Methvin: Hearing God for Yourself
Fr. Greg Methvin (email)
So which would you prefer? Hearing about the time I met Tiger Woods, or the chance to meet Tiger yourself? (Substitute your favorite movie star or singer for TW if you like).
When it comes to hearing from God, some people surprisingly opt for “overhearing” instead of hearing for themselves. Happy for a preacher or teacher to explain instead of taking the time to encounter the living God through the living Word of Scripture. I’m convinced the second-hand experience is preferred by some only because instructions for first-hand experience have never been provided.
Let’s change that.
As we read 2 Timothy together this summer, here are a few ways you can hear God with your own spiritual ears (didn’t know you had those did you).
• Set aside some time. 10-15 minutes is all you will need.
• Pick a version of the Bible that speaks to you. We use the Revised Standard Version in worship, but you may prefer to read The Message, English Standard Version, or the New International Version. Check out Bible Gateway for lots of versions and easy access to the Bible.
• Pray what you read. The ancient practice of Lectio Divina (sacred reading) will guide you through one way of experiencing Scripture as opposed to dissecting it. See Beliefnet.com
• Record what you pray. Jot down the thought or words from the Bible passage that speak to you.
• Take a guide with you. I’m grateful for the fishing guides that rode along and made the experience more fun and productive than if I had gone alone. I caught the fish but the guides helped me to notice and pay attention. Find a commentary to help guide you through our study. John Stott and N.T. Wright are two practical, readable guides who will enrich your study.
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.