Dwell in Safety

But when we know that the Lord will defend us from all harm, we no longer need to be on guard or to fight. We do need to make effort, however, making sure that we are within God’s presence so that He can protect us. He will not force us…

Meditation Thought: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) May 5, 1983

Only when we feel we have no need to defend ourselves are we able to relax and rest.

There are many areas in life which threaten us – not just physical, but emotional, mental and spiritual. We at times fear the circumstances that might come in the future.

If we have to cope with all of these threats by our own power, we can hardly rest, for we are poorly equipped to defend from every side the things which could destroy us is they reach us, and we must constantly be on guard to meet the challenges of the foes.

But when we know that the Lord will defend us from all harm, we no longer need to be on guard or to fight. We do need to make effort, however, making sure that we are within God’s presence so that He can protect us. He will not force us to be where He is, doing what He is doing. But if we are not with Him, doing His works – then we are in the wilderness and lost and alone, forced to fight whatever would destroy us.

Prayer: Oh Lord – I desire to be with You, doing your works. Help me to be even more perceptive as to how to be with You without wandering off to follow some interesting distraction. Help me to really do Your works, not just desire to do them.

Then shall I dwell in safety and sleep in peace.

Thank you!

Amen

Blessed Refuge

Will not the storm
Drive you to a sheltered place?
My arms await you:
Come home, come home!
My light of love
Shines forth
To lead you surely here.

Meditation Thought: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:12) May 3, 1983

“All who are living face danger, face challenges – some face greater trials than others. Each trial is an opportunity to bring glory to Me, for each is an opportunity to take refuge in Me – and an opportunity for Me to bless all who are sheltered within My arms!

Will not the storm
Drive you to a sheltered place?
My arms await you:
Come home, come home!
My light of love
Shines forth
To lead you surely here.
Together we shall
Weather the storm,
And when the sun
Shines faith again,
Your faith will be stronger,
Your spirit greater,
Your mind enriched,
Your body dedicated
To My service,
And your will
Seeking My will.
I am with you
Wherever you go.
But the times of stress
Are the periods
That send you
Scuttling into my arms,
Clinging to Me,
So close our “hearts”
Feel the other’s beats;
We know we need
Each other
To live as life
Should be lived.
We shall survive
Whatever comes –
And survive to
The point we thrive:
This is the “abundant life” –
Going through time
And working through trials Together:
Perhaps clinging in love,
Or walking hand in hand –
At times working side by side,
But always I desire you close.
You are mine –
To love,
To cherish,
To honor
As My own –
Do not I deserve
As much as I give?
Can you
Love, honor, cherish Me?
If so, you and I
Shall see miracles
Blossom forth,
As the world is enhanced
By the beauty and fruit
Of the kingdom bursting
Through all evil,
Selfish, ugly sin,
Irradiating it,
Purifying it –
Changing it to
Sin forgiven.
It becomes a tribute
To My power and My love,
And the worthiness
Of trusting Me.

The Presence of Jesus

When we realize that our thought today shapes our circumstances tomorrow, and our act today will come back to us in kind, we are far more careful about what we think and what we do.

Meditation Thought: “And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:62-64)

Though relatively few would see Jesus in the flesh after this trial and His crucifixion, many would perceive His place as being in authority by His proximity to God the Father, and would perceive Jesus’ coming by the means of the Holy Spirit – not a visible body manifestation of Jesus, but an inner knowledge of His Presence.

And it would transform them, for the truth of Jesus’ teachings concerning eternal life would be demonstrated. To perceive that what we are – and what we do – is not limited to our physical existence, but, both here in the time span of our physical manifestation, and later, in another manifestation, is to accept a new standard of thinking and behavior.

When we realize that our thought today shapes our circumstances tomorrow, and our act today will come back to us in kind, we are far more careful about what we think and what we do. This can be a great burden – if we resent this truth. Or it can be a great joy – if we “see” Jesus with our “mind’s eye” coming int our lives “on clouds of glory” – bringing the atmosphere of heaven into the physical realm, while bringing us His Presence to abide with us – and His Presence makes all the difference for us as we cope with life in the flesh, learning how to better cope with life in other realms.

We have all we need to go undefeated by any circumstance; we are protected from ultimate harm; we have an awareness of beauty, harmony and order; we have strength and joy and appreciation of all of life: external, internal and eternal.

