Friday, 8 February 2008

Meditate on this today...

Phil 2:13 For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Does this verse confuse you a little? Well, it certainly confused me for a while. I had to ask myself, "What is that 'to will' bit doing in there?" The word "both" seemed to indicate that the writer saw the concepts of "will" and "Work" as being mutually exclusive. Does God have to force Himself through His "Will" to do this unpleasent thing called "Work"? Does He get through it rather like we hurry through our working days so that we can get into our sporting togs and have some fun (good pleasure) hitting a ball around?

I battled with this for a while but then I discovered that the key to understanding that text lies in the translation of the word "will".

In Greek this was translated as θέλω, pronounced "thel'-o". Now here is the fascinating thing: that word also means "to wish, to delight in, love". Let's do a little experiment here now: replace the word "will" in the text with the word "love", like this:

For it is God who works in you, both to LOVE (you) and to work for his good pleasure.

Now the whole thing looks different! The text is also now saying that it is God's good pleasure to Love us. "He Delights in" working through us to bring Spirit into manifestation on the material plane. It is a challenging task and God needs us to complete this "job", this "work".

But I still had one more problem. That word word "pleasure" somehow sounded a little frivolous. I asked myself, is God just having fun with us? Is it His "good pleasure" to impose his "will" on us? Look around you at all the pain and suffering and hardship (and heart break) in the world. Is God striking us with so many horrible things just so that He can have some fun ("pleasure") teaching us to be better people?

Let's look a little more closely at what the writer of the letter to the Philippians might actually have been saying before he got translated into English. The word "pleasure" was translated as 'εὐδοκία,' pronounced "yoo-dok-ee'-ah". And here is the "AHA!" moment: That word 'εὐδοκία' also means "purpose"!

Wow! Suddenly, it's chrystal clear: It is God who works in you, both to LOVE (you) and to work for his good purpose. God has a good purpose in mind for us. By implication it is calling on us to "Let go and let God". His Good Purpose is to manifest Love in your life. His good purpose to make your cup run over with all the good things that it is your Father's good pleasure to pour good into your life.

For it is God who works in you, both to LOVE (you) and to work for his good PURPOSE.

God does not give sparingly. We only receive his Goodness sparingly because we don't open our hands wide enough to receive what He is waiting to give us. Our hands are closed into fists by worry, fear, hate, envy and most of all... because a fist cannot let go until it opens, we are so grasping that we do not pass God's gifts on to other people. Romans 13:10 says, "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law". But instead, we are closed systems and Spirit cannot express through us.

Like water in a river flowing past rocks in mid stream, it leaves us isolated, lonely and separated from all the goodness and the healing power of the water that keeps on flowing past us. We block the flow of Spirit through us so that it cannot bless us with God's Great Goodness. If we want to receive, we must also give! The Bhagavad-Gita says, "Give me your whole heart. Love and adore Me, worship Me always and you will find Me. This is my promise - Who loves you dearly."

So now you know what you have to do. Don't delay. Discipline your mind to reject negative thoughts and feelings immediately. Turn to the positive. Turn to Love. Work with God. Do it today and change your life around!

Meditate on this today...

Prov 22: 4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor for life.

The word "fear" in this text comes from the original "ראה", (pronounced "yir-aw") which also means "reverence". Please know this: our beloved Creator does not ask to be "feared". Fear blocks the flow of Spirit in our lives! Our Creator is the very essence of Love and when there is complete Love, there is complete Trust. When Trust is total, there can be no fear.

So Proverbs 22:4 is saying that if we tune in to Spirit through reverence, we also tune in to riches and honor that will last all of our lives. And you know what? Billions of people the world over are proving this either positively, or negatively, at this very minute! The Fruits of the Spirit in your life are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Goodness and Self Control.

When we allow negative thoughts, feelings and acts to rule our lives, we demonstrate all the opposites of what we really want. For all of us, all the Children of God, (whether you want to know it or not, not a single one of us stands outside the Love of the Creator) these opposites are the real enemies: Hate, Sadness, Strife, Impatience, Unkindness, Cruelty, Unfaithfulness, Corruption and Licentiousness.

Be honest now, where do you think you really stand? On the Positive or on the Negative side? If you answer this truthfully, you will immediately also know for sure why these things are happening in your body and in your circumstances right now! This is a fact: we are all demonstrating the Fruits of the Spirit all the time - either negatively or positively, (or a little of both, as most of us do in our lives).

YOU are in the driver's seat! You can change your direction completely! It's as quick as snapping your fingers. Discipline your human mind. Don't be afraid! Choose the POSITIVE right now and see your life change dramatically for the better - and far sooner than you think.

Please share with us the wonderful change in your life as it begins to manifest, as it SURELY will! It's easy. Just click "Comments" below.

God is Your Supply

Heb 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear.

