Now that I have the foundation laid, what do I do to hear from God?
Dr. Willard begins the next step with Psalms 1: 1-3 and this Scripture is so seminal that I will copy it here. What makes it seminal? It illustrates a principle in our Bible that we need to live by. Throughout his book, Hearing God, Dr Willard has said over and over that what we do must align with God’s principles:
“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of the scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on the law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all they do, they prosper.”
The Bible can be so intimidating but take a moment and study the words from Psalm 1. The words that speak the most to me are “happy,” “delight in the law,” “on his law they meditate”. And then we see the similes: true believers are like trees planted by steams of water. Trees that are close to a water source yield fruit and they do not wither—they prosper.
We need to meditate on verses like these constantly as we take God’s principles deep into our lives.
Next, we need to be alert to what is happening in our lives. Today that is hard to do because it seems we are busier than ever and the more we have to do, the harder it is to pay attention to our lives. Too often today, we say things and then we think about what we have said. That is so wrong. The thinking needs to come before the speaking. I love the way Dr. Willard points to what God said to Adam after Adam had sinned. God did not say to Adam, “where is God”; He said to Adam “where are you.” If we don’t pay attention to ourselves, then we are lost. God moves within our souls and we need to attend to our souls.
Praying and speaking to God constantly is the next requirement. Would you speak to someone who just spoke to you when they needed something? I hear this all the time from other Christians. Should I bother God with things that are not very important? The simple answer is yes. God is in it all and by “it”, I mean your life. He wants to be in your whole life. When things go right, even little things, sing His praises. When things get lost, ask Him to show you where they are. When things go wrong, tell Him you love Him nevertheless and you accept His will.
“Nothing is too insignificant or too hopeless to bring before God. Share all things with God by lifting them to Him in prayer, and ask for His guidance even—or perhaps especially—in those things you already understand” [Willard, 214].
What is the point of attending to principles all the time, paying attention to what is going on in our lives and praying and speaking to God constantly?
Here it is.
It is called relationship.
Relationship is defined as how two people are connected. The more time you spend with another, the stronger the relationship is. The more you express to another, the more they know who you are and the more you know who they are.
To hear from God, we need to have a strong relationship.
People who hear from God relate to God and guess what…
God relates to them.