Wednesday, May 09, 2007

listening for God's voice

It is good and important for us in Jesus to be in Scripture regularly. We need a vital intake of that so that we can better identify ourselves in God's ongoing Story. We see the Story of God in the Bible and from that we begin to see how our story fits in. We see our identity as those who are in need of God and of his grace and who begin to find our true, unique selves, together in Christ.

So that's important. But it's also vital for us, and this has been implied already, to be open during this unfolding Story to the part we play. This is improvisational in nature, in other words as it unfolds we pick up cues and do it, we do what is becoming natural for us to do in Jesus. This does buck up against what left to ourselves we would do as our old person, in Adam.

And a most vital aspect of all this is to listen for God's voice. God's voice can come from anywhere, but especially from another brother or sister in Jesus. We need to listen with a heart of wanting to obey God. And we must have an openness that ponders what has been said to us.

Of course apart from the first part mentioned, that being in the Word, in Scripture, in the Bible- God's voice will often fall on deaf ears. We won't have ears to hear because we won't be accustomed to the tune of God that we pick up in Scripture. I think I have trouble enough picking up the voice of God, even though being regularly in Scripture.

One qualification: God's voice comes through friends and loving conversation as a rule, not from those who though in God's grace in Christ are not practicing it. I probably won't hear God's voice through someone who looks down on others and puts themselves and their thoughts on a pedestal.

What might you add to this to help us?


Every Square Inch said...

I may have said this before on your blog so forgive me if this is repetition.

"Sanctification is a community project"

Pastors in our church movement will use that from time to time to remind us of our need for help from others. We are not objective when it comes to assessing ourselves. It helps to get input from others.

Ted Gossard said...

ESI, I concur. It is good to be able to be honest with each other. God speaking to us through each other is often times related to that. And it must be done in a context of love and friendship. Good point here. Thanks!

L.L. Barkat said...

Oddly enough, I think God can speak through anything, anyone. I'm always amazed, for instance, how Caiphas (sp?) predicted the death of Jesus. God's words in an "enemy's" mouth.

I think that part of knowing it's His voice is doing what you've said... being in the word, under, over, and around it.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Yes of course. Good point.

I still think though that it is most common for God to want to speak to us through a family member of his body in the context of love, all in connection to Christ. But still, a most good and wise point. And one to keep us on our toes! :)

JP Manzi said...

Great thoughts here Ted!

Ted Gossard said...

JP, Thanks. I like the way you grapple with things over at your blog.

KM said...

Hey Ted, being older and wiser, you've probably already tried this book out -- Dallas Willard's Hearing God. A friend recommended Willard to me just today and it fit just right with this post... so here I am, lol.

I hope you're doing ok, otherwise.
God's blessings,

Ted Gossard said...

KM, That's a great book. I read it at least once some time back.

Yeah, I'm doing ok. Thanks! And blessings to you, too.