Ever Think God May Cramp Your Style?

Greetings!

Seriously, have you ever thought, or even worried, that a  FULL and ABSOLUTE surrender to God and Christ Jesus, including practicing the presence of God (please reference the Category by this same title) might just cause you to lose some of what you now consider to be your most cherished comforts and ‘fun’ in life?

Let’s try to put this in perspective with an analogy.

It is pretty much like a totally destitute, beggarly and homeless person pondering and worrying about what it would be like giving up her or his present life style for that of a multi-billionaire!

Of course, there are limitations to any analogy and what I am emphasizing with this one is the ultimate value when one choice is compared to another….in other words, the HOLY when compared to the human.

Furthermore, even in this lifetime, if we hang in there and let our Father and our Brother have Their way with us, we may reach ‘heavenly heights’  of Spiritual wonderment and joy that defy human understanding….just as the present day and past Christian mystics such as Brother Lawrence experienced. For more reading on mystics please reference the following Categories:

Practicing The Presence Of God

Letters From A Modern Mystic

Why Not Be A Mystic

Of course, there will be some painful and discomforting times along the way just as it would be for any human addict withdrawing from drugs and alcohol. But these are not worthy to be compared with what we will experience presently from bearing the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) and the future glory to come (Romans 8:18)

Until later, take care, in Him.

Fred

 

Business As Usual

Hey there!

Paul said  he was a “slave” (Concordant Literal NT) of Christ Jesus in Romans 1:1 and all those who are called to be Christians are likewise referred to as “slaves” throughout the New Testament. This is the actual meaning of the Greek word ‘doulos’ according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

In all of history, I am quite sure there have NEVER been any ‘part-time slaves’. A slave is at the beck and call of her or his owner 24/7.

We, then, are to ALWAYS be constantly, consistently and ever presenting ourselves to God and Christ Jesus as our Owners. We may not have any particular task or duty to perform at any given moment, but nonetheless, we present ourselves to Them….24/7.

Even here, we are to be seeking FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and to be “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6)….24/7.

Before we were called to be saints, all kinds of activities and concerns were on our ‘to-do list’. We were swamped in dealing with the issues of life and they demanded our undivided attention. Some that got our attention were justified but many were not. We were quite literally ‘slaves’ not only to dealing with these activities and concerns but also to the “law of sin” within our very nature (Romans 7:23-24)….they owned us.

However, there are now new Owners in town!! Our new Owners demand the same UNDIVIDED attention but what a glorious and wonderful change They bring. They can and will enable us to “have life more abundantly” (John 10:10).

There are still those justified activities and concerns we must perform and attend to daily but they are dealt with in a different way. And, they don’t own or control us as before because ALL that we do we deal with  through God and Jesus. Even the “law of sin” within “the body of death” we  now occupy will submit to and be ruled by our new Owners (Romans 7:25, 8:1-3).

Now, this life changing assistance and help throughout each day that we are able to receive from our new Owners does not come by merely having Them in our thoughts during the day. Nor does regimented Bible study, regular church attendance, ‘mechanical prayer’ or any other religious activities, however well meant.

Our Father and our Savior want us to “come to” Them (Matthew 11:28) and “draw near” to Them (James 4:8) and the religious activities mentioned in the previous paragraph do NOT cut the mustard!

At this point,, I always wind up bringing forth the example of Brother Lawrence. He showed us how to “come to” and “draw near” to God and Jesus by actually talking to, beseeching and living for Them moment by moment during the entire day. He did this even during his  most hurried of times. He wrote how it was difficult to do this at first, but after a while, it became second nature to him and he could not imagine living his life any other way.

You can read his entire book free online as set forth in the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” and you will be amazed and inspired by the SUPERNATURAL relationship he was able to develop with his Owners.

Personally, my moment by moment prayer to Them is “help me Lord” (in whatever I am doing, thinking or saying at the moment) or just “Lord God”….and frequently punctuated with “thank you Father” or “thank you Jesus”. And, at other times, I just freely express myself to Them. The change and results I have experienced are indescribable.

So, let us, with all our being, endeavor not to be like those in Matthew 13:22 and to never go back to ‘business as usual’, as it was before God and Christ Jesus so graciously called us to undeservingly be saints.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

 

 

 

 

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

Come Unto Me And I Will Give You Rest

Greetings!

This wonderful truth in Matthew 11:28 does NOT describe some cheap and easy benefit bestowed on a Christian from the git-go.

Believing, in itself, enables us to become God’s chosen saints and gain access to Him and Christ Jesus but it does NOT automatically afford the very real, Holy ” rest”spoken of in this verse….in fact, even demons can believe (James 2:19).

Having nice thoughts about God and Jesus, carrying out Christian functions such as good works, church attendance, Bible study, ritualistic prayer, etc., etc. likewise will NOT serve as a means to gain this blessed “rest” that defies human understanding….although, they can certainly serve to help us if done in the proper way.

The key to understanding how this supernatural “rest” can be ours is clearly revealed in the phrase “come unto Me” in verse 28. We can do ALL the endeavors mentioned above and still NOT “come unto” our Lord.  In other words, the above activities can all be done in an entirely religious manner without us ever reaching Jesus personally, and it is only here, that we actually experience our promised “rest”.

Thankfully, the solution to our problem is shown in James 4:8: “come close to God, and He will come close to you“. The way we “come close”  (or “come unto“)  our Father and Jesus is to  continuously (minute by minute and hour by hour) go to Them in ALL our daily activities, much in the manner described in the Category/Post “Practicing The Presence Of God”. I hope you will take the time to read this Category  about Brother Lawrence as well as the Categories/Posts on “Letters From A Modern Mystic” and “Why Not Be A Mystic”.

Until later, in Him,

Fred

 

Extraordinary Divine Favors

Hey, there!

Here are some insightful quotes of truth from “Abandonment To Divine Providence” taken from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.ii_1.ii.i.vii.html ….editing and emphasis will be mine:

“Those graces which are called extraordinary and are given as privileges to certain souls, are only so called because there are so few sufficiently faithful to become worthy  of receiving them. This will be made manifest at the day of judgment.”

“Alas! it will then be seen that instead of these divine favours having been withheld by God, it has been entirely by their own fault  that these souls have been deprived of them.”

“What UNTOLD BLESSINGS  they would have received through the COMPLETE SUBMISSION of a steadfast goodwill ,”

End of quotes.

Saints that come to mind of whom he is referring to are the likes of Brother Lawrence (please reference the Category “Practice The Presence Of God”) and all the other mystics and faithful ones who attained to this high degree of submission and abandonment.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

Hip Pocket God

Hello!

During my early years as a Christian, I came across the term ‘hip pocket God’ and  readily understood it referred to using or desperately calling on God ONLY when one needs Him….much like using a wallet from the back pocket.

It obviously did not impress me enough because I kept Him and Christ Jesus right there, all snug, for many, many years ALTHOUGH I appeared to be quite the gung-ho  Christian with a great zeal for church activities, Bible study and ‘religious good works’.

Well, I thought by continually acknowledging in my thoughts the fact that They are there along with my zealous religious activities I would surely never qualify as having a ‘hip pocket God’. Oops….WRONG!

It took me years and years (seemed like eons!!), with  quite a number of painful experiences, to finally fully realize and understand that as long as I/we do not DEPEND on, SEEK guidance from, offer PRAISE and THANKS to our Father and Savior on a CONTINUAL moment by moment (when possible) and hourly by hourly (when possible) basis….then, They continue to remain in my/our hip pocket.

You can reference the Posts (Categories) on “Pray On The Potty”, “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me” for more discussion on this.

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