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Getting Directions from God
This Week's Theme: Tuning in to God
Dallas Willard
Saturday, May 12, 2001

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Q. How can I find out what God's will is for me?

A. Some of the best practical advice I've ever heard came from James Dobson. He described how he does it himself: "I get down on my knees and say, 'Lord, I need to know what You want me to do, and I am listening. Please speak to me through my friends, books, magazines I pick up and read, and through circumstances.'"

It might be a good thing, until it becomes a habit, to write down Dobson's simple prayer for guidance and put it somewhere—on the bathroom mirror, for example—where you can see and use it often.

What should happen after I've asked?

Personally I find it works best if, after I ask for God to speak to me in this way, I devote the next hour or so to some kind of activity that neither engrosses my attention with other things nor allows me to be intensely focused on the matter in question. Housework, gardening, driving about on errands or paying bills will generally do.

I've learned not to worry about whether or not this is going to work. I know that it doesn't have to work, but I am sure that it will work if God has something He really wants me to know or do. This is ultimately because I am sure of how great and good He is.

Often by the end of an hour or so there has stood forth within my consciousness an idea or thought with that peculiar quality, spirit and content that I've come to associate with God's voice.

Dallas Willard taught philosophy at the University of Southern California.

Adapted from: Hearing God (InterVarsity, 1984)

For your convenience, Hearing God is available in the bookstore.

Prayer for the Week
Father, I know You are real, but this week I want to really sense Your presence.

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