The Key Practice
10.17.22 The Key Practice
The most important thing we need to do in order to follow Jesus is to be able to hear the voice of the Indwelling Spirit of God in our minds. Otherwise, we are just doing what our preacher or church are telling us to do. Just like believing in Jesus Christ, that is a first step on our journey, but if we don’t connect directly with the Trinity and follow their path for each of us, then we will forever be believing in Him, but not living our faith and God’s love in our lives. The journey with God is an ongoing, ever deepening path to living in the kingdom of God here on earth—and, of course, in heaven.
To hear God’s “still, small voice” as Elijah experienced it in 1 Kings 19:12 is a difficult task for us, since the voices in our mind regularly drown it out. But if we follow the psalmist’s order in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God,” then we can begin to hear the Spirit of God’s voice within us. To be still is a meditative practice. Centering Prayer is a good way to begin. The hardest thing about all meditative practices is to allow the mind to still speak, although more quietly than usual, and still maintain the quietness. Practicing meditation or Centering Prayer essentially means that we are sitting back a bit from our own thoughts and becoming an observer of them.
As we listen in the stillness, we become more accustomed to our thoughts–the way our mind works–and we begin to see the sources(from our childhood) of many of these repetitive offerings. We can even know the sources of some of them, our parents or other relatives, teachers, and the culture. As we get to know them without reacting to them, we can just allow them to be. They no longer upset us or call us to do something NOW! We can observe them without disturbing our stillness before God. They are losing their power over us and really quieting down. Then, we are able to hear that “gentle whisper”[NIV] and to feel the nudges, the suggestions that God makes to us, not just in the stillness, but throughout our days. We develop a sense of His presence when God is speaking to us.
Eventually, through maybe years of practicing this stillness, our voices and thoughts become merged with God’s, so that we no longer have to wonder if this is God’s voice or mine. Then we know that we are being guided throughout our days, all because we could quiet the influence of our own minds and truly listen to His word to us. Amen!