Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019. How can I listen to God? If you think you cannot listen anyway, probably you should go to another website or book. But if you are interested, you might join us thinking about how we listen to God, how we hear what he says.
The biblical view is quite clear: God is has spoken through the prophets. He has spoken through the son - that is through Christ Jesus. He has spoken through his apostles and evangelists, recording the words of Jesus, and writing letters to the churches and to other Christians. Also, God is speaking through the spirit, until today. Listen to the spirit.
He who has an ear, …
Before we go further into the discussion, have a look at the following repetitions in the book of revelation:
Re 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Re 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
Re 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
Re 2:29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Re 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Re 3:13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Re 3:22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
(from Revelation 1-3)
God is speaking through the spirit. We want to discuss the relationship of the words of God throught the spirit with the words of God through the prophets, the son and the evangelists and apostles. Is there any difference? Are these different ways?
… let him hear …
I think that God will usually not talk to you by letting you hear a clear voice - except for the voice of your pastor or preacher on Sunday morning, or the voice of a friend who is giving you encouragement or advice.
I think, though, that God IS talking throught the spirit all the time. He is talking through the spirit when we read the bible. He is talking when we listen to songs or sing songs of worship. He is talking when we talk to other Christians. He is talking and talking.
God can point our attention to particular bible verses. He can clarify things. There is this phenomenon that suddenly things are very clear. You understand passages from the bible you have never understood before. I think it is God speaking to you, it is the holy spirit opening the word of God for you, to listen and to guide your path. This can happen in silence. It can happen throught images which come to your mind. It can happen through you own thoughts, which get into resonance with God's spirit.
Look at the prayer book of the bible, the psalms. They sing. They listen. They bring all their trouble to God. And then, they turn. They can hear. They make decisions to walk the path of trust and faith. God has spoken to David, and to the other authors of the psalms. And the same way he is talking to us today, when we bring our trouble to him, when we turn to him to learn from him, to hear him speaking to us. He speaks words of truth, words of love, words to correct us, words to encourage us and our faith.
We want to develop ears who hear. We want to be among those who have an ear. Lord, give us this ear to hear and to follow you! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts