The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The posture of prayerful abiding is a way of life, but it also entails intentionality. For many of us, our lives are dominated by noise, busyness, and melodic chaos that never ceases. More so today than ever before, we are inundated with distraction. As a result, silence and solitude are incredibly helpful practices to intentionally open ourselves to the kind of prayer needed to live the way of the kingdom. Even in the first-century world, which did not have anywhere near the kinds of distractions our world has, Jesus retreated alone, away from the crowds and his disciples (Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42). Jesus recognized, as have Christians throughout the centuries, that silence and solitude are helpful practices in being attuned to Jesus’ way of living in the world.





Giving ourselves to times of silence and solitude helps to expose how our lives are truly oriented by distraction, achievement, and escapism. Silence and solitude reveal how we are swimming in the stream of worldly power and we aren’t even aware of it. We do not practice silence and solitude as a means of self-help, or to feel better about ourselves, but to be with God in the truth of ourselves and be open to his movement of love. The formation of a person who is prayerfully abiding in Christ leads to maturity, and Christian maturity is defined by discernment and wisdom. Prayerfulness, silence, and recollection allow us to stand under the Word in truth, not dulling our hearing but becoming “those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14). . . .





Abiding in the love of God becomes the oil that greases the interlocking gears of our homes, churches, and individual lives. By the presence of the Spirit, we can find the harmony of love interconnecting everything we give ourselves to. This is not something we achieve alone. We must give ourselves to God such that he tunes our hearts to himself.





Prayer


Father, I want to abide in you at all times. I give myself to you, and I ask you to tune my heart so that I can better hear you and follow you. Amen.