Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A DIFFERENT KIND OF WORK, from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, NOT FOR MEN ONLY





A DIFFERENT KIND OF WORK


All relationships are a two-way street, which include conversations and mutual disclosures. Prayer — conversation with God — is no different. Meditation is our listening part in our conversation with God. It is the way we hear His voice, discern His directions, and accept the power we must have to obey His instructions. Recovery requires a significant amount of hard work, but meditation is a different kind of work. Meditation is not about effort; it is about quieting our mind, body and spirit so we can hear what we need to know. Often times the best thing we can do for our own spiritual life is to stop. Stop working. Stop playing. Stop everything. Be still. Be quiet. Listen.




In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he (the enemy) can keep us engaged in “muchness” and “manyness”, he will rest satisfied.
Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline pg 15


 
Hurry is not of the Devil, it is the Devil.
Carl Jung


 
In meditation, we set distractions aside the best we can. We take time in our lives for God. We intentionally create time, place and space for Him and we listen for His presence in the space we set aside for Him. When doing this, we can see how He works to reorganize our concerns and priorities in ways, which are healthy and useful. Our agendas and motivations become re-worked supernaturally. God does not speak to any of us because of our special abilities. He speaks to every one of us when we are honest before Him, when we are open to obey Him and want to hear from Him.


 
We learn to meditate by doing it — by meditating. We learn how to do it much like we learn how to do anything else. We start, get distracted, start again, get distracted and then start again. Over time, and with every renewed start, we will be more capable of listening, hearing and discerning the voice and will of God. We lose nothing in this process because real meditation does not empty us or detach us from that which is truly important. Meditation actually results in a filling and re-attachment of our heart and mind to God’s heart and mind. It helps us gain a deepening friendship with Jesus. Meditation will build an expectation in us for God to speak to us personally, that He will act on our behalf beneficially, and He will teach and guide us to courageous action. God will ensure that we will always understand His guidance when we really want to know it.


 
Because most of us have never really done it, mediation may feel intimidating and uncomfortable. It sure was for me. Nevertheless, we best not put pressure on ourselves. We do not have to meditate well; we just have to do it. Part of meditation is allowing our imagination to run freely, like a child’s does. God created us with imagination for a purpose after all. Our addictions deadened our capacity for creative thinking, but meditation re-opens us to the wonderful world of imagination, possibilities and goal setting that God has built into us. Thinking, imagining, and believing the many wonderful ways that God may reveal Himself to us, change us, restore us and use us, is important. Remember this though, God has no obligation to serve us, or fulfill any ideas we think up. Yes, He has committed Himself to care for us, but He is not obligated to give us all we think we should have. We must be careful not to allow meditation to become a breeding ground for selfishness and self-centeredness, which are most dangerous when they take on a religious tone. Guard against this kind of personal self-deception. If we are serious about walking with God, we must prefer obedience over comfort and blessing.


 
Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! But don’t be discouraged!
Jeremiah 45:5 NLT


 


And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your motive is wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.
James 4:3 NLT


 


Scripture is the grounding rod of all meditation. Our commitment to absorb Scripture helps keep our prayer and meditation centered and properly aligned with God’s will for our life. Through the disciplines of prayer and meditation, we learn to listen intently, speak softly, and live powerfully.


 
We take our efforts seriously, while knowing that serious results are from God. We remain intent and dogged in pursuit of our disciplines, in the working of the steps, but dismiss at all times the notion that our work is enough. It never is. Our miracles come from God, and He offers them in conjunction with our work.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest February 9




This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only 

~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011


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