Learning by Experience

Only by taking time to reflect upon what has taken place can we assess the results and decide which actions were wise .

Meditation Thought: “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3)

There is an order to life that exists commonly to every area. First comes the light of the dawn, then the opportunity to do the day’s work, then comes the evening – the time of reflection upon the results, and preparation of mind for the next day of activity.

Only by taking time to reflect upon what has taken place can we assess the results and decide which actions were wise and which should be altered to produce better results.

As in every area, we learn by experience, so it is in spiritual matters. We begin by becoming familiar with His commandments and seeking to direct our thoughts and actions to be of a similar nature. This is our part – but we do not control all that is involved. We must realize this, and acknowledge that we must be enveloped in the Father’s will so completely that there is no longer a visible “our will” and the “Father’s will”, but there is only one will – homogeneous, composed of two wills, but so thoroughly blended together as to function and appear as one will. It is this exhibition of a “one-will” life that is “keeping His commandments”, and that is our assurance that “we know Him”.

There is a vast difference in the knowledge that a certain person is our father – and the experience of our father’s love being poured out into our life, touching us and changing us, delighting us, fulfilling us, protecting us and teaching us.

The knowledge is moved into experience when we accept what our father longs for us to receive, and offers hopefully: His love, devotion, wisdom, and constant laboring for our well-being.

Only when we realize that these are the basis for His “commandments” do we come into enough understanding to change our attitude into one of joyful obedience. We have come to know that our father’s will is not for his benefit, but for ours. How could we but desire what he desires when we are the recipients of good?

Dual Perception

The person need not copy carry a label “made in the image of God” to identify the quality of workmanship: their thoughts, words, deeds and prayers will all reveal the Source of the quality – the high quality of their life.

Meditation Thought: “But if we walk in the light, as he [the Father] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

We “walk in the light” when we commit ourselves to seeking God – to loving Him – to becoming like Him. This is the invisible, spiritual aspect of “walking in the light”. But we are also physical creatures in a physical world. It is in the physical realm that Jesus, through His own physical being and actions that He took while in the body, that we can realize the miracle of cleansing our past, as we desire to do so, having become aware of God and committing ourselves to His way.

It is the dual aspect of our very beings – spiritual and physical – that requires dual perception, dedication and behavior in order to become creatures walking in the light. Our spirits can long to walk in the light, yet the actions of our body keep us from that light. And strange as it may seem, our body taking right actions does not insure our walking in the light: good deeds are helpful, and appreciated by the recipients – but unless the powerful love of the Holy Spirit is involved, they are limited in quantity and quality, and are not the beautiful, whole miracles of the light-enlightened and light-filled child of God.

Only when both one’s spirit and body are dedicated to walking in the light does the evidence shine forth that this person truly is fulfilling the promise declared in the Word. The person need not copy carry a label “made in the image of God” to identify the quality of workmanship: their thoughts, words, deeds and prayers will all reveal the Source of the quality – the high quality of their life.

From Manipulation to Transformation

When this takes place there is the brilliant radiance, comforting warmth, and assurance of power…

Meditation Thought: “So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” (1 Corinthians 3:20-23)

The circle of Christ’s light, and warmth of His love, and power of His being is within reach. But I must move, by my desire to be there, to that place. Perhaps I see another that has moved into this ‘magic’ circle – and I can observe the change. This makes me desire to change also – enough to take courage and move from my familiar habitat to the new area.

At first I see only the ‘greener grass’; I do not realize fully the requirements of living in this place… and by the time I do, I am willing to forgo my own ego-centered desires for the continuing pleasure of the revealing Light, the comforting Love, the moving Power.

And then the miracle: what I have willingly given up is returned to me, but transformed by this Holy Power we call God, Creator of all. I find that though desires are still a part of my life, they are not of their former character – they seem more unselfish, more flexible, more of a spiritual nature than of a material nature. And they do not seem to be at variance with God’s Word, nor His will as I perceive His Word and His will.

