Christianity is not merely a topic to be discussed, but a Life to be lived and experienced.
Jesus did not say, “I’ve come to bring you a new topic of discussion so that you may talk about it excessively.“
Rather, He said, “I’ve come so that you may have Life, and have it to the full.”
Imagine for a moment the ridiculosity of Jesus coming to earth, living the brilliant life of service and teaching that He did, dying that horrific death, rising from it—for the reason of giving us something to talk about. How sad would that be?
Now I don’t have an M. Div., but I’m pretty sure He went through all that so that we could actually share in His Divine Life and experience it in our real lives day to day.
Merely discussing it, for me, doesn’t do a lot to open myself up to the point of tangibly receiving that Divine Flow of supernatural life and energy. (Unless of course the conversation is about what God is doing in your life and teaching you, or how awesome God is. That’s pretty efficacious. But you know what I’m saying–simply talking about it, instead of sharing in it.)
But prayer, whether with others or alone, sure opens me up to that Divine Flow.
Sitting in listening silence, with nothing on my mind but God really does it for me.
Lectio Divina—the meditative reading of Scripture.
The Prayer of Examen.
Worship and praise.
Being in and observing nature with gratitude to God for it.
These are excellent ways to open one’s self up to receiving grace.
Discussions of Christianity as a subject typically leave you the same way you entered, if not a little emptier. They usually don’t stay with you and strengthen you in the moment when needed.
As Dallas Willard encouraged, we don’t merely need to teach what we ought to do, or what we should do, but we need to teach how to do what Jesus taught us.
Experience of the Divine Life, drawing upon the Spirit of Jesus, seems to come mainly through prayer and total abandoning trust in Jesus.
It is through prayer that God works directly on your soul, and not through theological rumination.