Even If God Seems Against You

Hey there!

I have read about a great many Christians, including quite a lot of ‘mystics’, and  found none who appeared to have  had a more supernatural, consistent and loving closeness to God and Christ Jesus than Brother Lawrence….excluding Biblical saints, of course. His personal and joyful relationship with Them was LITERALLY a moment by moment, day in and day out  experience for over 40 years!!

However, before he actually began to experience  this supernatural blessing, he had these words to say in his book “Practicing The Presence Of God”:

“It seemed to me that ALL creatures, reason, and God Himself were against me and  faith alone for me.” (emphasis mine)

Now, keep in mind this sentiment and reasoning was felt by him while he was wholeheartedly endeavoring to ‘converse’ with God and Jesus EVERY  moment or so (when possible) during his daily activities.

Even still, he persisted in ‘faith alone’. And just when it seemed as though he would have to remain in this imagined alienated state for the rest of his life, the glorious and supernatural relationship with God and Jesus described in his book suddenly burst on the scene!

You can read more about this wonderful and inspiring story at the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” and also discover how to gain FREE access to his complete book by the same title online.

I will add in closing that the experiences with our Father and our Savior are always different from one another. Some of us will experience that personal relationship in a more gradual way than Brother Lawrence. As well,  all of our spiritual relationships with Them will have multiple and varying  degrees and ways. And yet, the moment  by moment experiencing of Their presence is available to us ALL!

Until later, in Him.

Fred

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Common Sense

Hi, there!

Here is a gem of a truth taken from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” from the following location (just click the web address and you will have access to all 365  daily entries): http://utmost.org/prayer-in-the-father%E2%80%99s-hearing/ …. editing and emphasis will be mine throughout:

” NEVER let your common sense become so prominent and forceful that it pushes the Son of God to one side. Common sense is a gift that God gave to our human nature— but common sense is not the gift of His Son.”

Supernatural sense is the gift of His Son, and we should NEVER put our common sense on the throne.”

“The Son ALWAYS  recognizes and identifies with the Father, but common sense has NEVER yet done so and NEVER will.”

UPDATE 09/02/2015:

This except is from http://utmost.org/the-unsurpassed-intimacy-of-tested-faith/ and applies appropriately to what is presented about common sense:

“Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith.

But common sense is NOT faith, and faith is NOT common sense. In fact, they are as different as the natural life and the spiritual life.

Can you TRUST Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your common sense life continue to shout, “It’s all a lie”?”

End of excerpts.

Of course, common sense is a wonderful gift and blessing when dealing with matters in the human realm….such as how best to perform a job or task or deciding which car to purchase etc., etc.. But, as mentioned in a previous Category, we can pretty much toss it and human reasoning out the window when dealing with matters in God’s and Christ Jesus’ supernatural, Spiritual realm.

The closer we are to our Father and Savior, the more sensitive we will be to our supernatural sense and the best and easiest way to achieve this is to PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF GOD, as brought out in the Categories “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me”.

Until later, in Him.

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

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

God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness

Hi, there! It is true, with God being ABSOLUTE and TOTAL love (1 John 4:8,16), it is IMPOSSIBLE for Him, and Christ Jesus, to give forth anything but blessing and goodness,as contrary as this may seem at times….for example, what God allowed to happen to Job in Chapters 1 and 2.

Here is an excerpt from the SPIRIT OF LOVE by William Law ( the full article is at http://www.passtheword.org/DIALOGS-FROM-THE-PAST/love1.htm ):

” (God) can give nothing but Blessing, Goodness, and Happiness from himself because he has in himself nothing else to give. It is much more possible for the Sun to give forth Darkness, than for God to do, or be, or give forth anything but Blessing and Goodness.”

Because the Father and Christ Jesus allow such a magnitude of suffering to have existed and to exist in the world during these “ages” is actually a testament to that Divine Love. And keep in mind, all the suffering, misery and horrible conditions that have existed and are existing in this world are a result of Satan being the ‘ruler of this world’ (Please see the Post by this same title), as well the acts of evil and sinful humans. God and Jesus allow it because They can use it to bring about Their glorious purpose at the conclusion of the ages. (Please reference the Post “All Creation Will Be Saved”.)