And thus my transformed desires are able to be fulfilled. No longer am I trying to manipulate God into fulfilling my self-conceived desires. I am desiring those things that God seeks to fulfill my life. When this takes place there is the brilliant radiance, comforting warmth, assurance of power that Jesus’ life demonstrated.

To what extent it is possible for me to live this life – or perhaps since the total possibility exists from this moment on – I should state more accurately: though I do not know to what degree I will be able to embrace this concept and this life, I am grateful to have come this far in the perception of such a life. I desire to live it. I will try to live it. I pray to God that I will be given the wisdom, knowledge and strength to live it. So help me, God! Please!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O my Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer!

Supercharged Superhuman

Jesus – as man – could not say “yes” to agony. But Jesus – as man filled with God’s Spirit could sacrifice Himself for the love of the brethren – for the love of even His persecuting enemies.

Meditation Thought: “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12)

The crisis – the battle – was coming shortly. Jesus had lived his life to this time as a commitment to the doing of the Father’s will. Perhaps many moments were not easy – but now the time was approaching, and Jesus could recognize it, when it was going to be a choice of “all or nothing”. Either He would go 100% with the Father’s will or, in the evidence of attitude and events taking place, retreat in fear for his life. There was only one way possible to overcome the fear of the Jesus who was totally human – and that was to, through communication with the Father, become convinced that the strength, power, courage and divinity of the Father would overcome all the world could do to harm him. Jesus – as man – could not say “yes” to agony. But Jesus – as man filled with God’s Spirit could sacrifice Himself for the love of the brethren – for the love of even His persecuting enemies.

And it is this way to which He says “follow me”. Why? Only by the recognition that we are something more than human prompts us to seek that “something”. And only the sure conviction that we are endowed with “superhuman” strength gives us courage to face the crises which will arise as we commit ourselves to living in the realm of the kingdom while still hampered by the inadequacies of the limitations of our humanness.

Only prayer can infuse us with enough divinity to “charge” us with power to behave as beings of a society other than the society that is visible and obvious to all.

As prayer gives us “a charge”, we are able to move effectively, not dependent upon human resources, but upon the Creator: the more completely we “know that we do not know” – the more surely the Father can guide us into doing His marvelous works. We learn in prayer who our Father is, and why we can trust Him with our very lives, with our desires yielded to Him that He may transform them into mutual desires.

We may not be eager to do what is required of us to fulfill the mutual desire, but when we, despite our misgivings or feelings, do what is necessary to fulfill the Father’s will as we perceive it after intense consultation with Him (prayer!) – then we become vindicated, not only in the Father’s viewpoint, but in the perception of all who know of us down through eternity.

Prayer: “Oh, Lord – I am so nothing compared to You, and yet – I am all to You because I am Yours. Help me to be teachable – to learn not only the significance of these facts, but how to live my life as a balance of them, pleasing to You. Amen.”

Forego the Junk Food

Let not your whim of the moment
Rob you of the glory of the future.

Meditation Thought: “So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their backs. Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you, put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation; cry for this as a baby cries for its milk.” (1 Peter 2:1-3)

If you are to have the capacity to hold the nutritious spiritual milk, you must not fill up on the “junk food” of dishonesty, jealousy, gossip, deception, envy and fraud. You can discipline yourself to forego the junk food by concentrating on something better. Focus your mind and your energies on something more grand that your selfish indulgences!

The Way is easy – once you commit yourself totally to it – because then you are not ‘double-minded’. Decisions are easier, the Lord’s strength supplants your strength, the Lord’s wisdom envelops your wisdom – The Lord’s love enhances and expands your love.

Do not focus upon results of either your efforts or circumstances. You are to be true to the immediate task of seeking the Father’s will in every decision and action, performing His will as perfectly as you can, and trusting that the results will therefore conform to His will, no matter how they appear to you. This attitude is the procurer of peace and contentment in all circumstances!

