Put the Book Down and Just Listen

On my Sabbatical I am immersing myself in Scripture, especially this week as I reflect on Christ’s journey to the cross, in order to hear His voice personally and to be mastered by Him. Yesterday I was moved to tears as I listened (in my ear buds to a dramatized rendition of the book of Matthew) to how all Jesus’ disciples betrayed him… When the going gets tough, and pain and persecution sets in as the age draws near, will I betray him too?
At other moments, I simply sit on a bench in the park and just… listen. Sometimes I ask God a question and then just listen. I never thought such a simple exercise could work, but we rarely do this in our busy culture. One also has to be careful to discern if something is from God or not using Scripture. So, you need to be immersed in truth in order to discern it.

 

I read this from Henri Nouwen this morning…

Reading Spiritually About Spiritual Things

Reading often means gathering information, acquiring new insight and knowledge, and mastering a new field.  It can lead us to degrees, diplomas, and certificates.   Spiritual reading, however, is different.  It means not simply reading about spiritual things but also reading about spiritual things in a spiritual way.  That requires a willingness not just to read but to be read, not just to master but to be mastered by words.  As long as we read the Bible or a spiritual book simply to acquire knowledge, our reading does not help us in our spiritual lives.  We can become very knowledgeable about spiritual matters without becoming truly spiritual people.
As we read spiritually about spiritual things, we open our hearts to God’s voice.  Sometimes we must be willing to put down the book we are reading and just listen to what God is saying to us through its words.

– Henri J. M. Nouwen


Text excerpts taken from: “Bread for the Journey”, by Henri J.M. Nouwen

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