Saturday, April 9, 2011
Listening to God with your Heart
Hearing God with your Heart (John 17:6-8, 17-19)
""I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. " (John 17:6–8, NIV)
"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. " (John 17:17–19, NIV)
Listening with your heart is different than learning with your head.
The chief aim of devotional reading of the Bible is not to learn more information about God, but to encounter God in his Word. It is more for transformation than information.
Spiritual reading is slow, thoughtful, a conscious interaction with the Lord along the way.
Here are some of the important elements in devotional reading.
Listen to and Understand the Bible text. Read a short section several times slowly. Take your time and reflect. Watch for helpful indicators of what the text means. (look for repeated words or phrases, structure of the text, metaphors and images that may be helpful.) Invite God to teach you from his Word as you read it or listen to it with your heart.
Remember it – take the message deeply to yourself in terms of its implications for your own situation. This is entering into the world of the text, taking the Bible to be the script for your life.
Pray it – transform the Word of God into a prayer to God by praying its impact and implications back to him.
Live it out – submit to the Word by taking what you read and meditating on it throughout the day and praying over it throughout the day, living it plainly and humbly in your personal life and relationships. (Eph 2:10 living)
Share it – share its impact on yourself with others