I recently read Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, by Dallas Willard (2012).
In this book, DW leads us through a careful consideration of what it really means to communicate with the God of our understanding, deeply, meaningfully, continually.
My top takeaways:
· The Bible – THE word of God – is not EVERY word of God.
· Our conversation with God should be similar to that which we have with a spouse or dear friend, simply a continuation of the one begun years ago.
· Real communication is a two-way street that is only substantive when both parties choose to be engaged. It is bogus and hollow when either party doesn’t.
· God can and does communicate with us through a wide array of media: the Bible, other humans, our spirit, music, nature, events, …
· Just as with the other beings in our lives (not just the human ones), the quality of the communications is directly proportional to the depth of our relationship with one another.
· Presence is a powerful medium of communication, both spoken and non-spoken.
· A very nice recipe for learning: Read > Reflect > Respond > Rest.
· Our faith walk is about sense-making, us making sense of our existence and purpose. We can only do so via a communicative relationship with God.
My favorite quote(s):
“God is not looking for a holy place. Places are holy because God is there.” (p. 97)
“Great faith, like great strength in general, is revealed by the ease of its workings.” (p. 156)
“We are required to “bet our life” that the visible world, while real, is not reality itself.” (p. 284)
“Spiritual people are not those who engage in certain spiritual practices; they are those who draw their life from a conversational relationship with God.” (p. 288)
This book helped me think about my relationship to the God of my understanding, and about how I might make that relationship even richer.
Thanks for the recommendation, LP.