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HTC Quiet & Contemplative    From My Utmost for His Highest

Samuel answered, ’Speak, for Your servant hears’ —1 Samuel 3

A woman walks in to a restaurant to meet a friend. He’s late, as usual, so she sits down to wait at the table.

When the man arrives, he immediately launches into everything that’s happened to him since they last met—what he’s lost, what he’s done, what he needs. He’s unstoppable. The man cares deeply about (some of) the things and people he’s discussing, but he just goes on and on.

Lunch comes. The check comes. And just as abruptly as it started…

The man jumps up, throws twenty dollars on the table and runs off saying, “Thank you.  I feel so much better.  We should do this again.”

What do you think the woman is thinking? “Wait, wait,” or “Don’t you want to hear what I’m going through?” or “I really think I could have helped him on that second thing…”

Many times in prayer, we do the exact same thing. I know this and I still do it.

I know both sides of Chambers discussion.  I’ve been one who has nurtured this devotion of hearing and I have seen God’s hand EVERYWHERE. But I’ve been (I am, really) one who is devoted to things and I hear God’s voice only sparingly.

I know this sounds like performance (and maybe it is) but I get back to hearing God through a cocktail of reading Scripture, prayer, meditation and listening to great teaching like Tim Keller, Andy Stanley and others. 

Go back to the woman sitting alone in the restaurant. How do we keep that from being God left waiting on the other end of the worst lunch ever?

Quiet, contemplative time is a good place to start. It’s hard at first, but set a timer and sit still for five minutes. Later you can increase it a little at a time. Have a pen and paper ready because I promise that there’s something God is dying to tell you. But the question wasn’t really a technique question, was it?

How do I get myself to make the devotion of hearing a priority? Chambers has some great suggestions in his post today, but I’ve got one more reason.

To live life professionally, not as an amateur, but really professionally, we should all see this devotion of hearing God as a priority.  Because, as CS Lewis put it in The Problem of Pain said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Who would choose shouting through pain over whispering through pleasure? Amateurs.

If there’s a lesson to be learned, something that helps us get into the step, beat and tune of heaven, then I want to learn it well. But all things considered, I’d prefer to go willingly before my decisions/stubbornness bring God to raise his voice. The cross has proven that there is nothing He will withhold to bring you/me home.

Again, CS Lewis in the Problem of Pain, “We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the "intolerable compliment". Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life . . . after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.”

Wish for more ever so gently, because with God, more is always more. Tweet: Wish for more ever so gently, because with God, more is always more. -@fullporchpress #questionsfromthefront

I love you.



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