Listening with Expectations

By: Landon Collins

Creating space to commune with God is a vital part of our faith journey. This looks different for everyone and of course we can experience God anywhere and in many ways, but creating an intentional rhythm of meeting with God is nourishing to our souls. It was modeled by Jesus and I believe it is absolutely necessary if we hope to live into the abundant life that God has called us. (Side note: I am grateful for God’s grace that continues moving me forward and creating growth in this area of my life.)

In this space, which for me is in the morning before the kids wake up, I am currently working through a Bible reading plan that usually directs me to a chapter or two of Scripture each day. This is a bit new for me. I normally don’t try to read in such big chunks and in the past I’ve tried to spend more time in silence than reading, painstakingly, through books like Numbers and Leviticus. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for what I am learning in Scripture and for the way God is revealing himself as I read, but I miss the quiet listening. I do believe that God speaks through Scripture but for me there is something about that “still small voice” that stirs deep within me when I have created room in my head and heart. I am currently trying to navigate the challenge of both, reading larger chunks of Scripture and creating space to listen.

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But is just listening enough? Recently I was challenged with the idea that there is a difference between believing that God speaks and expecting God to speak. If I’m honest I have spent more time in my faith journey listening just because I know I’m supposed to listen. I do believe God speaks, but I’m not really sure I have always expected God to say anything. Certainly not on a daily basis. I was happy to go one for ten. However when I examine who God is, especially as a (good) Father and if I trust Jesus’ words in John 10 where he twice tells His disciples that “His sheep will listen to His voice”, then of course I should expect God to speak. And expecting God to speak actually creates in me a new way of listening. If I expect God to say something then I will listen with a greater sense of anticipation, which I believe leads to a greater sense of adventure. If daily, I am excited about what God might have for me, then I believe that resemble the abundant life Jesus describes and models.

 

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