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

 

UPDATE On “God’s Plan Of The Ages”

Greetings!

I have made some MAJOR and IMPORTANT changes to the Post (Category) “God’s Plan Of The Ages” that I hope will make much clearer this wonderful and glorious plan that God has put in place for His entire creation.

I hope those who have previously read it will take the time for another look-see at it and I apologize for not being more thorough with its first Posting.

Of course, if you have any questions or thoughts to add, please leave your comments.

Until later,

Fred

Total Surrender Defines True Love

Greetings!

I have another entry for you from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest”; please reference the Post (Category) by the same title to get all of his entries FREE. Here goes:

“If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love. If we have the idea that love is characterized as cautious, wise, sensible, shrewd, and never taken to extremes, we have missed the true meaning. This may describe affection and it may bring us a warm feeling, but it is not a true and accurate description of love.

Have you ever been driven to do something for God not because you felt that it was useful or your duty to do so, or that there was anything in it for you, but simply because you love Him? Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to Him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of His redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for Him? I’m not referring to works which could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things— things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to Him. Have you ever created what Mary of Bethany created in the heart of the Lord Jesus? “She has done a good work for Me.”

There are times when it seems as if God watches to see if we will give Him even small gifts of surrender, just to show how genuine our love is for Him. To be surrendered to God is of more value than our personal holiness. Concern over our personal holiness causes us to focus our eyes on ourselves, and we become overly concerned about the way we walk and talk and look, out of fear of offending God. “…but perfect love casts out fear…” once we are surrendered to God (1 John 4:18). We should quit asking ourselves, “Am I of any use?” and accept the truth that we really are not of much use to Him. The issue is never of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time.”

End of entry.

There is another section on the same page that has this excellent truth:

“Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. Disciples Indeed, 395 L

Until later,

Fred

Failure Part II

Hey, there!

I had written a Post on failure and briefly covered how failures can be one of our most VALUABLE blessings but I wanted to cover this wonderful aspect of failure in a little more detail in a separate Post, especially since we fall short and ‘miss the mark’ (the definition of ‘sin’) so VERY OFTEN!

This came to mind this morning when I was reading one of Oswald Chambers’ entries from his book “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Post by same name as this title).  His quote is as follows and emphasis is mine:

“NEVER LET THE SENSE OF FAILURE DEFEAT YOUR NEXT STEP.”

This is especially true because  we know that our Father and Lord can so EASILY make  “ALL things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose” . (Romans 8:28)  

One blessing we can experience from our many failures is that it simply reveals to us how weak we are in some areas of our life and how much more effort we need to make in relying COMPLETELY on God and Christ Jesus. You can reference the Posts  “Failure Part I”, “Some Of Our Weaknesses Take Longer To Overcome”, “David’s Heinous Sin vs God’s Mercy” and “NEVER….NEVER Give Up” for further discussion on this. Believe me, I know a LOT about failure….this subject is near and dear to my heart!!

Nevertheless, even with all of the above being true,  we will still suffer some sort of LOSS  because of our failures (mainly ‘fleshly’ sins), either by a hindrance of our Spiritual growth, our out right self loathing   or direct chastisement from God and Jesus.  As there are varying degrees of sin, so likewise, there are varying degrees of loss and chastisement (1 John 5:16-17).

And, of course, there are failures that are NOT the more serious ‘fleshly’ sins. As an example, we can fail time and time and time again while attempting to consistently “practice the presence of God” (please see the Post by this title). In this case, however, I suspect our Father and Lord may even admire this type of  failure because it shows we are TRYING to become more Christlike and come closer to Them.

Still and all, we should always remember “never let the sense of failure defeat your next step”.

Take care, in Him

Fred

God’s Plan Of The Ages

Hi, again.

If the Scriptures are translated literally and consistently, they reveal a GLORIOUS plan that God and Christ Jesus have in progress and it is broken down into ‘ages’ or ‘eons’. This is an excerpt from the Post (Category) “Eon vs Forever”:

“If they had just PROPERLY TRANSLATED IT CONSISTENTLY, as several versions such as Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible,  Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal Version have done, we Christians would EASILY see that God has a “PLAN OF THE AGES” (Ephesians 3:11), there was a time “before the ages or eons” (2 Timothy 1:9), that Christ “made the eons or ages” (Hebrews 1:1-2), there are “oncoming ages” (Ephesians 2:7) and there are the “ends of the ages” (1 Corinthians 10:11).”

End of excerpt. All three of the Bible versions mentioned above are available for FREE at http://www.studybible.info .

