October/November 2016 - Vol. 88

An Excellent New Book by Sam Williamson

Hearing God in Conversation
How to recognize his voice everywhere

Reviewed by Don Schwager

This book is a rare gem full of spiritual wisdom, practical insight, and personal examples of how God converses with us in our daily lives.  I was captivated from the first to the last page. 

Sam Williamson is a great natural story teller, a sound biblical narrator and armchair theologian, and a wise counsellor with spiritual depth and insight. He is also an excellent writer Ė easy to read and joyful to follow. Reading his book is more like carrying on an enlightening conversion with an experienced and faith-filled friend while sitting in an easy chair enjoying one anotherís company.  You canít savor enough and you want to come back for more and more.

The book drives home a key Scriptural truth - God speaks to us at all times. Our challenge is learning how to recognize his voice and tune in to the conversation he desires to have with us.

This book covers a wide range of topics related to hearing God. Several chapters are devoted to the Scriptures - how to meet God personally in the Scriptures, how to recognize the voice of God, how to interact with Scripture to understand the truth in Godís Word, how our conversational relationship with God is born in meditation, the role of the Holy Spirit in witnessing with our spirit, and how to hear God for others.

God wants a two-way relationship with us Ė not only when we pray and read his Word in the Scriptures, but in every area of our lives as well. The book gives numerous examples on how God speaks to us in the ordinary circumstances of daily life, in our conversations with others, in our detours and disruptions, how he shouts to us in his silence, how he teaches us through our emotional curiosities, and questions us to draw us into a conversational connection with himself.

The book is balanced in dealing with potential pitfalls and aberrations. It treats the need for discernment, how to distinguish Godís voice from other voices, how filters and biases can shape and bock our ability to hear Godís voice, and the role of community in helping us discern and confirm Godís word for us.

For many years I have been reading with delight Sam Williamsonís essays in his online journal, Beliefs of the Heart. And Iím delighted to see this book in print. I think it will go a long way to help, inspire, and encourage many Christians to grow in their personal walk with the Lord. Read it, savor it, and give it to your friends. And let it awaken in you a deeper desire to better know, hear, and understand the Lord as he converses with us and draws us into a deeper heart-to-heart relationship with himself.

Hearing God in Conversation: How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere, by Samuel C. Williamson, published by Kregel Publications, 2016, available from Amazon
Hearing God in Conversation book cover
                          large Hearing God in Conversation: How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere, by Samuel C. Williamson, published by Kregel Publications, 2016, available from Amazon

Praise for the book

ďIn this book, Sam Williamson shares his deep spiritual wisdom with a kind of disarming humility that will help readers hear Godís extraordinary voice as an ordinary life experience.Ē

Jean Barbara,
President of the Sword of the Spirit

ďIíve just finished reading Sam Williamsonís compelling book on hearing God.  Sam treats this crucial subject with wisdom, humor, and deep conviction.  His highly readable personal stories and spiritual insights will surely inspire many to pursue with greater confidence the life-changing experience of daily conversation with God.  Hearing God in Conversation is a helpful and well-balanced spiritual guide which I would not hesitate to recommend to men and women from all the Christian traditions who hunger to walk more closely with God.Ē

John Keating,
Servants of the Word elder
It is a tragedy that so many Christians believe that God does not speak to them.  This book is one of the best Iíve seen at equipping ordinary people to listen to God in everyday life.  I especially loved the description of how to ďbrainstorm with GodĒ Ė what a wonderful way to demystify the process of seeking guidance.  Most importantly, the author puts the emphasis where it should be: on a biblically grounded, conversational relationship with God in which we let God take the lead.  If youíve ever secretly longed for your friendship with God to be much more interactive than it is and you are finally ready to do something about it, read this book. 

Thomas E. Bergler,
Professor of Ministry and Missions

Don Schwager is editor for Living Bulwark

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