Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Neural Highway that Flows from the Throne of God

Lake Erie shoreline

One of my former seminary students wrote me and said: "You may not remember me but I took your spiritual formation and I fell off the wagon in my daily prayer and meditation! Are there any words of wisdom on how you have been able to maintain your daily commitment!"

I responded:

Here's how I've been able to maintain my commitment.
1. Forty-two years ago I was feeling tired and burned out in ministry. I read Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline. I felt moved to carve out time to get alone with God and talk with Him and listen. So, I did.
2. To my surprise and delight, God powerfully and personally met me. God spoke to me, and I journaled like a mad person. This made me want to meet alone with God more.
3. A desire, a fire, was kindled in my heart. I chose to tend it, to keep it burning. So I continued regularly meeting with God. 
4. I began to see God changing my heart. Most of this was slow growth. It was real, enduring progress in the spiritual life. My journal became a record of all that God was doing within me.
5. My ministry more and more became God ministering to and through me. Being a follower of Jesus began to look and feel different. I liked the feeling. I liked what I saw happening. I saw that this was all on the part of God, what God was doing within me. I found my worship increasing as I easily gave glory and credit to God for any good fruit produced in and through me.
6. As the months and years passed by a "holy habit" was formed in me. A new, living, neural pathway was created by God, through which his living waters of grace and love and power flowed. I did not, and have since not, wanted to stop meeting with God to experience him. I meet with God regularly because God has met with me and transformed my desires, experience, and knowledge.
7. I heard there was supposedly a sign on the Alaskan highway where the pavement turned to dirt. It read: "Choose your rut carefully. You’ll be in it for the next hundred miles." I have chosen a good rut. I live in the groove, swim in the neural highway that flows from the throne of God.
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

Linda and I then plan to write our book on Relationships