Awakening to His Voice

A quote on the God Journey Forum about having a conversation with God leads Brad and Wayne into a discussion about what it means to live with an ear to God's voice. Do people really carry on conversations with God? Can you listen to God without being weird? Is he an audible voice? How do we separate our thoughts from his? So many people miss this simple reality because they have preconceptions of what that might look like, or they try to make it happen by their own efforts. Learning to be sensitive to the wind of the Spirit in the naturalness of every day life is not as difficult as most people seem to think.


  1. I found it interesting from people that sponsored or published “the shack” that you found it hard to believe that a relationship could be so intimate and conversations could be literal. Sometimes you sound jaded and hardened to papa’s voice.

  2. Kathy,

    i think you misunderstand. I find communing with God to be far MORE intimate than a literal conversation. As I said on the podcast, I have no problem with people characterizing it that way for themselves. What it does, however, is to make others intimidated if their own experience isn’t similar. And not all are.

    I’m comfortable with people who talk about it like a conversation, but if it’s real they know too that they are putting words to something that was far deeper and more real than a word for word conversation. God’s thoughts come into ours not just with words, but with emotion, feeling, and other perceptions that transcend words. That’s all.

    I’m sorry if I wasn’t clearer.


  3. Thank you… one of the more balanced discussions I;ve heard on this topic. i appreciated the way you broke it down in your experience, and didn’t fall into the religious rigidity that is so prevalent.

    I came from a background of “God doesn’t speak today”, but i didn’t buy it. I also didn’t buy the “flaky stuff” that you discussed so lightheartedly. I can relate to the inability to explain such things verbally. Thanks for being honest, and for explaining things with graciousness and humility. Your discussion confirmed some of the way I experience God, too. thank you.

    You pegged it with the “god said” performance and the way it is used to manipulate. Part of the power play, of course, is how “spiritual” the person seems as a result, and also the pride of: “God said this, and God can’t be wrong, so neither can I”

    For me, i was just starting to break out of my shell and getting glimpses of some of this when the ones who “heard from God” and had even offered to mentor me in this area ended up kicking me in the teeth and perpetrating false accusations and becoming controlling. As a result, I reacted and pulled back from all God things for awhile, and struggle w/ “spiritual PTSD”. I struggle to trust my perceptions and experiences of God, in part because of my background, in part because I don’t want to turn into one of the perpetrators myself.

    In my head I know God is not like that, and hearing God doesn’t necessitate becoming a spiritual abuser, but my gut reacts so quickly that the god encounter is over before it even begins. I know I need to “learn to live loved,” but I’m not sure how to get there from here…

    The Shack at least started me talking to Papa occasionally again, adn hearing Paul talk so transparently about his history has given me some hope for recovery, and I’m thankful for that too.

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