"God spoke to me."
"The Spirit spoke to my heart."
"God revealed the idea to me."
Being close to God means communicating with him--telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but that can also be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? What if what God says to us is not clear?
The key, says best-selling author Dallas Willard, is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our Creator. In this updated classic, originally published as In Search of Guidance, the author provides rich spiritual insight into how we can hear God's voice clearly and develop an intimate partnership with him in the work of his kingdom.
Wonderful overview of key elements of discernment.
- Great book but...
I listened to each chapter before I read and studied it in hard copy. The reader was disappointedly uninspiring, but the audio helped me gain an overview of the chapter before I dug in to study and prepare to lead a class.
- The journey continues!
Make sure that you don't try and listen to this too fast. Soak it in. I will need to come again to gain more of what God is saying to me through Dallas. We are never too old to continue to grow up and learn to dance with the Trinity.
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- Well researched book
The Author has looked at many different views and draws them together to give a comprehensive review of this topic. It shows that there are many ways God still uses to direct people and the importance of a close walk with him to recognise his voice.
- Hearing God
A classic. Highly recommend.
- very helpful
A very helpful and down to earth book describing how the Christian can learn to listen to God.
- Listening To God
Hearing God by Dallas Willard is a comprehensive and informative guide to hearing from God. It is one of the most important elements of a Christian’s life and can often be one of the most difficult things as it requires a lot of patience and dedication.
The idea of the book is that Christians should be engaged in conversational prayer rather than a one-sided monologue of requests. Willard presents that God not only wants to talk to His children but He already is but they just aren’t listening. Willard provides some helpful suggestions and Biblically based examples of how to listen to God as well as debunking some myths about hearing from God.
The narration was a little too fast and due to the sometimes complex nature of the text it made it a bit hard but it wasn’t too bad.
This book is a very good resource for any Christian who is struggling to hear from God in general or about a particular pressing matter. It is Biblically based and contains some sound advice for hearing from God.
This audiobook was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at christianaudio.com.
- Take your time and apply what this book teaches
I have spent a lot of time with this book. I first had the privilege of being asked to review the audiobook from Christianaudio.com back in April 2012.
I listened to the book once, and knew that I had to get more info, so I purchased the ebook as well. Over the last 8 months I have listened to this book twice and read it once, working through it slowly and applying what is says.
Dallas Willard goes into a lot of depth on this subject and gives lots of practicals as well as the theology behind what he is saying. Willard also shares his personal experiences in this area, and debunks many myths as to why people think they do not hear God. He also shows some false notions of how to hear God’s voice.
The crux of the book is about developing a “conversational relationship” with God, that is, a 2-way conversation, rather than us just making our prayer speeches at God.
The audiobook was easy to understand, a bit fast and difficult to follow purely because of the huge amount of information contained. Grover Gardiner was the reader and his voice was clear any easily understood.
I still have a long way to go in this area, however now I have some direction and a firm foundation on which to peruse my own conversational relationship with God.
Some of the concepts that Willard covered I disagree with, however if you can show enough grace to look past the things that you disagree with, I am sure you will, as I did, get a lot out of this book.
If you have every asked these questions:
1. How can I know God is speaking to me?
2. What about when we don’t hear from God? When God doesn’t seem to answer us?
3. How do I know I’m not hearing the voice of Satan?
4. Why do some people seem not to hear God’s voice? What are they to do?
5. What am I to think when someone tells me that God told them something about me? Can I count on that?
6. What do leaders need to think about in terms of hearing God?
7. What sort of Bible reading helps us become the kind of people who are better able to hear God?
8. What sort of use of the Bible does not help us hear God?
9. How does our view of God affect if and how we hear God speak?
10. Is it true to say that hearing God isn’t very scientific?
You will find answers to these any many more in this book.
This is a gold mine I'll definitely return to listen to over and over again!
