Listening and Obedience
Henri Nouwen writes ~ A spiritual life requires discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear. When, however, we learn to listen, our lives become obedient lives. The word obedient comes from the Latin word audire, which means “listening”.
We struggle with obedience. Either we do not hear what God is saying to us, or we choose not to do what He asks. If we do not listen for God, we have little hope of developing our obedience. Matthew 6:6 in The Message reads:Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.
What is more important – faith or obedience? I believe faith is the foundation for our listening hearts. Without faith, can there be obedience? It would seem that Henri Nouwen goes one step further and says that without listening, obedience is absent. Nouwen concludes ~ The core of all prayer is indeed listening, obediently standing in the presence of God. ~ ©dho/mangroveministries
When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father… Matthew 6:6 NASB
READ: Romans 4:1-3
- Define “righteousness”
- Consider This: The Message (verse 3) reads – But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”
- How is Abraham an example of faith and obedience?
- Can you apply this truth about Abraham to your life? Abraham’s faith grew stronger because he dared to trust God; Abraham trusted God to do “what only God could do”.