I liked Devries’ devotion today on Sharing. I like the emphasis he put on listening being a key component in sharing and how that takes discipline. I liked the four questions he suggests because they are simple, but effective ways to get conversation going and keep the real focus on God and others, rather than ourselves. I believe we are naturally more inclined to share about us rather that listen to others. In a family, small group, or community setting, opinions are important, shared struggles are important, keeping the focus on God and what we’re learning is important, and practical steps are important. It’s a very holistic view of how to effectively share, care for others, and “act” on what we are learning! It’s been difficult for my husband and I to find a rhythm of daily devotions and to find something that really works for us since we have become empty nesters. I think these basic questions are perfect for us because it will prompt discussion about what we are reading in a much more practical and authentic way. As I read through this devotion, the last section or question really caught my attention on “What must we do?” I feel really strongly that God does not want us to just sit around learning about Him until we’re so full we can’t move! We learn then exercise by acting on what we’ve learned and we listen and act when HE shares with us His desires for our life. Mission India’s three part training program of, “Learn it - do it - report it”, reminds me of something I learned at a conference a few months ago. After every speaker spoke, we were asked to consider, “What is God saying... and what am I going to do about it?” I’m telling you, as simple as that sounds, it was very profound and convicting for me! You see, if I am going to truly SHARE Jesus with others, (beyond sharing in group or community devotions) I have to be authentically living my life in such a way that His Presence, power, and realness are evident in everything I do. After that conference, I asked myself, “ when was the last time I really listened and asked God, ‘what are you really saying to me?’” And even worse, I rarely consider acting on what He told me, because after all... what if what He called me to do was weird? Was out of the box? Was hard or something that I couldn’t see myself doing? Or what if I heard Him wrong or had to take some serious step of faith way out of my comfort zone? I don’t mind taking chances on things - as a matter of fact, I like it - but it’s different if it means people will think I’m crazy or look at me different... it’s much harder then! But haven taken seriously the conviction from the conference, I began to pray and ask God what He was saying... and what He wanted me to receive and hear and do. He began to answer me through conversations and circumstances that were obviously HIM. Then there was an action that needed to be taken. Yes, it was out of the box... so my husband and I... along with another couple that God was calling.. spent a couple of months meeting and praying over this “calling” and how He wanted us to move forward with it. Another month later and we are living in community with this other couple on our farm. Sharing everything, including a calling by God, to reach the Elgin area and beyond with the love of Jesus. We are building a home together, sharing properties together, growing gardens and cows together, etc. We are pooling resources in order to provide an environment and resources that will bless people and give them opportunity to see love in action.
So, on the Reflect/Discuss section at the end of the devotion, where Devries asks, “How can we “share” more effectively with each other?” ...My answer is to live life totally available to God! Sharing the Word, opinions, struggles, and wisdom in the context of family, groups, or community is so important... but living life in such a way that it is a testimony to the work and power of God in our lives is one of the best ways to authentically share Jesus with others.
“Why Pray” has been a wonderful journey for me. And blogging has forced me to put my thoughts down and really dig deep to explain what I feel. It’s put some meat to my convictions and has stretched me to share and bare myself. I’m very thankful for that! I hope we will all continue the journey...
Thanks for letting me share