- Encouraging, clear, thoughtful and challenging
From the opening challenge to the end summary Willard's words draw the listener in and seek to cause us to respond. Willard has a way of putting his finger on the kind of questions many 'normal Christians' ask - highlighting our own sense of inadequacy and need for guidance and discernment.
'Hearing God' encourages us to have a Biblical, intelligent approach to our relationship with God and to learning to have a more relaxed and open attitude to our conversations with him. It inspires us to think in terms of 'walking with God' and listening as well as talking - of being Christian rather than just 'doing Christian things'. It's a view of transformation, of exciting possibilities, but offers sound and practical advice along with the hope that we will encounter God in a new new way.
The narration is clear, not too slow but not overly fast, a pleasure to listen to.
- Communion with God
For every relationship to be successful, there has to be clear communication between all parties involved. This is also true for the relationship/fellowship between us and God.
For a long time, I have struggled to find time to pray and communicate with God. After listening to the book, my perception towards hearing God and the way God speaks to me have completely changed.
I have purposed to begin fellowship and finding time to commune with God. I believe He still speaks and my ears are open from now on.
Thank you for the book.
- He Speaks Much to Fast. Hard to grasp for me
He speaks much to fast for me. Just hard to keep up with the important message.
- One of the best books on hearing God's voice
I just finished Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard. What a blast!
I have read two of Willard's other books The Renovation of the Heart and the very well-known The Divine Conspiracy. I just love reading Willard because of his ability to make complex ideas simple. He doesn't use a lot of big words (which is quite unusual for a philosopher), and he sprinkles his writing with stories and quotes from a wide variety of sources, ranging from The Stnaford Wives to Kierkegaard. All in all, he's the kind of author whom you can imagine having a normal conversation with, which makes him the right guy to write a book about developing a conversational relationship with God.
His big point is that hearing God is not something that usually happens in big dramatic ways, but in the small still whisper and in the ordinary things of life. Trust me when I say that this is one of the best books on knowing God's voice that I have ever read.
Through listening to Willard's book on prayer I was sure blessed and was inspired to finish reading all of his work.
- Hearing God
Hearing and recognizing God's voice is one of the most confusing, challenging, and central parts of life. Arguably, all people try to find and understand God's voice speaking to them at some point in life. Even for the most spiritually devout, God's voice is not always clear.
Dallas Willard wrote and recently re-released Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God to address the complexity of connecting with God. He starts the book by addressing the many misconceptions about hearing God. But he doesn't stop there--he spends a significant majority of the book exploring the various, powerful, yet subtle ways God speaks us on a daily basis.
What I love about this book is that Willard really emphasizes that there is no formula for connecting with and hearing God. Willard very clearly notes that God can use whatever means he would like to speak to us, but that there are particularly tendencies in how he sends us messages, which are often some form of what I would call Incarnational.
I'm fairly familiar with Willard's work and the topic of hearing God, so there was not much new here that I had not heard before. However, it was validating, reminding me of how I am connected to God. This was particularly meaningful, as during the two weeks I listened to this book on my commute to and from work, we were matched with a birth mom for an adoption, which then fell through.
During the emotional roller coaster, I questioned my recognition of God's voice to us about the match (and even adoption in general, at times). When we were first offered the opportunity to talk to this mom, I had this clear sense of peace (which is unusual for me, who is usually anxious), with a message that it would all work out fine. As the adoption fell through, I questioned if I had really heard from God. Quickly after that thought, I experienced a response that I was not "told" that this particular match would work out, but that all would be fine and we would handle it.
That did not make the process easier, per se, but it did give me a peace about the process. And as I mentioned before, that's not my normal state, making it fit being a message from God all the more. Plus, the characteristics of God's voice, as Willard says, includes stillness, peace, and calm.
I pray we all continue to recognize God and his voice in all we do, both in providing peace and passion for life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café.
