Monday, 18 August 2014

Why you don’t have to hear God’s voice in your heart

So I’ve finally gotten around to starting to write about each chapter of this book.  Sorry for the wait, I promise this book is worth it.

In this first chapter of his book Good News for Anxious Christians, Cary writes about hearing God’s voice and trusting your own hearts.  He states that you don’t need to figure out which of the voices in your heart is God’s voice, simply because none of them are.   Listening to your heart gives us self-knowledge, and this is good to have, but it doesn’t give you knowledge of God.  To know God you have to listen to God, and this means listening to a word that comes from outside yourself – the Bible. 

The Bible says that  Christ dwells in our hearts by faith (Eph 3:17), but it directs our attention outside our hearts for what we should put our faith in: Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of Christ (that is, the good news about Jesus) (Rom10:17). 

We should be confident to name the little voice of wisdom in our heart’s as our own.  But often we label this voice as God’s in order to be able to take it seriously.  We think that our own voice or feelings are unimportant or wrong and not worth listening to.  This belief undermines our sense of morality, responsibility, and self-knowledge. 

Our hearts are largely shaped by what comes from outside them so it is important to hear the word of God properly preached and to take it into our hearts.  God does speak today, but it’s not in the voice of your heart.  God speaks through the Bible, which is his word.  This word gets into our heart and we repeat the word’s of God in our hearts, but this doesn’t mean that it is God’s voice.  God’s word shapes our hearts, but he speaks externally to our hearts. It has always been this way: God in his wisdom has chosen to speak to his people externally through the words of prophets, apostles, preachers and teachers.  

Cary also has some thoughts about how this idea of hearing God’s voice in your heart has gained traction which I won’t go into, you’ll have to read the book. 

This chapter was so warming to my heart.  I realised that guilt that I have felt for not hearing God’s voice is totally misplaced.  I was encouraged to memorise Bible passages so that I have the word of God in my heart.  This chapter has implications for decision making but that will be discussed in a later chapter. 

What are your thoughts about this?  Do you have any questions?  I’m very happy to chat about it so feel free to comment below this blog post.

Next up is ‘Why you don't have to believe your intuitions are the Holy Spirit’ (probably not until the weekend).

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