Eldredge, John. Walking With God. Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really. Thomas Nelson. 2008.
This book is quite different from some of John’s earlier books. The ones I read were very much ‘guy books’. This one is more general and generic. The topic he is tackling is for all who would have a desire to ‘walk with God’. He still presents his material passionately. He speaks clearly with little room for special interpretation. He sets the bar high.
The Psalms speak in great detail about the reality of being intimate with God, e.g.137:1-8. God knows us intimately. He desires intimacy with us. Jer. 24:7, Zech.1:3. It makes sense that we assume that God speaks to us and we can know how this happens in our lives. To limit God’s communication with us to what is written in scripture is a mistake. Scripture confirms that God speaks personally to all kinds of people.
Begin listening to God by asking simple questions. But even simple questions require total focus to receive an answer. When we receive an answer we should not second guess that answer. Overarching principles from scripture should always be our anchor (standard). E.g. “The battle in your life is against joy.” (37) There may be times when we don’t hear from God on certain questions but that should not be a criterion for our relationship with God. Satan’s agenda is to keep us from hearing from God. We need to be listening at all times.
The sorrows (devastations) of life are very much a part of our spiritual growth. “as long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable.” (85) Times of difficulty can cause our relationship with God to rise. “Our holiness is deepened.” (91) We must avoid making “agreements” (92) that disrupt our relationship with God. E.g. “I’ll never really be loved again.” (95) Feeling is not a valid indicator of reality. “Listening to God on behalf of one another may be one of the greatest gifts we can offer each other in the body of Christ.” (110)
It is crucial that we hear God’s ‘no’ as clearly as we hear his ‘yes’. When losses are given over to God they are not permanent. Don’t allow Satan to turn grief into despair and thus put us into bondage. Hearing from God is essential in our relationships. We need a sanctified imagination. We will not hear clearly from God if we don’t manage our motives. It is through prayer that we will cast out evil spirits and demons in our spiritual warfare.
Some valuable teaching is shared about how to respond to unmet longings and disappointments. When God gives desires they should be pursued. Lent is not just about giving things up but replacing those things with something that will add to our life. Life doesn’t get any better than when we are “Walking With God”.