- Fair content, not enjoyable narration
Dallas Willard, famed author and theologian, discusses the concept of G-d speaking to us. How do we hear from G-d? Is it a still, small voice? Is it a voice at all? In fact, these questions have been asked by everyone through the ages. What does it look like to communicate with the divine? It seems that no one has the answer, yet almost every Christian not only expects that they can hear from G-d, but believe that G-d has told them things in the past.
Willard looks as what this means, and how Christians can hear from G-d, but points out a clear fact that many overlook: hearing G-d only works when we are living in obedience with G-d. Examining Scripture and reviewing the facts logically, Willard presents the equation for what it is, and what it means, to hear from G-d.
Gardner's narration of this text is performed at a faster pace, requiring the listener to "keep up" with his quick speech. With clear dictation, Gardner reads in what can only be described as a "weasel-like" voice, not out of a character flaw, but out of an actual sound. This made it hard to listen to, and near impossible to enjoy, what Willard's text provides. Nevertheless, based off my encounters with Willard, it would seem that Gardner's narration is only on-par with a simulation of the writer.
I give the content a 4 out of 5, and narration 3.5 out of 5. Definitely not an audiobook I can finish, I don't believe many will find this one worth it's length in minutes.
This review was commissioned by christianaudio. Read this review, and others like it, at scriptedgenius.com today.
- Can You Hear Me Now?
Dallas Willard has written a fine book about hearing and discerning the voice of God. Grover Gardner's narration is superb (as always), which makes this book a worthy purchase if you've ever wondered if God speaks to people...and how could you (or they) really know it was God.
- Classics are classics for a reason. If you are serious about trying to follow after God, this is a book that will challenge you
Originally published on my blog http://bookwi.se
Finding God’s will is a common desire. Often people can be paralized because they are afraid of not finding God’s will. Hearing God is a classic. This is the third copy of the book I have owned (one given and two purchased) over the years but the first time I am actually reading it.
I like that Willard starts by moving the pressure down a notch. He has a good illustration of the fact that no parent wants to tell their children everything that they should do. Parents want to teach their children how to do something, and expect that they will do it. If they are supposed to make their bed in the morning, they should make it every morning. Children complaining that the parent did not tell them this morning to make their bed will only incur the parent’s wrath. So Willard starts telling us we should listen to what scripture says and do that.
Another good point that I have never really thought of, is that we should always read scripture assuming that the people of scripture were much like us. They were not particularly special people, they were sinful, afraid, made bad decisions, etc. If we see them as much like us, then we can assume that we to should be hearing from God and seeking to follow God’s will in relatively similar ways as the biblical characters. Since reading that section, I have been more aware of the large number of Christians that actively resist thinking of biblical characters as ‘like us’. I think it shows one area that we have far to go to move Evangelicals into historical Christian Orthodoxy.
There is a good illustration about what it means to live in Christ and hear from the Holy Spirit. My shortened, weakened version is that Cabbage is alive. But Cabbage is dead to the world of movement and play. A rabbit might be able to move and play in some form, but it is dead to the world of art and ideas. It is not that Christians that do not hear from the spirit are dead in Christ (not saved), but rather are some are blinded to the plane that the Holy Spirit is speaking to them on. He spends several pages developing it and it is much more impressive than my few lines makes it seem.
Overall what I am most impressed by, is the biblical balance that Willard attempts to strike. When you discuss hearing from God there are lots of places to veer into shaky ground. And I know that some are of the opinion that even discussing hearing from God goes too far. But Willard attempts to keep the desire to hear from God, the ways we hear from God, the reality of the power of God, and the limitations of our own understanding all front and center.
This is not a new book, but I think it would be good to read along with Bill Hybels’ Power of a Whisper. Hybels spends more time talking biographically (and telling other people’s stories), which I think is helpful to put hearing from God in context of a life lived. And Hybels probably is a bit more directive in how to hear from God. But Willard is more theologically and philosophically oriented. I think the balance between them is useful.