Relational Spirituality

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“falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into God’s presence for the primary purpose of appreciating who God is: to behold his beauty, majesty, and holiness, and to soak in his desires for us. The four chapters that make up Facet 6 discuss various things that are important and helpful as we embark on the greatest and most intimate of relationships, our life with God.

In the next chapter he discusses the role of contemplative practices in actualizing our desire to make God the chief focus of our life, our time, and our affections. . Boa wisely begins with addressing important negative ideas many have about what contemplation and meditation are, and are not. He rightly asserts that both practices must always be firmly bound to the Word, both written and incarnate. The contemplative traditions are focused on various means by which we can translate the first commandment, “to love God with all your heart. . . soul. . . [and] strength,” into a living reality in our lives. His discussion of how markedly the Christian practices of meditation and contemplation differ from those most often used in non-Christian traditions should do much to allay the fears of those who have previously steered clear of contemplative means for developing a passion for God. Perhaps the greatest challenge that contemplation of God offers to us today is the necessary emphasis on making the time to listen, to be still before God. And, Boa wisely advises that contemplative practices are not best suited to new believers. Just as a novice scuba enthusiast might begin by snorkeling until she is ready for greater depths, the contemplative way is most helpful to believers who are prepared through training to dive into the depths of life with God.

The third chapter in the facet discusses in a very practical way the centuries old practice of Sacred Reading, or lectio divina. Sadly, this is not a practice familiar to most modern day believers, and only fairly recently have Protestants discovered the benefit that comes from the four basic components of lectio divina: reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. The chapter excels at providing concrete suggestions for how to implement the practice and gives a very helpful comparison (again, in chart form) of the differences between meditative and contemplative prayer.

Finally, the fourth chapter of the facet, “Falling in Love with God,” reiterates the importance of recognizing that “God alone is our highest good” and outlines briefly, but with helpful discussions, what sorts of things might prove to be what he calls “Enemies of Spiritual Passion” (e.g., “loving truth more than Christ,” “elevating service and ministry above Christ,” as well as the more expected problems such as disobedience) vs. what may promote spiritual passion (e.g., “Sitting at Jesus’ feet” “Focused intention,” “Willingness to let God break our outward self,” and “Desiring to please God more than impress people”). He ends the facet by again demonstrating how to use the Psalms and other Christians’ writing as means to open our mouths, hearts, and spirits in adoration of God.

Reflections to Consider

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Relational Publications

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Relational Audio & Video

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Publications

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Relational Music

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Music

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Relational Reflection

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Worry +

    Do we trust God to take care of each and every one of our troubles, or do we act like Read More
  • One Prayer Away: Yolanda Adams +

    Yolanda Adams effectively portrays the experiences of brokenness and longing for change I know there are times in your life,When Read More
  • The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life +

    The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitehall Smith. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/smith_hw/secret.titlepage.html From Christian Classics website: Sometimes it just feels Read More
  • June 10 Devotional: AW Tozer +

    LET FEAR BECOME TRUST What can we do but pray for the throngs of defiant men and women who believe Read More
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Gems

  • Falling in Love With God +

    “falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into Read More
  • Revelation Song +

    Revelation Song provides us with a means to do what we are called to do: glorify God. I give thanks Read More
  • Reflections on the Psalms +

    C.S. Lewis' book, Reflections on the Psalms, is not an easy read, but Lewis provides a poet's insight into the Read More
  • God is Personal: Eugene Peterson on prayer +

    The following is from Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight on Jesus and Orthdox faith in the 21st century. There is a Read More
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