Remember that your Creator is not a boss with a bullwhip, but a loving Father holding you in his arms, ready to help you when you have difficulty in fitting the pieces of the puzzle of life together into a meaningful pattern. It is the joy of accomplishment, the confidence of doing the task together, and the love experienced in the proximity to each other that transforms your nature, that renews your mind, that is evidence of the ingestion of spiritual milk instead of junk food.

Let not your whim of the moment
Rob you of the glory of the future.
Keep the joy of the race well-run
At the forefront of your mind,
Envision the reaching of the goal
Feel in your imagination the emotion of pride –
Yes, pride felt by the Father and by you
When you accomplish the completion of the race
Winning the goal of performing His will.

Up, up and away!

Transforming the thinking, the attitudes and thus the actions of the world into kind, loving, unselfish, freely expressed.

Meditation Thought: “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment… For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:13, 26)

When we, through heeding His wise Word, allow our mercy to triumph over judgment, and our faith to be demonstrated by our works, we are transforming the thinking, the attitudes and thus the actions of the world from selfish, cruel, law-bound into kind, loving, unselfish, freely expressed.

No longer bound by sin and shame,
But free:
Up, up and away!
To mountain tops
and cleansing streams.
Pure air, sunshine bright.
No longer oppressed by shadows dark
And fog of unbelief
Our hope, our joy,
Our strength of faith,
Raise our hands to His!
And once He sees us reaching up –
Pure ecstasy abounds
As His arms enfold
Us, drawing us close,
And the warmth of
His embrace –
The mutual love released,
These are the “keys to the kingdom”.
And the possession,
The use of them
Opens vistas glorious,
And possible to explore.
Halleluiah! The journey is so entrancing
That the replacement
Of judgment with mercy,
and the doing of works in faith
Simply fall into place –
Naturally, easily:
Feeling His embrace,
Knowing His love,
Trusting Him to
Move us surely
Across the years,
The obstacles,
To the glories
glimpsed and beckoning,
We are so caught up
In following Him,
Mercy and good works
Become our new nature.
Not through our effort,
But through His Grace.

Scales and Concerts

To find your joy in playing the scales as well as in playing the concert is the key to the kingdom.

Meditation Thought: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

“Step back and take a more comprehensive view of your life. You are too involved in the detail of current circumstances. Seek the pattern – the past, the present – and all that you see in the future as Christ-filled. Remember the love of your Creator, the power of your Creator, and the works of your Creator are not apart from you, but part of you. No thought, feeling nor task is unimportant to Me – nor to you, if you have the perspective which is in your best interest (and thus My best interest).

As the seconds make the moments, the moments make the hours – on into a lifetime – so each thought, feeling, act creates the whole of your life. The practice of patience, of gentleness, of humbleness, of sacrifice, of forgiveness, of cheer, may not be pleasant at all times. However, to practice these is it develop a pattern which pleases you, pleases Me, pleases all whose lives you affect. Practicing the scales may not be evidence of the beautiful concert which will develop from them – yet the concert will never be brought forth without the playing of those scales. Like it or not – it is a fact.

To find your joy in playing the scales as well as in playing the concert is the key to the kingdom. This moment is yours – and Mine. The glories of the heaven and the earth are here if only you will observe them. Playing the scales can be a concert for you and for Me if you will realize that it is our practicing anything together that is our fulfillment and our joy. This is the moment you have been waiting for, longing for, anticipating – and are enjoying to the fullest. When every “this” moment is treated in this manner, you have the kingdom within – and though you may hear “scales”, I hear a lovely concert as the joy of your understanding and your obedience is revealed to Me. It is only a brief time, then, until you, too, shall hear even the scales as if they are a concert. Believe – and act on your belief – that My words are your salvation and your fulfillment – your resurrection from a life of plodding scales into a life of inspiring concert. There is abundant evidence to bear Me out. Do not allow your “feelings” to rob you of your concert by distracting you from practicing your scales.”

