A word from Dallas Willard
Being close to God means communicating with him, which is almost always a two-way street. In our ongoing friendship with God we tell him what is on our hearts in prayer and learn to perceive what he is saying to us. It is this second part of our conversation with God that is found by many to be so difficult or even unapproachable. How can you be sure God is speaking to you? The answer is that we learn by experience. The key is to focus more on building our personal relationship with our Creator and less on individual actions and decisions. Hearing God’s directions is only one dimension of a rich and interactive relationship. Obtaining specific guidance is but one facet of hearing God.
Ultimately, we are to move beyond the question of hearing God and into a life greater than our own—that of the kingdom of God. Our concern for discerning God’s voice must be overwhelmed by and lost in our worship and adoration of him and in our delight with his creation and his provision for our whole life. Our aim in such a life is to identify all that we are and all that we do with God’s purposes in creating us and our world. Thus we learn how to do all things to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17). Learning the two-way communication between us and God will develop as a natural part of such a life.
It is very important to remember and to always keep before your mind this fact: You are an unceasing spiritual being, created for an intimate and transforming friendship with the creative Community that is the Trinity. Learning to hear God is much more about becoming comfortable in a continuing conversation, and learning to constantly lean on the goodness and love of God, than it is about turning God into an ATM for advice, or treating the Bible as a crystal ball.
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