Day 23 | Tuesday | ENCOUNTER

I cannot simply screw up my determination and choose God’s will over mine once and for all. What I can do, however, is talk with God honestly about the realities of my soul.

. . . For decades I dutifully spent a committed period of time each day in prayer and Bible reading. Clearly I was doing the right things. But I was doing it for the wrong reasons. My discipline was a “no” to quitting, a “no” to failure, a “no” to casual embrace of my Christian commitments. But it was not a “yes” to an encounter.

Jesus does not want our conformity; he wants the consent of our hearts.

In contrast, I have begun to learn the love-shaped willingness of making space for God in my day. No longer is there any grim-faced determination in this. It is a choice that is motivated by love.

Scriptures are a way to meet God, not to meet an obligation.

Prayer is not the fruit of my willfulness but the response of my heart to love.

Learning to will God’s way begins with learning to attend to God’s presence. There can be no relationship without attention.

—David Benner

Exercise

Sit still for 5-10 minutes and ask God to make you aware of His Presence. Ask Him to show you any forms of conformity (religion) that get in the way of an authentic relationship with Him.

And then talk to Him about the consent of your heart and what He desires from you.