Sampson believes that Christians do, in fact, hear the voice of God but they just have not been taught to recognize it. Christians who are in intimate conversation with the Holy Spirit are a threat to the devil so he will cause obstruction any way he can.
God speaks to His people and wants to speak through them, Sampson writes. He has identified ten ways the Holy Spirit speaks to us. After reading this book and the principles contained in it, he says Christians will learn to hear the voice of God. He writes, “...hearing from God should be normal and commonplace for Christians.”
He starts out by explaining what keeps us from hearing God's voice. He includes attitudes like being opinionated or critical. He explains how we can distinguish our thoughts from God's. For example, “...when the Lord wants to speak to our spirit, He overrides our reasoning process.
The ways the Spirit speaks to us Sampson gives will be familiar to charismatic Christians. They include words of knowledge, dreams, visions, pictures (similtudes), thoughts in the mind, peace (or lack of it). He includes lots of stories, mostly his own, how one operates in these various ways of hearing God.
He also includes some instruction regarding what to do once we have heard God's voice, seen a picture, etc. He includes a good section on interpreting dreams. He is also quite clear that hearing the voice of God is not always so easy. In recognizing the witness of the Spirit, we need to discern between our emotions and the mind of the Spirit. Learning to recognize the difference between our soul and spirit is a process. As we become more confident in recognizing the Spirit, we will become more sensitive to receiving direction from the Lord. He gives several keys and practical instruction for doing so.
He reminds us, “Thank God for the written Word, because it is a safeguard against heresy and against those who claim they have heard God and are running with some 'new' doctrine.”
This book is a general introduction for new believers about hearing God's voice. It is also a reminder to older Christians that God does want a relationship with us that includes communication on both sides. There is nothing on God's side keeping that communication from happening.
The only part of the book that I am hesitant about is his section in the creative word. Sampson writes, “When God speaks to us, whatever He says is already a reality, regardless of what our natural eyes see and our circumstances declare.” I can't tell you how many times people have thought God told them something, they acted on it despite evidence to the contrary, and the situation went horribly wrong. Sampson has already said that accurately learning to recognize the voice of God is a process. I think there should have been some caution added to this section.
Food for thought: “The highest priority for all Christians, especially for those in ministry, is to pay the price to take time to listen to God.”
Steve Sampson is a writer and minister who has ministered in the gifts of the Spirit in many countries for decades. He lives near Kansas City, Missouri. Find out more at www.stevesampson.com.
Chosen Books, 176 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from Chosen for the purpose of an independent and honest review.