Before he became a Navy Seal, Mark Devine was a swimmer at Colgate University. One powerful exercise he learned from his coach was to run through the entire race in his mind the night before. He would lay in bed, with a stopwatch in hand, and would visualize every element of the race: the start, every stroke, the turns, and the finish. He would imagine himself touching the wall and turning and seeing that he had won. He would time himself, hitting the lap button with each mental turn, and when he finished, if the timing was off, he’d run through it again until he had already perfectly raced the event in his mind. He found that when he woke the next day, he was already expecting to perform at a high level. He was already expecting results.
Expecting to Hear from God
Last Sunday I shared the story of Caroline Kolb’s experience at the Asbury revival. What was true for her was true for the entire group of young adults who made the journey from Valley View: all were expecting to hear from God that day. Their story left me troubled though, not because of something they did, but because of my own heart. Why don’t I expect to hear from God more often? Why don’t I expect to hear from God every single morning? What would life look like if we woke up every day, like our swimmer friend, expecting results, expecting to hear from God? That doesn’t guarantee hearing from Him, but I bet we’d hear from Him a whole lot more often. Instead, I often wake up worried about the day, having already rehearsed what will go wrong!
Our theme as a church this year is to become “Free and Fearless.” We’ve been reading the book Living Fearless by Jamie Winship to explore that theme. In the book (page 119) Jamie says the following:
“There are ways to do things about which we’ve never thought. Every medical professional knows there are cures we don’t know yet for diseases. Every astronomer, every physicist knows there are things we don’t know yet in the universe. We must figure them out. Why do we think we’ve figured out our relationship with the Lord? Understanding the depth of God is an eternal journey. We need to pursue it. Why? Because we’ve been made stewards of the mysteries of God!”
My prayer is that as a church we learn to fall asleep pondering “the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God” (Romans 11:33, last month’s memory verse) so that when we arise, we wake expecting Him to move, expecting to hear from Him, expecting to grow in our walk with Him. If this seems foreign, if it seems impossible, then make use of the following in your time alone with God:
- If you’re following the church Bible reading plan, you’ve been reading in Acts lately, and encountered the story of Lydia. In Acts 16:14 it says, “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” Pray that God would open your heart to hear from him.
- Jamie Winship ends Part 3 of his book with three questions to ponder if you are not hearing from God. He says to ask the following in your prayers:
- “Is there any place in your life where you feel unforgiven by God?”
- “Is there any place in your life where you refuse to forgive another person?”
- “Are you angry with someone?”
- Jamie Winship says unresolved issues like these often keep a person from hearing clearly from God.
What if each of us went to bed tonight fully expecting to hear from God tomorrow? How might God use Valley View to radically change our community? Imagine if every home in sight of our church were free from addiction, free from anger, free from sin? Fall asleep tonight praying for these things, expecting these things, and maybe we will see God move in a mighty way to reach all of Southwest Louisville!