Let’s take a look at this WONDERFUL plan:

1. We are now living in “this present wicked age” (Galatians 1:4) and the “age of this world” (Ephesians 2:2).

2. There are ‘ages’ to come after this one. (Revelation 1:6; Ephesian2:7).

3. The next ‘age’ will begin after the Lord’s Day and the following ‘Second Coming’ of Jesus. Then will be the beginning of the  Millennium, or the 1,000 year reign mentioned in Revelation 20:6;  it is referred to in Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30 as “the coming age”. It is during this time that all believers will have come into our/their glory and been changed into the likeness of Christ Jesus Himself (Philippians 3:21; Revelation 20:4-5).
 
4. At the conclusion of the Millennium and after Satan’s rebellion is defeated, there comes the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11).  This is where ALL who have ever lived will be judged for their actions as humans. This EXCLUDES   all believers as we have already appeared before the “judgment seat” of God and Christ and inherited our new,immortal Christ-like bodies, as explained in the Post (Category) “Judgment Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgment”.
 
Those who ‘survive’ the White Throne Judgment are the ones written in the “Book of Life” and they will go on to experience life with the ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Revelation 20:12-15; 21:1). These ‘survivors’ of the Judgment are the ones mentioned as the “nations” in Revelation 21:24 and 22:22.
 
5.  After the White Throne Judgment, Revelation 21 describes how the “New Jerusalem” will descend from the “new heaven”  and set up shop on the “new earth”. It reveals how there will  no longer be a need for a sun nor a moon because God Himself and Christ Jesus will abide in New Jerusalem and be all the light that is ever needed (Revelation 21:23), and there will obviously never be another night (Revelation 21:25).
 
Revelation 22:1-2  describes “a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne and God and the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On the other side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding the fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
 
Now, “death” has NOT YET been abolished and ONLY God’s “elect” (those  believers mentioned in #3 and #4 above) have immortality at this particular time. The “nations”, on the other hand, are still mortals and need the healing power from the “tree of life”.
 
Revelation 22:5 goes on to say there will still be “ages” to come before the “end”.
 
6. Then, after the “ages” mentioned in verse 22:5 have run their course, there will come the “end” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:24 when Christ has subjected ALL enemies and hostilities  under Him and He hands the Kingdom over to God the Father  in verse 24. The enemy that is  LAST to be “destroyed” or “abolished” is ‘death’ itself in verse 26.
 
This means that even those experiencing the  “second death”  in Revelation 20:14 are NOW RELEASED because ‘death’ NO LONGER EXISTS! Now is the time mentioned in verse 22 when ALL will be made “alive” (immortal) because of Christ’s sacrifice….as He FORETOLD in John 12:32: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to Myself” (emphasis mine).
 
The ‘nations’ living on the ‘new earth’ will also now no longer need the “leaves” of the “tree of  life” for healing.
 
Those who have been released from the grips of the “second death” have already suffered and been chastised CONSIDERABLY , and they have ALREADY PAID an ENORMOUS  price for their sins….there is no need to continue to hold them in the unconscious state of death. Please reference the Posts “Death” and ” Misunderstanding About the Salvation of All Creation” for further information on this.
 
Those being released from the “second death” are the last group mentioned in verses 23 and 24 to receive the “life”, without the possibility of ever dying….SINCE DEATH HAS BEEN ABOLISHED!!
 
7. This, then, is God’s “plan of the ages”.
 
He  becomes “ALL THINGS IN ALL” as GLORIOUSLY and TRIUMPHANTLY  stated in verse 28!!
 
Please also reference the Posts “All Creation Will Be Saved”, “Misunderstanding About The Salvation Of All Creation”  and “Eon vs Forever” for a lot more information; as well, you might want to checkout the Posts “Hell” and “Death”.
 
Until later, in Him
Fred

Spiritual Dejection

Greetings!

I have to share with you some really good truth from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest”  entry of 02/07/2015. Please reference the Post by the same name as his book title for information on obtaining all of his daily entries for FREE. Here goes and EMPHASIS will be mine throughout:

“Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer.

We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God’s power. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we do this. Yet we never realize that ALL the time God is at work in our everyday events and in the people around us. If we will only OBEY, and DO THE TASK that He has placed closest to us, WE WILL SEE HIM. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that IT IS IN THE EVERYDAY LIFE OF THINGS that we REALIZE the MAGNIFICENT DEITY of Jesus Christ.”

End of excerpt.

