Sunday, August 31, 2014

when window cleaning isn't enough: ch. 7 of "Hearing God"

I have been reading through “Hearing God” by Dallas Willard. He has gone through the different ways that God speaks to people, and focuses on how incredibly ordinary the people that God spoke to in the Bible were. They doubted, they were not sure it was God speaking. They didn’t always like what God said. God does not speak only to saints. However.  In Chapter 7, he revisits the core of why God speaks to some and not others (or, rather, why some people hear him and others do not)
            Willard is talking about the process of Christ cleansing us from our sin: “Christ through his word removes the old routines in the heart and mind- the old routines of thought…and in their place he puts something else: his thoughts, his attitudes, his beliefs….We now have the character to which listening for God’s voice is natural” (p.200).
            Maybe I am the only one to be struck by this. I was hoping that hearing God was just a matter of cleaning the windows a little, and finding a quiet spot somehow. But it is not just the windows that are dirty. The inside of the house- of ourselves- needs to be gutted and remodeled to be more like Christ.
            It is fruitless to try so hard to strain our ears to hear words when we do not follow the words God has already given us through the Bible. Of course, God speaks to whoever He wants to. But let us not have the audacity to assume there is some kind of shortcut to hearing God. That we don’t have to go through the hard work of letting God change our thoughts, our attitudes, our actions for the very self-seeking satisfaction of hearing God. Let us instead bravely do what we are called to do, and let God change us.
            There is no time to waste.  The situation in Ferguson has been too heavy on my heart for me to even write about (see the link to Jennie Allen’s post on the LiveOak Facebook page). There are countless other examples of how badly the world needs us to be more like Christ. Choose whatever breaks your heart the most, and ask God how you need to change.  If you are bold enough, let me know how it goes!
Beth Kropf