things I learned today by listening instead of speaking

This morning in our Connection Church gathering, we gave four guys in our church 10-12 minutes to each share a message out of the overflow of their relationship with God. Each swung at it hard, and so many were immensely blessed because of it. Even tonight as I took part in a "Learning Community" our church is offering I heard some of the chatter about how people were impacted.

Sometimes you need to step back from what you do in order to hear what you would have spoken over.

I said...

Sometimes you need to step back from what you do in order to hear what you would have spoken over.

Today, Patrick Campbell helped me hear:
  • God is in the habit of being "with" people. John 1:1 reveals that it is His nature, for He he has been "with" Himself in community as a Holy Trinity since before time began. (Even as I type that, I know that I am merely scratching the surface of understanding that.) He dared me to pray... not so that I can pray, but so that I can open my life up to God instead of forgetting to and gutting out life on my own.
Today, Mike Whipple helped me hear:
  • Delighting myself in the Lord isn't a cool catchphrase - it's what I do when I don't want to delight myself in the Lord. As an example, memorizing Scripture isn't easy, and we will either slack off because it's "too hard" or choose to delight ourselves in the Lord to a new growth point. We have to be careful, for the first sin humanity committed occurred when we decided to delight ourselves in ourselves and give ourselves what we thought was the desires of our heart.  We got it wrong then, and still get it wrong today.
Today, Ryan Collins helped me hear:
  • There are two common stories people live in politically - one is labeled "Republican," and the other is "Democrat." We will post things online or rant in life about whatever furthers our sense of how the story should turn out, while demonizing "the other side" on a daily basis. What if instead we lived in a deeper Story - one that is highly political yet completely non-partisan? What if instead of setting up kingdoms on this earth we can rule, we lived for the Kingdom of God that He already does rule?
Today, Bryan Alonzo helped me hear:
  • What it sounds like to "SHOUT." Not in an obnoxious way, but in a caring proclamation of truth kind of way. I can settle for shouting my ideas or theology at the world, but what if instead I simply shouted out to God and proclaimed with my life a clarity of who He is. Not because of my volume, but because of the "volume" of who He is.  Could my life become a GPS that others use to find their way back to their true destination? Might others say, "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.'"
All of this learning underscored my firm sense that every person in this world has a "sermon" in them, and by that I don't just mean presenting in a church service but in the way we get to speak directional God-sized truth into the lives of each other. It's like a ringback you hear when you call someone and end up tapping your foot to what they've set up for you to listen to. We can set that ringback up to be something that annoys others, or something that changes the world.

I'm honestly looking forward to living all of this out this week... to either find a new victory, or fail miserably while delighting myself in the Lord in the process.
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:2)

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