by David Bittner
In the first few hours at the Hermitage, God showed me a few ways I needed to die to self. I was hoping for groundbreaking revelations, the accomplishing of a great amount of reading, or for God to deal with a pesky issue. While being a little “complainy,” God gently chided: “Are you here for your agenda or mine?” and suggested humility. The following silence and peace were superb, a deep centering, a silence I’ve not experienced recently.
The Lord revealed to my heart the meaning of time as Richard Foster notes in Celebration of Discipline: “The person who does not seek the kingdom first does not seek it at all. As worthy as all other concerns may be, the moment they become the focus of our efforts, they become idolatry.”
Prayers are empty and fleshly when based purely on the observable, on sight. But they are different when I ask what God would have me pray for, and I shut up and listen. How powerful when there is dialogue with the Almighty, not a monologue!
Looking back, I imagine how different things would be right now if I had listened to God earlier on–the sheer volume of Heavenly Treasure not sown, opportunities missed, lives untouched and unchanged, the good withheld from whom it was due when it was in the power of our hands to do it. Prayer doesn’t change things; The Holy Spirit’s response to divinely inspired prayer moves mountains.
In the Agape hermitage, I have begun to be still so that The Holy Spirit deals with my past, with bottled and stuffed emotions, agendas and plans. Even in short bits of down time on a daily basis, centering down and listening are easier, particularly in the marketplace. The effect is reflected in others around me. God is working in ways I cannot see. Hearts are changing, victory is being won.
David has been using Agape’s Hermitage twice a month for several months benefitting all.