I love to read good Christian books. I enjoy attending events where I have the opportunity to hear speakers talk about their experiences with God or teach on a particular passage. But it’s not enough to know what someone else is learning from God, as encouraging as such times may be. I need to be learning and growing too, and such growth happens directly and personally.
God talks to his people—to each one of us—through his Word, through the counsel of godly friends, and through the Holy Spirit. Yet—and you don’t need me to tell you this—it takes deliberate and continuous effort to carve out time in our overfull schedules to listen to the voice of God. I am not at all suggesting that we reject godly counsel from those we trust and respect. One of the ways God speaks to us is through the wise counsel of other believers. But God loves one-on-one conversation. Will you take him up on that invitation? He’d love to talk! When have you been especially encouraged or helped by a godly friend’s counsel? What are some specific steps you can take to help ensure that a conversation with Jesus, where you have time to listen, happens regularly? Feel free to reflect on these questions on your own, or in the comments section of our blog below. We’d love to hear from you! A Prayer for Today: Lord God, I long to hear your voice but not just secondhand through teachers, as wonderful and godly as they can be. I long to hear your voice firsthand. Enable me to intentionally carve out time in my schedule to listen to your voice—and then, Lord, to recognize and obey it. Scripture Reading: I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. . . . I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. —Jesus in John 10:14–16 (NLT)