When Your Quest Is Bigger Than You

This week, the Scriptures and devotional reflections center around learning to recognize the “still, small voice of God,” as a help in developing a conversational relationship with God. The following reflections are taken from Dallas Willard’s Hearing God Through the Year, compiled and edited by Jan Johnson.

Monday – Psalm 46.10. “The still, small voice–or the interior or inner voice as it is also called–is the preferred and most valuable form of individualized communication for God’s purposes. God usually addresses individually those who walk with Him in a mature, personal relationship using this inner voice, proclaiming and showing forth the reality of the kingdom of God as they go. Speak to God today about His continually insisting on being your close personal friend.”

Tuesday – John 15.15. “The inner voice is an apt communication of God’s presence in our lives as a close personal friend, a presence shared by the whole Christian community. It aids in developing our individual personalities into His likeness and in coming to live confidently and sensibly with God as a conversational presence in our lives. Are you amazed that God is not content to be a boss? Enjoy spending time in conversation with your friend today!”

Wednesday – Psalm 139.17. “At first, the inner voice of God is not always precious to you. You may not be all that conscious of hearing it. That is because the still, small voice doesn’t always force its way to the forefront of your thoughts. You don’t have to have a theory or doctrine about this voice in order to hear it. Ask God to train you to cherish His thoughts as they come to you. Perhaps you’d like to practice by moving through a favorite passage of Scripture and saying to God with each phrase: ‘Thank you for this precious thought. I need it to help me today.’”

Thursday – Isaiah 55.8,9. “We may be slow in learning to recognize the inner voice of God speaking to us because the most adept at the divine human conversation are often reluctant to speak much about the inner voice (in contrast to those who have some of the more spectacular experiences). And that is completely as it should be. God’s communication with the individual is precious. It is not for ‘show and tell’ any more than intimate interchanges between two people generally are. Ask God to train you to cherish His thoughts as they come to you.”

Friday – 1 Kings 19.11-13. “Elijah was spoken to by God in a ‘still, small, voice’, a ‘gentle whisper’ on Mt. Horeb. Both expressions place the emphasis on the unobtrusiveness of the way God communicated. God used this unassuming way rather than in the earthquake, wind, and fire, and Elijah was wise enough to recognize this unpretentious communication. The still, small voice of God bears the stamp of His personality quite clearly and is given in a way we can learn to recognize. What needs to happen in you so you can learn to better recognize His voice?”

Saturday – James 5.17-18. “Try to read the biblical accounts as if what is described is happening to us. We must make a conscious effort to think that such things might happen to us and to imagine what it would be like if it did. This can be difficult because we tend to think that God does marvelous things only with other people. But Elijah, Moses, and Paul were like us, as this passage notes. They doubted their abilities and self-worth just as we do. Thank God for these humans who responded to God, and ask the Spirit to live in you as you respond to Him.”