Editor's note:

The humbled heart has enormous potential in the kingdom of God. Dallas Willard offers many examples of this in his daily devotional Hearing God Through the Year (with Jan Johnson, IVP 2004). Here are two examples that have touched me.

—James Catford

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
PSALM 25:9 NRSV

While some assume that doing God’s will must be distasteful—Gulp! Not my will, but Thy will!—the humble person is open to God’s will being the best possible future. In George Mueller of Bristol and His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God, A. T. Pierson comments on Psalm 25:9 and the essential role of humility in receiving guidance from God:

[Note] a double emphasis upon meekness as a condition of guidance. Where this holy habit exists, there is an inward recognition and choice [to do] the will of God. God guides by swaying the judgment. To wait before God in readiness to see which way [seems right] is a frame of mind and heart in which one is fit to be guided. God touches the scales and makes the balance to sway as he will. But our hands must be off the scales, otherwise we need expect no [ideas from God].

Humility is essential to keeping our hands off the scales and remaining open to the heart of God.

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
— Matthew 18:19-20

Beyond simple faith in God’s omnipresence, we sometimes have a vague but powerful sense, feeling or impression of God’s presence. We need considerable experience in order to learn how to accurately recognize this and assess the meanings of such impressions. Yet a sense of God’s presence is frequently verified through the judgment of several individual members of the group. Different people simultaneously sense that certain things are to be done—that God is here and is moving in that direction.

This corporate sensing is a well-known phenomenon. Experienced ministers and laypersons frequently find they have synchronized their activities unerringly in a meeting or other form of service through their sense of God’s presence and what God intends for the particular occasion. It is something they come to expect and to rely upon.

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Excerpted from Hearing God Through the Year (Intervarsity Press, 2004)

Originally published January 2004.