Inward Grace Poured out in Love

“You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?… He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us… God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble… Draw near to God and he will draw near to you… Humble yourself before the Lord and he will exalt you. (James 4:3-6, 8,10)

“Grace” will relieve you of awkwardness – grace enables you to behave appropriately at any time, in any situation. No amount of outward adornment will guarantee graceful behavior  – only the possession of an inward grace – an innate goodness and generous nature, a superior wisdom, a knowledge of who I am as your Creator and Mentor, and who you are as Mine will enable you to behave as Jesus would behave in the same circumstance.

Only through love can grace be expressed. “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful – it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

If you will love – love as it is defined in 1 Corinthians 13 – then I will pour my grace, and all that implies – wisdom, appropriate behavior, kind and encouraging words – into your expression of life.

When you love, as 1 Corinthians 13 suggests to love, you need not be concerned as to what situations you find yourself in – you need only to allow my grace to fill the form of your love – to give it substance and meaning that will be your fulfillment and joy, and which will transfer your love to others – not diminishing your love, but expanding it – spreading it. It will ooze everywhere – even rush everywhere if you will draw close to me, for I am love. Do you now understand? I told Moses “I am”, revealing myself as a reality, as Creator, as Authority. But through Jesus I revealed that I am Love.  When you are close to me – in spirit, in mind, in emotions, in body (through concentration upon the Word and sacrifice of self-will to give glory to My Will) – then My Spirit pours into you, releasing grace into every area of your being. You will no longer be aware of yourself, but aware of My Spirit and aware of the needs of others. As you minister to others, I minister to you. What greater ministry could be given to you? Can any other source give you what I am able to give to you? You cannot possible deplete yourself or deprive yourself by giving to others what they need – for it is this act on your part that releases My Spirit fully into your being, bringing everything good, everything loving, everything glorious.

To love – to give – is the turning of the tap to “on” that My Spirit may flow freely into you.

You need not ponder much concerning your life – ponder only as prayerful thinking when a decision is obviously called for. Most of the time, however, you will need only to respond to a situation or a request with love: loving your neighbor as yourself – loving them as I love you both. You know how I love you. I have told you through Paul in words, and through Jesus in deeds.

Prayer of response:

I know I won’t always live up to the ideal you have placed before me – but I do ask your aid in helping me to do much better than I have been in expressing love, and being the means by which you pour out your grace.

I do love you Lord. I do desire to be obedient – obedient with a joyful, anticipatory, willing attitude. I have an idea that this is the key that unlocks the door to the ability to love as Paul described and Jesus did – and does through all who allow Him to do so.

May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – through my “joyful, anticipatory, willing attitude”. In Jesus Precious Name I pray. Amen.

Wisdom from Above

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and good fruits, without uncertainty or insecurity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18)

Wisdom “from above” is superior to wisdom “from below” – and can be quite different, for wisdom from above is the all-encompassing knowledge of God the creator being expressed, and that of “below” variety is short-sighted, selfish and limited in scope.

Though “peaceable, gentle” wisdom may at first appear to be less effective than a dynamic “wisdom”, in the end result it is far better for all concerned, for it is consistent with the creator’s plan, and the creator’s way. No matter how hard we try, as humans we cannot equal the wisdom of God. Only by being given His wisdom through His Spirit expressed in us can we get desired results for all concerned.

Only God’s wisdom works good out of all circumstances. We punish ourselves if we attempt to live by any wisdom other than the wisdom of God. He demonstrated His wisdom in Jesus – peaceable, gentle – and for a while it appeared to be ineffective – but the final outcome was the most dramatic event in history.

God will move our efforts from ineffective to dramatic if we will hear Him, trust Him, obey Him and praise Him – all things done peaceably and gently: fulfilling God’s “plans for welfare and not for evil.”

Prayer of Response: Lord – all that you are – please hear my prayer. Teach me all about yourself – and myself – and all of your creation. Enable me to allow your wisdom from above to be the guiding peace of my life. Help me to realize my potential as your child, blessed with particular talents to be used to your glory, and the joy of all concerned with me, as well as myself. In Jesus Precious Name I pray. Amen.