The Presence of Jesus gives us courage, hope, and confidence far beyond that which we have without His Presence. Others may not see Him as our constant companion – nevertheless, they will see the results of His companionship. They will respond to the results. In this manner, do we have a transformed life: we are “new creatures” in Christ.

Perception, Thoughts and Emotions

What is the key then to life enjoyed, appreciated and welcomed?

Meditation Thought: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

The thoughts of the mind, the emotions, are not seen yet these are the “substance” of life: it is these which determine the quality of life whether life is welcomed, appreciated and enjoyed – or whether it is a burden and despised.

It is our perception of life itself that determines our thoughts and emotions – but our thoughts and emotions determine our perception.

What is the key then to life enjoyed, appreciated and welcomed, if there is not a “starting point” – if we are already “in the middle” – caught up in a perception affecting thoughts and emotions – and caught up in thoughts and emotions affecting perception?

The key is an absolute outside ourselves: The Truth – the whole Truth of life. Though that absolute of whole truth exists with or without our perception  of it – it is in the perception of it that we interrupt the “merry-go-round” existence we have been living, and become “new creatures” moving on to find new vistas – this gives us a sense of discovery, a new hope, and at one and the same time our perception enhances our thoughts and our emotions, and they enhance our perception.

God constantly “stops the merry-go-round” to give us opportunity to get off – if we but notice; if we are not too preoccupied with our own entrenched position to perceive the change of pace. The “stopping” can come in an infinite variety of ways – anything which is designed to jolt us from our focus on ourselves and our immediate position is an opportunity to jump off the merry-go-round. It can be a thought proposed by another, a circumstance good or bad, an observance of beauty – or ugliness in nature or in action, or participation in a situation which brings out our best – or our worst – thus causing us to analyze it.

Jesus’ message was the most jolting stop of the merry-go-round of which so many were aware. To this day, the awareness of that stopping affecting those of His days on earth make us able to recognize the stopping for us in our day. For Jesus opened up the eyes of those who had become blind to God’s intent by going round and round on the inertia of the law instead of seeking to move on to finding new vistas beyond it.

Today the Holy Spirit which Jesus brought continues to jolt us, asking us to notice that there are places beyond our routine path, our circling path of sameness, which we coast under the the inertia of self and of entrenched habits of perception and thinking and emotions.

We may look “silly” to those who see us suddenly jump off the merry-go-round and run off into the unseen places beyond  – but if they are alert enough to wonder, rather than falling back to their own entrenched position, they too, one day, will jump off to discover what lies beyond.

There is only one way to find the courage to move beyond our “safe”, or at least “familiar” place: it is to call upon our faith enough to believe that there is One who cares, who cares for us wherever we go: that He would not encourage us to leave where we are if there were not better places for us to be.

Peace in all Circumstances

All who work with you are to be your beloved. They are my beloved – and therefore they are your family: Your beloved also.

Meditation Thought: “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matthew 20:15)

In this passage is a lesson: it is the times when you judge actions which are not directly your concerns that cause you separation from the relationship which we should have. At times you reap what you sow – and at times, I bestow by grace a more generous harvest than could be expected from your actions. It is not for you to judge the times when you observe this reaping what they did not sow: you, too, have your times of knowing that you are undeservedly blessed by receiving reward which is more generous than you have earned.

I seek to refine attitudes, and it is a gracious, tolerant, isn’t-that-great-this-good-thing-happened-to-my-brother attitude which I seek to have you develop: not “why should he reap such reward when I worked harder for the same reward”. This attitude restricts your knowledge of truth and the workings of the kingdom. If you realize that the one who receives so generously is your beloved, then you are not resentful, but grateful for his good fortune. This is the lesson: All who work with you are to be your beloved. They are my beloved – and therefore they are your family: Your beloved also.

If you think about this revelation; if you seek to accept it totally with your mind, your emotions and your actions, your life will be transformed – everywhere you observe generosity, whether to you, or to another, you will rejoice and not resent.

You move from a mind-set of what you have received in relation to what another receives, to the mind-set of being content with what you receive, and being content with what another receives.

This is “being content in all circumstances”: it moves beyond being content in a vacuum to being content in the confusion of the world; it moves beyond the ability to think of the good for self to think of the good for another. It moves beyond the animal-instinct of self-preservation to the higher calling of sacrificial love.

The whole of Jesus’ life is the witness to the truth. It is the revelation of the joy of moving from self-love to total love of all of creation: to desiring good for another, no matter what is happening to you at that moment.

