Contemplative Rest

Look for my guidance, and you will find it.

Meditation Thought: “O Lord… chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest.” (Psalm 139: 1,3 The Living Bible translation)

“Sometimes you have the impression that because you are aware of many needs to be met, that I want you to constantly be working at them. This is not so, I designed you for rest – not only physically, but you need the contemplative time, the relaxation time to understand the who, how, why, where of new activities.

‘Look’ for my guidance, and you will find it. The proper balance of activity and contemplation will allow my Spirit to work more effectively in prompting your spirit to be so attractive to others that they will seek me through seeing the balance which makes your attitude attractive to them. When you are so completely aware of my Spirit working that you are unaware of your own spirit or thoughts or activities, then you are doing My will for you at that moment. Practice makes perfect, and as you exercise listening to me and obeying me, then your spirit will become more accustomed to yielding to My Spirit, and harmony will result.”

 

Jeweled Crown

And so what appears to be death of self is actually the resurrection of self in new glory

Meditation Thought: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

When we place our delight in the Lord, we will have constant delight – for the Lord is always loving, caring, helpful, dependable, powerful – and willing to fulfill the desires of our heart. When we learn to be adept at taking our delight in the Lord, we will rejoice in the fulfillment of our desires as a natural consequence.

The ability to become adept at taking our delight in the Lord, however, is one which must be rigorously developed and practiced. There must be time to learn His Word, to listen to His Counsel. There must be courage to act upon His instructions – and His instructions may well bring the ridicule of the world, and most devastatingly, even our loved ones. We must learn to seek truth and not accept face values, we must “fight city hall”, we must be active and not passive, we must put duty above pleasure, we must sacrifice ego to become God’s weak vessel into which He pours His strength.

When we are able to submerge ourselves into what we thought was a swallowing up of our identity into God’s will, we learn that miraculously the very burying of ourself in Him crystallized us into all we were meant to be: we are fulfilled in an unsuspected joy as we emerge more totally individual than ever before – a new creature in Christ, a jewel set off more brilliantly because of our placement in His crown. And so what appears to be death of self is actually the resurrection of self in new glory, the clay reworked by God into a new and beautiful vessel to be used by Him, to be delighted in by Him, a completion of His creative process.

 

Great Upheaval

My movements and promptings are gentle, for your free will must be honored – but, gentle as they are, they have great power…

Meditation Thought: “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him…” 1 John 3:21-22

As we learn of His commandments, and as we keep them, we come to know Him more intimately – as we learn to “live by His rules”, we also learn to think and to be more like Him. If we are like Him, then we ask in harmony with His will for us, which is the key to receiving what we ask.

” ‘Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only’ – that is the action that starts the chain reaction – as one person’s needs are met, the action is multiplied so that more needs are met, and a little movement can start a great upheaval – I do not ask you to go out to minister to hundreds of people – but I do ask you to minister to some, so that the little ministering can be multiplied into many large ministerings. My movements and promptings are gentle, for your free will must be honored – but, gentle as they are, they have great power which I am eager to release to bring my dear children into my loving care and protection.”

Key to Change

We must recognize the importance of our reaching to Him – it is the key to completing the circuit. That’s a lot of responsibility – but it is also the means to change the world, let alone change ourselves!

Just as there is no flow of electricity (no power) unless there is a “return” flow, our relationship with God must be one of a reaching out by Him and a reaching back by us or there is not a true “relationship”, at least one with true power, or complete power. Therefore, we must recognize the importance of our reaching to Him – it is the key to completing the circuit. That’s a lot of responsibility – but it is also the means to change the world, let alone change ourselves!

 

Abundant Fruit

Each stitch is the moment you are living in now. If you make that moment effective by doing My will for that moment, all the moment-stitches will blend together in a pattern pleasing to me and to you.

Meditation Thought: Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24: 6, 11)

“Remember the concept I gave you of the needle-point, and just work on each stitch as it is due, not worrying about any other stitches. Each stitch is the moment you are living in now. If you make that moment effective by doing My will for that moment, all the moment-stitches will blend together in a pattern pleasing to me and to you. Try to cultivate a state of ‘relaxed awareness’, so that you will be open to My Spirit and able to move in any direction quickly. Cultivate a state of good humor, for that will oil the machinery of your gears meshing with the gears of others’ lives, making the relationships work at their best. It is easier for me to get through to you when you are relaxed and content and happy rather than when you are tense. I want you to truly have the fruits of the Spirit in abundance not just little samples.”

Diligent Moments

There is no way to ‘skip grades’ in the perception of heavenly principles.

Meditation Thought:  “… with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.” (Mark 4:24)

Do not try to go at a faster pace than you can comfortably handle; this causes you to stumble. A steady pace where you do not have to correct a stumble will be more pleasant as well as move you along rapidly.

Take your moments and deal with them diligently; there are to be moments of prayerful planning, but do not let your mind wander to daydreams or planning while you should be concentrating on the task at hand.

You must perceive, receive and embrace the truth of the moment before you are equipped to receive and retain the truth which is beyond that one. You need to get one perception firmly fixed before grasping at another – otherwise you will drop the first, and in attempting to ‘rescue’ it, you will drop the half-grasped one also, leaving you with neither. There is no way to ‘skip grades’ in the perception of heavenly principles.

 

A Time of Renewal

God created the sabbath as a merciful gesture for people not for the purpose of burdening them.

Meditation Thought: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)

The sabbath was made for man to have a time of renewal – of opportunity to come to know God better, to have a chance to recuperate physically, to be strengthened spiritually, and to be inspired mentally.

To understand the purpose of the sabbath is a necessity before it can become what God intended it to be.

To make the sabbath a time of concentration upon ceremony rather than on celebration of God’s creative love and care is to waste it, making the very intended healing invalid. For ‘healing’ it is to be: the weary body, the confused and frenetic mind, the listless spirit are all brought to health and wholeness through this ‘treatment’ of a change in pace: a time when, with clear conscience, one can – and should – postpone the ordinary daily routine. Some tasks are necessary for making even the sabbath comfortable, and some tasks are chosen because to neglect them would be distressing – but the point is that the sabbath should be a state of mind: an attitude of setting time aside to be aware of God, to become closer to God and man, to be renewed and refreshed.

All of this is the help ourselves: to be a slave to ‘rules’ to the point of not allowing the Spirit to guide us in how to have the sabbath be the rejuvenating force that it is meant to be, is to deny that we are to be open to the Lord’s constant creative teaching and care. This is the message for which Jesus came: the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.

God created the sabbath as a merciful gesture for people not for the purpose of burdening them.

But for us to ignore His message – either by rejecting the necessity of a sabbath by rejecting God as our Source and Sustainer or by distorting the sabbath by misunderstanding God’s purpose of creating it, is to thwart God’s will: His will is for us to be in close fellowship with Himself. This is possible only as we are actively seeking to enhance this fellowship through being willing to learn what He would teach us.