Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter

Hi, there! We all have had those times in prayer when we felt like nothing was accomplished, and even felt somewhat guilty because of our seemingly fruitless effort. We couldn’t “get spiritual” in our frame of mind and/or there was that constant bombardment of unsolicited thoughts. This is abundantly true especially in the early stages of our Christian journey.

If we are persistent in a faithful walk, these problems will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit….not only in time, but at the present:

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. Romans 8:26

Even if we struggle often in prayer, rest assured that what is necessary and has to be said to the Father and Christ Jesus on our behalf is ALWAYS automatically taken care of by the Holy Spirit within us (again, Romans 8:26!!). Never feel as though you have to “perform” in any prescribed manner when praying formally or informally. The MOST IMPORTANT consideration here is that we are going to Them, however feeble our efforts may be.

And, Christ Jesus, Himself,  is ALWAYS there making intercession (“pleading”….Concordant Literal New Testament) on our behalf on every front. Romans 8:34

Let’s not forget Matthew 6:8: “for your Father does know those things that you have need of before your asking Him.”.

Finally, a prayer of thanksgiving is an excellent approach when coming before our Father and Christ Jesus. Just start thanking Them for any and everything that comes to mind….not only the “good stuff” they give us but for our least and worst trials, as well as our failures. Those failures should lead us to depend on Them more than ever!

Sometimes, as brought out in the Post on “God’s Silent Treatment”, it is good that we just come to Them in silence. If monkey chatter persists, usually repeating in our minds or verbally “Lord”, “Lord God”, “Father”, “Jesus” or similar words will keep the intrusive thoughts at bay. This also applies to what is brought out on the Post: “Pray On The Potty”.

And, your position in formal prayer should not be an issue: my favorite is lying in bed where I am very comfortable. (You might want to reference the Post “Pray On The Potty”)

The most important consideration is that we are coming to Them, giving Them our attention….as such, They and the Spirit within us will take care of the rest!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

Why Not Be A Mystic

Hey, there! Here is an interesting article I came across at http://freebelievers.com/fbnblog-entry/why-not-be-a-mystic, and received permission from them to reprint it. You might want to also check out my Post: “Practicing The Presence Of God”. Here goes:

May 28, 2011

Why Not Be A Mystic?

Perhaps it was the several years of religious hell I went through, or the overload of information from every side telling me what to believe, how to live, and how to approach God. Perhaps it was the deep longing in my soul to touch the face of God and to simply know Him as real, but I decided to choose the path of the mystic.

First things first, I will say that the only authentic mystic is the Christian, as you cannot know God as He is in His deep mysteries without Christ. If we cannot accept Christ, His sacrifice in His incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, we cannot know God. I would caution anyone strongly against the mysticism of the rest of the world in the plethora of its religions.

Many acknowledge Jesus in a form, but most refuse to accept His deity and His work of salvation as done on the cross. Such people I say stay away from as they are no different than the Gnostics.

So what is a mystic? My humble attempt to define a mystic is one who directly through experience, thought, meditation, emotion and contemplation actively receives and hears from God. The mystic’s religion is not stuff of Sunday rituals and preaching, or the obligatory Bible reading and good works as is expected in Christianity. Rather his/her religion so consumes them in such a way that their whole life is spent saturated in it, living in and out of it. It is all encompassing to the point where there is little room for anything else.

A mystic, in my view, is not one who spends hours practicing ascetics and spiritual disciplines in monasteries, cloistered away from the world, although for a short season I recommend that the seeker would take part in these things. The reason is that it is impossible to know God without living in the rest of the world actively loving and engaging people where they live.

For me, it began in the darkest times of my life. St John of the Cross calls it the dark night of the soul. I have been through several as they guided my unwilling soul into a place of complete abandonment of all things in this world with a deep need and hunger to know my God.

That is what drives me. A hunger. It is a deep, relentless desire and longing to know the presence of my God, to be filled to the point of overflowing with Jesus and His spirit so that, in the end, He is all that I have. It is a realized poverty of the soul, or as Jesus put it, being poor in spirit and hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

I came to this point out of need. Nothing man had to offer in his church institutions satisfied me. If anything, they nearly destroyed me. I escaped only with my life and my sanity. Even still, my soul aches with a longing only Christ can satisfy when I occasionally force myself to sit through a church sermon for whatever reason.

It was the realization that I am loved, filled with His love, and the need to love others with a realization of the passion of God Himself for His church which launched me on this path. When I could no longer find those things in the traditional or mainstream Christian churches of our country, I had to leave and spend my time in the wilderness where God had to speak to me directly.

