“Walking with God – How to Hear His Voice” by John Eldredge Nelson Books
- Critical read
- Must read
- Good read
- Read if you want
- Read something else
Why: John Eldredge has been an influential writer in my life, beginning with the book, Wild at Heart,” and on through “The Sacred Romance” “Waking the Dead,” and “Journey of Desire.” All good books. Then a good friend of mine mentioned “Walking With God” to me, adding the first edition subtitle, “Talk to God. Hear His voice. Really!” I knew right there that this was a book for me.
The book was not what I expected, but it was good nonetheless. Instead of a direct “how to” approach to having conversations with our God, this book is more of a journal of John’s own experiences of walking and conversing with our God. A bit lower key than his other books, it was a pleasant read that sneaks up on you with insights into oneself as well as revelations about how our God communicates with us. Eldredge does this by letting the reader see how he interacted with God in a variety of situations spread across the four seasons of a year.
Point: The point of the book is to help the reader discover how our God speaks to us regularly, and how to learn to listen for His voice in the events and affairs of daily living. The conversations come via the habit of walking consciously with the Spirit of God within us, a relationship that is the point of our existence and our redemption. The communion relationship for which we were redeemed is the expression of the new covenant in Christ’s blood. That relationship includes walking under the control of the Spirit of Christ daily, having a sense of ongoing communion with our God by His Spirit, a communion that is conversational and intimate at the deepest levels.
This communion is meant to elevate our prayer lives above the mundane and selfish repetition of request and instruction to our God as to how He is to take care of us and those around us. Prayer as it flows through our communion with our God can grow to become an intimate, conversational experience that we flow into and out of many times in the course of each day. It is to be the expression of our love relationship with our God and our total surrender to Him. This surrender is the most basic expression of a new covenant faith in our God, and a prerequisite to the relationship of which Eldredge writes in the book.
Impact: If you are like the majority of believers in the God of the Bible who have no idea what it is like to have a two-way conversational relationship with your God, this book will set you on the right course to correct that major deficit in your experience. And it is a major deficit. As stated above, developing a conversational communion with each of us is a core purpose of our God in the atonement and redemption won by Christ on the cross. It is the primary feature of the relationship we have with the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is to be the most dynamic feature of the new covenant life and the fellowship of believers day by day and week by week.
Sadly, this is news to most believers in the western institutional church.
That is why this book is important to me, and why it should be to you as well.
Quote: “I assume that an intimate, conversational walk with God is available and is meant to be normal. I’ll push that a step further. I assume that if you don’t find that kind of relationship with God, your spiritual life will be stunted. And that will handicap the rest of your life. We can’t find life without God, and we can’t find God if we don’t know how to walk intimately with Him.”
Similar: “Abba’s Child” by Brennan Manning. “The Indwelling Life of Christ” by W. Ian Thomas. Experiencing the Holy Spirit” by Andrew Murray.”100 Days in the Secret Place” by Gene Edwards, a collection of updated letters from Madame Guyon, Miguel Molinos, and Francois Fenelon. And most of Eldredge’s other books.