Faith always has been the mark of our relationship to God, from the beginning of the world. Where the principle of Faith is planted by the regenerating Spirit of God, it causes the truth to be received. And the same things that are the object of our hope, are also the object of our faith. Faith is a firm persuasion and expectation, that God will perform all he has promised to us. What Heb 11:1 is saying is that Faith proves to the mind, the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. Faith is a full approval of all God has revealed, as holy, just, and good.

1Ti 4:10
We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.

What is the role of Belief, Faith and Trust in our relationship with our Creator? Nicol Campbell’s lecture of June 1963, entitled “God is Your Supply” took a searching look at some of the aspects to this question,

Let’s begin with the word “Believe” and ask, we can differentiate it from “Faith”. We can’t touch Faith, we can’t hear it or smell it. Is Faith therefore abstract? Can Faith exists only in our minds? Is it real at all? Can we say that Faith is a force that seeks expression in the physical world? We al share a desire to make Faith become real also for ourselves? Is there a mechanism, a switch we can turn on? The key lies in believing. From the few bible verses I quoted it seems clear that to “Believe” is to do something active… when we believe, we actively trigger a mechanism that brings Faith into reality – that turns it into a “Spiritual Force of Life”, as Nichol Campbell put it. We gain access to Faith through a simple act… the act of BELIEVING.

But is believing enough? Is there something else we have to do? We can all say without fear of contradiction from outside that “we believe in God” and we can do this without having any subjective doubts. We can say we believe He is all-powerful, all-knowing and that He is present everywhere as Love. But there is a vast difference between belief and faith. To believe in our Creator and the Love that constitutes His world, is to have a mental concept of something higher than ourselves., but it is not necessarily the emotional consciousness that will that will bring the Spiritual Force of Life into being through our bodies and into our affairs.

Many of us will share a common experience in our journey on the path to faith in God. We might have thought that we had faith, but the truth is that it takes a lot of trial and error and much overcoming before we even have the first glimpse of faith. Even when we have had a manifestation of faith in our material and spiritual circumstances we felt stimulated emotionally. But it did not mean that from there onwards, good would just continue to pour into our lives without ever stopping. But what it DID mean was that we took that first faltering step along the Path of Truth by exercising faith and by seeing it become manifest in lour lives.

Let’s look at the word “Faith”. Let’s see if together we can approach the inner workings of understanding faith. It is not as many people think something that is merely abstract. Nichol puts it this way: “Faith is a definite, glowing quality, one of peace, it is the inner realization that, come what may of a physical or spiritual nature, you will remain unperturbed, you will take no notice of the conditions, you will go about your duties, not thinking, believing, hoping or even knowing that the good will manifest. But through it all you will realize – in spite of appearances to the contrary, and regardless of what may happen, that it IS done. It is already established.”

And it is in such circumstances that the fruits of the spirit, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Goodness pull you through. Every single little manifestation of Truth in your life, serves to strengthen your faith until it finally matures into Trust, simple trust in your creator, in His Spirit which fills you to the brim so that your cup runneth over of the good things it is your Father’s pleasure to give to you. To Trust is to know, definitely, without any shadow of a doubt whatsoever, that, as the Father’s Love has lifted you up in the past, so does it lift you up now. So does it carry and protect you through all of life’s slings and arrows. Trust is faith that has been tried and tested in the crucible of your life. Trust requires no action on your part. When your faith has turned into trust, you don’t have to try so hard to believe anymore. You pass through into a safe harbour where you know that there is nothing that you need to do. When your faith has become absolute trust, you leave the doing to your Father in Heaven who constitutes you and every other thing in your life. In oneness there is no division and when this realization has taken over all of your life, you will have graduated to the level of absolute Trust. Absolute knowing that you are not in charge. Instead, you partake joyfully of all the good that is yours by right as the heir of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a final giving over of all worries, of all illnesses, of every single aspect of your life. This is when the force of Love surrounds, protects and fills you to the exclusion of all else.

But this is not easy! When our bodies are full of pain, when we have bills to meet, worries about loved ones and their welfare, strife in our homes, in our country where the crime seems to escalate day by day. It is very hard when we see a lifetime of emotional and material investment come tumbling down about us. It’s not easy under such circumstances to stand poised and at peace, able to say confidently of everything that is happening, that it is a lie. It’s very hard then, to feel and believe that it does not matter in the least.

No one can give you Faith and Trust. It is almost impossible to describe the emotional experience to you. One can only sum it up, as the Master did, by saying that when you have found this pearl of great price, you will have entered into a peace that passeth understanding. When this happens you are able to take the most extraordinary steps in the dark, you don’t hesitate to cut all your boats adrift. With complete abandonment, you throw yourself into the unseen hands of God. You will have no fear, because the Spirit will have said through the body, “It is done. I know it”

And so our Path of Truth reaches a mountain top where we can truly say that we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.