As I am in the process of listening and then responding to many in the mission community as part of my new role, I have sought out some resources to help me think through the process of discernment in a ministry setting. One of the books that was introduced to me by our partners at InterVarsity Press is called “Pursuing God’s Will Together” by Ruth Haley Barton. This resource has been a wonderful tool - so much so that the GMI Board will be going through this book in the coming months.
Today I read this quote from the book:
“Discernment is a quality of attentiveness to God that, over time, develops into the ability to sense God’s heart and purpose in any given moment. We become familiar with the tone, quality and content of God’s voice. We notice how God is present for us in the moment. We wonder, Where is God unfolding his work of love and redemption? and What is my most authentic response?” (pg. 57)
That caused me to ask the following question of myself, “Am I paying that level of attention to God?” If not then should I expect to be able to discern His heart in any meaningful way? I think we would all agree that the answer is “no”. Unless we are willing to be attentive to the Father and grow in our familiarity and closeness to His Kingdom agenda, then I don’t imagine that we would have much chance of deeply understanding God’s purposes.
I truly desire to understand God and know His ways but that means I must decide to be attentive to our Father in Heaven. I must watch Him work, see how He responds, understand His motivations, listen to His words…
As you start your week with the many important action items and decisions on your plate, think about how attentive you are being to the Father and see how this might rearrange your schedule for Monday morning.