Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Reflections on Listening

This season of Lent, we are exploring spiritual disciplines together as a body. The following is a reflection on the discipline of Listening from Mary Zimmerman.

In my early years of walking with Christ, I learned about prayer… about asking in faith, having quiet times, praying the scriptures, many wonderful methods and helpful instructions for which I’m grateful. But strangely, missing entirely was the listening side of prayer. It was a one-way discourse, not a dialog. And I believe this left a growing disconnect between my head (jammed with Bible knowledge and doctrine), and my heart. Something was missing. I didn’t need more knowledge about God. I needed God. Eventually circumstances of life brought me to a wilderness, away from the noise and hurry of our culture. As the fog cleared, I spent more unhurried time with Jesus, exploring ancient Christian disciplines and rhythms. He began to open my eyes and my ears…. to speak into my soul. But I am naturally suspicious, especially towards myself. Could I really hear God aright? What about my own inner critic, or the wants and wishes? How to distinguish? What if I was deluded by the enemy? Then there were the distractions that rose up whenever I tried to settle into quietness. And finally, I was aware of the necessity of obedience in all this; what would I do with an “Eli message” such as Samuel received? As I began to learn and to grow in spiritual receptivity, the peace of God slowly enveloped me, bringing light to bear upon my questions and fears. I saw that the Triune God is here, with us and in us, and is ever-communicating. I began to trust that our Creator has graciously given us the capacity to discern his voice. Best of all, he desires this as a vital part of our relationship. “The heavens declare the glory of God…day after day they pour forth speech”

If you would like to learn more about this discipline, click here for the community group guide we are using to explore this together.

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