Week Three - How does God Speak To Us?
This is one of my favorite weeks of Rooted. The idea of God as creator & redeemer (week 2) is fundamental to our perception of him, but learning his voice is fundamental to fully following him. Yes! His voice! So, many Christians live their lives with God at arm’s length. We follow the principles that are obvious in the Bible or we learn from others what he expects. Those are great ways to understand God’s will, but that’s not fullness of relationship he wants to have with us. He does want to speak and we’re wired to hear him!
God’s voice may or may not be audible, but it can be clear. Chances are, few people have ever heard an audible voice. Today with the Holy Spirit especially, God speaks internally and directly to our Spirit. With practice, we can learn the difference between the voice of our own egos or superegos and the voice of the Spirit inside us.
Here are a few helpful principles to supplement what you read. Listen to what your group says, though, and don’t force these ideas. Don’t teach! Do point toward the Bible.
The Bible is our Canon. That is, it is our “standard” or “measuring stick.” While it can be complicated at times, God speaks clearly enough through it that we can learn the kind of things he’s is going to say.
Primary Will then Secondary Will. Also called General Will and Specific Will. Many of us want God’s voice when we’re trying to make specific decisions about where to live and work. Most of those things, God is actually pretty neutral about. He wants us to become a kind of person, more than pursue a specific career. His Will for each of us first focuses around our love for others, our connection with him, and our character. It’s actually pretty clear and he will always emphasize that first in a person’s life. We might go to him asking for a career or parenting decision, but instead he just says, “You are beloved.” That’s just like him. He wants to establish the most important aspect of our lives before he establishes those secondary things. As you encourage your group to seek his voice, remember that most of what he says will be simple, but profound and important.
God speaks through many voices. This is definitely in your book, but this is such an important reminder. God’s voice will show up in a chorus of voices that will all sing in harmony. That includes: the Bible, wise/godly relationships, your internal sense, circumstances, and your own desires. And that’s probably the order we should prioritize them though. If any of the first ones are singing a dissonant note to others, they’re probably wrong.
This might be a weird discussion for some, but that tension is what will help them to grow. Be attentive to church background that have overemphasized or abused the idea of God speaking in audible ways or tongues. They can sometime belittle spiritual journeys that haven’t had these “profound” experiences. We’re not in that business. That’s not how God operates. He prioritizes the way we love others over any miraculous experience (1 Corinthians 13).
Others will come from a church background that claims the supernatural power of God does not invade our world anymore. They’ll claim it stopped being useful, so it stopped happening in the beginning of Acts. That is not a Biblical idea or what we understand at Discovery. Be sensitive to that, but don’t let that hard stance shut anyone down. While we don’t see a lot of supernatural things in our lives necessarily, there are plenty of modern stories of God showing up in miraculous ways. It’s ok to skeptical, but I’d encourage us not to simply write-off any story that may have been God showing up. He does work through natural means even more than supernatural ones. I mean, he did create those too. Nature’s existence itself is the supernatural fingerprint of God. Besides despite what we oftentimes assume, it you actually plot it out on a timeline God’s miraculous, supernatural work is pretty rare in human history even in the Bible!
Here’s the point: God does and wants to speak. We just need to learn what his voice sounds like by getting to know him and decluttering our attention in our distraction-saturated world. If you can point your group and yourself in that direction, that has the power to absolutely change everything! Just that epiphany itself will make Rooted worth it. No pressure.
Be sure to solidify your Prayer Experience plans ASAP! Don’t let logistics get in the way of the Spirit. If you need a location, please reach out to Todd. There are a few options on the weekend of 2/15-17, but we need you to hear from you before we can lock those in. Email Todd or check out the Prayer Experience Blog.
It’s never too early to set a date to serve. Feel free to use this early time period to get a jump on that. Here’s a the form where you can reserve some that are already available and we’ll provide more information for you.