Tag Archives: Intimacy with God

Learning to listen

The other day at work I was listening to a conversation at coffee break.   The conversation was about sentencing for people who do Internet kiddie porn.  One of my workmates made the comment that if someone is sick enough to do kiddie porn, they could probably never get better.

I wanted to say “That’s not true – Jesus can heal anyone”.  Instead, I just stayed silent and listened.  I listened to my workmates – but I forgot to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Why didn’t I say anything?  Because I couldn’t see a way to jump into the conversation with a faith perspective without sounding forced or unnatural.  I didn’t want to preach to them – I wanted to share with them.  After all, I have to work with these people.  My goal is to share my faith with them in a natural way that leaves doors open for future conversation.

This morning I woke up and realized what was wrong with this picture.   Very simple – I was relying on my own ability to say the right thing, rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.   At that particular moment, I was more conscious of my own inability than of God’s ability – so I said nothing.

In an atmosphere of skepticism such as we probably find in most Canadian workplaces, it is easy to lose sight of God’s presence and power.  This little event reminds me of how important it is for me to listen to the Holy Spirit every day, in every situation, then learn to do what He shows me.   I understand this but I still need to keep training myself to practise it every day.  I need to keep fresh in worship and prayer every day so that my faith is built up and I am able to hear from God and see His perspective – so that I have fresh bread to share with people who are hungry for hope.

God, give me another opportunity like this one – and help me to be led by Your Spirit in how I respond!

Share

One thing I seek

Last week my son Simeon, who is interning with Bethany House of Prayer (BHOP) in Bloomington, MN, told me about the OneThing08 year end conference at International House of Prayer (IHOP) and encouraged me to listen in on the free webcast.  I didn’t get all of the conference, but the bits of worship and teaching that I did hear,  and the teachings that I downloaded, have been having a significant impact on my life.

The title of the conference – OneThing – summarizes the overall theme, which is based on David’s prayer in Psalm 27:4

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.

Of course, this is poetic language, and David didn’t literally mean that he would never do anything but pray.   He was aware of the fact that there were practical tasks of life that he needed to look after!  After all he was a shepherd, who sometimes risked his life fighting off wild animals to defend the sheep, and later he became an army captain and then King of Israel.   But despite all these responsibilities, the desire that David was expressing here was to make the pursuit of intimacy with God his life’s highest goal.  Along a similar vein, Jesus once told his friend Martha that her sister Mary was making a better choice by choosing to sit at his feet and listen to His teaching while Martha cooked and did the dishes.  He wasn’t saying that cooking and doing dishes was unimportant.  He was saying that Mary had recognized that only one thing ultimately has lasting significance, and gives purpose to the rest of our life – and that one thing is the pursuit of God.

For years I’ve had the desire to pursue intimacy with God, but my exposure to the powerful teaching and worship at IHOP has stirred up and refreshed this desire in my life.  This year I want to become more like Jesus, staying close to Him and letting His love and power transform me into a better reflection of His likeness.   I want to see ongoing transformation in my marriage and family, in my business and finances,  in my church, in my community and in my nation.   Although I am involved in the business of IT consulting as a means of earning a living, and I want to see my business blessed, my true passion is to see the Church, the Body of Christ, come into her identity and calling as the holy people of God, transforming the earth as we prepare for the return of  Jesus Christ.

Share