Hearing from God is
both an individual and a communal practice. Gordon Smith, in his book The Voice of Jesus, makes it clear that
there is danger in relying too much on ourselves or too much on the community of
community, then, while it is essential to our individual identity, is also a
threat to that identity. We do not find ourselves in isolation from the
community and we do not find ourselves if we are subsumed within the community.
When it comes to discernment, we realize that we do not know the voice of Jesus
and the witness of the Spirit if we are lost within the community. The
collective can become so strong that that we cannot hear what God is saying to
us. We must be alone. We must remain ‘other’ from the community and not be
absorbed into its powerful collective identity.”[1]
Personally, I have
found that I hear from God best when I spend time in solitude with God first,  and then
seek the input of the community. My time of solitude will involve reading the
Bible, praying, listening to God, paying attention to dreams, paying attention to nature, and being alone
with God. Then, I will go back to my trusted prayer partners, that is, my
community of faith, for confirmation or correction in what I think I have heard
from God. This has been a tried and tested method for me that I would recommend
to others; but I also recognize that God works within our personalities and may
function differently with others. Take a moment to respond to this blog and
tell me the ways in which God speaks to you.

Works Cited

Smith, Gordon T. The Voice of
Downers Grove: InterVaristy Press, 2003.

[1] Gordon T. Smith, The Voice of Jesus; InterVarsity Press,
2003; p. 210.

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