Monday, March 12, 2012

Listening to God: The Inward Whisper & the Interior Knowing

Great Blue Heron flying over the river on our property.

This week I'm reading Richard Foster's Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer. This was one of Leadership Journal's top books of the year for 2011. (Note: the book Humiltas was #1.) 

Foster's book is about deeply entering and living in the presence of God, and hearing the voice of God. He writes:

"You know how we are able to distinguish between human speakers by the quality of their voice, the spirit in their voice and, of course, the content of what is being said? It is much the same with the divine voice. The quality of God's voice is one of drawing and encouraging. The spirit in God's voice is all grace and mercy. And the content of what is being said is always consistent with what God has said have a huge biblical witness upon which to test our leadings. Now, I am not speaking here of an outward voice that can be captured by electronic equipment. That no doubt is possible, as the Bible gives ample witness. But here I am speaking of an inward whisper, a deep speaking into the heart, an interior knowing." (Kindle Locations 54-58)

This is how I usually experience hearing God. Last evening, for example, at our Spiritual Formation wrap-up meeting, as one person was sharing, I had a strong inner prompting that I have come to trust as being from God. I wrote down what I heard. It was something to share with the entire group, giving us a spiritual path to walk on.

My expectation, from experience and spiritual coaching, is that as a person spends more and more conversational time with God, the inner prompting of God's Spirit will become clearer.