Currently in my daily "meeting before the meetings" time alone with Jesus, I'm reading the book of John. When I spend this time I plan to hear from God. With varying intensity and clarity (sometimes very clear and very intense, other times, not very clear and not very intense) I expect to hear from God when I meet with Him.
Hear's the thing--hearing from God is something a follower of Jesus must plan for and plan on. If you don't plan for and plan to hear from God, then plan that you won't.
I've shared this before in different settings but I think its good to reiterate. What I do is I maintain a working list of books of the Bible that I plan to prayerfully read and digest. I stay in a book as long as I sense the Spirit of God is saying, "stay." When I sense Him saying, "move on", I check my list and move to the next book on my list.
(I don't use dates and schedules because I've found that they enslave me and keep me from enjoying and ruminating in what God is telling me. For some people, dates and schedules are really beneficial. You have to figure out your rhythm.)
Here's my working "where I've been and where I'm headed" list dating back to approximately the last 6 months:
- Colossians (completed)
- Judges (completed)
- Daniel (completed)
- 2 Corinthians (completed)
- John (current)
- 1 Chronicles (next)
- 1 John (next)
Two days ago as I was reading in John 5, these words of Jesus just leapt off the page:
That is a profound and deep statement of Jesus. Somehow, in heaven, each step of Jesus' life was first being carried out in the presence of the Father and then was being seen and enacted by Jesus on earth. The Father's actions preceded every action of Jesus so that when Jesus was taking action on earth, He was only repeating what He already saw the Father doing.
Does that blow your mind a bit? Does that shake up your understanding of what it means to obey Jesus? Does that change the color of faith a bit?
Jesus' statement reminds me of the author of Hebrews as he talks about the earthly tabernacle being a copy of the heavenly tabernacle and his statements about Jesus going into the Holy of Holies in Heaven with His own blood in parallel to His earthly crucifixion. Earth is imitating heaven; the kingdom of God is invading the kingdom of this world. One day the two will merge. Radical.
Tapping into this powerful picture of following Jesus is mind-shaking. I'm wanting to delve into this statement of Jesus' further to grasp it and access it. Looking forward to hearing from God some more as I plow along through John.