I picked up this book from our church library. It was not filed in the Women’s section but Priscilla is definitely targeting it for women. That said – I think it is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to start out learning to listen to God. The whole focus is not on how to discern or recognize God when He speaks – but rather a high level summary of: the what; the how and our response to God’s voice. Note: These notes are from the 2007 edition. She basically re-wrote the book in 2012. There is almost no correlation between that edition and the one I am reviewing.
First off, I want to say I love the way she organized the book. There are five parts:
- Part 1: Hearing God’s Voice – This part has the two basics that we teach: Expect to Hear Him and Just do it – practice the spiritual discipline of listening
- Part 2: Communicating with God Today – This part could be subtitled: An Invitation to Intimacy with God
- Part 3: Revealing God’s Character – This part could be subtitled: What to Primarily Expect while Listening to God
- Part 4: Discovering God’s Plan – This part focuses on the guidance component of listening to God.
- Part 5: Responding to God’s Plan – The Hebrew word for listen is integrally linked to obedience to God’s voice.
In addition, each chapter contains the following sidebars:
- A Saint Speaks – where she quotes other Christian’s response to the topic she is addressing
- He Speaks – quotes from the Bible about the topic
- How do you Know it’s God’s Voice? – Descriptions from others about how they discern God’s voice.
I love the chapter titles that describe God’s voice as:
I would agree with all of these as descriptors of God’s voice and will probably include it the next time we introduce listening to a group.
“Those who do not believe God speaks specifically will simply ignore or explain away all the times when God does communicate with them. However, those who spend each day in a profound awareness that God does speak are in a wonderful position to receive His word.” A. W. Tozer
“If we come to Him doubting His ability to speak, we will have a difficult time listening. So we must come expectantly.” Charles Stanley
“If you want to hear God’s voice clearly and you are uncertain, then remain in His presence until He changes this uncertainty. Often much can happen during this waiting on the Lord. Sometimes He changes pride into humility; doubt into faith and peace; sometimes lust into purity. The Lord can and will do it.” Corrie Ten Boom
“Conversing with the Father is colored by the needs of the day. Let your prayer be something definite, arising either out of the Word which you have read, or out of the real soul needs which you long to be satisfied. Let your prayer be so definite that you can say as you go out, ‘I know what I have asked from my Father, and I expect an answer.” Andrew Murray
“Note well, that we must hear Jesus speak if we expect Him to hear us speak. If we have no ear for Christ, He will have no ear for us.” Charles Spurgeon
“We can make our heart a chapel where we can go anytime to talk to God privately. These conversations can be so loving and gentle, and anyone can have them.” Brother Lawrence
“I close my eyes to shut out visual stimuli … I close my ears by dealing authoritatively with distractions that threaten my ability to tune in to God. I close a series of shutters on the surface level of my life, thus holding at bay hindrances to hearing the still small voice of God …” Joyce Huggett
“Listening to God today is not about newness but about nowness.” Joyce Huggett
“I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Isaiah 45:3
“Have you ever heard the Master say something very difficult to you? If you haven’t, I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at all.” Oswald Chambers
Minor Points of Disagreement
A couple of minor quibbles with the book. In most cases, I don’t think she really means what these statements say.
Priscilla says that the “Father’s greatest goal is for us to grow into our full spiritual potential…” I think the Father’s goal is much greater than this: that we would fully grow to conform to the image of Christ; that we would achieve a oneness with the Trinity and with God’s people are two goals of the Father that are greater.
She also says: “Hearing God’s voice is impossible for someone who hasn’t yet been born of the Spirit.” Saint Peter heard the Father’s voice concerning Jesus’ being the Messiah. None of us would become followers of Jesus if we did not hear His voice before we were born of the Spirit.
Finally, quoting a friend, she says that “God’s supernatural activity is so evident in my life because I have decided the only appropriate response to Him is complete obedience.” I am so thankful that God’s supernatural activity is so evident in my life not because of my complete obedience but because of His grace towards me and that I look for God’s supernatural activity.