The previous blog post in this series – Spirit-Led Entrepreneurship: God’s Spirit is Speaking -- reflected on how our lives can be directed by God’s voice when we choose to listen to him. Making a daily choice to say “yes” to the Spirit, often by stepping outside of our comfort zones and taking a risk, can bring about tremendous reward. In this latest blog installment, I will delve into a few practical ways we can go about doing this day to day.
Listening and being intentional in hearing the Spirit might seem particularly challenging for entrepreneurs, who inherently live life at a frenetic pace. It’s actually true for most of us, entrepreneurs or not! Indeed, many of us will likely need to interrupt our hurry-rush, fast-paced lifestyles in order to create the space for the Spirit to speak.
An initial step in hearing the Spirit is to put yourself in an intentional posture to do so. It’s about embracing a mindset and emotional state that says “yes, I believe the Spirit will speak to me, I desire to hear him, and I’ll be proactive in seeking to hear him.” My personal experience is that if I’m intentional, I’m usually able to tap into the Spirit in some form or fashion.
Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach, authors of Practicing His Presence, have an interesting methodology for being intentional:
“Select a favorable hour, an easy, uncomplicated hour. See how many minutes of the hour you can remember, or touch, Christ at least once each minute; that is to say, bring Him to mind at least one second out of every sixty. You will not do so well at first but keep trying, for it constantly becomes easier, and after a while is almost automatic.”
Raising one’s awareness of the presence of Christ’s Spirit may be difficult at first, but like anything that is practiced, it can become easier – and may even become second nature. In fact, my hope is that it will feel strange after a period of time to not engage the Spirit in your day-to-day, work-a-day life. His voice and presence can become an ever-present companion and guide in your life, if you continue to invite him daily.
I usually start the day with a simple prayer – Spirit, I welcome you today. I invite you to show me what you’re doing today. In my relationships, in my work tasks, in my family interactions, show me what you’re doing and help me to cooperate with you. Help my story to find meaning and significance in your Big Story. My goal is to maintain this posture throughout the day, remaining open and receptive to what I sense the Spirit is doing (more on this particular aspect of hearing the Spirit in a future blog on what I call “Spirit-stops”).
Finally, being intentional about hearing from an invisible, divine being can sometime seem like foolishness. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)” Indeed, one of the largest obstacles to hearing from the Spirit is a battle in our own mind and spirit to suspend a cold, conventional, antiseptic approach to life. Being intentional means overcoming strong paradigms that may be operating in our lives – paradigms of rationality and reason, paradigms of self-sufficiency and control, paradigms of rugged individuality.
As we open ourselves to the Spirit, and invite the coming of God’s kingdom into our relationships, our work, our homes, we’ll open up a deep well of rich relationship with the Creator. As we practice these simple acts of intentionality day by day, we will begin to experience what Jesus intended for all humans – a rich, abundant and full life.