Does God Speak? Part 1

Cover of "The Power of a Whisper: Hearing...

Cover via Amazon

I want to tell you about a book that changed, affirmed, and challenged my hearing the voice of God. The book is called The Power of a Whisper and in this post I want to review and encourage you to read it. I include some portions of the review I wrote for a national magazine a couple of years ago when it came out.

The Power of a Whisper

Bill Hybels with Ashley Wiersma. Zondervan 2010, Hardcover (272p) ISBN 978-0-310-32074-6

Megachurch pastor Bill Hybels describes his life as a fifty-year whisper-fueled odyssey. The book is about learning to hear the “communicating God” [50] direct a person’s life. He waited nearly four decades to write this book because of the controversy the subject often breeds when people claim they’ve heard a message from God. [16]

In contrast to those making brash declarations about hearing God speak, Hybels points readers to the Holy Spirit‘s subtle “Wind Words,” saying the problem is not God’s silence but whether we have ears like young Samuel in the Hebrew Bible, who listened intently for the night-time whisper of God. Thus the operative question the preach-author asks is, “If you have anything to tell me, I’m very eager to hear it.” [96]

Hybels weaves personal stories, biblical principles, and global stories of others as well as any contemporary Christian author, saying no goal is more critical than keeping a “pliable heart before God.” Says the globally influential Willow Creek church and association exist today because at low points in Hybel’s life God “graciously whispered to me.” [110]

At one crucial moment Hybels had his face on the floor all night asking, “God, I am not getting up from here until there is resolution in my heart. I can’t lead this church one more day until you tell me what I’m supposed to do.” [146] Says whispers come from many sources including Scripture, people, events, Spirit-directed thoughts. Whisper rumbles like thunder and strikes at the soul like lightning.

In a coming blog post, I’ll comment more personally about the question, “Does God Speak?”

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