In this session we look at the different ways we can hear God. Amy Boucher Pye interviews Elisa Morgan about her experiences.
Elisa Morgan was named by Christianity Today as one of the top 50 women influencing today’s church and culture, and is a sought-after author, speaker and leader. She has authored over 25 books on mothering, spiritual formation and evangelism, including her latest, You Are Not Alone. She co-hosts the Discover the Word and God Hears Her podcasts.
The good news is that God speaks to us today as much as he ever has! He’s so interested in our lives. We hear from God in many ways:
We need wisdom to know when God is speaking. One indicator that we’re hearing God is when our impression reflects God’s character. If we try to put God in a box of our finite understanding, then perhaps we have not heard from God. Also, if what we hear would make us act out of line with God’s character (such as telling a lie, being deceptive or hiding something), or is contrary to what Scripture says, then we have not heard from God.
As we read in chapter four of 7 Ways to Pray:
Those who write about listening prayer and guidance suggest we test out what we hear from God with three helps: Scripture, impressions of the Holy Spirit and circumstances. Dallas Willard adds our own judgement to the list, saying that sometimes God leaves it up to us to decide.
We start to recognize the still, small voice with its gentleness but also its weight and authority. God’s whispers speak right to our hearts if we open ourselves to hear him. His voice is unobtrusive, never overpowering. Of course, although God is infallible, we are not, and we should put on a robe of humility as we listen. We might hear God but fail to understand him correctly. Again, Dallas Willard: ‘The infallibility of the messenger and the message does not guarantee the infallibility of our reception. Humility is always in order.’
Engage with the prayer practice, “Hearing God with Others”, starting on page 76. Depending on the size of the group and how long your session is, you may need to break into smaller groups so that each person has an opportunity to receive. Note especially the recommendation towards the end of page 78 not to offer an interpretation.
This week, practise hearing God. Switch off from your device and lose the distractions of life to listen to God.