I’ve heard our pastor, Bill Hybels, speak of whispers and promptings from God for years, and so I’m glad to see that he has put together all of his thoughts on whispers from God in his newest book: The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond
People get nervous about this subject. Many have stories of stupid things people have done because “God told them to do something.” Some have stories of where they thought God was telling them to do something but it showed later that it wasn’t God at all. It was dopamine or something else.
And yet… yet …. yet… go ahead and read your Bible and you will see witness after witness of God speaking to someone. Abraham and Moses and Samuel and David and … wow, the Solomon and the “Tell me what you want” episode … and prophets like Elijah and, don’t forget this one, the voice of God to return from Exile to the Land and to rebuild that Temple under Ezra and Nehemiah.
The New Testament, too, has it all over the place. Of course, Jesus, but many want to exclude him because he’s the Son of God. But God spoke to Peter and told him to head up to Joppa and we have the first gospeling of Gentiles, and then God spoke powerfully to Paul and we could go on and on.
And the Church has had the same witness (you’ve got to read about “whispers that change the world” in chp 9). And yes all kinds of goofy things have happened (read chp. 4 on how to know when you are hearing God.)
But once we admit God does speak to us, why not now? Read this book by Bill Hybels and you will find the “spiritual” inner person that has been in prayer for decades, that has been seeking the face of God as a Christian leader, that has heard from God about parenting, and that has been listening for God — during good times and during his dry seasons — and how he has had the courage to respond to what God’s promptings were. In many ways, the history of Willow Creek is the history of God’s promptings of Willow Creekers. (Read chp. 3 and you’ll see what I mean.)
Is there any genuine Christianity where God does not communicate with his people?
The question that kept coming to me as I went through this book: Why not now?