Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Simplicity of Transformation

How does a person truly change? What road map must you follow to genuinely experience your potential--to become all that God intended when he dreamed of you before the founding of the world?

This is, of course, just another way of asking, "What is it to be free?" because to be able to live out in fact all that you are in potential is the practical definition of human freedom. Freedom isn't the ability to do whatever you want. It is the ability to do all that you were made for.

So how do we get there? How do I?

In these final days of the 60-60, God has brought my focus back to the simple idea of the experiment--to practice staying connected to God moment to moment throughout the day. In particular, he's focused my learning on the simple art of listening...having "ears to hear"--that is, open, willing ears, humble ears, ears listening expectantly with a view to obey.

Eli's words to the boy Samuel in 1 Samuel 3 speak to this:

And Eli said to Samuel, "Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:9-10)

The word translated as "listening" means "to hear with a view to obeying." That is transformational listening. That's the kind of listening that leads to freedom. Of course, all this leads to what may seem like a self-contradicting conclusion: The heart set free is the one that obeys God.

Curious, that. A paradox. But if freedom is the art of becoming all that you were created to be, then listening for and following closely the benevolent voice of your Creator makes perfect sense. You want to reach the heights of what is possible for your life? Then make it your practice to listen to the Spirit of God in your heart. Surrender and obey. He knows the Way. Really, he is the Way.

"Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
For he who finds me finds life."
(Proverbs 8:34-35a)

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