The Awakening Practicing God’s Presence in Our Midst

 

 This is a publication from the desk of Pastor Gene Yotka depicting his and other people’s observations of God’s Presence in and around our Epworth UMC community and beyond.
 

     Hi Everyone, I pray blessings upon you, that you are experiencing the presence of God in every moment of your days. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak in your heart.

 

Exploring Our Spiritual Dispositions Part 3

 

   This week we continue to consider spiritual dispositions1 as we take a look at what we refer to as dispositions of relationship.
    Forgiveness, justice, compassion/mercy, humility, faith, hope and gratefulness: these are dispositions that can only be truly acquired through a relationship with God. These are prayer dispositions. We cannot simply become aware of them, think about and develop them like that of the dispositions of attitude, because these are only possible within the context of healing our relationship with God, which was damaged in the fall. Attitudinal dispositions, although not perfect, remain available and reasonably intact, at least to the point that we can work with them and develop them, after the fall. On the other hand dispositions of relationship were greatly damaged after the fall. Thus, to allow these to become part of who we are we need to be in relationship with God. In short God restores and enlivens these lost dispositions. Rather than becoming aware of and developing something we already have, as in the attitudinal dispositions, dispositions of relationship are only available within the divine/human relationship as a gift of justifying grace, whereas the dispositions of attitude come as part of God’s prevenient grace. These are dispositions that once were, then were lost, and can once again be restored by the healing hand of God. Dispositions of relationship can only be received within the context of this ever deepening relationship with God. Within this relationship we
 can then practice them, ultimately seeking to become them as we walk with God. These dispositions of relationship occur when a person becomes aware of God’s divine presence in their lives, believes that a relationship with God is possible, and begins to intentionally develop that relationship. This, as with all the dispositions, is all made possible by God’s grace alone, as God is always the first and the necessary initial actor in all things spiritual. That being said we are given the great privilege to freely respond to God’s overtures of love. Of course this means that we also have the ability to refuse God’s grace. Without this divine/human relationship the following dispositions cannot be truly understood or practiced to their fullest. These dispositions are forgiveness, justice, compassion/mercy, humility, faith, hope and gratefulness.

 

Just as we did last week we will prepare in the following manner, as we encounter each of these spiritual dispositions in seven meditative readings.

 

1. Sit quietly and comfortably.
2. Feel yourself breathing.
3. Take three deep rhythmic breathes.
4. Settle into the space around you.
5. Close your eyes and listen to, (or read and listen if you are doing this alone) the reading. What stands out or strikes you as particularly important to your life situation right now? Meditate on this for a few moments.
6. Speak out loud the word, verse, phrase or concept that has been placed on your heart.
7. In as little as one word or, at the most, a sentence or two, write down what you have heard in your heart as prompted by the questions provided.
8. Take three minutes of silence
9. Answer the questions provided.

 

Meditations on Dispositions of Relationship

 

Follow the process previously outlined for each of the following seven meditations.
 

Forgiveness
Meditate on Matthew 6:5-15
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding forgiveness?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you consider forgiveness in your life?
 

Justice
(This is a required disposition, see Micah 6:8)
Meditate on Exodus 23:1-6 and Deuteronomy 10:17-18
1. How do these two selections from Scripture speak to you with regard to justice?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you would describe the prevalence of justice in your life?
 

Compassion/Mercy
(Another required disposition, see Micah 6:8)
Meditate on Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 6:35-36
1. How do these Scriptures speak to you with regard to compassion/mercy?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you see your level of compassion/mercy?
 

Humility
(Another required disposition, see Micah 6:8)
Meditate on Philippians 2:1-11
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding humility?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how humility operates in your life?
 

Faith
Meditate on Hebrews 11:1-3
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding faith?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you see faith in your life?
 

Hope
Meditate on Romans 5:1-5
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding hope?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you consider hope operates in your life?
 

Gratefulness
Meditate on Psalm 100
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding gratefulness?
2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you?
3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how gratefulness operates in your life?
 

     Please feel free to submit stories, observations and perceptions of God’s love, peace, teaching, conviction, reproof, and/or correction in your life. Basically anything that may lead us to a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The testimonies, observations and edifications of God’s people are the things that assure us of the Lord’s promise to be with us always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Please email your submissions to eugenetyotka@gmail.com

1 The Awakening Institute offers a five week course on the development of spiritual dispositions.

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