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

 

Don’t Hurt The Lord

Greetings!

Here is an excellent entry of April 21st from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (all his daily entries can be found FREE at http://utmost.org/don%E2%80%99t-hurt-the-lord/ ). Emphasis will be mine:

“Don’t Hurt the Lord

Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? —John 14:9

Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us— astounded at how “un-simple” we are. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are SIMPLE we are never dense; we have discernment ALL the time. Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the Person he thought he already knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be— it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event.

We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask— “Lord, show us the Father…” (John 14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, “Can’t you see Him? He is always right here or He is nowhere to be found.” We look for God to exhibit Himself to His children, but God only exhibits Himself in His children. And while others see the evidence, the child of God does not.

We want to be fully aware of what God is doing in us, but we cannot have complete awareness and expect to remain reasonable or balanced in our expectations of Him. If all we are asking God to give us is experiences, and the awareness of those experiences is blocking our way, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus, because they are not the questions of a child.

Let not your heart be troubled…'(14:1, 27). Am I then hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe in Jesus and His attributes, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing ANYTHING to disturb my heart, or am I allowing any questions to come in which are unsound or unbalanced? I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. REALIZE THE LORD IS HERE NOW , AND THE FREEDOM YOU RECEIVE IS IMMEDIATE.”

Until later,

Fred

Co-Eternal Life

Hi, there!

This excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ book “My Utmost For His Highest” (the entire book is FREE  online at http://utmost.org/complete-and-effective-dominion/ ) wonderfully wraps up nicely how blessed we are to be Christians….beyond anything we can humanly imagine, actually. Emphasis will be mine throughout:

Complete and Effective Dominion

Death no longer has dominion over Him.…the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God… —Romans 6:9-11

Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The ENERGY and the POWER which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, ONCE we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.

“You shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8)— not POWER as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the POWER is the Holy Spirit, not something that He gives us. The LIFE that was in Jesus BECOMES OURS because of His CrossONCE we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we refuse to make this moral decision about sin. But ONCE we do decide, the FULL LIFE OF GOD comes in immediately. Jesus came to give us an endless supply of life— “…that you may be filled with ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD” (Ephesians 3:19). Eternal life has nothing to do with time. It is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here, and the ONLY Source of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the weakest saint can experience the POWER of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to ‘let go’. But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. WE HAVE TO KEEP LETTING GO, and slowly, but surely, the  GREAT FULL LIFE OF GOD will invade us, penetrating every part. THEN, Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.”

There have been many Christians who have experienced the blessed life described above and, thankfully, we have overwhelming evidence of this from numerous writings by as well as about these saints. Besides being evidence by the writings of Oswald Chambers, himself, there are two other examples that can be found at the Category/Posts on here entitled “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Letters From A Modern Mystic”.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

We Must Recognize Our Ovewhelming Need For Him

Good morning!

I have an excellent quote from a book by Oswald Chambers entitled “The Highest Good/The Shadow Of An Agony” and it can be purchased from http://utmost.org/the-collision-of-god-and-sin/ or http://www.Amazon.com, and the emphasis will be mine:

“I have come for the man who knows he has a BIGGER HANDFUL THAN HE CAN COPE WITH, who knows THERE ARE FORCES HE CANNOT TOUCH; I will do EVERYTHING for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I WILL DO IT FOR HIM.”

Take care, in Him.

Fred

A Christian On Cruise Control Is Lukewarm

Hey, there!

Being on cruise control as a Christian means being idle with no continuous acceleration relative to our attempts to GROW in our faith and subsequently become more like Christ Jesus. We can be very, very active in ‘church activities’  and human charitable endeavors and yet be totally neglecting our DUTY to draw nearer to God and Jesus. In other words, we are quite ‘religious’ but not Spiritual.

Being ‘religious’ not only enables us to remain comfortably and effortlessly human but relieves us of the burden and agony of  denying ourselves of those human traits and habits that keep us from becoming more like our Savior, as well as from ENJOYING  the glorious and wonderful “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).

Even worse, being on cruise control is synonymous with being ‘lukewarm’ and we know what Revelation 3:15-16 says about how our Father and Christ view the ‘lukewarm’ Christian and what will happen.

We are continually admonished to ACTION and ACCELERATION:

– “hunger and thirst” for righteousness (Matthew 5:6)

– “seek” first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:23)

– “pursue” righteousness and faith (1 Timothy 6:11)

– “draw” near to God (James 4:8)

– make all “grow” into Him (Ephesians 4:15)

– “fight” the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12)

– “be fervent” in spirit (Romans 12:11)

– “slaving” for the Lord (Romans 12:12)

– “be zealous” for the greater graces (1 Corinthians 12:31)

And the list goes on to show that we should NEVER become idle (on cruise control) and ‘lukewarm’ as Christians. ‘Practicing the presence of God’ (please refer to the Category/Post by that same title) is one of our ABSOLUTE BEST ways to avoid this.

Of course, there is one obvious exception to this analogy. If we set our control to cruise on the MAXIMUM of “loving the Lord your God with your WHOLE heart, and your WHOLE soul, and with your WHOLE comprehension” (Matthew 22:37)….then we are good to go!!

Until later,

Fred

 

 

The Purpose Of Life

Greetings!

Our time here in this life can often seem very long, but in reality….especially if we glance back over the span of our lives….it is, relatively speaking, as the tiniest of a tiny drop in the oceans of time….even SMALLER!

So, as we put ‘things’ in perspective, as Christians it just makes good sense to utilize this minuscule moment of our existence to the best after we have been called and receive the Holy Spirit.

As followers of Jesus, we are COMMANDED to use our very limited time here to not only “seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) but to be “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) and “whatever you do, do ALL things to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Now, God and Jesus do not use words lightly nor are these three COMMANDS  merely suggestions or  high sounding religious platitudes.

Quite simply, obeying  these COMMANDS are to be our way of life and the basis for ALL our actions during the time we have been allotted on this earth.

Nevertheless, Scriptures repeatedly and plainly show that Christians can and will be like those in Matthew 13:20-22 who allow the ‘things’ of this world  to cause them to fall away, like Demas who “loved the things of this world” (2 Timothy 4:10) and like those who will be withdrawing from the faith “in latter times” (1 Timothy 4:1).

Truly, our PRIMARY ‘job’  in the short time we have here is do ALL we do with the intent of obeying these three  COMMANDS. Although our human occupations and stations in life should be observed and performed to the best of our human ability they nevertheless take a far backseat concerning what is in the center of our heart, our thoughts and our motives. This is why “Practicing The Presence Of God” (please reference the Category by the same title) is so very important and necessary.

And, the beautiful kicker in doing this will be for us  to then be able to bear the most HOLY and PRECIOUS “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22….and please reference the Category  “Fruit Of The Spirit”)….not even to mention the expectation  of our future GLORY of  taking on the VERY ESSENCE of Christ Jesus Himself (Philippians 3:21, Colossians 3:4 and 2 Thessalonians 2:14….please also reference the Category “Our Glorious New Bodies”).

And never forget that our Father and our Savior lovingly remember how difficult life can be as a human and we are told that They are “offering to us richly all  things for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17)….those human ‘things’ and experiences that are allowable and used with responsibility that can give us human delight, even if in a temporary manner.

How so BLESSED and FORTUNATE we are to have this as our purpose in life!

I want to add a short excerpt from my reading this morning of Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Category by the same title to obtain all of his entries in this book):

“we must stop using religion as if it were some kind of a lofty lifestyle— we must be spiritually real.”

All the best, in Him.

Fred

 

More Stuff In Food To ABSOLUTELY Avoid!!!

Good morning!

I received this article today via email from one of the health websites I subscribe to (www.natrualnews.com) and it contains some VERY helpful information on stuff we should definitely avoid!! Even though the main topic is protein powder it nevertheless reveals truths about nasty ingredients in the majority of packaged foods. This is keeping in tune with the spirit of the Post on “You Are A Temple Of God: Helpful Health Hints”:

“(NaturalNews) Look on the back of just about every popular protein powder container and you’ll see a long list of ingredients in addition to whey, soy and casein. Little do most people know that many of the “other” items include GMO ingredients and toxic, synthetic sweeteners that can permanently damage the body.

Aspartame, Acesulfame potassium, sucralose and sorbitol are listed on many protein powders like they’re just another little additive for flavor enhancement. They’re often phrased in ways that make the product sound healthy, when in reality, these are words to stay away from; these artificial sweeteners wreak havoc on your health.

