One of the people I met at the Seattle University Search for Meaning Book Festival was Jack Levison, a professor of New Testament at Seattle Pacific University. Jack and I traded copies of our books and I have started reading one of his, Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life.
Levison makes the important point that “if we want to be inspired, if we yearn to have God’s spirit upon us, then we need to hunker down for the long haul by maintaining the relationship we have with God and God with us.” And, he reminds us, that maintaining that relationship requires “routine maintenance.”
Levison finds a helpful prescription for routine maintenance in Isaiah 50:4-5, which he terms a model for receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The “servant” in Isaiah says, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of a learner, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning God wakens – wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord God hs opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.”
From this passage, Levison extracts three simple steps in a program of routine maintenance:
First, meet God every morning. Commit yourself to routine awakening.
Second, listen – don’t talk. Practice routine listening.
Third, train for the goal of sustaining the weary with a word. Devote yourself to routine encouragement.
It doesn’t really seem all that complicated, does it? A simple presciption to incorporate into the routine of our days.