Reading time: two minutes.
At first I hesitated with that headline. Spiritual wellness is not simple.
But the more I thought about it, spiritual wellness is the essence of simplicity. Growth in maturity in Christ is as simple as an empty cup. It’s as simple as a towel hanging from a clothesline. It’s as simple as remembering that my growth in maturity of faith in Christ is the work of God. He speaks. He transforms. He melts hearts of stone like mine. He softens calloused spirits like mine.
He pierces hearts and divides bone from marrow, because His Word is truth and life.
So spiritual wellness is as simple as four little words, “Speak, Lord. I’m listening.”
I ache for sisters and brothers in the faith who have not recognized this great biblical truth, that the Son of God is the Author and the Perfecter of our faith. Martin Luther found joy in knowing that his spiritual maturity was in the hands of Jesus, not in his own.
Contemporaries of ours like Robert Kolb and Chuck Arand in “The Genius of Luther’s Theology,” and John Kleinig in “Grace upon Grace,” have expounded upon the theme in wonderful ways. Dietrich Bonhoeffer has a beautiful little book from a generation ago called “Meditating on the Word.”
The words of Psalm 1 still hold true: God grows those who meditate on His Word into “trees planted by streams of water.” Nourishment is always flowing into us. Fruit is born naturally, joyfully. Empty cups are filled. The Spirit makes lifeless rags flutter in the wind. And like trees rooted deep or houses built on the rock, those who bathe in God’s living Word cannot be destroyed.
I’d love to hear your story of the work of God in your life. I’d like to hear about your daily, weekly, yearly devotional practice of spiritual receptivity, of the discipline of opening yourself to the work of the Spirit by reading and meditating on His Word of life.
Young Samuel did well to heed the advice of old Eli: “Just say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'” (1 Samuel 3:9). I know that I’m at my best when I get real small before the Lord, like Samuel, and when I quietly listen when He’s speaking.
And He’s speaking every time I read my Bible.
There are a thousand Bible reading plans you could follow. Some read great volumes at a time (sometimes I do that) and some read just a verse or two at a time (sometimes I do that, too). I hope you have a wide and varied practice and are discovering the best ways to be receptive to the Lord’s voice.
Whatever your practice, morning, noon, evening or all three, the right place to begin is with those four simple words, “Speak, Lord. I’m listening.”
Then turn on your expecter, and expect to hear His lovely voice. He speaks.
Thanks for reading. Now read your Bible!
Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry? Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.