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

 

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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

Clearing Up Spiritual Confusion

Hi, there!

This is another excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” found at http://utmost.org/arguments-or-obedience/ which follows up nicely with the last Category on “Spiritual Confusion”.

Editing and emphasis will be mine throughout….and here we go:

“…the simplicity that is in Christ.  (2 Corinthians 11:3)

SIMPLICITY IS THE SECRET TO SEEING THINGS CLEARLY.

A saint does not think clearly until a long time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You CANNOT think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey.

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering  thoughts and more confusion.

If there is something in your life upon which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring ALL your “arguments and…every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” regarding the matter, and everything will become as clear as daylight to you (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise WE SEE NOTHING (see Matthew 11:25).

Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is NOT under the control of the Holy Spirit, is completely sufficient to account for spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still NEVER make it clear.

Spiritual confusion can ONLY be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment.

….when our natural power of sight is devoted and submitted in obedience to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the very power by which we perceive God’s will, and our ENTIRE life is kept in simplicity .”

All the best, in Him.

Fred

Spiritual Confusion

Greetings!

Here is another insightful excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” and can be found at http://utmost.org/going-through-spiritual-confusion/ , along with the other 364 of his daily devotionals. Editing and emphasis will be mine.

“There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.

….is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember – HE IS NOT. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the FULLER  fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?

Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He where an unnatural Father – as if  He were callous and indifferent – but remember, HE IS NOT. “Everyone who asks receives…”  (Luke 11:10).

If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, HANG ON to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in EVERYTHING that He has allowed into your life.

STAND FIRM IN FAITH, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has BIGGER issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.

Until later, take care in Him.

Fred

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

We Are Only What We Are In The Dark

Hey, there!

At the website I refer you to for all 365 entries in the book “My Utmost For His Highest” ( http://utmost.org/faith%E2%80%94-not-emotion/ ) by Oswald Chambers, there is a section in the upper right corner titled “Wisdom from Oswald Chambers” and this is in addition to the main entry for that date and which changes daily . They are quotes from other writings by this remarkable, quite Spiritual saint.

Here goes:

“We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark—the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our heart; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight.  The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 669 L

All the best, in Him.

Fred

True Spiritual Life Does Not Depend On Certainty And Common Sense

Hello, and yup, I have yet another great entry from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (all of his entries in this book can be found for FREE at http://utmost.org/gracious-uncertainty/ ). Emphasis will be mine throughout:

“Gracious Uncertainty

‘….it has not yet been revealed what we shall be….’ – 1 John 3:2

Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is NOT the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do NOT put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” WE CANNOT PRESUME TO SEE OURSELVES IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH WE HAVE NEVER BEEN.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises.

When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IS THE LIFE OF A CHILD.

We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, LIFE IS FULL OF SPONTANEOUS, JOYFUL UNCERTAINTY AND EXPECTANCY. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”.

Leave EVERYTHING to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful in Him.”

With uncertainty, until later.

Fred