Faith and Works

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.” James 2:26

The works of the body indicate the quality of the spirit. The works of the body also indicate the quality of faith. Faith enhances the spirit, and an enhanced spirit enhances the body. An enhanced body, in turn, enhances the faith and the spirit.

The progression of the soul, therefore, in reaching fulfillment in the awareness of oneness with God – a wholeness in self within God and the universe – is not linear, but spiral. As the movement of a finger affects other parts of the body – and the spirit, so the thought in the mind causes effect in the body and the spirit – even if one is not aware of this.

The key to a life of Christ is to have the Christ spirit free to be expressed in every area of one’s life – in spirit, body and faith.

The expression can start in any one of these – whatever is relevant at the moment, depending upon one’s circumstances and one’s will.

The mistake often made is one of hesitation and confusion as to where to start in the search for Truth, and when to start. But the time and place are always here and now: in other words, “the sooner the better”.

Whether faith is all that can be perceived, or works are all that can be perceived, or awareness of one’s self (spirit) is all that can be perceived at a given moment, matters not – any of these is God-created, and God-sustained, and is capable of being God-guided and God-enhanced. These works of God are done when the will of His child is pointed to His will – as a compass points, so can the will be pointed.

To learn to point the will toward God, and God’s will, we must:

  1. Hear the Word,
  2. Understand the Word – through
    1. Prayer,
    2. the Spirit within,
    3. a Christ attitude, and

3. Do the word through Christlike actions and behavior and works.

When our will is encased in God’s will, we are in harmony with Whole and Holy Truth.

Our perception of ourselves and everything in any way connected with us is thus changed – transformed, enhanced, beautified – all to God’s glory, to our joy, and to the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Prayer of Response: Oh Lord – you who are hidden beneath mystery, that You may not invade my free will, thus enabling me to choose to discover You myself, and find life as I longed to have it be, I thank you that you force me to search. I am therefore interested, and excited, and when I do find confirmation of a thought or a theory concerning the significance of life and the reality of it, I feel I have found great treasure.

Enable me to be enthusiastic in continual searching for more treasure. I’m greedy, Lord, I want to find all that you have hidden – not that you don’t intend it for me, but you formed me in such a way that I need to have the choice and the challenge of a treasure hunt instead of a handout. It develops me as your mature child, as well as satisfying you as a parent.

I can’t say that every incident is pleasant – but I promise I will try to recognize that you are with me to help me over all the difficult terrain, and that you fully desire that I find every bit of hidden treasure.

I know I’m yours – even if I’m not quite sure exactly who you are yet. And I’m glad I’m yours – every bit that I learn of You gives me confidence in your ability to be the Perfect Parent. Thank you.

James 1:5-8 & James 1:2

Meditation thought: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, not doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:5-8)

“Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2)

Both wisdom and faith are developed, not given as gifts, full-blown and complete, with no effort put forth by the recipient.

To develop a steadfast faith is the first step in being able to develop wisdom, for you must “ask in faith” in order to receive wisdom. That faith is developed through ‘testing’ – as you meet challenges, pray, believe, and observe results, you develop a ‘steadfast’ faith, which enables you to ask in faith for wisdom. Your trials have brought to your attention your dire need for wisdom. When you combine steadfast faith in my desire to impart wisdom to you and your desire to receive it, then it is possible for wisdom to “make you perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” My Holy Spirit as motivator and guide of your thoughts, your words, and your deeds imparts wisdom to you.

“Nothing succeeds like success” is appropriate here, for the more steadfastly you develop faith, the more generously my wisdom can be imparted to you. It is through wisdom (right and righteous decisions) that I am able to delight in the resulting transformation of the world into kingdom.

The ordinary is enhanced by a glow – transformed, by a new perspective, and thus gives birth to new appreciation, much as objects are made more lovely, and even much changed, in appearance by a sunrise or a sunset.

It is through your seeking me in faith that I am able to transmit the light of my wisdom which transforms appearances and thus inspires a higher level of performance by you.

