Silence and Solitude: Talking and Listening
Too often in Christian circles, we spend much time in prayer, telling God what we want him to fix, change, modify, make different, make better, make less painful, or simply relieve our suffering. This is not relational. A relationship looks different. It is walking with God in the cool of the day; talking, listening, sharing, honoring, being real. It is also expressing anger, frustration and disappointment, and wanting to stay connected to pursue holiness.
Hearing God Through Scripture
Of course, we hear God through Scripture, he inspired men to write what is written there. However, how many times do we sit in the Word? It may only take one passage to hear what God may be saying specifically to us about our relationship with him. Do we simply sit and hear how much he loves us? This is difficult to do. Silence is sometimes so loud it is unbearable.
Read out loud. Sometimes hearing it through our own voice is helpful. Read it out loud a few times, then sit and wait, and listen. You will know his voice.
Gratitude: Being Thankful
Sometimes our perception of God is that he is tired of our failings. However, scripture makes it clear that God understands our human condition, which is why Jesus came, died and was resurrected. When we see and feel his love and compassion for us, we will have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness for his grace and mercy. We love John 3:16. Wow, what an amazing sacrifice for us. In addition, John 3:17 is where God’s grace and mercy is evident. He didn’t come to condemn us. As you continue to draw closer to him and find yourself trusting him more, this lack of condemnation will be personal for you. You will know, down to your core, his deep love for you.
Worship: An attitude of the Heart
Part of your Spiritual Relational Practice will be worshiping God. He is worthy of our praise. This often coincides with our Gratitude and Thankfulness. Jesus made us worthy of being in the presence of God. We can approach the throne, not only with our prayers but also with our worship of the one who created us and gave us our identity.
Awareness of God’s Presence
James 4:8 says, Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Once you learn the depth of God’s love for you through these practices, you will continue to be aware of God’s presence in everything you do. It will take time and practice, like anything worth pursuing. However, these practices make John 10:10 more tangible in your everyday life.