My time in the wilderness has created within me this hungering and thirsting for God. I remember one church I attended many years ago, a pastor once stated that the church of America is not hungry. It is bloated, overfed, and obese. This was true of me. I was overstuffed with the religious knowledge of various sects and denominations. I wasn’t hungry for God. I was filled. I was filled not with God though, but the junk food of the ramblings of religious men. It was when I left all of that and was starving for three years that I learned how to drink deeply and dine from the water and bread of life within me.

The problem with being a mystic is that most people don’t understand the one who chooses this path. But then again, perhaps God chooses me for this and I just hang on for dear life and my own sanity. The thing is, a mystic is so wrapped up in the Holy Spirit that no man can control them.

One of my favorite teachings of Jesus is “He who is born of the spirit is like the wind. No one knows from where it came or where it goes.”

The life of the mystic is the life chosen to follow hard and persistently after the Spirit. Consequentially, no one can control the mystic any more than they can control the Holy Spirit or the wind itself!

It is in this journey that I see no longer the need to follow teachings and lectures, rather, the need to become a physical embodiment of Jesus Himself. This cannot be taught adequately. This cannot be lectured or written about. Yes, I have heard many sermons and read quite a few riveting books about the subject, but it cannot be understood or fully realized in practical living until one embraces this for themselves.

The mystic acknowledges that it is no longer possible to tell where we end and Christ begins, as He is interwoven into the very fabric of who we are. One can no more separate me from Christ as one could separate the food I ate and processed from the cells it nourished and fused with to strengthen or even create new living tissue. If Christ is food, and we digest Him, He then becomes our very cellular makeup and spiritual DNA. We are inseparable.

It is here, my starving soul found the fountain that Christ spoke of which wells up from within unto eternal life. True mysticism is the ability to drink from Christ, the living water in such a way that we will never thirst again. We will never run dry. We will never be hungry again as He is always within us.

Most American Christians I meet are in a perpetual state of starvation. They go to church meetings every week, retreats for mountain top experiences, or whatever they can find to refill and refresh. It is always outside of them and they always worry about running dry. Many seem to think that they cannot function spiritually without the church meetings feeding them. I find many of them leave their “feeding” times for Sundays, and the rest of their week is there for them to do as they please, only to find themselves hungry once again.

I find it funny when people tell me that I needed to attend church meetings so I could be “fed.” I laugh inwardly and reply “I am fed, perpetually from the Bread of Life who is in me. I will never hunger again.” The bread learned educated church men offer will not satisfy forever. I often hear people tell me that they need to go to church for another dose of the Holy Spirit because they feel hungry. If only they knew.

If only we knew the deep riches of God’s Spirit and His treasure that lay dormant inside of us! If only we knew the mysteries that His Spirit constantly speaks to our souls, feeding us with life. If only we could tap into that and live fully and completely!

This search for that fulness and wholeness of life is the path of the mystic as it takes us ever deeper into the heart of God, drinking deeply, eating fully, and then turning around to feed our fellow man in such a way that it whets their appetite for more. Manna in the wilderness sustains, but one does hunger. If one is courageous, we leave the manna that feeds us temporarily, and brave the battles and the giants which threaten to keep us from the land flowing with milk and honey. The path of the mystic is an invitation to dine at the table with the Father forever, as sons, as family, as a part of the Bride of Christ, forever living in His love.

by David Backus

End of article. There are several points on which I disagree with the author, but overall, there is a lot of truth here, and I am grateful he has shared his experience with us.

See you later.

Fred

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

“for Him Who did not know sin, He did make sin in our behalf, that we may become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21….Modern Young’s Literal Translation)

“7.but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. (Philippines 2:7-8….NAS)

The Creator of the universe and of all living beings (John 1:3), because of Divine Love, was willingly nailed to a tree He had created by the creation He had created, after beaten beyond recognition by His creation (Isaiah 52:14; 50:6), so that even His crucifiers would come to experience unimaginable glory and joy along with the ENTIRE creation at the end of the ages….along with Him….when God will be ALL in ALL! (1 Corinthians 15:28….New American Standard)

I cannot think of a Greater Love Story!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

 

Sanctification

Hello!

Okay, okay….I can’t help myself!! When I read certain excerpts from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (Please reference the Post by the same title as his book) I just have to share them with you. This one I read this morning is from his February 8th entry and it goes like this:

“Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost? It will cost an immense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of our interests in God.

Sanctification means intense concentration on God’s point of view. It means every power of body, soul and spirit chained for God’s purpose only.

Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. The one and only characteristic of the Holy Ghost in a man is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, and freedom of everything that is unlike Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s ministrations in us?

End of excerpts.

Until later, in Him.

Fred

 

Are You Fresh For Everything?

