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Regis Nicoll Christian Blog and Commentary

Hearing God

  • Regis Nicoll
    Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He spent 30 years as a nuclear specialist, and is now a freelance writer who writes on current issues from a Christian perspective. His work regularly appears on BreakPoint online and SALVO magazine among other places. Regis also teaches and speaks on a variety of worldview topics, covering everything from Sharing the Gospel in a Postmodern Generation to String Theory. He currently serves as lay pastor of Hamilton Anglican Fellowship (www.hamiltonaf.org) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • 2012 Jun 08
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“When God calls you to do something,” the pastor cautioned, “your only response is, yes.”

I saw a number of heads nodding in agreement, but I sensed a question stirring in the heads of others: “But how do I know when God is calling?” 

It's an important question. In fact, there is no question more important for Christians. For how can we follow Christ, if we can't tell His call from that of the culture, or from an echo of our own desires, the product of misplaced guilt, or another have-to, got-to, need-to duty that seems good and feels good—and maybe, is good—but is not God-sent?

The answer is, we can’t—without first recognizing the means by which God calls us.

Prior to Pentecost, God called individuals in four ways: directly, through some physical manifestation of Himself (the burning bush); indirectly, through divine messengers (angels); subconsciously, through a dream or vision (Jacob’s “stairway to heaven”); or personally, through God incarnate (during Jesus’ earthly ministry).

But what was the norm then is exceptional today. The Christian who waits for a theophany or Danielic dream to receive a word from God, could be waiting a long time. And yet, while God’s call may no longer come through angelic visitations or blinding lights, it can be discerned with the help of two books: the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture. Continue reading here.