There is no movement of God in and through us unless we listen attentively to the Holy Spirit.
This led me to ponder, over the past few weeks, my leadership journey around listening to the Holy Spirit. I spent most of my first seventeen years as a Christ-follower and leader in different expressions of the Pentecostal/charismatic stream of the church that emphasized the Holy Spirit. But a dramatic shift, both theologically and practically, happened as God led me into the journey, we call Emotionally Healthy Discipleship in 1996. With that came surprisingly new roads to listen to the Holy Spirit in fresh, powerful ways.
In this podcast, I examine three unique ways emotionally healthy discipleship enables us to tap into the explosive power of listening to the Spirit.
I begin by examining the life of Philip in Acts 8 as a model for us of listening to the Spirit, contrasting it with Peter’s posture of closed listening as seen in Matthew 16 and 17. Then I share three life-changing shifts that have transformed my listening in powerful, unforeseen ways. They are:
- Slowing down for silence and stillness. By immersing myself in daily practices of silence and stillness, I found myself hearing God speak in radically new ways.
- Listening to the Spirit through the inner movements of the heart. Paying attention to my feelings and desires in God’s presence, integrating Ignatius’ discernment of God’s will was a powerful means to explore the Spirit IN me.
- Moving out of a shallow to a serious discipleship. Peter had to learn to follow the crucified Jesus, not the worldly Messiah he had imagined in his mind who would bring him success, greatness, and popularity. Peter’s serious discipleship posture over three years enabled him to grasp that suffering and loss, limits, brokenness, vulnerability, etc. were core to following Jesus. This provided the framework for Pentecost and his leadership in the book of Acts.
It is not an easy road to realize that following Jesus is not first doing things for him; it is first listening to Him speak by the Holy Spirit and then doing what He says. But I can assure you that is a wonderful one!