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!

Authority to do good

You cannot serve your own selfish will and My will at one and the same time unless, through your desire to serve Me, you reform your will to conform to My will, by the prayers and My Word saturating your mind.

Meditation Thought: “When the crowds saw it (the paralytic walk after Jesus said ‘Your sins are forgiven’) they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:8)

“Given such authority to men” – not just to Jesus, but to men. To those people who seek me, seek to know me, seek to obey me, do I give authority to do good.

I sent Jesus to teach you the Way – the Way to do good. Whether you are called upon to enable paralytics to walk, or free the guilt-ridden from sin, or minister to any other need matters not. Only pray constantly, seeking My will for you, and obey My Word and My softly-speaking Spirit – and rejoice in the works that the Spirit does using your will and spirit, your mind and body. Align your emotions with the spiritual that is, the ordinances which I have outlined, rather than concentrating them on the physical. In this way do you allow greater flow of My Spirit, to effect healing and wholeness.

You are weak-willed. But you can yield to My will in weakness rather than to that which tempts you away from My will. When you recognize that you are wandering and need steadying, call upon Me! Pray! Read My Word or recall it to your mind. Think of the sacrifice Jesus made so that you could resist temptation as He did, through His own power withing you – if you will allow it to flow.

You cannot have it both ways: ‘You cannot serve God and mammon.’ You cannot serve your own selfish will and My will at one and the same time unless, through your desire to serve Me, you reform your will to conform to My will, by the prayers and My Word saturating your mind.

Your faith in Jesus as your Lord and your Savior shall enable you to reform your will. This is precisely the purpose of His birth into human form.

Take this gift – the most valuable, helpful and sacrificial gift ever given – or ever received. Do you realize how privileged you are to have if offered to you?

For God is Generous

God desires you to serve – and to serve both willingly and devotedly.

Meditation Thought: “No one can serve two masters, for he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

(Mammon is a personification of riches as an evil spirit or deity.)

You cannot serve two masters. You can, however, serve one master and do good to another master in the process of serving the one, provided this is according to the will of the one served.

Therein lies the crux: To serve God will not preclude doing good in many areas – even if this good actually constitutes a temporary serving of another master. But to serve Mammon is another matter. For God is generous, but Mammon is a tyrant, and Mammon desires more and more serving to himself for his own selfish gain. He will not be so generous as to allow you to serve God: He desires to enslave you to himself. God desires you to serve – and to serve both willingly and devotedly. But He will give you assignments which place you in the position of doing good in many places, thus bringing service to many masters. This is a far cry, however, to doing good to only one master: Mammon.

By doing service for many masters, according to the instructions by God, this is serving God as one master. When we run ‘hither and yon’ serving masters on our own decision, then we are attempting to serve more than one master; and not only are we ineffective in serving them, we give disservice to both God and ourselves.

Guideposts: God’s Will Revealed

We are shown clearly the guidepost we need now, where we are, and trust the other guideposts to stretch on into our future, whether we can see them clearly from this place or not.

A meditation image:

“I saw telephone poles going off into the distance. We see the close ones so clearly, and only as we travel on do the ones in the distance become clear to us – and then we see more in the distance that were not even visible at all initially.

It seems God’s meaning for our life is revealed in this manner – we are shown clearly the guidepost we need now, where we are, and trust the other guideposts to stretch on into our future, whether we can see them clearly from this place or not.”

Accept it

Since I didn’t create anything on my own, I can’t control anything on m own.

Meditation Thought: “…whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

“Think about such things. This is the key to opening the door that reveals the reality of My creation. You would have me orchestrate every detail so you could be comfortable and happy and content 100% of the time. This is not feasible. Our relationship could not have the depth we both desire if we did not have the interaction of dealing with problems and of solving them together. You do get frustrated – even somewhat rebellious and angry at times when you are aggravated with visitations. But think: How often have these annoying situations brought about visibly good results when you pray and when you try to deal with them competently? Yes, you know! Much good for you and for others has resulted. Your trials enable you to ease the way for others who have similar trials – just as you experience their helping you from the knowledge gained from their own trials. You may not like this arrangement, but it is My will and My plan. Accept it; there is a purpose, and you shall gain as you learn from each experience.”

Response: All right, Lord. I admit I’d rather have my own way – all ‘sweetness and light’ in my life, but since I didn’t create anything on my own, I can’t control anything on m own. I’m ‘stuck’ with You being my ‘parent’ as well as my Creator. I don’t often think of it as ‘being stuck’, but at downhearted moments, I have to admit that I’d like to have my own agenda. At one level I know I’m not that competent, just as a child is not competent to handle the situation he is exposed to at times. That doesn’t stop us from being ‘pouty’ at times, though, does it? Thank you for forgiving us when we realize that we hadn’t seen the whole picture clearly and that you were right after all!

My Creator, Sustainer and Helper

Meditation Thought: “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer, and gathers food at its harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

“Do not fear – I will help you. I will help others through you. I have prepared ahead of you. I can use every event and circumstance for good – providing you heed my instructions. Be alert. Be at peace. These events and circumstances are not antagonists but co-joiners to accomplishing good works.”

Mom went on to share throughout the day in various written prayers. These were written in May of 2002 – shortly after the Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

“All right, Lord, my intentions are good. But – good intentions do not accomplish the deed. Please give me the will and the strength to accomplish the works which you desire of me.”

“Dear Lord, my Creator and Sustainer and helper: Thank you! I am more convinced than ever that you are with me, helping and encouraging me – and through the trial my family and I are enduring that You are working good – for us and probably for other people too.

I almost see myself from outside myself and wonder how I can feel so calm – really almost excited too – when I have such an upsetting diagnosis. Somehow You have entered into my mind – even my emotions – that you have assigned me a quest to help people to either avoid the disease or cope with it. I have a big imagination, but it couldn’t conjure up the thoughts – and particularly the emotional feeling – that is taking place. I don’t know what the future holds, but Lord I pray that I can always hold on to your reality in my life as much as I am at this moment.

As is natural, I know I don’t want to be a burden, and yet if it is necessary so that You can perform some action that is Your quest, then I’ll accept it. I’m not accepting it gladly, but as a little child obeys its parent, that is the intent of my heart. You have worked miracles for my good, and I know you can work a miracle for my good in this situation.

…I praise You and thank You for what You are doing for me and for others. I don’t know that Your will is for the situation, but I do know that it has been in some of the most painful experiences of my life that You have revealed Your love and Your power to me.

Therefore, my pledge to you this day is that I shall try to accept that ‘Thy will be done.’

… Please sustain me, Lord. I know how weak and cowardly I am, but I know too, that these qualities can be restructured and renewed with Your power to make me ‘a new creation’.”

She then shared a bit about this meditation process – as she was correcting an “error” in the personal prayer part (not shared here) where she said a family member had called her ‘yesterday’ and it had actually been several days before. She writes:

“Although I honestly believe that the thoughts in meditation time are prompted by God, for they flow so easily, and so often later prove valid, still I am involved in the process and am prone to error. I don’t know the ‘ins and outs’ of these sessions, but I do know that just trying to communicate in this manner with God has enriched my life and helped other people.”