I am way behind on my pace for reading 52 books this year. I just finished book 10 and I should be on book 20. I definitely shot myself in the foot a bit by tackling “The Count of Monte Cristo” so be prepared to see some shorter books being read and reviewed this summer.
Dallas Willard is one of those authors that I feel I must be disciplined to read. He’s authored some amazing Christian works that one might consider classics such as “The Divine Conspiracy” and “Knowing Christ Today” (neither of which I’ve read yet). It was my father who first put me on to Dallas Willard and who actually bought his book “Hearing God” for me to read because of how powerfully the book spoke to him. Admittedly, it has taken me some years to pick it up. I’m glad I finally did.
While it could be said that “Hearing God” is a book that discusses the topic of prayer, that would fall short of the breadth and depth of communication with God that Willard addresses. His systematic and concrete way of discussing a seemingly abstract topic of hearing the messages of the divine is helpful, indeed! Willard writes to the truth I’ve long desired but contemplated little perhaps out of fear that we should not resolve to have a one-way conversation with God but that he indeed desires to speak back and does so in ways we are often not properly attuned to listen for. This is not to say that a physical voice will come to you from God although that can and does happen. Instead, he focuses on the inner voice that comes to us without marring of our own agendas but in harmony with what we know to be true about God in scripture.
Willard readily addresses those who use a false “hearing of God” for their own dishonest gain or pride and gently addresses the righteous and humble who discouragingly feel they’ve heard little to nothing from God. Willard has set me on a path that I believe will change the way I listen for God in my daily life and how I endeavor to hear him in my intentional times with him.
This book was not an easy read. At only just over 200 pages, it wasn’t a long read but it was one I had to take in slowly to appreciate. I have been using Audible regularly to take in many of the books I’ve been reading this year and this one, in particular, I struggled to only listen to because of it’s depth and density. I often listened while having my hardcopy in front of me to follow along with and highlight and I did a fair amount of highlighting in this book. This book requires a prominent place on my bookshelf.
Next time I review the Gothic fiction, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”.