• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Listening to God

As I re-read Paul Miller’s chapter on, “Listening to God”, I was struck by the common themes that I had also heard during the Central Asia & CH Area Conference on prayer and discernment.  I won’t try to summarize three packed days of reflecting on this topic, but I wanted to come back to one element that stood out both in the book and the conference, and that is the need to cultivate a listening heart.  Let me quote from A Praying Life:

 

Listening is just one of the things that happens in the course of my soul connecting with God.  You can’t listen to God if you are isolated from a life of surrender that draws you into his story for your life.  And it must be a gospel story. By that I mean your dying, your weakness is what you bring to the table.  God brings to the table his grace, his resurrection … When referring to communication with God, Scriptures assumes that I know what God is saying.  The problem isn’t the activity of listening, but my listening heart.  Am I attentive to God? Is my heart soft and teachable? Am I remembering his ways, his commands?  Psalm 25:15 says, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord.”  The means of communication is secondary to a surrendered heart.  Our responsibility is to cultivate a listening heart in the midst of the noise from our own hearts and from the world, not to mention the Devil.”  (247)

 

It’s not just ‘listening’ that is fundamental, but cultivating a heart that is tender towards the Spirit’s voice.  Miller says that keeping the Word and the Spirit active together in my life happens as I “saturate my life with the Word, so as to give the Spirit a vocabulary to personalize the Word to me.”

 

Cultivating such a listening heart is the journey that we are on.

 

[For more input on this topic, you might want to read, The Voice of Jesus, by Gordon Smith, IVP Press.  Gordon spoke at the recent Central Asia & CH conference)

2 Responses

  1. Right on, David! In my view, cultivating a heart that hears the voice of Jesus and responds is one of the most important disciplines we m-workers need.

  2. Great timing. Listening to His Voice has been the subject of my prayers this week.

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