If You Don't Come Apart, You Will Come Apart
I often wonder ... what if my desire to listen to God equaled His longing to speak personally with me? Listening prayer for me is simply being still in God’s presence, anticipating His voice, recording His words, impressions, or pictures, and then responding in love, faith and obedience to what He whispers. It’s absolutely amazing — I always receive exactly what my heart is longing for — sweet companionship, fresh encouragement and specific guidance. I’m praying that this excerpt from my “Listening Journal” will encourage you to begin a practice of listening to God. –Debbie
Mark 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew into the wilderness to pray.” The disciples would wake up, and He’d be gone. They knew where He was, usually on the Mount of Olives. They knew what He was doing; praying, speaking with and listening to His Father.
I think it’s interesting that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. His way of praying looked and felt different. It wasn’t like anything they had learned or experienced. They knew there was listening involved because Jesus often told them what He heard.
For the past 40 years, I have enjoyed a disciplined rhythm of solitude - spending extended time alone with the Lord. This time is free-flowing but often includes worship, Bible reading, meditating and studying, journaling, praying and more recently, listening.
How often I used to “pray about everything” as the passage in Philippians instructs us, without waiting to hear answers to my questions, counsel for my problems, wisdom for my decisions or guidance for my day. I have to be honest; it’s hard for me to sit still. But when I am quiet and determined to listen, I am absolutely amazed at what I hear and the intimacy it has created in my relationship with Christ.
It was during a listening prayer that God taught me the principle of “Coming Apart.” On August 29, 2013, I wrote out in my Quiet Time journal a verse that stopped me in my tracks. “The apostles were at the Mount of Olives when this happened.” (Acts 1:12) I like to ask questions when I study. What is this referring to? The next verses describe Jesus’ ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives. It was His personal place of worship, prayer and listening. At that moment I felt immediately drawn to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.
Copied from my Listening Journal is what I heard God whisper to me:
Come apart, come to Me.
Intentionally set aside time to be alone with Me, to worship, pray, and listen
both to My written and whispered Word. Be confident and expect to ascend
from this time and place, no longer limited in your heart and mind to what’s
earthly and temporal. You will be set free, unleashed, to walk in My power,
My will and assignments designed perfectly for you.
Come apart expecting to ascend – Jesus did!
If you don’t come apart, you will come apart. You will be captured and
grounded by your feelings and thoughts about how incapable, unworthy
and inadequate you feel you are. Whenever your eyes are on yourself, your
circumstances or projected outcomes, you will be paralyzed by worry,
fear, doubt and unbelief. The enemy of your soul is out to ...
Kill your faith with fear and worry
Steal your faith with doubt
Destroy your faith with unbelief
But I have come that you might have life – abundantly ... living ascended. (John 10:10)
Remember My constant reminder, ‘You are not in over your head,
I have personally invited you to walk on the water.’
Ascend by coming apart with Me!
Yes, I hear your heart say, ‘I want to ascend from my place of coming apart with the Father, like Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives -- the very place He came apart with His Father, our Father.’ Yes you can, and you will. My promise to you, my daughter, is as you come apart (John 15, abide in Me and My Words abide in you) you will live ascended.
Do you ever feel the need to Come Apart, lest you come apart? What's stopping you from taking time to be with God?
Debbie McGoldrick is the founder of NBS2GO and blessed to be married to Mark and the adoptive mother of Melissa and Matt. Debbie is an avid collector of heart rocks and shells, a lover of color and always looking for a reason to go to the beach.