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Posts Tagged ‘the faithful need not fight’


Friday, October 9, 2020

grow-in-grace-2-peter-3-18[1]

2 Peter 3:17-18

The Error of the Unprincipled

Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.  But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.

In our effort to find and remain in a comfortable spot, we accommodate the unprincipled; we drift form those habits and people that help us maintain equanimity. We can reverse all of this by rooting ourselves more deeply in God’s grace, and by growing in our knowledge of God.

God says: You may be puzzled by the words of my servant Peter but he is really quite clear. The faithful grow in their knowledge of me through prayer and worship. When you try to do all things on your own life becomes too stressful, too sad, too terrifying. When you trust in me, when you speak to me each day, when you worship me, when you pray with others who also believe in me you will feel yourselves growing in strength and balance. You do not have to fight against the unprincipled. All you need do is to witness . . . to watch . . . to pray . . . and to wait.

The single most important antidote to anxiety and fear is intimacy with God. We gain this understanding and closeness by seeking God each day in specific ways: by reading and studying scripture, by finding others who also seek to know God more fully, by praying unceasingly, and by uniting in solidarity with others who also believe.  We gain balance and serenity by anchoring ourselves in God’s gift of grace. There is no force, no person and no evil that cannot be overcome or undone by the patient, persistent and joyful prayer of those who seek to know God intimately or of those who plant themselves firmly in God’s grace. The error of the unprincipled is that they root themselves in comfort, they scoff at the idea that grace has the power to bring balance into their lives, and they believe in themselves . . . more than they believe in God.

Enter the words witness watch and pray, or the faithful need not fight into the blog search box and reflect on Peter’s advice to us.


Image from: http://www.soulshepherding.org/?attachment_id=5703

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Matthew 18:1-5The Greatest in the Kingdom

first shall be last

Tissot: The First Shall Be Last

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Once more we read the stupefying mystery that the greatest will be least and the least, greatest.  For humans this is a difficult saying.  It runs counter to our sense of logic; it runs against our tendency to self-preserve, to survive.  Yet it is what we must hear.  Our proper relationship with God is to be child-like, not childish.  We are to go to our creator with our problems and our woes.  God, being merciful and just, will see to our needs and is open to discussing our wants.  We are to be humble.  We are to be like trusting children.

In Psalm 45 The Mighty One rides out to justify truth, humility and righteousness.  It was very likely composed as a song for a royal wedding because the imagery speaks to a proper, joyful and humble relationship.  We might pray this Psalm when we seek humility.  It reminds us that the faithful need not fight; they only need to stand and witness.  It reminds us that we must leave our accustomed comfort zone to seek another, better place. Today we spend time with this psalm and these verses from Matthew as we reflect on our relationship with God, our relationships with those we love, and our attitude about those we fear.

A favorite from January 8, 2008. 

 

 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

truth and falsehood

Alfred Stevens: Truth and Falsehood

Psalm 27:12

 Falsehood

Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.

God says: You need not worry about the false statements uttered against you. Continue to follow the path of integrity. Remain on the path of The Way that my son has shown to you. Stay the honest course you have chosen in the Spirit. If the falsehood created about you has the hint of truth to it, change your ways. Come fully into the light and leave all deceit behind. You cannot outrun a lie. Nor can you hide from the truth. Rest in me. Rely on the Christ. Live in the Spirit. And you will find that you have no need to struggle. The falsehood begun against you will go home to roost with its creator . . . and the world will recognize the truth in you.

Enter the words the faithful need not fight into the blog search bar and reflect on how we might best work with falsehood.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

daniel-3-furnace[1]Daniel 1-3

Reality

This one prophecy teaches us much: it tells us how to recognize God in the midst of horror, it reminds us that only God saves in an infinite way, and it exhorts us to witness without actually fighting . . . for the fighting must be left to God.  If you can make time today . . . spend awhile with Daniel.

In the first two chapters we read of two important lessons: that all divine dominion comes from the God of Israel, and that false, pagan gods offer nothing.  In Daniel 3 we watch as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are tossed into the fiery furnace.  Not only do they survive, but a fourth figure appears to accompany them in song: an angel of this marvelous God.  This is how much God loves each of us.  God is so mindful of us that when we are in distress, God sends word to us and God even protects us from the fire of destruction.

There are many instances in our lives in which our perception is that God has let us down or has turned a deaf ear to our petitions.  This thinking comes from our ego rather than from our Spirit.  All that we see, touch, taste, smell, and hear is a chimera.  All that we perceive, sense, know, intuit, and feel in God . . . this is reality.  This is truth.

In a world where so many pagan voices call us to fame, fortune, outward perfection, celebrity, science, power, comfort and self-absorption, we find it difficult to hear the one voice of truth which speaks softly of union, dynamism, mystery, discomfort, humility, change, transformation and inner peace.  What Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego know and witness to is the lesson which this prophecy drives home so well when we are able sit to read the entire story . . . the faithful do not need to fight . . . they only must refuse to do anything which separates them from God . . . they must not fear . . . they only need to rest in God . . . and they need not worry about God’s plan . . . they need only to find their place in it.

What we know is this . . . that when we begin with simple tasks such as the food test we read about in Daniel 1 . . . we are being eased into following God in many small ways because these little ways will train our neural connections to focus on God rather than the other world that lures us by calling itself real.

What we also know is this . . . that once we set our feet upon the path of God in all of these little ways our union with God will be stronger than any fiery furnace we must endure.  And this is a reality that lasts forever.

This prophecy puts into words the mystery of our faith.  This prophecy assures us that the more we let go to fall into God’s trust, the less we will fear.  This prophecy reminds us that the more we lose self to let the Spirit enter our souls, the less we struggle.  This prophecy promises us that the more we follow Christ rather than our own little plans, the less we stumble.  This prophecy is a reality we will want to trust.

Adapted from a reflection written on April 1, 2009.

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