Our lives are continually bombarded by statements from many sources trying to influence us in some way. We are also bombarded by two sorts of questions. The first are the requests for us to do something, stop something, buy something etc. The second is the question that is not really a question: 'Hi how are you today?' with the expected response being 'Fine thanks' (The question is not looking for a detailed description of how your latest medical condition or business crisis is impacting you).
We could probably do with less of these questions and statements in our lives, but I think we need more of a third sort of question, a spiritual question. These questions doesn't ask us to do something for someone else but they help us realize something important about the condition of our current life.
'How are things with you and God?'
If this question is received in the right way it is not asking for a defence of our current relationship with God, it is giving us an opportunity to pause and think about our relationship with God. This can be a powerful question because in the pause for reflection we can often hear God speak specifically to our situation.
This is a good question to ask ourselves intentionally on a regular basis and I encourage you to do so. But sometimes we need a bit more help because we can get a bit stuck trying to place our finger on the problem. And sometimes this is because most of us have blind sides - areas of our lives where we have issues but aren't aware of them (sometimes other people are aware and if they care and we are open they can help us but sometimes others aren't aware of them at all.). It is for this reason that some more detailed spiritual questions can be helpful.
Below are a series of spiritual questions that we use in discipling groups.
The idea is not to try and answer each question but rather to ask God to highligh one question to you as you read through the list. When that question is highlighted in your heart, stay with that question and reflect on it. Ask God to speak to you.
If more than one question seems to stick out and you can't figure out which question seems the strongest - choose the one you would least like to answer.
The highlighted question is a 'God moment' and represents an opportunity for you to hear God and respond (a simple tool that can help is the learning circle):
- Do I make enough space for prayer?
- Do I pursue closeness with Jesus?
- What is on my heart for intercession?
- Am I living in the power of the Spirit?
- Am I seeing personal revival?
- Do I still feel pleasure?
- Am I living in a state of peace?
- Am I afraid or nervous?
- Am I obedient to God’s prompting?
- Do I love the church?
- Is time a blessing or a curse?
- Am I resting enough?
- How are my relationships with my friends?
- Am I experiencing intimacy in relationships?
- Do I keep my promises?
- How easy is it for me to trust people?
- Am I discipling others?
- Is my family happy?
- Am I sleeping/eating well?
- Am I making myself vulnerable to others?
- Do I have a heart for the lost?
- How often do I share my faith?
- Do I leave time for relationships with non-Christians?
- Am I running the race with perseverance?
- Do I have a vision?
- Am I dying to success?
- Am I proud of the Gospel or ashamed?
- Am I a servant?
- Do I find it easy to recognise people of peace?
- Can I take risks?
David Wanstall, 15/07/2010