Focus for Triumph

Why do you spend useless energy in fretting about what is undone, worrying about what might happen, annoyed at what has happened?

Meditation Thought: ” ‘We don’t know what to do, but we are looking to you.’ The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid! Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s!  But you will not need to fight! Take your places; stand quietly and see the incredible rescue operation God will perform for you. Don’t be afraid or discouraged! Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!’ ‘ Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.'” (2 Chronicles 20: 12,15,17,21)

“Why do you spend useless energy in fretting about what is undone, worrying about what might happen, annoyed at what has happened?

Take your position, stand still and focus your eyes upon Me. The battle is Mine; the victory is Mine but the results are of benefit to you. It is ever the same, through the ages: those who focus their eyes (and therefore their thoughts, words and actions) upon Me, shall have the power of My help in the battle of life.

Victory is ever assured whenever the free will choice is to yield ego to My will in the trust that My love is greater than all else in life. It matters not that you may misunderstand where I desire you to take your position, how I desire you to stand, and when the battle takes place – if you are looking at Me, and are not busily running off to do your own battle, then I can easily correct any misunderstanding upon your part.

I am your loving parent who prepares the way for your life – trust Me, obey Me, – for your good is My goal. When you know this to the point of focusing your eyes upon Me – despite all distractions – then do you have the victory through My fighting the battle on your behalf.

There are infinite methods of expression, but only one Creator, and when the Creator is allowed to move freely, not being hampered by distrust or rebellion or ignorance of those who are His channels of expression, good triumphs over evil; love triumphs over hate; and order triumphs over disorder: the world is conquered by the Kingdom.

Soothing Harmony

Leave your fears and your doubts behind.

Meditation Thought: “He went up into the hills to pray.” (Mark 6:46)

“Come to a quiet place where you can hear My voice more clearly. Seek My counsel, and I will guide you surely. Leave your fears and your doubts behind you, and bring your faith to Me. Trust Me, my beloved child. Put your trust in Me, and I will give you peace, joy and direction.

Seek My will in My Word,
Seek My will in service,
Seek My will in prayer.

Let Me blend all of the elements in your life into harmony and beauty of the Spirit-filled life. It is in prayer that the blending takes place: only through blending the elements to Me to blend can you achieve a harmonizing of them. Instead of their being a bombardment of your senses, they will soothe and please you and aid you. Do all as unto Me. This is the binding, all-pervasive base which will unite separate elements into a beautiful whole.”

Do not Yield to Panic

If you, in panic, look to what you see instead of to Me, you will be kept to the natural consequences of the circumstances instead of moving on into supernatural consequences.

Meditation Thought: “Do not fear, only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

“Through Me, change from human fear to divine faith. I dwell in your heart by your gracious welcome, and My blood enriches your blood, giving you wisdom, vitality, and assurance that whatever the circumstances, they shall be overcome by Word and Spirit: circumstances shall yield to the Good Power, to the Creative Power, to the Power of Grace and Love. But only if you yield the circumstances from human fear to Me to work on them, in faith that I will change them for your good, can I do the necessary manipulations. If you, in panic, look to what you see instead of to Me, you will be kept to the natural consequences of the circumstances instead of moving on into supernatural consequences through My power to change. Believe, and act upon your belief, that the situations in your life will yield to My pressure to make them for your growth into a purer form of Christian.

Think of My molding them as a cast to straighten crooked limbs that the limbs might be stronger and truer than ever. Do not yield to panic as to what has happened, but work to aid Me in getting the proper treatment to heal and strengthen: the more closely we work in harmony, the more rapidly is the healing, strengthening process accomplished.

Think of every day being an opportunity to further the reality of your growing into a ‘new creature in Christ’.

May your spirit glow with love
And your eyes shine in joy
As we go together,
Entwined as one,
Completing the missing part of each other.”