Walking With Wisdom ~ Burning One’s
Do We Really Know Who We Are?
At a time like this, I feel like I’m caught between two worlds. Maybe you do too. Conservatives call me a Liberal. Liberals call me a Conservative. In Theology, as well as Politics, I am neither far-Right nor far-Left. I’m neither looney Left nor blood-sucking Right. But if I’m honest, I’m a little of both, and more…we include the best of both and transcend them in Jesus.
Being in the middle, between it all with Jesus is the burning spot. Everything is on fire, being proven and purified. It is the prophetic point of vision and eternal life. It is the living place of both and…
Jesus never sided with the far right, nor the far left of his day, (the Pharisees, nor the Sadducees).
Jesus stood with the poor, the outcasts, and the sinners in the fires of life.
calling out to the broken,
and the downtrodden,
calling to anyone with ears to hear,
into the Creator’s fire of transformation,
to be reborn in the fires of eternal life.
He still does,
and so do we
who are in Him.
We are the burning one’s
Burning with the creative,
eternal fire of God
sparkling with eternal life.
Beings of light,
Born of the Father of lights.
Do We Really Know Who We Are?
A Breath Prayer: Jes-us
Light a candle, play some soft music, say a meaningful prayer, a Psalm like the 23rd, or whatever you do to enter devotion.
The monastics call this entering the cave of our heart. The Franciscan’s pray with their head lower than their heart to remind themselves that it’s heart first in approaching God.
A breath prayer is simply a way to drop our linear mind, to enter our spirit through our breath.
Take three deep breaths and slowly center yourself in your heart.
As breath is spirit,
Breathe in this moment…
Let the stillness soak into your being.
Breathe in forgiveness, and breathe out your release.
Breathe in faith, and breathe out thanksgiving.
Breathe in silently saying ‘Jes’, and breathe out silently saying ‘us’.
Enter into your rest prepared for you,
In Christ’s finished work.
Close your eyes or let them rest gently focused a few feet in front of you, as you breathe naturally.
Breathe… embracing belonging, releasing gratitude,
Focusing on the presence of Jesus.
Letting go and letting God,
Like a trust fall into the arms of God
Allowing yourself to feel well, and whole in these eternal arms.
Feeling joy in God’s presence.
Free from suffering and harm,
Free and whole.
Take your time, savor, and soak in the presence of God.
“Meditation rather than an escape is engaging life at its deepest level.”
~ Bob Holmes a Daily Contemplation
Meditation Is Native To Us
We might need to clear up some confusion around the meaning of meditation as there are Hebrew, Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Taoist, and even scientific definitions of meditation. On top of this, there are hundreds of various of named and unnamed meditation practices. This is because meditation is native to all human beings. And because it is native to all of us, meditation stripped of any religious connotation is a morally neutral practice.
Meditation stripped of any religious connotation is a morally neutral spiritual practice. (Click to Tweet)
Listen. The hunter in a treestand or the person fly fishing, the wood worker, or the gardener can be in a meditative flow state. Heck, you can meditate washing the dishes. Brother Lawerence did.
Hillsong, Bethel, and IHOP use music as a meditative flow state to help open others up to their own spirit in worship.
Meditation is any spiritual practice that shifts us out of our everyday dualistic awareness into our unitive, or whole awareness. (Click to Tweet)
Our awareness shifts from seeing things as ‘either or’, into seeing things unified, or as whole. We see the whole landscape and not just the trees. Our binary awareness normally doesn’t totally drop away, but it does become subordinate to our whole awareness.
Much like a car, meditation gets you from one state to another, but it’s your own spirit that determines the direction and the destination you travel in. (Tweet This)
Let me say it another way:
Meditation is the process of shifting from our soul’s dualistic awareness into our spirit’s unitive awareness. (Tweet This)
And another way
Meditation is the process of shifting from our old, fallen, broken, dysfunctional, false self, to our new, whole, true self.
It’s dying to our old self so we might live out of our new self in Christ.
Let’s Look At David
In David’s song, the 23 Psalm, he’s giving us a window into how meditation works.
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
he makes me lie down in green pastures
he leads me beside the still waters
he restores my soul
Let’s briefly look at this with contemplative eyes.
The Lord is my shepherd reveals a lot of things, but with regards to meditation, it means we are drawn and directed by God, not driven. We are drawn. We declare that the Lord is in charge Shepherding us. God has initiated it and we are following God’s lead. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
I shall not want reveals that we are intentional in our seeking nothing. We intentionally empty ourselves out. This is our dying to our old self. This is our letting go, a trust fall into the hands of God. Expecting nothing, trusting all.
He makes me lie down in green pastures reveals that God gives us rest, even when we don’t seek it. He brings us to a place of fertile, beauty, nourishment and rest.
He leads me beside the still waters reveals that the good shepherd leads us beside the flowing stillness…a place of peace. Water is an image of the living, flowing Spirit of God, we drink from and enter into.
He restores my soul reveals that as we’ve soaked in the stillness of life, that the healing and restoration of our old, broken, fallen soul come from God, the Holy Spirit restoring through our spirit, every disconnect and broken flow of God’s life within us. (ie the process of meditation and contemplation)
We as Christians experience meditation as a doorway from our body and soul into our spirit that allows Jesus to welcome us into the presence and into the dance of worship in the Trinity of God, which will always remain a wonderful mystery beyond us, even as we’ve tasted and entered in.
