Some of the greatest encounters I have had with God have come during special retreats set aside for slowing down, taking time to rest, and meditating on God’s word. During the first two days at one of my first Soul Care retreats, it seemed like every passage I read ushered me into a personal encounter with God.
On the third day I met with a spiritual director. He opened our time by asking, “What has God been doing in your life, the last few days?” Suddenly all of the emotions that had been stirred up over the last few days came flooding out, as I recounted one story after another of encountering God.
After listening for about 30 minutes or so, he responded affirmingly, “Well, God is certainly taking you through a season of speaking to you about his love.”
It was like a light bulb went on. Up until that point, I hadn’t even noticed the obvious fact that every encounter I was having, had been with God’s love.
As the reality of what God was doing began to soak into my heart, I asked, “How should I respond to all of this?”
“Well you might want to consider focusing your Bible reading on your favorite passages about God’s love.”
It sounds funny now, but all I could say was, “Is it ok to do that?”
“Absolutely!” “In the Vineyard we have learned that one of the keys to healing prayer is to ‘Do what the Father is doing’ (John 5:19-20), this is basically the same thing. The Holy Spirit is deepening your understanding of God’s love for you, so it makes sense to focus your Bible reading on what the Scriptures have to say about that.”
The next few months of Bible reading and prayer were some of the best I had had in years, and the things God spoke to me during that time left a permanent mark on my life that I will always be grateful for.
I still enjoy having a Bible reading plan to fall back on in case I don’t receive any specific guidance, but now I regularly make a point to ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything different that He wants to speak to me about.
Sometimes that takes me off my regular routine for a few days or weeks, and from time to time, for several lively months.
WHAT’S THE FATHER SPEAKING TO YOU ABOUT?
ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?