When I first envisioned my book on hearing God, I imagined it as a little book with simple tools for learning to recognize God’s voice. In fact, my original title was, The Little Book on Hearing God because I pictured it as a short book with tips and techniques.
But as I wrote it, I realized that the true purpose of the book is to help all of us (including its writer) to grow in intimacy with God. God is relational, and he came to earth to redeem us so that we could re-enter into a relationship with God, a relationship broken by our rebellion.
So I named the book, Hearing God in Conversation. The idea is for us to re-engage with God in a personal relationship, a conversational relationship. After all, God’s own descriptions of his connection with us are all relational: his people, children, friends, and breathtakingly intimate, his spouse.
But my book is mostly lecture (though I hope an engaging lecture 🙂 ) and humans mostly learn in the lab. I’ve created two tools to help move us from the lecture to the lab, from head-knowledge to heart-knowledge.
From Head to Heart
Last December I finished a chapter-by-chapter study guide for personal or group study. Each chapter of the book has a corresponding chapter in the guide. Each chapter includes a set of heart-oriented questions to apply the message to the heart.
And each chapter has an exercise—the laboratory! —to put into practice the various ways we hear God.
I also offer a Hearing God retreat. You invite me to come to your church or ministry, and I’ll put on a weekend retreat in which we learn and practice hearing God together.
I pray that you not only hear God, but that you grow into intimacy with him as Moses did: “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11).
P. S. I owed special thanks to a new friend (who I’ve never met), Lydia Legget. I wrote all the exercises in the study guides, but I just couldn’t write study questions.
I spent hours poring over my manuscript, desperately and fruitlessly trying to develop questions that would engage the heart. I pulled out my hair (it grew back) and questioned everything I knew about writing, study, prayer, and the universe. I was just too close.
Shortly after publication of Hearing God in Conversation, a reader posted a review on Amazon:
I loved this book. While visiting my parents, I stole it from my Dad, and promptly devoured it.
Anyone who would steal a book from her father was a kindred spirit. That reader was Lydia Leggett. I asked if she would take this confusing burden from my shoulders and write study questions for me.
She quickly agreed. And just as quickly she sent me a draft of questions for this study guide.
Lydia Leggett, I cannot thank you enough. And Bob Allums (her father), you raised a great daughter. Just let her keep the book!
Remember: God is not silent.