I’ve been going through a rough patch recently (slowly getting out of it) and I’m also now moving into a new phase in my life at least in terms of work and perhaps in other areas (e.g. spiritual) too. Being a charismatic for the past 14 years plus of my Christian life, I’ve always been intrigued with hearing God’s voice. I have a category on my blog called Hearing God for the posts I’ve written on this issue. As I’ve written before, I’m no expert on this issue – quite the contrary. I’ve read a lot of books on this subject and also talked to many Christians about this – including the past few days.
About a year plus ago, I started reading John Eldredge’s Walking With God, which is on the topic of hearing God’s voice. I blogged a bit about this here and here. I thought that was one of the better books I had read up to that time on the subject of hearing God’s voice and it inspired me to read up more about this subject. I think it was around that time I was searching the Net on this topic and I somehow came to know of Mark Virkler’s Communion With God Ministries. I read about him and his books and I was very excited because somehow I felt that learning from him (his books, experiences) was going to answer a lot of my questions I had and bring me into a new level in this area. Basically, he specializes in this area – in teaching Christians about hearing God’s voice. In 1979 (the year of my birth!), he set aside one whole year just to learn how to hear God’s voice and God gave Him a breakthrough. He was that desperate to learn to hear God’s voice. And God gave him a breakthrough and now his ministry is mostly about this area.
I guess I was excited because this man was a bit like me. I think I read somewhere that he struggled with this issue for a long time and he read many books but none of them actually helped him to hear God’s voice. That’s why he set aside one year to learn how to do so and God taught him many things. Like him, I’ve read many books on this issue and somehow they all really haven’t helped me. And I guess I understood why. Mark talks about how it’s easier for right-brain people to hear God’s voice:
Right brain individuals simply say, “Oh, hearing God’s voice is easy: you just know that you know that you know!” Well, that doesn’t help a left-brain person at all. (How To hear God’s Voice, p. 43)
He’s left-brain like me and so I guess when he read all these books about hearing God’s voice by these men of God (probably right-brain Christians) who could hear God’s voice well, it was written in a way that didn’t help a left-brainer as we think differently and it’s harder for us to “get it”. We left-brainers tend to go by logic and reasoning, rather than imagination and intuition. And so Mark actually wrote two main books on hearing God’s voice – one for a left-brainer (called How To Hear God’s Voice) and one for a right-brainer (called Dialogue With God). And his books have really helped many Christians start hearing God’s voice – see here.
Anyway, I ordered the two books straight away. They’re not very popular books so for Singaporeans reading this, if you want to buy these books, you can use this great online bookstore website, Open Trolley, that actually sells both of them. For those who are like me who struggle or want to progress more in this area (and especially for those who are left-brain), you have to get these two books as I think they are probably the best books around on this subject – for biblical support and for practical steps one can take.
I read the left-brain book last year and recently I just started to read the right-brain one. And I guess circumstances in my life have just created in me a greater desire to really start taking the time to apply what I’m reading (e.g. using visioning and journaling) so I’m quite excited.
Anyway, if any of you actually purchase these books, do drop a comment here and/or email me at idealist at stillhaventfound.org as I’d love for us to share our experiences putting what we’ve learned into practice!
PS: Even if those who read this post aren’t interested in hearing God’s voice, Mark Virkler’s Communion With God Ministries website contains a lot of very interesting materials – including excerpts from tons of his books. I’ve involved in both sides of the Charismatic – non-Charismatic Christian divide for about 14 years. As a left-brain person, I love good teaching (Word). However, I also wish to be open to the Spirit. I think it’s generally the case that left-brain Christians are attracted to churches with good solid teaching (normally non-Charismatic churches) and right-brain Christians to churches with less solid teaching but which are more open to the Spirit (normally Charismatic churches). Generally, non-Charismatic churches are stronger in the Word and Charismatic churches move more in the Spirit (supernatural). And it so often seems that never the twain shall they meet…
At one time of my life, my love and understanding of both the non-Charismatic and Charismatic worlds of Christianity made me want to become a bible college lecturer and touch on bringing both sides together. I have always loved good biblical teaching that touched on more Charismatic issues. That’s because it’s so hard to find really solidly biblical Charismatic teaching. And this is probably because those who flow in the Spirit are normally right-brainers who probably aren’t that gifted in logical/analytical thinking. I’ve always been stronger in the Word (being a left brainer) than the Spirit and so I have always wanted to encounter more of the Spirit – but in a biblical way, not in a way that is very often seen in charismatic churches with all the excesses and abuses.
Anyway, it’s really refreshing to see what Mark Virkler, a self-confessed left-brainer, has written. I think he’s done an absolutely brilliant job in writing on Charismatic topics from a solidly biblical and philosophical perspective. I intend to purchase lots of stuff from that website so if there’s anyone from Singapore interested in doing so too, contact me so we could perhaps share on shipping costs.