Hey,there!

I read the January 20th daily entry this morning from “My Utmost For His Highest” and wanted to pass it along to you. You can reference the Post by the same name to learn how to get a FREE copy of this inspiring book. All words in capital letters are my emphasis. Here goes:

“Sometimes we are fresh for a prayer meeting but not fresh for cleaning boots!

Being born again is an unmistakeable work of God, as mysterious as the wind, as surprising as God Himself. We do not know where it begins, it is hidden away in the depth of our personal life. Being born again is a PERENNIAL, PERPETUAL and ETERNAL beginning: a freshness ALL THE TIME in thinking, and in talking and in living, a CONTINUAL surprise of the life of God. Staleness is an indication of something out of joint with God – ‘I must do this thing or it will never get done’. That is the first sign of staleness. Are we freshly born this minute, or are we stale, raking in our minds for something to do?

Freshness does not come from obedience but from the Holy Spirit; obedience keeps us in the light as God is in the light.

Guard jealously your relationship to God. Jesus prayed ‘that they may be one, even as We are One’ – NOTHING BETWEEN. Keep all the life PERENNIALLY open to Jesus Christ, don’t pretend with Him. Are you drawing your life from any other source than God Himself? If you are depending on anything but Him, you will never know when He is gone.

Being born again means much more than we generally take it to mean. It gives us a new vision and KEEPS US ABSOLUTELY FRESH FOR EVERYTHING by the PERENNIAL supply of the life of God.”

End of excerpt.

The possibility of this  ‘continual freshness’ from the supply of the life of God is in harmony with and verified by 2 Corinthians 4:16: “….our inner man is being renewed day by day.” (NAS). And , this is merely referring to us while we have these decaying, mortal bodies….it is beyond comprehension what we will experience when we inherit our “weight of glory” (verse 17) after we are changed “into the likeness of His glorious body” ( Philippians 3:21) when Christ Jesus returns for us.

Until later,

Fred

 

My Utmost For His Highest

Greetings!

The title of this Post is the name of a book that is compiled from lectures given by Oswald Chambers and published by his wife from the verbatim shorthand notes she took on those lectures. He died in 1917 and she was able to have these ‘sermons’ published at around 1935 in the form of daily devotional readings.

He was keen on TOTAL ABANDONMENT  to God and Christ Jesus (Please reference the Post “Absolute Surrender”) and his presentations reflect ‘mature’ spiritual truths. These are not your typical devotional readings and he certainly pulls no punches. I will give you a number of excerpts from the readings and then provide information on how to obtain all of them.

Here goes:

“the very Spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirits”

“When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy….”

“One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.”

“The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting.”

” ‘Take no thought for your life.’ ‘Be careful about one thing only.’ says our Lord – ‘your relationship to Me.’ Common sense shouts loud and says – ‘That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.’ Jesus says you must not….and you must not think of these things so as to make them the one concern of our life. Wherever there is competition, make sure you put your relationship to God first.”

“Discipleship is built entirely upon the supernatural grace of God. It does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. We have to exceptional in the ordinary things….and this is not learned in five minutes.”

“God no where tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having–viz., life with Himself. It is a question of loosening the bonds that hinder….”

“It is difficult to get in stride with God….He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined into His ways. Getting into the stride of God means nothing less than union with Him.”

“Never allow anything to divert you from your insight into Jesus Christ. It is the true test of whether you are spiritual or not. To be unspiritual means that other things have a growing fascination for you. Since mine eyes have looked on Jesus, I’ve lost sight of all beside, So enchained my spirit’s vision, Gazing on the Crucified.”

End of excerpts.

I downloaded my FREE copy of the entire book from http://www.apwin.org/wp-content/uploads/books-misc/My-utmost-for-his-highest%20%28Devotional%29%20Oswald-Chambers.pdf (just click this address with your pointer).

Printed versions can be found at any number of places and http://www.amazon.com and http://www.ebay.com/ have them for less than $10.00.

Until later, take care.

Fred

Sanctify Your Food

Hi, there….thought I would pass along to you a little ‘food’ for thought this morning!

I came across a very interesting and beneficial truth this morning while reading 1 Timothy 4:5. I always give thanks at meals just as Jesus did in Matthew 14:19 (and I try not to make it just a ‘ritual’ but really express it from the heart). Going a step further, Paul tells us in verse 5 our food is actually “sanctified” when we “petition” before eating it.

This word “petition” is a different word from the normal Greek word for ‘prayer’ and is used only twice in the New Testament, both in Timothy (the other is 2:1). Its definition is similar to that of ‘prayer’ but it also seems to imply a special request. This is just my opinion but I would take it to mean something like asking that the food be ‘blessed’, in addition to giving thanks for it.