It is a ‘blessing’ and it is ‘goodness’ that They let us incur (limited) suffering when we sin and also when we suffer as a result of the sins of others as well as the Adversary’s satanic ways. God and Christ Jesus allowed sin to enter the world so that we could experience the painful and disastrous results when ANYTHING and EVERYTHING  are not done in accordance with Their will and Their way. (Please reference the Posts “Suffering” and “Why Should We Suffer For Adam and Eve’s Screwup!!!” for further clarification and additional Scriptures on this.)

Even the torment and anguish the worst of  sinners will experience after the Great White Throne Judgment is actually described as “chastening” by Concordant Literal NT and “correction” by Rotherham’s in Matthew 25:46 (this same Greek word [kolasis] is translated the exact same way by these two versions in 1 John 4:18). Also, the first definition listed for ‘kolasis’ by Strong’s Concordance is “correction”.

In other words, it is a ‘correcting’ and ‘chastening’ to bring about a right from that which was wrong, and NOT just a “punishment” involving pain and suffering  with not beneficial results.

And, their ‘chastening’ and ‘correction’ is ONLY “eonian” (Concordant), “age-abiding” (Rotherham’s) and “age-during” (Young’s), and is NOT “eternal” or “everlasting” as a majority of the Bible versions mis-translate it.

God invented “tough love” and this is a ‘blessing’ and true ‘goodness’ for these sinners when they are finally brought around to become a part of the “all” when God is “All in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

NOTHING comes to Christians that is not for our ultimate good and blessedness (Romans 8:28), and this is likewise true even of ALL Creation at the end of the ages (again, 1 Corinthians 15:28).

ALWAYS keep in mind Romans 8:18: “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory about to be revealed in us”. (Modern Young’s Literal Translation) Again in 2 Corinthians 4:17: “for the momentary lightness of the tribulation in a manner more and more excelling is working out for us an age-abiding weight of glory”. (Rotherham’s)

As well, remember that God: “is giving us all things richly for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

God will balance out our human sufferings with our human enjoyments as He and Christ Jesus know best how to do….where even the sufferings will bring about what is revealed in Romans 8:28.

Oh, and let us remember, Job came out FAR BETTER at the end of his ordeal as revealed in Job 42:5-6, 12.

How blessed and fortunate we Christians are, as well as  the ENTIRE Creation, to have such a God, the Father, and Savior, Christ Jesus, as this….which we take for granted  far too much.

All the best, in Christ,

Fred

Absolute Surrender

Hey, there! I would like to pass along to you two excellent books on the “absolute surrender” to God and Christ Jesus each believer should strive to attain to during their Christian journey. Each one is FREE online and can also be purchased at Amazon.com as well as at other bookstores.

ABSOLUTE SURRENDER by Andrew Murray at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/murray/surrender.toc.html . Mr. Murray pretty much sums up the essence of both books when he writes “God expects your surrender” and “The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him.”. This is in perfect harmony with “Practicing The Presence Of God” and what is covered in “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me”.(Please reference these Posts)

ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE by Jean-Pierre de Caussade at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.toc.html .

As a side note, it appears that, partly because of the influence of William Law, Mr. Murray came to believe in the salvation of ALL mankind (http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/murray.htm and http://www.tlchrist.info/universalists.html, et al).

Enjoy and hope to see you later.

Fred

Practicing The Presence Of God

Greetings! The paragraphs below are a few excerpts from the well known and popularly read “Practicing The Presence Of God” which characterizes Brother Lawrence, a “mystic” who lived from 1610-1691 as a monk in Paris. He was accustomed to practicing this “method” of CONTINUALLY having God and Christ Jesus before him for over 40 years.

A free copy is available online at http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5657/pg5657.html. It can be purchased in paperback at Amazon.com for $5.29 and the Kindle edition is only $0.99.

It is one of the most helpful and inspiring books I have ever read. Here are the selected passages:

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Only those can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”

“Brother Lawrence said that in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence. Then, after a little care, we would find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.”

“Since he resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method. He was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.”

“Brother Lawrence related that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s Presence by continually conversing with Him. It was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries. We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.”

“When an occasion of practicing some virtue was offered, he addressed himself to God saying, “Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me”. And then he received strength more than sufficient. When he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault saying to God, “I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself. It is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.””

“He said that useless thoughts spoil all – that the mischief began there. We ought to reject them as soon as we perceived their impertinence and return to our communion with God.”

“Brother Lawrence said we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs just as they happen. God never failed to grant it, as Brother Lawrence had often experienced.”

“He found that the shortest way to go straight to God was by a continual exercise of love and doing all things for His sake.”

All the best in Him.

Fred