Calling and Covenant

As we continue the series, Thin Places, we will focus on Scriptures and devotional reflections to help develop a conversational relationship with God. The following reflections are taken from Dallas Willard’s Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.

Monday – Proverbs 3.5-6. “Credibility in any sort of spiritual leadership derives from a life in the Spirit, from the personal encounter and ongoing relationship with God. Consider the ways you are a leader in a friendship, family, church, neighborhood, or workplace. (Being a leader means that people listen to you and value your opinion regardless of whether you fill a role or hold a title.) As you read these verses, again, ask God to show you in what ways you need to listen for God to speak in those relationships and circumstances.”

Tuesday – John 12.24-25. Consider our motives for wanting to hear God. In The Secret of Guidance, F.B. Meyer writes, “So long as there is some thought of personal advantage, some idea of acquiring the praise and commendation of others, it will simply be impossible to find out God’s purpose concerning us. Nothing will go right in our effort to hear God if this false motivation is its foundation. God simply will not cooperate.” What are good motives for wanting to hear God?

Wednesday – Psalm 37.4-5. “Too often we assume that what God wants us to do automatically excludes what we want to do and even what we want God to do. Generally speaking, we are in God’s will whenever we are leading the kind of life God wants for us. God respects our initiative and ideas and thinks they are central in doing His will in our lives.” Why is it a new thought to us that God’s love includes respect for us and our desires?

Thursday – Matthew 5.20. “People sometimes dismiss the importance of hearing God by saying that if you just do everything God commanded, you are doing God’s will. But you could do all that God explicitly commands you to do and still not be the person God would have you be. The watchword of the worthy servant is not mere obedience, but love, from which appropriate obedience naturally flows. What goes on in the mind of a person who is trying to do everything right? What goes on in the mind of a person who is seeking to love?”

Friday – John 10.4-5. “Hearing God depends on there being a personal relationship between ourselves and God. Our failure to hear God has its deepest roots in our failure to understand and grow into a conversational relationship with God, the sort of relationship suited to friends who are mature personalities in a shared enterprise, no matter how different they may be in other respects.” As you read this passage from God’s word, wait and allow a phrase to stand out to you. Why is this phrase important to you?

Saturday – John 5.37-40. “When we read the Bible as if the persons in the Bible didn’t struggle as we do, it becomes simply a book of doctrine. It becomes an abstract truth about God that people can search endlessly without encountering God himself or hearing his voice (John 5.39). Seek God in prayer, asking him to enlighten the eyes of your heart so that his word abides or stays in you. Implore God to keep you from searching endlessly without encountering God himself, or from studying without receiving spiritual illumination.”