Sweet-tasting protein shakes can destroy digestive tract, hormones and more

Sorbitol is slick, like oil, and doesn’t have much taste. It’s used in nearly all commercial chewing gum to keep it soft longer. It can also tear up the digestive tract and leave you wondering why you have chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Aspartame tricks your body into thinking it’s getting something sweet, so your body constantly craves more. It also makes it difficult to know when you’re getting full; it’s the ultimate sinister additive to protein shake mixes, weight-gain powders and weight-loss powders. But don’t just think that if you don’t see the word, “Aspartame,” that your free and clear of the body-harming ingredient.

Aspartame may be disguised under its changed name, “AminoSweet,” which combines amino acids with a sweet taste. It’s not uncommon to find this in many meal replacements or fast-fix toxic shakes.

Acesulfame Potassium is just an evil stepchild of aspartame; along with sorbitol, another sweet-tasting toxic ingredient, they’ve been linked to causing cancer and mutating DNA. They also disrupt the central nervous system and throw hormones off balance.

Top 5 toxic dyes to watch out for

Then there’s the issue of the color of fitness shakes.

Most food coloring dyes come from industrial byproducts and coal tar derivatives; that fake strawberry-red or that fake beige-vanilla is such a color because of industrial byproducts that are linked to causing cancer, malnutrition and other health conditions.

Stay away from these five dyes:

Red #2: Toxic to rodents, even at modest levels, and causes bladder tumors.

Red #3: Known to cause thyroid cancer.

Red #40: This is the most common dye which, unfortunately, destroys the immune system and causes allergic reactions.

Yellow #5: This is considered to be a behavior-altering dye that even brings about cases of severe hypersensitivity.

Yellow #6: Linked to causing adrenal tumors.

GMO corn starch: stay away from it

Fact: GMO corn causes cancer in lab animals; modified corn starch is one of the worst things you can ever put in your body. Period.

Nearly all corn in the United States is genetically modified to kill worms and other crop pests. If you’re into working out, running, biking or even just stretching daily, but still eat genetically modified foods, it’s counterproductive to those other healthy habits.

The worst thing you can possibly eat are pesticides and herbicides, as they destroy your gut flora, which plays a significant role in keeping the immune system in check. With GM foods in one’s system, people are more prone to getting common colds, the flu, allergies, brain fog and may even experience a loss of energy.

So much for losing weight or maintaining that ideal weight if you’re eating a protein powder containing genetically modified ingredients. So much for feeling great and wanting to work out.

A better plan for optimal health

Want a plan? Plan to leave modified corn starch out of the equation forever. Look for protein powders that leave artificial sweeteners out of the picture. Stay away from harmful dyes which are found in many fitness or weight-control shakes.

Instead, turn to healthy superfoods and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. They’re a safe and natural way to maintain good health.”

Eat well and enjoy!

Fred

 

Am I Carnally Minded?

Hello!

Well, I have yet another excellent article I want to share with you from Oswald Chambers’ book MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, which can be found in a FREE copy of his writing as explained in the Category by the same title. Here goes:

“Where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal…? —1 Corinthians 3:3

The natural man, or unbeliever, knows nothing about carnality. The desires of the flesh warring against the Spirit, and the Spirit warring against the flesh, which began at rebirth, are what produce carnality and the awareness of it. But Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). In other words, carnality will disappear.

Are you quarrelsome and easily upset over small things? Do you think that no one who is a Christian is ever like that? Paul said they are, and he connected these attitudes with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens a spirit of malice or resentment in you? If so, that is proof that you are still carnal. If the process of sanctification is continuing in your life, there will be no trace of that kind of spirit remaining.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. A child of the light will confess sin instantly and stand completely open before God. But a child of the darkness will say, “Oh, I can explain that.” When the light shines and the Spirit brings conviction of sin, be a child of the light. Confess your wrongdoing, and God will deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone you will know it— it is the most real thing you can imagine. And God will see to it that you have a number of opportunities to prove to yourself the miracle of His grace. The proof is in a very practical test. You will find yourself saying, “If this had happened before, I would have had the spirit of resentment!” And you will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.”

Until later,

Fred

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