Monday, April 08, 2013

We Can Expect God to Speak to Us Today

One of my constant prayers is for God to raise my level of experience to the level of the historical biblical narrative. Otherwise, the alternative is dismal; viz., that I would preach the biblical narrative through the filter of my own experience. To do that will be to diminish the biblical text. If the Jesus-life is only to be lived in mere human strength and ability then I am not interested.

I'm with theistic philosopher Dallas Willard here as he writes:

"It is worth reminding ourselves to read the biblical accounts as if what is described is happening to us. We must make the conscious effort to think that such things might happen to us and to imagine what it would be like if they were to happen." (Willard, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, p. 119)

Reaffirm your participation in biblical experience. What might this look like, especially when it comes to hearing God? Willard says that, in the biblical record, God addresses people in six ways. They are:

  1. a phenomenon plus a voice 
  2. a supernatural messenger or an angel 
  3. dreams and visions 
  4. an audible voice 
  5. the human voice 
  6. the human spirit or the “still, small voice” (Ib., pp. 120-121)
Personally I have experienced 2, 3, 5, and 6. It is my full expectation that God will speaking to me, on this day, in one of these ways. This radically alters how I view today.

Every Jesus-follower has access to God, and can live with expectation that God wants to and will communicate with them, on this day. Willard admits that "This will be difficult at first, for most people have become accustomed to thinking that God does such marvelous things only with other people." (Ib., 119) 

Of course that's not true, as the biblical record indicates. Expect God to communicate his love and direction and comfort and strength to you today, in one of these ways.