The Practical Disciple - Part 63

Limiting Distractions–clutter

So much of hearing God’s voice is just slowing down which for most of us involves simplifying our lives. One way to isolate God’s voice is just to limit the many other voices speaking to us. Two years ago during Lent I decided that I want to work on simplicity. I did so by ruthlessly attacking clutter and excess in my life. Specifically, I set aside 40 grocery sacks in my closet and every day for 40 days, I filled and got rid of a sack. Many sacks went to the thrift shop in our church, some went to people I knew, and a surprising number were just trash.

I learned a host of discipleship lessons during this discipline. One of the most profound was that everything we own, owns a

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Isolating God’s Voice

I had in a prior post written about having a basic daily devotional time with God. There is a lot of value in doing this in terms of honing your awareness of God’s voice in your daily life. When I say voice, I mean it in a broad sense of God expressing Himself through any number of ways. This could be a synchronicity, a person sharing a right word at a right time, a hymn or song on the radio, a strong intuition, a dream, vision, or insight through the Word, etc.

What I have noticed is that when we step apart from our daily activity and seek to observe God’s activity in our life, then we learn to discern God’s activity from other activity. Imagine

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More on God-incidents

My most recent post drew a couple of comments and a few direct contacts regarding God-incidents. It obviously struck a chord with some folks, so it seems worthy of more attention. My prior post was about responding to God-incidents. I feel the need to back up and address recognizing God incidents.

When I say God incident I am referring to those revelatory moments when we recognize what could be considered random events as actually God’s activity in our lives. We can actively hone our awareness of these moments. The first step in recognizing something is knowing what you are looking for specifically. That may sound simplistic, but how often do we put things before God that are so broad and generic that even if God

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Responding to God-Incidence

Some events occur and the coincidence of it is so unbelievable that it takes greater faith to consider it a coincidence than it does to believe that it is a God incident. I once was trying to find someone’s apartment who had an emergency need. My prayer was to find this person quickly and without a conflict with his father who was drunk and in the home. I had never been to his apartment. When a friend of mine and I went to retrieve our friend who was in trouble, we could not find the apartment number he had given us. I began to feel that perhaps my prayers were unheard. I rapidly decided that we shouldn’t waste time looking for the apartment.

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Daily Check-up

Before I talk about the value of a “daily check-up”, I just want to mention that I will be making podcasts of select sermons available in the next week or so. I have a couple of technical gliches to work out and then I should be good to go. So, stay tuned and check back-in for podcast.

Now regarding daily check-ups–One way to enhance our discipleship progress is by daily evaluating our progress. The key is having a clear criteria for evaluating and allowing a few minutes during a quiet time at the end of the day for reflection. For example, if you are working on being more mindful of God, then reflect daily (preferably journaling briefly) on specifically what that would mean. Such as, how many times can I recall

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Doing the Do.

One time I was standing in what I would call the “spiritual self-help” section of a seminary bookstore looking for yet another ‘how-to prayer’ book. As I browsed the numerous options the thought came to me, ‘If I applied even ten percent of all of the other books I already have on prayer, then I could probably write my own book. I realized in that moment that I was substituting reading about prayer for praying. I immediately set down whatever book was in my hand and headed for the seminary prayer room. I had a phenomena encounter with God. I realized then how easy it is to talk about God, instead of to God, or to read about prayer, instead of praying.

I am addressing this today because I have added

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