Temptations And Wandering Thoughts

Hey, there……..we are going back to http://www.practicegodspresence.com (02/06/2012…it appears this website has been taken down)  for some advice on how to deal with two dangerous enemies of ours….2 of Satan’s “big guns”:

 As part of our practice of the presence of God we need to develop simple ways and habits of dealing with distractions, wandering thoughts, and the worldly temptations that threaten to come between us and God.”

Worldly temptations are a fact of life on earth. No matter how long we practice God’s presence, we will still be subject to worldly temptations. The self, self-will, and the devil in his countless, slick disguises are always lurking and waiting for even the smallest opening. However, our earnest and humble practice of the presence of God is the way, perhaps the only way, to live in a constant habit of strong defense against subtle and surprise intrusions.

“If the mind is not sufficiently controlled and disciplined at our first engaging in devotion, it contracts certain bad habits of wandering and dissipation. These are difficult to overcome. The mind can draw us, even against our will, to worldly things. I believe one remedy for this is to humbly confess our faults and beg God’s mercy and help.” … Brother Lawrence

These words of Brother Lawrence are very important. We cannot overcome our deeply entrenched habits and attitudes without the assistance of divine grace. Furthermore, perhaps Brother Lawrence’s most practical advice is what we may call his words of prevention: “One way to re-collect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times. Keep your mind strictly in the presence of God. Then being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm.”

This draws us back to the essentials of our practice. We must make our main goal the forming of the habit of staying constantly in communion with God. It is easy to see how this not only applies to wandering thoughts but also to those distractions and worldly temptations that jeopardize our relationship with God.

“Useless thoughts spoil all. Mischief begins there. We ought to reject them as soon as we perceive their impertinence and return to our communion with God … We must hinder our spirits wandering from God on all occasions. We must make our heart a spiritual temple so we can constantly adore Him.”
… Brother Lawrence

End of excerpts.

Later, in Christ.

Fred

(If you wish to leave a comment rest assured your email information is never shared)

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Answered Prayer

Greetings….we have heard that if we have enough faith  we can have anything we want through prayer.  Well, who doesn’t remember these Words of our Lord:

“but even if to this mount ye may say, Be lifted up and be cast into the sea, it shall come to pass; 22. and all — as much as ye may ask in the prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  (Matthew 21:21-22) (Young’s Literal Version)

But, wait a second! Didn’t Jesus pray 3 times that His crucifixion be taken away from Him? Didn’t Jesus have faith?…..well, of course. Didn’t Paul pray 3 times that his “thorn in the flesh” be taken away from him? Didn’t Paul have faith?…..well, of course.  And, of course, neither received their prayer request.

Fortunately, we have the whole New Testament so that we can clarify what is said in one place by what is said in another. This is called “rightly dividing the word” (2 Timothy 2:15…Young’s Literal Version), or, putting all truth in its proper place or perspective. One or two verses sometimes do not stand alone regarding a truth and they need to be understood in their proper context based on what is said elsewhere. This is the case here.

Regarding answered prayer, then, there is another verse in 1 John 5:14 (New American Standard Bible) which brings Matthew 21: 21-22 into balance : “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us.” (Emphasis mine). Also, have we in James 4:3: “you ask and do no receive because you ask amiss”.

Actually, Jesus acknowledges this also in Matthew 26:39 (New American Standard): “yet not as I will, BUT AS YOU WILL.” (Emphasis mine) Answered prayer always depends on whether it is according to God’s will and whether we do ask amiss.

Thank goodness God and Christ Jesus are there to pan out what we ask for from what we really need. Much of the time, we have no clue as to what we really need, and how blessed we are to have a Father and Savior who know our necessities to the nth degree and beyond.

So, if you don’t get what you want in prayer, even though you may have the faith, be thankful that your prayers were not answered AS YOU WANTED THEM TO….because God and Christ Jesus know best as to what we really NEED, and this in itself, is their answer to our prayer.

See you later, in Christ.

Fred

(If you wish to leave a comment rest assured your email information is never shared)

Angels…..And Your Wing Size Is?