Types of Meditation
I’ve noticed two basic types of meditation: Meditations of Flow and Meditations of Being.
Again, Meditation is any practice we use to engage our spirit.
It can be as simple as taking a breath or as complicated as praying the Daily Office seven times a day.
Many of us shift into our spirit the moment we sit down for our morning devotions and take a breath.
Muscle memory is our ally here. And because meditation is native to us, it’s not complicated or religious. It is our intentional focus…the gaze of our heart.
Having close to sixty years of experience with all kinds of shapes, colors and varieties of meditation, I’ve noticed that what works for each of us is totally unique, and the form will morph and change with time.
Every sense we have can be used as a vehicle to enter our spirit, such as deep thought in Lectio Divina, breath meditation, or the smell of flowers on a warm evening.
Photo by: Deviant Art
What is your one word for the year?
Mine is Worship. I’m taking this year to look at my worship: the forms and the substance.
Choosing a word for the year to focus on is a spiritual practice, much like a silent mantra that draws us
We become what we worship because we worship with our spirit.
In worship, we face God in his radiant glory and are transformed from glory to glory.
Spiritual disciplines are tools for worship, ways we practice our spirit.
In worship, we are transformed from the inside out.
Here’s the best, all in one book of spiritual disciplines I’ve found. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun lists seventy-five distinct spiritual disciplines that probably cover every personality type.
Here’s The Scoop On Spiritual Disciplines
When most of us, when we think of spiritual disciplines, we think of prayer, devotionals, Bible reading, or worship. But in fact, because of our God-given creativity, the list is ever expanding. For instance, Cross-Fit has become a spiritual discipline for many Christians in America.
Spiritual Disciplines are ways we sweep the threshold. Ways we clear away the debris, set our focus, and shift, so we can engage our spirit.
Spiritual disciplines are practices or ways we set up our spirit for:
- Inner Transformation
- Encounter with God
- And External Integration in our lives, family, and community.
Here’s a great book with great reviews and endorsement that will enrich your spiritual life.
Sweeping The Threshold
“The words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times”.
Tested seven times… This excites me, that God wants us to be discerning. Test everything, especially when you get something from God.
Test your visions, test what God shows you, test what God tells you, test what you read in Scripture. He’ll love you for it.
Our filters aren’t perfect. We get it wrong when it’s delivered right. We hear it wrong, see things wrong, and understand wrongly. Hey, it’s human, so get over it. You’re not God’s answer to the world. Jesus is.
Concerning prophecy, ie: what Pastors, Priests, Saints, and Christian Leaders tell you:
“test everything; hold on to what is good“
Rip it apart and see what doesn’t tear. I can’t say it enough, we are so gullible because we’re taught to be perpetual spiritual babies. Grow up! Test everything, be discerning, test people’s spirit, test their words, test their motives, test everything I’m saying to you.
Science Tests Everything
This is what science does, and so should we. As Believers we should lead the way, especially Christian Mystics, those who’ve had supernatural experiences with God, which should be all of us.
Let’s blow superstition out of the water. It has no place in the Body of Christ.
Just because somebody’s got the Holy Spirit all over them doesn’t mean they’re interpreting clearly. God’s working through their filters and nobody gets it perfect.
As a post-modern mystic, I blow it all the time. I have to find my place in God every morning, hence Meister Eckhart’s quote: ‘Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
Scripture tells us:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his tender mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
…They are new every morning, and we have to engage them. We have to cross the threshold.
Testing The Saints
As to testing everything, when I study the saints, I see a whole lot of junk there. The saints did a whole lot of stupid stuff in their efforts to abide in Christ. They tried everything so we can learn from them. However, most of their efforts should not be repeated.
But I also see the immortal diamond there. So I dig the diamond out of the mud and cherish their gift to us. We are all frail human beings after all.
We All Need Skeptics In Our Lives
We don’t need people who just spout the party line. We need skeptics in our lives, people without guile.
Skeptics are God’s gift to you and me to hold us accountable.
We need people who don’t buy into our mystical experiences. I have someone close to me who is my skeptic and I take great comfort in them.
There’s No Perfect Belief or Doctrine
Perfection is found only in God.
Listen, you may have 99% pure water, but if it’s got 1% poison, it can kill you.
So test everything, but don’t get small, mean, and cynical. We’re all just walking each other home.
Be discerning (the Hebrew here means subtle), but be generous.
“…Be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.” ~ Jesus
A Wholistic View of Sin
Let me bring up your awareness into a whole viewpoint, instead of our normal binary, dualistic one. You may already know this through experience.
We are trained to see sin as a list of do’s and don’t’s. But Sin, (which is our failure at perfection), is anything that breaks our life flow with God. Anything.
Let me say it again:
Sin is Anything that breaks the life flow of God in your life.
So here’s the heart of why.
Why Test Everything
We are created for relationship. So Here’s the test:
Anything that breaks the life flow of God in our lives should be abandoned.
Sin is more than any list or law can contain. It’s all about relationship. Laws, rules, and list are outside the veil. God has called us in.
Everything we are connects up in God if we could see the life flow of God within us. So abide in Christ.
Trust is proving God, and finding God is faithful. It’s making sure the connections are solid.
This is why we test everything. So that we can live a fuller, more abundant life. It’s all about spiritual relationship.
Testing is sweeping the threshold