Should Christians be hearing from God today? Williamson's answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Hearing God is meant to be an ordinary experience for Christians. “God saved us to have a conversational relationship with him.” (16)
Williamson writes about what he has learned and practiced. He doesn't write about visions and dreams but rather hearing God in ordinary life. He emphasizes that we must first be able to recognize God's voice and that means being in Scripture. We are then prepared to hear that same voice as God speaks through friends and others. He also helps us recognize the possibility of God's leading through events and circumstances.
Some parts of this book are nothing new. Williamson makes sure we understand the important role of Scripture in our lives, reminding us it is the best way to hear God. Being in the Word is also essential to becoming familiar with God's voice, still and quiet yet with a glorious nature. His section on meditation is excellent.
Some parts of his book were surprising to me. I had never thought of brainstorming with God. I never understood the role of curiosity in hearing God. I really like his section on what hearing God means to those in church leadership. He helped clarify living with ambiguity, not knowing for sure if we have heard God. I really liked his distinguishing between formative and summative tests. God uses the former.
Perhaps you're like me, desiring to hear God's voice yet still hesitant. We've experienced the misuse of “God told me...” Maybe you've been taught that God speaks only through His written Word now. Williamson has included two Appendixes dealing with these issues.
We are told that we can have a personal relationship with Christ but are never taught how to have that relationship. This book is a great one for pursuing a conversational relationship with Christ. It is a journey. Williamson shares many of his experiences, even ones where he missed it. He reminds us that growth in hearing God will come from practice and obedience.
I highly recommend this book to those who desire to hear from God. You'll get great teaching on how that might happen in the ordinary living of life.
Food for thought: “Learning to distinguish God's voice requires a lifetime of practice.” (91)
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Sam Williamson is the founding director of Beliefs of the Heart and the author of Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You can find his posts at http://beliefsoftheheart.com/.
Kregel Publications, 216 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.