Quiet Time Coaching Episode 316 | Malcolm Cox

Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God; Dallas Willard

Last two weeks have struck a chord with you and me. Therefore I decided to re-read the book “Hearing God: developing a conversational relationship with God” this week. Made notes and decided to do a multipart series – one for each chapter of the book.

As with all of Willard’s themed books, it is about much more than the actual title or theme in the title. In truth, it’s really about what it means to know Christ and to live for him in this world.

Today we look at the introduction, or technically the preface.

He sets up the book by noting that God wants an intimate friendship with us. He references the following Scriptures: Exodus 29:43-46; 33:11; Psalm 23; Isaiah 41:8; John 15:14; Hebrews 13:5-6. He could have chosen many more. Let me read some of these to us today. As I do so, ask yourself what is telling you about God’s desire for the kind of relationship he wants to have with you and me.

Ex. 29:43-46 there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory. “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

Ex. 33:11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

Psa. 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Is. 41:8 “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend,

John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

Heb. 13:5-6 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Take some time to meditate on one or more of these Scriptures. How does it make you feel knowing that God wants this for you? The fact that it is God’s desire do you have a conversational relationship with us is more important than what we want. Hearing God is more about his heart than our techniques. It’s about relationship. Part of that is about hearing God. Establishing this at the beginning of this series is important. Our goal is not to ‘hear’ from God as such, our goal must be to understand and learn what it means to be in a conversational relationship with God and to enjoy hearing from him in whatever way he decides is best.

Is this important? Willard says this, “Today there is a desperate need for large numbers of people throughout our various social groupings who are competent and confident in their own practice of life in Christ and in hearing his voice.” 12

I agree. The world does not need diffident, insecure and unconfident Christians. What kind of God does that reveal to the world? No, the world needs confident Christians. That confidence must be in God, and not tainted by religious arrogance. That is why hearing from God is about our submission and not our worthiness. More on that as we proceed.

Next week we will go on to look at chapter 1 of the book which is titled “A paradox about hearing God”.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: [malcolm@malcolmcox.org](mailto:malcolm@malcolmcox.org).

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm