A friend asked me, “Why doesn’t Jesus talk to us today?”
I responded with a question of my own, “What makes you think He doesn’t?”
A long conversation followed. I appreciated his honesty and uncertainty. We discussed various ways—some healthy and some unhealthy—people assume they’ve “heard from God.” We focused on the importance of Scripture, of honest conversations with true friends, of counseling and mentoring, of discernment, of the Holy Spirit, of various methods of listening through prayer.
After the dialogue, I decided to stay at one place as my own method of listening to God. I visited a biblical text I’ve known most of my life. I read it again, slowly. And again, slowly. I imagined the scene, thinking about Jesus voicing statements to that audience and about Jesus saying them to me as He looked directly to my face.
Listen with me to these ancient words needed today.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:1-12, NIV)