This is the highest expression of love. It is laying down your life for another – the releasing of your ego-centered focus to another-centered focus. This is being true to your inheritance as being made in the image of the Father – and choosing to live in such a way that no one can doubt you are of the Father: the Father perceives, the Son perceives, the Spirit perceives, you perceive, and your fellow creatures perceive – yes, all heaven and earth perceives that you are your Father’s child, not merely in fact, but in reflection of His Character, in reflection of His code of conduct, in reflection of His works and most of all, in reflection of His love.

Could anything in heaven or in earth bring more joy than this – to the Father, to the Son, to the Spirit, to you, or your fellow creatures?

Response: No, Lord – nothing could bring more joy than my reflecting You in every area. I desire to do this. Please enable me to do this.

I have faith – which You gave to me.

I have intelligence – which You gave to me.

I have energy – which You gave to me.

I have emotions – which You gave to me.

I have a body – which You gave to me.

I have a spirit – which You gave to me.

I have a world in which to use what You have given me.

I have a kingdom in which you teach me.

But, with all of these still I cannot reflect you in every area: only by your generosity of spirit, of your generosity of power, of your generosity of wisdom and knowledge of your generosity of circumstances fortuitous will I be able to reflect You in every area.

I seek Your generosity – and in acknowledging that I need more from You than I have earned, I acknowledge that it is Your right and privilege and good pleasure to give generously to any, and I have no right to judge You or judge another or to judge circumstances.

You have offered me salvation and the kingdom on earth in return for my commitment to love you and work for you. I accept this arrangement, and I quarrel not with whatever You arrange with others. In this is my peace in all circumstances.

Hallelujah!

Rejoice

If I carry God-inspired thoughts in my head, have God-inspired love in my heart, do God-inspired acts with my body, and have God’s Spirit enveloping my spirit by my faith that this is so – then nothing shall be impossible to me, because nothing is impossible to God.

Meditation Thought: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live…May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” (Psalm 104:33-34)

I rejoice in the Lord, for the Lord first rejoiced in me: He conceived me in love, brought me into existence in love, sustains me in love; He shows me the way to live: by love.

I do not always perceive his works as a loving ministry to me. Nevertheless, His thoughts, His actions (even inaction in allowing me to learn by ‘logical consequences’) and His words are all based on love. Words which seem harsh to me are to turn me away from harmful pursuits – they are not intended to wound me.

So long as I sing to the Lord and rejoice in Him, I am recognizing Him as loving; I am grateful to Him for His care; I am following the path which is best for me in every way.

If I seek to meditate to please Him, then I am thinking thoughts which are life-enhancing; I am in an attitude of listening to His whispered ‘secrets for success’.

If I carry God-inspired thoughts in my head, have God-inspired love in my heart, do God-inspired acts with my body, and have God’s Spirit enveloping my spirit by my faith that this is so – then nothing shall be impossible to me, because nothing is impossible to God and He is in control of my mind, my heart, my body and my spirit. When God controls all of these, then my emotions will fall into line with the other areas of my life, sooner or later. That completes the ‘new creature in Christ’ – the baby grown into maturity: no longer demanding, rebellious, arrogant, brash – but reflecting the character of the Father: loving, giving, righteous, forgiving, wise and adhering to the principles of the highest order of the best that life, spiritual and physical, can offer.

The rains may come
And winds may blow.
I tremble not, nor fear.
I am sheltered,
Secure inside
My Father’s house.
To be here,
Where peace, and light, and love
Bring joy unto my soul
Is the birthing of a grateful heart,
And life transformed.
I look upon the chaos
Beyond my safe abode,
And give thanks
To Him who brought me here.
Praising my Father for sending One to rescue,
That I may dwell in ‘the shadow of the Most High’ –
For His shadow
Tells me He is here with me;
I am safe; I am happy, and at peace.
For I am home,
The place where love gladdens me,
Where the rains and winds cannot reach;
Where I am nourished, rested, and become content.
I put the restless striving behind,
Knowing that the world beyond this home
Seeks to use me, abuse me,
Though it beckoned me by promises
of my independence – freedom from the confines of my home.
The world became my prison,
And I a slave,
To forces evil,
And dwelling in dark places.
Then He came, opening the door to the prison,
Bringing light and freedom to return home.
It is not the home I left –
Not the stifling, cramped place I’d seen –
But glowing now with the light of truth,
the beauty of wisdom,
the graciousness of love perceived:
As spacious as I could desire,
For I need only space enough
To do my Father’s will,
Living in His shadow,
And knowing his love.