The Promise and Birth of a Son

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

Monday – Psalm 83.1. “In primitive rituals, such as a present day practice of Bible roulette (picking verses at random for guidance), we see an urgency to get a word from God, especially a word about what is going to happen and what we should do about it. However, only our communion with God provides the appropriate context for communications between him and us. And within these communications, guidance will be given in a manner suitable to our particular lives.” What does it mean for you to have greater communion with God?

Tuesday – Matthew 6.5-13. “When we come to learn how we can hear God and what divine guidance really is, we must be sure our ideas about God match the truth about who God is as revealed in Jesus Christ. How do you see God: parent, boss, king, one who stands over you in manipulative love? How would your confidence (faith) in God be affected if you saw him as being boundless love who invites you to become a fellow worker with Him in his mission?”

Wednesday – 1 John 4.15-16. “When we love someone, we want to please him or her. This is not just to avoid trouble or gain favor; it is our way of being with them, of sharing their life and their person. Perhaps you’ve observed the gushing pleasure of a small child who is helping her or his parent. The child’s little self is expanding through immersion in the life of a larger self (the parent) to which the child is lovingly abandoned. Ask God this question: ‘What would it look like for me to immerse myself in the larger self of you, to be lovingly abandoned to you?’”

Thursday – 1 Corinthians 3.9. “We must never forget that God speaks to us for the purpose of developing an intelligent, freely cooperative relationship between him and us, in which we are fellow workers or co-laborers with him. This relationship is drenched in the maturity and richness of genuine agape love. Our primary goal, then, is not just to hear the voice of God but to be mature people in a loving relationship with God. This will result in our living a life of loving fellowship with God and those who love him. Only with this in mind will we hear God rightly.”

Friday – Hebrews 4.15. We most often encounter God in prayerful reading of Scripture. “The Bible teaches that we are to understand it in terms of our experience when it says that Paul and Barnabas were humans like us (Acts 14.15) and that Jesus knows how we feel because ‘he was tested as we are.’ Their experience was substantially like our own. To hear God’s voice, we must observe how his word came to people in the scriptures and prayerfully but boldly use our God-given imaginations as we read their stories. We must pray for the faith that would enable us to believe that such things could happen to us.”

Saturday – 1 Corinthians 3.16. “One of the beliefs that makes it difficult to take seriously the possibility of divine guidance is that we are not important to God. Consider what sort of God would create you, sacrifice enormously for you, choose to inhabit you, but refuse to speak to you? Today, offer a prayer of thanksgiving to your heavenly Father who has done all this in order to have an interactive relationship with you.”