Hearing God Speak

A morning devotional today by Dallas Willard gives some excellent insight to my frequent topic of hearing God speak. Here it is:

We learn voices by experience. We are at least as smart as sheep. They learn to identify the voices of their masters by experience. That is one of the images the scriptures use over and over to emphasize the learning of the voice. In time, you learn the different in the spirit, the tone, and the content of the thoughts that come to mind. You can get pretty good at recognizing whether a thought has come to you from God. For one thing, God will never nag or whine at you. By contrast, I have found that there is always a quality of nervousness, of tininess, about one’s own thoughts.

If you wish to know the voice of God as it comes to you individually, simply allow yourself to trust God to lead you into that. Ask God to speak to you and then wait attentively. He will probably speak to you clearly. But you have to understand and believe that this is even possible. Otherwise your faith will not rise to it, and you will not have the opportunity to learn. The reason I emphasize this here is because, when your friend asks about your relationship with God and the reason for your hope, you don’t want to be in the position of saying, “Well, he never speaks to me, but he speaks to lots of other people.”

Excerpted from The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus by Dallas Willard.