Please reference the Posts “Answered Prayer” and “Pray On The Potty” for some further thoughts on prayer.

Take care, in Him.

Fred

Why It Is So Difficult To Be A True Christian

Greetings!

This Post follows nicely the last Post (“When God Becomes Real To Us”) concerning why it is so NECESSARY that  we CONTINUALLY have ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION and DEPENDENCE on our Father and Christ Jesus, moment by moment. Please also read the UPDATE of 01/24/2015 that was added to the last Post today.

Here is a list of reasons why it is so VERY difficult to not only remain a true Christian but also to actually progressively grow into the Image of Christ Himself (Colossians 3:10).

1. The very nature of our corruptible and decaying earthly bodies is CONSTANTLY warring against the ‘fruit’ and desires of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:22-23). Please also reference the Post “Law Of Sin In Our Members”.

2. The very center and essence of our being as humans is our  “heart” which Jeremiah 17:9 tells us “is DECEITFUL above ALL things, and DESPERATELY WICKED; who can know it?“.

In other words, we are pretty much PROGRAMED to be sinful!! Let’s continue.

3. If #1 and #2 were not bad enough, throw in how Satan and his band of sinister sidekicks are CONSTANTLY ASSAILING us from within! He and they are ALWAYS lurking to trap us into sinning at every and any available opportunity (1 Peter 5:8).

4. Add to all of this what Jesus teaches with the parable in Matthew 13:22 about how the cares, worries and desire for earthly goods and riches of this life can cause us to fall away completely. Concerning the truth in this parable Oswald Chambers writes (01/27/2015 entry….emphasis mine):

“It is one STEADY INVASION, and these things will come in like a flood, UNLESS we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it.”

WOW….talking about having the deck stacked against us, it would seem almost IMPOSSIBLE for any Christian to remain as such, much less grow into becoming more like our Lord Himself.

Thankfully and blessedly, because of God’s love, mercy and grace for us, we have the ability by the SAME Holy Spirit that was in Jesus when He walked the earth and overcame #1,#2,#3 and #4 (John 16:33)!

However, this victory is given only to those who CONTINUALLY (even though we may fall short and fail occasionally) “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 8:1,4).

Not only are we able to have VICTORY but also have the ability to ENJOY the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22)  that is of a HOLY nature and far superior to its human counterpart! Please reference the Post “Fruit Of The Spirit” for more information on this.

This is why what is brought out in the Post “When God Becomes Real To Us” is so important….again, please read the UPDATE to this Post as noted the first paragraph above.

All the best in Him.

Fred

When God Becomes Real To Us

Hi, there!

I want to share with you an excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ January 19th entry in his book “My Utmost For His Highest”. Please reference the Post by the same title of his book for information on how to obtain  FREE access to all his entries, as well as how to purchase your own copy.  Here goes and emphasis is mine throughout:

“Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in MYSELF and OTHER PEOPLE of God? Do I trust in BOOKS and PRAYERS or OTHER JOYS  in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? “I am Almighty God…”— El-Shaddai, the ALL-POWERFUL GOD (Genesis 17:1). The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.”

End of excerpt.

William Law also continually expressed this very truth….ULTIMATELY we have to come to the point that our trust and dependence is COMPLETELY on God and Christ Jesus, no matter how helpful other Christians, devotional books and even the Bible itself have helped us along the way.

He wrote in one of his books that once this ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION on (please reference the Post on “Temptations And Wandering Thoughts”) as well ABSOLUTE DEPENDENCE on our Father and Christ Jesus had reached a certain point, the ‘reality’ (please reference the Post on “Knowledge vs Realization”) and ‘oneness’ with God and Jesus that came about was wonderful beyond human description. This was likewise the case with Brother Lawrence as expressed in “Practicing The Presence Of God” (please reference the Post by the same title as this book).

For more information on Mr. Law’s writings please  reference these Posts: “Bible Study Is Good…”If”.. .”But”…” and “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness”. Of course, you can always Google him, as well.

UPDATE 01/24/2015: Concerning our ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION on God and Christ Jesus, I want to share an excerpt from Mr. Chambers’ 01/23/2015 entry that deals directly with this:

“The most important rule for us is to concentrate on keeping our lives open to God. Let everything else including work, clothes, and food be set aside. The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God. We must maintain a position of beholding Him, keeping our lives completely spiritual through and through. Let other things come and go as they will; let other people criticize us as they will; but never allow anything to obscure the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it. The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord….”

End of excerpt.

Until later, take care in Him.

Fred