Friday, September 29, 2023

Hearing God: The Precondition of Humility

(Bicyclists on North Custer in Monroe)

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, 
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Jesus, Matthew 23:12

Prayer is talking with God about what we (God and I) are doing together. Praying involves both speaking and listening. Over the years the balance of my prayer life has shifted to listening. 

The precondition for listening is humility.

A humble heart is a necessary condition for hearing God. Dallas Willard writes: "Humility is a quality that opens the way for God to work because God resists the proud (1 Pet 5:5)." (Willard, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, p. 52) 

Psalm 29:5 says, of God: He guides the humble in what is right  and teaches them his way. From this it follows that God does not guide the proud.

A proud heart is unguidable.

Willard writes:

"God will gladly give humility to us if, trusting and waiting on him to act, we refrain from pretending we are what we know we are not, from presuming a favorable position for ourselves and from pushing or trying to override the will of others. (This is a fail-safe recipe for humility. Try it for one month. Money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work.)" (Ib., pp. 52-53)