The ‘sanctification’ of the food after making the ‘petition’ is defined by Strong’s Concordance as:

“consecrate things to God”

“to purify”

“to cleanse externally”

So, along with my normal giving of thanks at meals I will be asking God and Christ Jesus to bless it as well.

Until later,

Fred

 

 

Letters From A Modern Mystic

Hey, there! This is a duplicate Post of the one I did earlier as I was trying to keep the paragraphs from running together but it didn’t work, even though I edited it numerous times. I was able, though, to get the two websites mentioned below to be available by just clicking them.

The title of this Post is the name of the  book by Frank C. Laubach (1884-1970) who was a missionary in the Philippines when he penned this writing. For various reasons, he decided to WHOLEHEARTEDLY immerse himself into what was brought out by Brother Lawrence’s  PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD (Please reference my Post by this title.).

The results were absolutely amazing and it undoubtedly illustrates how each of us can experience what Brother Lawrence did, and certainly have our own “heaven on earth” encounters with God and Christ Jesus in this lifetime.

I will give you a few excerpts here and after finishing that I will give you the websites to access this book. It can also be purchased at http://www.amazon.com.

Here goes:

“Although I have been a minister and a missionary for fifteen years, I have not lived the entire day of every day in minute by minute effort to follow the will of God. Two years ago a profound dissatisfaction led me to begin trying to line up my actions with the will of God about every fifteen minutes or every half hour.”

 

“Yesterday and today I have made a new adventure, which is not easy to express. I am feeling God in each movement, by an act of will – willing that He shall direct these fingers that now strike this typewriter – willing that He shall pour through my steps as I
walk – willing that He shall direct my words as I speak….”
“You will object to this intense introspection. Do not try it, unless you feel dissatisfied with your own relationship with God, but at least allow me to realize all the leadership of God I can. I am disgusted with the pettiness and futility of my unled self. If the way out is not more perfect slavery to God then what is the way out? Paul speaks of our liberty in Christ. I am trying to be utterly free from everybody, free from my own self, but completely enslaved to the will of God every moment of this day.
“I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something, and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me. To know this gives a sense of security and assurance for the future which is also new to my life. I seem to have to make sure of only one thing now, and every other thing “takes care of itself,” or I prefer to say what is more true, God takes care of all the rest.”
Here are the two sites where this work can be found:
and
 All the best in Him,
Fred

The Holy Spirit Was Not WITHIN Old Testament Believers

Hello!

I added Number 16 to the Post “Christian Tidbits” today pointing out that Old Testament believers did NOT have the Holy Spirit dwelling WITHIN them.

How FORTUNATE and BLESSED we Christians are to be under the New Covenant and actually have the Holy Spirit living WITHIN us! (Please reference the Post “God And Christ Jesus Are Literally In Us ALL THE TIME!!”)

In Old Testament times, under the Old Covenant, believers such as David could only experience having the Holy Spirit “upon” them (1 Samuel 16:13).

A good article on this can be found at http://www.instonebrewer.com/visualSermons/OT-HolySpirit/_Sermon.htm .

In addition to this, the believers of the Old Testament never referred to God  as their Father. The reason is that the God of the Old Testament was Christ Jesus ( 1 Corinthians 10:4) and He could obviously not be their Father.

Until later,

Fred

We Should Be So Thankful God Is As He Is

Hey, there!

We so take for granted that God, our Father, is as PERFECT as He IS as well as for what He PERFECTLY IS NOT.

He NEVER:

lies, leaves us alone, is unfair, is moody, is prejudice, is weak, is tired or sleepy, subjects us to anything that is not for our good, is unrighteously angry, is mean spirited, makes a mistake, is caught by surprise at anything, is defeated, sins and is everything else we can think of that is negative, evil and harmful.

He is ALWAYS:

PERFECT IN EVERY WAY THAT IS ABSOLUTELY GOOD !!!

I have this calendar in my kitchen with different pictures for each month showing awesome views of the universe. They are truly  a wonderful ‘suggestion’ of His awesome power, the like of which I am sure is just a small sample compared to what we will discover when we come into our glory. You can reference the Post “God’s Creative Handiwork” for some stunning displays of His magnificent power.

Likewise, our Lord, Savior, Brother, Friend, King, Christ Jesus, is as PERFECTLY PERFECT as is His Father.

We should be so thankful that the RULING POWER in all creation is not with someone like Satan, but rather, with our Father and Jesus….and we should thank Them TIME AND AGAIN throughout the day and night with a short acknowledgment  of “thank You for being there as You are”.

All the best, in Him.

Fred