|Our back yard - 4/16/18
|Our front yard - 4/16/18
It's early Monday morning. I'm in our home office. It's on the second floor. I'm looking down on the water in our front yard, and across the street in Munson Park. One hundred seagulls are enjoying the soggy conditions.
I walk to the travel room Linda has designed. This is a reading room for her. She has displayed photos and gifts we have received from traveling the world. Looking out the window, my back yard is a mini-pond.
Yesterday was a crazy weather day in Southeast Michigan. Winds blowing from east to west caused Lake Erie to flood many homes on the shoreline. An ice storm hit. Our trees were coated with ice in the morning. The winds were 20-30 mph.
The icy conditions increased as you went further north. Some of our people texted me and said they decided not to venture out on the roads. That was a good decision.
Our farmhouse was built in 1860. It is so quiet. I love it!
This morning my heart is quiet as well. Out of this solitude I am praying, "Speak to me this day, Lord. I desire to hear your voice."
This is a common prayer for me. Decades of praying have brought me to this place of great expectation. I expect God to speak to me, because I have experienced his voice, many times.
Dallas Willard writes:
"The primary manner of communication from God to humankind is the Word of God, or God’s speaking to us." (Willard, Hearing God Through the Year: A 365-Day Devotional, p. 65)
Some Christians are suspicious of the idea that God speaks to me today. They believe God speaks through the words of the Bible, but no longer to us. But the words of the Bible indicate that God speaks to us, extrabiblically. There are no Bible words that say, one day, God will not speak to us beyond the words of the Bible.
For example, God spoke to Ananias in a vision, telling him to go talk to Paul (Acts 9:10). Willard writes:
"According to the biblical record, such things happened to Paul over and over. When he was about to go into Bithynia, the Holy Spirit would not let him go. As he waited at Troas, he had a dream that instead of staying in his home territory in Asia Minor, he should take a radically new direction and enter Europe. In the dream a man from Macedonia called to him, saying, “Come over . . . and help us” (Acts 16:6-9)." (Ib.)
I have experience with this sort of thing. God's speaking to me includes comforting, guiding, correcting, strengthening, and encouraging.
An old hymn confesses, "I need Thee every hour." I need Thee, in my experience.
God, speak to me, this day.
My two books are:
Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.
Leading the Presence-Driven Church.
I'm working on:
How God Changes the Human Heart
Technology and Spiritual Formation