Monday Morning Devotion-July 15, 2019
It's a Mystery to Me
> Based on "Profound Mystery" February 10, 2014
For in God we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
I read this in "Jesus Today."
"You are in Me and I am in you. This is a profound mystery. I am the infinite Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. You are a finite, fallen human being. Yet you and I live not just with each other, but also in each other."
Now that is amazing when you stop to think about it. Look at the contrast, the inequality of our status. God, the awesome and astounding Creator of the Universe is in us. Who are we? Uh, nobody by comparison's sake, but we are so important in the eyes of our Creator that he dwells in us through the Holy Spirit.
With that realization we shouldn't have any problems, at least ones that cannot be overcome, right? Well, not exactly. You see He is there for us, but we don't always take advantage of that. His advice is always available, but we don't always seek and heed it.
Why is that?
Well, sometimes we just think we can do it on our own. It's like when our parents gave us advice or instructions as we were growing up. Did we always take it? Yes? "Liar Liar pants are on fire" as the saying goes. Frequently we thought we knew more than our parents but that changed when we grew up and began to realize what parenting was all about. Usually we learned a fast and hard lesson when our neglect of parental advice got us in trouble.
Same, but on an even larger scale most of the time, with our neglecting the fact that our greatest source of help resides in us and is always available. All we have to do is ask for it.
John Riley, a motivational and religious speaker who I greatly admire, says, " I have found that most of the problems in my life were caused by me." How true that is for us all. And they usually are the result of not calling on the One who resides in us and is ready to help.
As our scripture says: "in Me you live move and have your being." That revelation alone means that we have a "deeper, fuller union than we can find in any human relationship." So really everything we do, every move we make, words we speak even our breathing is under His "watchful embracing presence."
I realize that it is often difficult to shut out the worldly static and focus on what God is saying to you about a situation. In a Centering Prayer group, I discovered how difficult it is to do as the Psalmist writes: "Be still and know that I am God."
Each week we would try to clear our minds in a 20-minute period and just make ourselves available to Him. I found that if I go for a minute or two without a distraction I have done good. I think the dark force out there really goes to work when we go into the prayer mode.
It's like C. S. Lewis pointed out in "The Screwtape Letters" in which an old devil is training his young devil nephew. He tells him to do anything he can to keep a Christian from praying and if they do pray to try to distract them. The devil knows about the power of prayer and fears it.
In his "unparalleled classic book "The Practice of the Presence of God" Brother Lawrence, a humble cook, who managed to seek out God even in his daily chores wrote over 300 years ago or more: "We have a God who is infinitely good and who knows what He is doing. He will come and deliver you from your present trouble in His perfect time and when you may least expect it. Hope in Him more than ever. Thank Him for the strength and patience He is given you even in the midst of this trial, for it is an evident mark of His concern for you. Encourage yourself with His love and thank Him for everything."
In the fictional but very thought-provoking book, "The Shack," William P. Young has a scene in which the main character Mack and Jesus are together and suddenly Mack is overwhelmed by the "great sadness" as the loss of his young daughter deeply haunts him.
"Jesus?" he whispered as his voice choked. "I feel so lost."
"A hand reached out and squeezed his and didn't let go. "I know Mack. But it's not true. I am with you and I'm not lost. I'm sorry it feels that way but hear me clearly. You are not lost."
Notice the passionate kindness in Jesus' reply. You can feel how much he loves Mack and grieves with him but gives him hope that everything will be OK.
This is the same thing that is constantly available to you and me.
It takes faith to activate this on-going help. Brother Lawrence says "God has various ways of drawing us to Him, but sometimes He hides from us. In those times, the sole support of our confidence must be our faith, which must be totally in God. Such faith will not fail."
I believe that this is like anything else. The more you practice it the better you become at it. When I was taking piano lessons and there were weeks that circumstances prevented my practicing piano enough then I played poorly when I went for my lesson. When I practiced properly I played less poorly. Hey, I'm still in a beginner mode. :)
But the fact is that the piano is in our house. It's not like I have to schedule practice time and go somewhere to do it. And the last time I checked there are still 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. So, what is my excuse when I don't practice?
It's the same as when we try to rectify a problem on our own without consulting God. Results are usually not good. He is right there in our hearts. We don't have to go somewhere to find him. The more we call on Him, the more we remember to do that and the more aware we are that He resides in us, and we are in Him as well.
He says: "For my children aloneness is really just an illusion…. The more aware of Me you are, the more alive and complete you will feel. Your union with Me makes every moment of your life meaningful."
Monday Prayer: Lord helps us to remember that you are always there for us. Amen!