In my last post I referenced one of my daily goals, walking in “presence centred repose.” Another goal I have is “living from an internal frame of reference.” While they are similar, the second goal takes the first a bit further. With presence centred repose I want to learn to always be conscious of His presence. In living from an internal frame or reference I want my decisions to be guided by His voice within my spirit. These goals are aspirational, not achievements. At the same time a Wayne Gretzky quote that has become famous in sports circles is, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” While it is often attributed to Michael Jordan, Gretzky said it in a 1983 interview before Jordan ever played in the NBA. Now back to the application.
What this means for me is that I fail at 100% of the goals I don’t seek to achieve. While my goal in living from an internal frame of reference is not perfection, it is to grow in my sensitivity to His presence, paying attention to His leading throughout each day. I approach this not as some elite spiritual practice, but as what I see Him calling us to in scripture.
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:9–12 (NKJV)
Over the years I have heard and read more than one teaching that stops at verse 9, implying we can’t know what God has prepared for us. Yet if we continue in the passage Paul is asserting the exact opposite. Paul says that we can know and the way that we can know is by the Spirit. For context, when Paul wrote this most of the New Testament had not yet been written. Paul wasn’t suggesting someone pull out their copy of the scriptures, as they didn’t have one. The Old Testament was complete but not something one could download or pick up a copy of at your local bookstore. They were rare and treasured. Paul was saying that the believers he wrote to needed to remember what he had taught them but also needed to, and could, receive knowledge of God from God, more specifically from the Holy Spirit.
Now to the implications for us. I have a decades old practice of being in the scriptures and spending time in prayer each morning to set the course of my day. That works for me. I know it doesn’t work for everyone. Some have shared that their prayer time takes place while driving to work, eyes open I assume! Some take time in the evening. Others don’t have an established prayer or reading time, it is random`. Whatever you do, the important thing is that if you have been born again you have the capacity to develop an inner life with your heart tuned to the Spirit. In fact, if you have been born again, I am confident that He has initiated just such a life. He has at times convicted you of the need to apologize or address an issue. He has prompted you to speak with and encourage someone. He has prompted you to be a listening ear. He may have also given you prophetic dreams or visions.
These are all aspects of 1 Corinthians 2 in practice. He initiates the process and we choose whether or not to go deeper. He wants each of us to do that but we get to decide the degree of sensitivity we cultivate. I pray we all choose to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Spirit and choose to live ‘from an internal frame of reference.’