There is a hidden world…we have been invited into.
40 Days Living the Jesus Creed [Days 8-9]
Several readings have been coming together for me that are really honing in on a single idea. Everything seems to be orbiting the Presence of the Indwelling God. I suppose to get the full picture you’d need to go back through the last several blog posts covering the past couple weeks or so…might even need to go back as far as the beginning of the year. As near as I can tell, the leading of God in my “inner life” continues to push me in the same direction; that is…making more of Him and experiencing His guiding presence every second of my life. Sounds odd; I know…but I also know it is real.
My Praying the Jesus Creed the last couple days has been:
Almighty and everlasting god, By whom that begins to be which was not and that which lay hidden is made visible, cleanse away the folly of our heart and purify us from our secret vices, that we may be able to serve and to love you, O Lord, with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength. Help us, O Lord, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. May we do this through Jesus Christ our Lord the Giver of the Indwelling and Guiding Spirit of God. Amen.
Psalm 95:1-7 “If only you would listen to His voice today…”
Key thoughts from Living the Jesus Creed:
- “Look for God in Disguise” (Day eight)
- “God’s mercy lurks in the shadows of our lives…” (Day nine)
From Deep-Rooted in Christ by Joshua Choonmin Kang: “There is a hidden world: a world we cannot see…that’s where God is calling us to come.”
Things that have come to my mind as I have meditated upon these thoughts:
1 Kings 19 – Elijah’s meeting and hearing from God: Elijah “heard” the whisper of God’s voice into his soul. It wasn’t the flash, bang, and explosive moments of life that captured Elijah’s attention; instead it was the calming peace of God that spoke confidently and quietly into his heart.
2 Kings 6:17 – Elisha prays for his servant’s eyes to be opened: Under our restricted human senses, we are limited in our ability to see and hear spiritually. Through the empowerment of God, our senses can be heightened and our spiritual discernment “un-blinded.” Elisha’s servant has his eyes opened to see what always exists…God’s brilliance and provision. The heavenly and spiritual dimensions can be revealed to us as we draw closer to God and practice His Indwelling Presence.
It is the desire of God to see his children transformed and fully alive to His Kingdom (see the previous posting for the scripture references illuminating that desire). The practice of God’s Presence is missing from many of our lives. Pastor Kang writes; “True Christian maturity is defined in terms of the inner world.” The inner world (referring to us) is unseen by most, but manifests itself visibly with fruits of love evidenced throughout and in the daily-ness of our lives. Deep calling to deep, the psalmist writes (Psalm 42:7). This is where God beckons…and when we partner with Him…it is when we are capable of loving with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; both God, and our neighbor. Where does it begin and how does this transformation take place? The answer comes when we start with faith; believing in the promises that God has given us and obediently submitting to the course He has charted for us. Listen to these thoughts and reflections on Romans 5:1-11 from the early church fathers, Chrysostom and Ambrosiaster.
“Paul means here that we should stop sinning and not go back to the way we used to live, for that is to make war with God. How is this possible? Paul says that not only is it possible, it is also reasonable. For if God reconciled us to himself when we were in open warfare with Him, it is surely reasonable that we should be able to remain in a state of reconciliation…God has given us the greatest gift possible and in profusion -what is this gift? It is the Holy Spirit.” (Chrysostom – Homilies on Romans 9)
“If Christ gave himself up to death at the right time for those who were unbelievers and enemies of God…How much more will he protect us with his help if we believe in Him! …So if he died for his enemies, just think what he will do for his friends!” (Ambrosiaster – Commentary on Paul’s Epistles)
He (God) has engineered our success…or at least a means of achieving eternal success. The solution is turning from ourselves and wholly committing our all to Him. Faith in His plan and obedient submission to His leading are our vehicles to overcoming the world, losing the scales of sinful and self-indulgent blindness. We have the answer. We have the course, and we have the tools needed to succeed. When do we start?