May 24, 2019
He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. (Proverbs 15:32)
Years ago my dear pastor friend, Harry Li, said something profound to me. He was asking for prayer that his life would not slip away from living in the fullness of Christ. "I have come to understand," he said, "the discipline needed to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit." I instantly resonated with that statement and it plowed through my mind for many days.
To let God have full control of our lives throughout a common day is unusual for most. It takes an intentional attention to Him that dials us in to His slightest instructions.
Those who are there know the subtleties of His voice so well that a word that is about to come out of their mouths that would grieve Him will be instantly abandoned. They understand His promptings so clearly that they are careful not to quench His Spirit by refusing to go where He desires. These are men and women who are beginning to experience the power of what it means to "pray without ceasing" because they are moving in continual, blessed communion with Jesus all day long.
What the wise, inspired writer of Proverbs helps us to see is that such discipline helps us tremendously. If we neglect it we are hurting ourselves where we can least afford it.
There are tight parameters around those who would walk in unceasing communion with Him. Only those who desire it more than any other pleasures will achieve it. They are not allowed to indulge in sideways conversations and activities, wasting time with mindless pursuits.
It is not that they are legalistic, morose monks. In fact, just the opposite. They are filled with Divine, creative spontaneity, radical faith, deep peace, matured understanding, and unceasing joy. They have the best life. They know the blessed freedom of transparency and honesty. The settledness of authenticity inside themselves in God.
But they also understand how easy it is to slide into mere humanistic thinking and living. How quickly we can make a turn that diverts our path from walking by the Spirit to walking by the flesh.
There are some people—perhaps most—who do not want this tight restriction on their daily lives. But those who push through these objections and accept His discipline will find what their deepest soul has always longed to experience.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?