This morning I was reading, Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster and I ran across this short paragraph.
“We who line in a world of half-truths and rationalizations and intellectual gymnastics that keep us from hearing and obeying the word of Christ need to hear their witness. Because we live in a different culture, we must once again ask what it means to live faithful lives in our day. But we must ask fully expecting to receive an answer and fully expecting to be given the power to obey the call.” (p.66, Foster
The italic emphasis is mine because those words brought to mind a significant epiphany. I realized not to long ago that if I was really honest with myself I wasn’t expecting God to respond to my petitions. You might be wondering why I would say such a thing. Well, I noticed that I never paused to listen after asking. For example, if I asked God to guide and lead me around a decision, than it just makes sense that I should stop and listen after the request. Yet, I never did. What did this say about how much I honestly believed my own prayers? What it said to me was, I didn’t.
That moment of awareness has since prompted me to actively listen for God speaking. I now try to quiet my mind before I ask God something and then afterwards, truly listen for a response. What does that response look like? Some times when I quiet my mind and listen a person will come to mind. If I contact that person, often times he or she will share something pertinent to my question. Some times a memory may pop up or the answer to my question will come to mind.
When I don’t receive some immediate response, I now strive to be attentive to how God may be answering me in some other way, such as a dream, turn of events, door opening or closing or some other providential synchronicity. What I have found is that asking and truly believing, means looking and expecting as well.
What questions or petitions have you made to God recently? What have you done to actively discern God’s response? How do you see God speaking to you? And if God has spoken how have you responded?
Give that some thought. In a day or two come back and I will be posting a sermon series on Discerning God’s will. I hope it is a blessing to you.
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