A Socratic forum allows for two types of participants. 1. The listener. 2. The speaker. As the speaker expresses his or her opinion, the listener must wait their turn before contributing to the discussion. The structured exchange teaches how to hone in on one’s listening skills, be observant to exchange cues, adapt social etiquette in a conversational setting, and to grow patience as one does not always have the opportunity to speak the moment they feel inclined. If one person dominates the conversation, then the listener must continue to stay engaged to what is being said by focusing in on the details. If their mind begins to stray too far, then the dialogue becomes irrelevant ultimately eliminating the conversation all together.
Our connection with God is similar when it comes to developing a relationship with Him. Sometimes we come to discuss our frustrations, our hopes, or our needs and wants, but most of the conversation becomes dominated by one person, us. Our monologues have a tendency to tell God what we need instead of listening to what is being said. When we direct the discourse, the ability to fine-tune our listening skills is pushed aside making it difficult to hear our Father’s voice and the aspirations he has for us.
Even though God’s voice may not be audible, his word is alive, active, and is sharper than any two-edge sword, and is a means of communication with Him in order to increase our faith.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
All conversational skills take time and practice to develop when we desire to go deeper in our relationship with God. The more we sit in his presence and listen to what He has to say, the easier it becomes to decipher between our own thoughts and His voice in our hearts.
Similar to a shepherd guiding his sheep, God will call out to us. He says “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) The more we listen in to God, the easier it is to distinguish between the white noises, our own thoughts in order to hear the Shepherd’s voice.
When going to the Father, let us remember that He wishes to discourse with dialogue instead of always listening to our monologue of requests.
How do you hear God speaking to you? What does he desire for you?