Greetings….actually, many seem to believe Christians will be fitted for wings after they pass those pearly gates. Not true…..whew!!!…..and, thankfully so.  Let’s see what the Scriptures say we will look like and the gear we will be packing, along with some interesting information about “angels”.

First off, 2 heavenly beings are definitely characterized as having wings…..Cherubim (Exodus 25:20) and Seraphim (Isaiah 6:2-3). To the best of my knowledge, they are never said to be “angels” or “messengers” and are the ONLY ones noted as having wings among the celestials.

Secondly, I know of no verses that indicate “angels” (“messengers”) have wings……they are described as “spirits” (Hebrews 1:14) who can take on various forms.

Thirdly, the only reference resurrected Christians are said to be like angels is in Matthew 22:30, and that, only in the sense that we will not marry, like them, in our glorified existence.

Finally, what exactly will we look like? It is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:48-49 and Philippians 3:21 that we will be found in a celestial body after the resurrection in the same image as Christ Jesus, Himself!  What He looks like, regarding the composition of the body, we will appear as, also…… glorious, celestial beings, WITHOUT wings!!.

Please also reference the Post on “Our Glorious New Bodies”.

Hope to see you later.

Fred

(If you wish to leave a comment rest assured your email information is never shared)

God’s Will

Hey, there……….here is another excerpt from the http://www.practicegodspresence.com website.

(02/06/2012…it appears this website has been taken down):

“God’s Will

1.  “God knows best what we need. All that He does is for our good. If we knew how much He loves us, we would always be ready to receive both the bitter and the sweet from His Hand. It would make no difference. All that came from Him would be pleasing.” … Brother Lawrence

As long as we continue to view God’s will as separate from our own will and at odds with our desires, we remain in a state of confusion and frustration. The longer we secretly insist that we know best, the greater the distance we place between ourselves and God and the closer we align ourselves with the corrupt and unpredictable ways of the world.”

End of excerpt.

Later, in Christ.

Fred

 

Misunderstanding About the Salvation of All Creation

Greetings!

There is this misconception about the eventual saving of the entire creation at the end of the ages.  The general gist is: well, if we are gonna obtain not only salvation but glory after all is said and done in the end, why not  indulge in unlimited and unbridled sin (this includes greed, gossip, slandering, etc., of course) while we are still on this earth? Good question.

Assuredly, each non-believer will be held ACCOUNTABLE for their individual sins and dealt with accordingly. Ever heard the words “wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12) ?  OUCH!….sounds pretty darn painful to me. For another “ouch”, refer to Revelations 14:9-11 and 16:8-11. As well, Romans 2:8-9 warns there will be “wrath”, “indignation”, “tribulation” and “distress” on those sinners who deserve it.

Do not be deceived….God is no ‘softie’ and He will administer due pain to those who deserve it….BUT, with the purpose of bringing the individual around to accepting His way.  God never “punishes” just for pain’s sake….rather, He “disciplines” (Hebrews 12:5….New American Standard) as a loving Father with the intent to correct wrong to right; and, He will succeed with each person. Rotherham’s puts this nicely in Matthew 25:46: “And these shall go away into age-abiding CORRECTION”. (emphasis mine)

God invented tough love and His way is always successful!! He and Christ Jesus NEVER fail and if God WILLS that ALL mankind be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), you can bet your proverbial bottom dollar it will happen!

For believers, it is a different story. After the resurrection, each saint (please refer to the Post “Who Is A Saint”) will  give an account of one’s self before “the judgment seat of Christ”  (2 Corinthians 5:10….this is NOT the White Throne Judgment but occurs immediately after the resurrection and is FOR BELIEVERS ONLY….Please reference the Post “Judgement Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgement”). The believer who attains to and is enjoying (to put it mildly!!!) the resurrection will NEVER BE DISCIPLINED WITH ANY PAIN regarding their sins…..before or after they were saved. Christ paid for our sins BEFORE we are saved. AFTER  we are saved, we will just either gain or lose rewards based on our subsequent behavior.

Besides, our end goal as believers is to avoid sin, not because we are afraid of punishment or loss of rewards, but rather, because we love righteousness….as do our Father and Savior.

Later, in Christ,

Fred