My friend Greg Timms runs a church in Chicago. Asked me to preach. Topic:
“What’s the highest value skill you can cultivate?”
I don’t get asked to speak on Sunday mornings terribly often. I think I’m too
‘Wolverine’ for most churches…. But this was my answer:
How to Listen to God’s Voice Exercise (which was edited out of the video):
It’s pretty simple. You find a story in the scriptures about someone – could be just about any story anywhere. You read it, and you write on a piece of paper:
“OK God, tell me about me.”
“OK God, tell me about them.”
And then you GO.
Do not think, do not edit, do not question, whatever comes into your head just write.
Think of it maybe even like a house that’s been empty for six months and you turn on the water. Rust and gunk may come out and it might have burbles and bubbles but eventually will start flowing.
I find this works a little easier in a group worship environment than by yourself, but either is OK.
A commenter asked these questions – here they are with some answers:
My experience was one of uncertainty. Was I doing this right or just wasting time? I know you said to keep going so I’ll do that.
From watching you, I believe that helping people hear from God is part of your ministry. If that’s right, there’s more for you to do.
For me and others like me, we’re not practiced at hearing from God. So it’s uncomfortable and uncertain. Below is the list of all the questions I had:
* “Find a story in the scriptures …” How do you pick a story? Where do you go to even find a suitable story?
There are books that are mostly stories. The gospels, the book of Acts. Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Just about any of those stories will do.
* “OK God, tell me about me.” “Or, tell me about them.” How do you decide between these two questions?
Flip a coin.
* Don’t think, edit, question. Write whatever comes into your head. What if nothing comes? A total blank? How long do you wait?
There is no such thing as “nothing comes.” You are always thinking something. Just write it. Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” defines this very very well.
Especially at first, you do not worry whether you’re listening to yourself or God. As strange (and even blasphemous) as it may sound, it almost doesn’t matter. THE IMPORTANT PART IS THAT YOU LEARN TO LISTEN and especially smart intellectual types have a very hard time even listening to themselves. I spent the first 30 years of my life training myself to not listen to myself and just obey the rules of whoever was giving me orders. I had to unravel that.
The way you do that is you learn to listen to the inner voice within but you direct your intent towards listening to the Outside voice as well and slowly you begin to discern the difference. You just let it flow. You suspend judgment.
LATER you can go back (as many times as you like) and begin to discern what’s just your internal chatter and what’s Wisdom from the outside. There is a definite difference between those voices (!!!) and one of the key reasons for reading the scriptures is that voice is behind them and you gradually learn to recognize it.
Eventually you realize, that voice has been talking to your whole life and you just didn’t realize it.
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