Recall that advice you read yesterday: “act as if God has responded. This is simply one form of behavior modification”. As you pray, believing, act as if your prayer has been answered, for this is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” It is believing you have what you pray for when you pray. This “steadfastness of faith” – your firm conviction that I desire to give you my wisdom in whatever form is needed for a particular situation and particular prayer is the releasing of the blocks between my will and your free will which must be willingly loosed by you before my gift of wisdom – which will be the means of producing all transformations of worldly into kingdomly – can flow into your being.

First you must be convinced that I love you and desire to shower my blessings upon you – my blessings – not your perception of what my blessings should be, but blessings according to my wisdom and knowledge of not just you, but of the whole universe.

At times there will be no conflict between your human desires and my blessings – but at other times, you will either need to adjust your desires, or wait until a transformation takes place for them to be fulfilled.

The wisdom which you seek is the means by which you will know whether you need to actively adjust, or faithfully wait.

Until you feel comfortable about a situation, perceiving that my will has been done in it, take these steps:

  1. Pray
  2. Think about everything pertinent
  3. Be aware of all circumstances, looking for clues
  4. When the situation appears to call for action, take action, always being conscious of Christ’s spirit living in you, allowing Christ to guide you.
  5. Believe that you are the force I am using to do my will (which, by your yielding to me in appealing for my wisdom, has also become your will).
  6. Behave insofar as possible, as if the transformation is complete. Become an actress if necessary, adjusting expression, voice, and actions to be appropriate with the scene you envision as being our completed transformation.
  7. Do not allow fear, or doubt that you have comprehended correctly, to enter into the situation. I use positive, committed, focused movement to accomplish my will, just as human endeavors accomplish goals. If you go amiss, I will re-direct you – as gently as you allow me to do it.
  8. Believe that I am who I say I am through Christ: total love, and totally loving. When anything else appears to be expressed, something dissatisfying or painful, it is due to misunderstanding or rebellion on the part of the child, not the Father.
  9. Do not be a fearful child, expecting harsh punishment for infraction of rules, particularly when you break rules out of ignorance or misunderstanding. Even if you require discipline (and that is not “punishment”), the discipline will be as light as possible to teach you.
  10. Trust my power. Recall the miracles in the Old Testament, the New Testament and your own life and those whom you know.
  11. “Go and sin no more.” Christ’s healing touch has transformed you. Believe, and act upon your belief. Tell of my love which sent His healing touch to you. Tell of His compassion. Tell of the power to save men from despair, and bring them to joy. It is the power of my love that bathes everything in transforming light , making all beautiful, and all right. My love is expressed through as obedient child. Be my obedient child – you will find your joy and your fulfillment in that role. No other role in life will totally please you – or me.

Prayer of response: Father, thank you for this teaching today in response to my desire for wisdom. Please enable me to learn it well, doing all which you have suggested joyfully and well. I praise your Holy Name. I thank you for Jesus. I thank you for your Holy Spirit. I thank you for heaven and earth – for all that exists, in spirit and in the physical.

I seek to know what you desire me to know, and do what you desire me to do, for therein lie the fulfillment of my desires. I thank you for the fulfillment right now.

Jeremiah 29:13-14

(This blog contains reference to a personal situation that was going on at the time and, thus, a bit of it may seem out of context to the reader. But, I found the spiritual truths to be so relevant that I believe God can use this post to help others even if the context may not be entirely clear….Karen)

Meditation Thought:

You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you. Jeremiah 29:13-14

“You are perceiving stepping stones as road blocks – you are looking at the stones from the wrong perspective – you have not moved from the low place to the high place, where you can move on top of circumstances.

You are seeking guidance – and I shall take you to the high place if you will heed My Word, heed My Spirit within you, and use your mind to think through whatever comes into your life.

The key sentence which you realized was intended for your edification in the clipping you read is “and then act as if God has responded.

