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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September 07, 2019
September 06, 2019
Pay attention to holiness. Be intentional about all He has already said to you. Set aside deliberate time to fast, pray, and read and meditate on His Word. Be extremely careful about your obedience.
And then, cry out to Him for greater intimacy. For as clear as His conditions are for you to see Him, they are clearly promised! He desires to reveal Himself to you more than you are aware for He is a God of perfect love towards you.
September 04, 2019