“When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6
Welcome to a “journey of the heart”, to a place where few on our planet deliberately travel because our civilization is so “mind heavy”, occupied with busy lives, technology and the many complexities of living in the 21st century. The world of the heart is the inner world, the world of spiritual things. And its huge. It’s God’s world, the source of everything and the ultimate reality. What our minds see and understand are like the portion of icebergs that are visible above the ocean’s surface, prominent but just tiny fractions of the huge mass beneath that truly defines their reality. In the same way, the “heart of man” truly defines and steers what we say and do, who we really are and where we can connect with God.
God established the Jubilee year for the Israelites as the shadow of a heavenly work that He does with His children today. Every 50th year was declared a time of rest and celebration for the years before, and inheritances were restored to each person. If a family had lost its ancestral land for whatever reason – neglect, error, a business risk that didn’t pay off or just tough times – the land was returned. If it was heavily mortgaged by debt, encumbered by onerous contracts or occupied by pesky tenants, these were all cancelled to make it free and clear, like the day God had first proclaimed it belonged as inheritance to a family line. Servants were set free to pursue their own paths in life, and every obligation was cancelled.
What does the Jubilee mean for us today? What is God doing?
“In” versus “at” are two completely different ways of walking with God. Last night and this morning, this little gem of truth shone out at me in my meditation times, and I think it goes to the heart of how simple the walk of faith really is. We’re meant to live “in” God not “at” God. Let me explain.
Spiritual battles are won by faith, but there’s a key of truth to find that unlocks faith in every challenge. The truth changes our understanding of God and so faith accesses God’s power to transform the world around us from a transformed heart within us.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Earlier this year I was going through an intense spiritual battle linked to a business deal. It seemed like an outward thing, but of course as ever the real battle was in my heart: this was designed by the Lord to bring greater levels of breakthrough and freedom in my heart, in the “secret place” of my inner faith. Battles exist because the Lord accomplishes internal transformation by teaching us truth under pressure. He reveals powerful keys of His Kingdom and these bring victory as they open the door to new realms of His power. In the process we are changed, and our faith grows.
Musings From a German Monastery
This past weekend, during a short “hop-over” business trip to Germany, I enjoyed doing something that has been a romantic dream of mine for some time – to spend a couple of nights in a monastery. I’m interested in the history of it all, fascinated by the mindset of monks and nuns especially in modern day, and of course intrigued to see whether I can learn medieval beer brewing recipes from the heirs of the earliest microbrewers.
Most of all though, what drew me here was the idea of making a special pursuit of God, to see whether I could encounter Him in a new and special way. And I wanted to see if there was something about the lifestyle and devotion of these folks that holds lessons for me in my very different modern day life. That is what this brief post is about.
More than forgiveness, peace with God means to be joined to Him, connected with His divine nature and intertwined with His life through the Holy Spirit. Peace with God is being accepted by Him and connected to Him. All are invited to experience this deeper walk in God’s presence in 2016 and, as a result, enjoy His grace in greater abundance. Continue reading