Monday, February 13, 2006

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 ~ 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.
When asked, "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 would go one step further and say that without listening, obedience is absent. He concludes The core of all prayer is indeed listening, obediently standing in the presence of God. ~dho