Abraham Built Altars

As we continue the series, Thin Places, we will focus on Scriptures and devotional reflections to help in developing a conversational relationship with God. The following reflections are taken from Dallas Willard’s Hearing God Through the Year, compiled and edited by Jan Johnson.

Monday – 2 Corinthians 8.9; Philippians 2.5-8. “But isn’t God too great to engage run-of-the-mill human beings in conversation? This is to confuse God’s greatness with human greatness, which we think involves snobbishness and avoiding ordinary people. How hard it is for us to come to an adequate conception of the lowliness of God! His greatness is precisely what makes him ready to hear and speak personally with his creatures.”

Tuesday – Matthew 19.14. “Jesus’ actions and words made clear how accessible God is to the weak and downtrodden, even children. One characteristic of children is their relative unimportance, but the humanly unimportant ones are important to God. God being who God is, and revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, we should be surprised if he does not speak to us.” Spend time thanking God for speaking to ordinary human beings, such as Abraham, David, and Mary. Invite the Lord to continue cultivating that kind of relationship with you.

Wednesday – Mark 4.23-24. “People who don’t hear God insist that he doesn’t speak to them but perhaps their hearing is not ‘in tune.’ Jesus explained that not everyone has ears for the straightforward purpose of hearing, so they use their ears to sift out what they don’t want to hear. He urged his listeners to make great effort to hear, assuring them that the measure they received would be proportional to the measure of their desire and effort. What sort of things would a person do who was immeasurably willing to hear God?”

Thursday – Psalm 139.23-24. “Pray this passage and search yourself in God’s presence. Do you stand ready to obey and change, should that be what God directs? Where are you most resistant to hearing God’s direction (for example in circumstances that require humility, honesty, or purity)? Do you honestly want to know if you are on the wrong path? When you sit down to read the Scripture or listen to a sermon, are you willing to ask God to show you where you are wrong and what you need to know to be corrected?”

Friday – Matthew 6.11; John 6.30,34. “While guidance is available to every person who walks with God, it is not at our disposal as we see fit. We cannot call on God to perform for us. How different is the simple request ‘Give us today our daily bread,’ from the crowd’s demand: ‘From now on give us this bread.’ We must consider the purposes of God: ‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ ‘Thy kingdom come.’ ‘Thy will be done.’ Those who are living day to day as friends of Christ are devoted to the glory of God and to the advancement of his kingdom. Pray the Lord’s Prayer throughout the day, today. As you pray, emphasize the ‘Thy’ as noted above.”

Saturday – Philippians 1.21. “If you believe God has never spoken to you, ask yourself what you are doing that would give God reason to speak to you. Are you and God in business together in life, or are you in business for yourself, trying to ‘use a little God’ to advance your purposes and projects? We are more likely to hear God when we can say, ‘I am living for one thing and one thing only–to be like Christ, to do his work, and serve his people and him.”