You need not be confused about praying in faith possibly conflicting with My Will. When your heart desires first that my will be done, it shall be done – even if you do not pray precisely the way I desire. Yet, if you are to pray at all, you must choose a way in which to pray. You have received no guidance indicating that your logical thinking on this matter is in error. Only the fact that the house has not yet sold has you doubting. I have done works for you as you have waited, as I have done works in others. You shall abide in Me wherever we abide physically. There are a number of places where we can do what we need to do, both for your development and your ministry. Simply relax now, praying that my desires shall be your desires, and know that in the prayer itself is the power to bring about the reconciliation. You do not know where it is best for you to be – at your current address or elsewhere – in the future. But I know – and I will guide you to be content in the physical place where you reside, because your spirit will reside with my Spirit there.”

Her response (edited for privacy but included for encouragement): “Lord, thank you for this lovely home. Thank you for my future home or homes. Thank you that you know me better than I know myself, and are the architect and decorator ‘Par excellence’  for me, whatever the situation. Help me to perceive the delights of the kingdom in my physical home, that I may bring these to the attention of my family and my friends. …Lord I would have every part of my physical residence, and physical items everywhere bring glory to You, and enhance our relationship. In Jesus Precious Name I pray this becomes a reality. Amen.”

John 1:4

 

Meditation thought: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4

Jesus came that we might have not only a teacher, but an example. To hear about a subject is never as revealing as to observe the subject. A father may try and try to explain to a child what it is he would like the child to learn – but the child still may not comprehend. If the father can demonstrate – preferably in several areas, using several senses, the child then may understand. It is helpful, too, if the child knows that the father actually has done, or does the action he desires the child to take.

If the child is to learn, he needs to focus his attention on the father, however, and not be distracted by other things.

So, too, in Jesus we have our actual demonstration of the thinking and the character and the type of actions which God intends for his human creations to have.

Not only is the life of Jesus able to help us comprehend more fully what the Father intended us to be as His children, but – as a father may aid a child in his task – Jesus, too, by His Presence within us, aids us in our tasks.

Thus He is light in the sense of revealing, and light in the sense of changing something (as light changes plants).

Prayer: Lord Jesus I want You to be a great light to me – revealing that which has been hidden, and changing in me all that is alien to the Father’s character.

I know your work is cut out, and so is mine! I have many selfish desires, and often absent-mindedly overlook things I shouldn’t. But, I do realize that I need to change, and be changed, and you are the One who can help me! Thank you!

“Make me to know thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths. Lead me in the truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation, for thee I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)

Hebrews 12: 6,10

Meditation Thought: “The Lord disciplines him whom he loves… he disciplines us for our good.” Hebrews 12:6,10

“You are not perfect – not a perfect expression of my character. Therefore, I must help you in the necessary changes to move you more closely to perfection, since you desire this as your highest priority. Sometimes the necessary discipline – much of which is merely the effect from what you have caused – is unpleasant. Bear it in good grace, for it will soon pass as you understand and move ahead in a more perfect obediance.

My desire for you to do my will is not due to my authority, but due to my great love for you. I have vast resources of wisdom, knowledge and power which I desire you to benefit from, but you must do your part to release them in your life – you must use your mind to learn the word, your faith to believe the promises, your spirit to comprehend the word and the promises, and your emotions to draw the surge of power. To do all of these you need discipline to forgo other pursuits that you may have time and energy for these.

Light your way with love. Walk your way in peace. Enhance your way with kindness.

Thus did Christ go His Way.

There is a secret to it: Perceiving the will of the Father – and doing it.

This is “discipline”.

It is not a matter of punishment, But a matter of practicality.

Allow this thought to penetrate, To change your attitude.

Be glad to know, And willing to do.

Your joy and fulfillment come not in leisure, But in movement:

Dynamic, exciting, ever-unfolding revelations

Brought forth through discipline –

The commitment of self To that which is True and Good.

Never Wavering, But steadied by Christ Living in your heart,

Demonstrating and nurturing.

“Discipline” becomes a friend, the helper, the accomplisher.

It is the Way to the kingdom.

There is no other way for you to find contentment.

Whether you wish it so, or wish it not,

This is the Truth.

To know the Truth Is to be free.”