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 December 2003