit, we replace the ‘good life’ with the God life – one which is full of supernatural adventure. When you listen to God’s voice and follow it, you end up doing things you’d never normally do and seeing miracles you wouldn’t normally see. That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Pastor David McCracken on the show today!
If you live in Australia, you probably already know his name. David is a well known prophet both nationally and overseas. He heads up a wonderful team based in Melbourne (David McCracken Ministries) and has an incredible reputation, having been in ministry for over 40 years, first as a pastor and now as an itinerant ministering in the prophetic.
This podcast contains some gems that will help you live the god-life with wisdom and without becoming what David calls ‘spiritually spooky’. On this episode, we talk about:
- How God’s voice is not just heard in the words that are spoken, but in the tone that is used: “Don’t claim to represent my word if you cannot represent my heart.”
A few years after starting God Conversations, God spoke to me about a second branch of ministry. Unlike equipping people to recognise God’s voice, this one was just for women. The vision of God Conversations for Women is to help women realise their God-given potential. The goal is to see God’s original plan when he cast both men and women in his image and commissioned them to steward the planet together (Genesis 1:26-27) fulfilled in the 21st century.
The question of what a 21st C woman looks like is not an easy one to answer. Once it was simple. Women’s roles in the home, church and community were all very clear. But the feminist movement has changed all that. The last 50-100 years have seen seismic shifts in Western society. Today women can vote and go to university. They can get a job and travel without their husbands. They can fly aeroplanes, join the army, preach sermons and rise to the position of Prime Minister. It wasn’t long ago that all these things were unthinkable.
But at the same time, these kinds of changes have deep repercussions for who we are as women. We hear the voices of the secular worlds; the community and the marketplace, but what is God asking of us? What does it mean to be a 21st C Christian woman?
Recently I read a book for my doctoral studies which confirmed my suspicions about the influence of personality on our spiritual experiences. The book is titled When God Talks back and is written by an anthropologist called Tanya Luhrmann. In her studies, she immersed herself in the life of a Vineyard church in the US for a year, observing and studying their prayer and worship practises. One of the things that came out of her research was a correlation between certain psychological attributes and the way spiritual phenomena is experienced. In other words, those who struggled to hear God’s voice had a different psychological make-up compared to those who didn’t. Mark Virker wrote about this too in his book Dialogue with God. It seems that when it comes to hearing God’s voice, certain personality types have an advantage.
If I was to participate in her experiment, I’m pretty sure which category I would find myself in. I’ve always found sensing the spiritual realm a bit of a challenge. Compared to a number of my friends, I’m the slow one to pick up on spiritual atmospheres. I’m the one who’s more analysing than sensing; more thinking than intuiting (For those of you who are familiar with the Myer’s Briggs personality tests, I’m a high ’T’ and ’S’!) Luhrmann’s research seems to show there’s a good reason for my struggle and it’s connected to the way I was created. Perhaps you can relate! From my travels around different churches across the country and overseas, I know I’m not the only one. A lot of people who struggle to hear God’s voice seem to be wired that way. Some might even say that men more than women fit into this category.