Daily Riches: Confusing Our Will With God’s Will (Pete Scazzero and Ignatius of Loyola)

“By indifference, [Ignatius of Loyola] does not mean apathy or disinterest. He simply means we must become indifferent to anything but the will of God. Ignatius taught that the degree to which we are open to any outcome or answer from God is the degree to which we are ready to really hear what God has to say. If we are clutching or overly attached to one outcome versus another, we won’t hear God clearly. Our spiritual ears will be deafened by the racket of our disordered loves, fears, and attachments. In such a state, it is almost a forgone conclusion that we will confuse our will with God’s will. Ignatius considered this state of indifference to be spiritual freedom. We place our lives in God’s hands and trust him for the outcome. Arriving at this place of interior indifference and trusting that God’s will is good – no matter the outcome – is no small task. We are attached to all kinds of secondary things – titles, positions, honors, places, persons, and security, and the opinions of others. When these attachments are excessive, they become disordered attachments, or disordered loves, that push God out of the center of our lives. …Jesus teaches us that indifference, the key to true obedience, must be learned, struggled for, and prayed for. We see this in Gethsemane as he prayed three times. …If it took falling with his face to the ground and great struggle for the Son of God to submit himself to the will of the Father, how can we expect that it will require any less of us?” Pete Scazzero

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth,
he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears…
Son though he was, he learned obedience
from what he suffered.”
Hebrews 5:7-8

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you attempting to learn “indifference?” … to be “open to any outcome from God?” How exactly?
  • Are you aware of the deafening racket created by your “disordered loves, fears, and attachments?”
  • What are some “attachments” in your life that hinder hearing “what God has to say?”

Father, I am indifferent to every outcome except your will. I want nothing more or less than your desire…. (Scazzero)

For More: The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzero

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

 

Daily Riches: Pastors, Churches and Second-hand Spirituality (Pete Scazzero)

“The vast majority of people in our churches have a second-hand spirituality, i.e. they live off the spirituality of others. Because people attend our weekend worship services, participate in our programs, give money and serve, we assume they are in a vital personal relationship of loving union with Jesus. We assume wrong. They are not. Ask the people you serve about their time with Jesus each day: ‘How often do you meet with Him around Scripture and prayer? What do you do, and for how long? How might silence, solitude, Sabbath, spiritual companionship, and study fit into your life?’ Ask for specifics. You are in for a shock. The world has changed dramatically. We have underestimated the magnitude of information overload, the moral decline of Western culture, and the impact of the Internet/social media in altering our brain circuits. …It doesn’t matter what we preach. Unless our people spend intentional time cultivating their own first-hand relationship with the living Jesus, we are simply shuffling chairs on the Titanic. A Christ-follower develops a posture of receptivity through spiritual disciplines that consciously help them develop the spiritual dimensions of our lives. ‘Like an artist who wishes to develop painting skills, or an athlete who desires a strong and flexible body, a person of faith chooses freely to adopt certain life patterns, habits, and commitments to grow spiritually.’ (Marjorie Thompson) How many of our people approach following Jesus with the intentionality of an artist or athlete? The answer is: ‘Not many.’ Helping our people develop a first-hand relationship with Jesus in today’s world is very hard work. But if we don’t wrestle with this, who will?” Pete Scazzero

“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters,
and just as you have us as a model,
keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”
Philippians 3:17

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • Pastor, are you intentionally “cultivating your own first-hand relationship with the living Jesus?”
  • The status quo involves people hearing from God mostly through their clergy. Does your approach to ministry perpetuate that reality, or address it?
  • The status quo often involves giving people well-meaning but vague advice (“Read your Bible. Pray more. Try harder.”), but people need explicit spiritual direction. In your ministry, are you giving your people the tools they need to “develop a first-hand relationship with Jesus?”

Abba, lead our leaders as they lead your people.

For More: The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzero (planned release June 30, 2015)

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. Please follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”