|Monroe County Community College|
Dallas Willard writes: "Hearing God only makes sense in the framework of living in the will of God." (Willard, Hearing God, K125)
For Willard "doing the will of God is a different matter than just doing what God wants us to do." (Ib.) It is about being in the will of God; or, being (living) in the heart of God. Living in the heart of God includes doing, but is in the first place about being. "Generally we are in God’s will whenever we are leading the kind of life he wants for us." (Kindle Location 135)
It is possible to do all the things that God wants us to do and still not be the kind of person God wants us to be. A religious person, for example, might do all kinds of things without having a heart of love. Willard writes: "An obsession merely with doing all God commands may be the very thing that rules out being the kind of person he wants us to be." (K136)
Love comes first, from which appropriate obedience emerges.
First, live life "in Christ." This is the great Pauline imperative. Hearing God's voice will be one byproduct of a Christ-abiding life.