MY FIRST ENCOUNTER with Jesus’ amazing love came over two decades ago, when my first marriage was crumbling. Though I was an agnostic at the time, one afternoon I knelt down beside our bed, weeping, and heard myself cry out almost involuntarily, “Jesus, please help me.” In the wake of that prayer a peace flooded over me that did pass all understanding. In the months that followed that awesome experience, the fabric of my life continued its relentless unraveling. My heart broke as my husband decided to leave our home and our marriage. Yet spiritually I experienced this time as one of great blessing. Immersing myself in the Bible day after day and late into the night, several translations of scripture and dozens of theological commentaries piled all over the desk, I had one goal in mind: to learn to listen to Jesus.
One night a frightening thought hit me: Aren’t you afraid of going crazy, shutting yourself up all alone like this with all these books, night after night after night? In response, I heard a reassuring voice with the ears of my heart: Keep focusing on me in those Gospel stories. Pay attention to my effect on people, the way I healed them and brought them to new wholeness. You have nothing to fear if you’re centered in me. Just keep listening. Gradually, as I listened to the many different “voices” I heard, I learned to distinguish between the whispered words of the Holy Spirit and the thoughts that reflected my anxious fears. I came to understand that the Holy Spirit would always point me to the Bible and make Jesus’ voice alive to me.
– Alyssa Phillips
Loving an Addict
From pages 103-104 of Loving An Addict: Gospel Reflections of Hope and Healing by Alyssa Phillips. Copyright © 2014 by Alyssa Phillips. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
How do you experience God’s “voice?” Share your thoughts.
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.
James 1:22, NRSV
This Week: pray for those who are receiving cancer treatments. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Augustine of Hippo (August 28).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA