Monday, January 01, 2007

Thoughts between daughter and Father IV



DWELL DEEP

Her thoughts said, “My longing is to heal the broken and weak, to defend the maimed, and to lead the blind unto the sight of the glory of the Lord. My choice is to be a corn of wheat and fall into the ground and die. Then why these waverings?”

Her Father said,

“Too much of thy surface is exposed to the breathe of every wind that bloweth. Thou must learn to dwell deep.”


And the daughter who had wavered answered humbly, “Renew within me a settled spirit. Establish me with Thy directing Spirit. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed on Thee. I will sing and give praise!”

I AM THE GOD OF THY EXPECTATION AND HOPE

Her thoughts said, “Is it too much to hope that one such as I should truly please my Lord?”

Her Father said,

“But it is written, ‘It is God which worketh in you both to will and do His good pleasure.’ In my servant Paul I wrought an earnest expectation and a hope, that in nothing he should be ashamed, but that always Christ should be magnified in his body. I am the God of thy expectation and thy hope.”


THOU ART MY SHELL

The daughter said, “But, my Father, Thou knowest that I am not St. Paul.”

Her Father said,

“Hast thou watched a wave fill a shell on the shore? Thou art My shell. Wave upon wave I will flow over thee, poor empty shell that thou art. So shalt thou be filled with the fullness of the sea. For I am able to give thee an overflowing measure of all good gifts, that all thy needs of every kind may be supplied at all times, and that thou mayest give of thine abundance to every good work.


ASHAMED ON MY ACCOUNT

The daughter said to her Father, “If this new campaign that I undertake come to grief, then some who trusted in me, believing that Thou wert leading me, will be ashamed. Let them not that wait on Thee, O Lord of Hosts, be ashamed on my account.

The Father said to His daughter,

“They shall not be ashamed that wait on Me.”


And the daughter said to herself, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. I will sing of the Lord because He hath dealt so lovingly with me!”

Selah.

Note: More beautiful thoughts from the inner prayer dialogue of Amy Carmichael, as she talked to her Father about the issues of life and personal challenges around her. God used her to rescue many young girls from ritual Hindu temple prostitution, and wrought miracles through her prayer life. Here is another glimpse into that prayer life. May it bless you today!

18 comments:

Cheryl Lim said...

I found your blog through your entry http://www.loymershimer.blogspot.com/2005/05/danger-of-waiting-on-god.html

which I found refreshingly interesting and rather encouraging. The title seemed to carry a twist.

I also blog at times about my spiritual walk, which lately to tell the truth, has been erratic. At times, strong and bursting with conviction, other times depleted of hope and full of anger. You can say that unstable faith is no faith at all, like what Paul said.

I also find myself feeling angry and indignant with God sometimes these days. When people tell me, "you should let go of your worries and the past to the Lord, before He can work in your life." I retaliate "oh. so does it mean that if i fail to do that, he will purposely withhold his blessings and salvation from me as punishment?"

Gradually, i'm beginning to imagine him as a mean person, not as a loving father.

I wonder does God then, deliberately cause us to fall just so we will be drawn closer to Him?

Isn't that a bit sadistic?

Does God intend for us to suffer in the first place if we had never left His side?

loy said...

Hi Cheryl,

As far as that post entitled, "The Danger of Waiting on God," I meant it to reflect the subtle temptations that accompany a life of faith -- I didn't mean it to reflect on God; although, I suppose one might take it that way, especially if s/he has waited on God and not really seen an answer.

And, you raise some very good points, especially your question of whether or not God will withhold His blessings [if one fails of properly waiting on Him]. It's a fascinating question because it highlights a huge mystery of faith -- the interplay of divine destiny and human will.

And, just to give a couple principles that may help on the journey:

1. God is not vindictive. God is not petty or mean; nor is He masochistic. He does not withhold blessings so much to punish as He does to heal us. His love rules over all His words and silence.

Perhaps it is hard for us, as God's children, to discern His good intent when we are waiting -- sometimes a long time -- for Him to act on our behalf, but still it is true: His love rules over all... even our unmet needs!

To put this in human terms: Imagine, for example, a child who has a parent give him everything right when he wants it, withholding nothing -- every time the child demands or cries, he gets precisely what he wanted -- no waiting or process, just immediate answers. Question: What happens to this child? Usually, he grows up bloated, self-centered, petulant, hurtful to others, a user, one who wastes girls in relationships, then throws them away. I know such adult children -- do you? Perhaps it can help you visualize the point...

The point is this: such a parent would not be loving in high terms at all; they only destroy their child's soul in order to meet expressed physical needs, no waiting, no process of heart...

Which brings up a second principle:

2. God grants our requests according to His law and nature. His nature is to meet our highest good. When He withholds things from His children, we can mark it down that a higher law or higher good is in mind. God may withhold a physical need from us, but He is creating priceless spirit beauty in the process -- it is a promise of His character.

And this is where the waiting comes in -- it all its "danger." The waiting is our part, where we say by faith, that God is good, even though we can't see it in immediate terms -- and that we will go with His process, yea, though it may take years!

The danger, of course, is that such waiting opens us up for temptations -- where whispers come in that God doesn't care, that He doesn't have our best interests in mind, that He is punishing us with no good purpose in mind. Even the voices of friends or other well-intentioned persons can form a detrimental cacophony, when they cannot understand God's working in our lives!

Surely there is high risk here, but is it any higher than trying things in our own wisdom? No! We see that all around us...

As George MacDonald says, "There are dangers here as everywhere, but He giveth more grace!"

And this is the third principle, perhaps the most helpful of all:

3. God's grace rules over all. He fashions our hearts. He owns us, beginning to end. He will work out His holy will in our lives! "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." "For you are God's work of art, created before the world began, for good works in Christ!"

Now, that said, our failures can make our road longer. Our works can partner with His will more quickly, true -- but in the end He puts His name over the whole package, and calls it good. Our failures cannot forever keep us from His loving intent...

So, I guess that means that it doesn't depend so much on our works as on His grace...! Which, paradoxically, equips us for greater works, and greater waiting!

:-)

I know -- I speak concerning a mystery, and yet I believe it is true!

Sorry this reply is so lacking in the fullness of your question, but perhaps it can help, a bit! Many blessings on you this night, and may God's peace be upon you as you wait today!

in Christ,

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

I have no idea why things which are happening to me are happening to me.

Why won't he cut me some slack? Even my work environment is hostile. Every smallest thing in my life that can be difficult is diffcult now. I have no idea why He won't cut me some slack.

loy said...

Hi Cheryl,

Wow. it sounds as if things are really, really difficult for you right now! I'm sorry...

Yet, in it all, know that He loves you, ok? Sometimes we just can't understand anything of His plan... why He lets us go through hurtful things, etc. But consider the presence of Christ... see wounded Hands around your spirit, the One of Love standing in the shadows of your life.

And... could it be that He is closer than you can ever know? Could it be that He is giving you more than eyes can see? Could it be that He makes himself known in your intellect, in your ability to feel pain, in your capacity to write and express your depths...?

Could it be that He reveals himself to you in the stunning beauty of pink-tinged clouds, sunrises and sunsets, starry sky, light and air and blue sky -- perhaps painted by dark clouds, but more for all of that?

Could it be that He is as close to you right now as He was close to Joseph during false sexual charges and seven years of prison? Could it be that He is as close to you right now as He was close to Hannah in her barren years, and to Sarah in hers? Could it be...?

In all your terrible days, Cheryl, in all your loss of hope and shattered dreams, He holds you. He holds you when feelings are swept away, when knowledge of God flees before human depression, when you walk the shadowlands of despair, looming darkness... He is there.

And He cares. Your name is written on His hands...

Selah.

God bless you, Cheryl! May you sense a fraction of His care for you this night!

in Christ,

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

Hi Loy. It’s day now as I reply as I live in Asia.

Last night I was feeling really besieged by all the things that are coming at me at the same time. I face undesirable work circumstances. I’m doing moderately well at work but I have mean, hostile and nasty colleagues who make my work life hell. I know it sounds insignificant but being in a hostile environment all day around people who are NOT nice to you can be a harrowing and unpleasant experience every day. And when you have to go through it everyday, it is torturous.

I began praying while listening to Hillsong. Because I was feeling so down from my circumstances, I prayed intently about my work situation and other stuff and I started to break down and cried! I felt the holy spirit wash over me. It’s an unmistakable feeling so I know. And I felt God tell me they don’t matter, that they matter to my life as much as dust does and He told me to follow Him. Then I had an impression of a herd of sheep following Christ.

What do you think this means?

loy said...

Wow! Praise God for His kind intervention, Cheryl! God is so gracious and knows just what we need -- and when He reveals himself, somehow it makes things better... even if outward circumstances look the same.

Regarding your dream, I think perhaps it speaks to you on a couple levels:

1. First and most comforting: Jesus is calling you His sheep. He owns you as one of His flock. You belong! He loves you and knows you and counts you among His own.

2. Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice." This, too, is a powerful word of comfort, but it also conveys a demand upon those whom Jesus calls as His own. When we call Jesus our Shepherd, and He calls us His sheep, it is our highest duty to keenly discern His voice -- amidst all the competing voices of our life. For you, the challenge is to hear His voice when He speaks through painful circumstances, through hateful co-workers, through lesser relationships. God is speaking to you as one of His own, even through hurtful people.

When you can hear God's voice speaking over the spiteful words of others, and see the wounds of Christ in their eyes, then you will be able to meet their highest needs even when they wound you. And so you will prosper even with their wounds!

3. The third level is also very basic: sheep follow. That is their intended task: to follow the Shepherd. Divine sheep prosper as they follow the Good Shepherd, the One who makes us lie down in green pastures, who leads us beside still waters, who restores our soul, who spreads out a table before us in the presence of our enemies, who anoints our head with oil, who fills the cup of our lives so that it runs over with abundant life, who guards our steps with Goodness and Mercy!

Such is the nature of our Lord, and such is our creation intent!

God bless you, Cheryl, and I'm so glad that your heart is encouraged!

in Christ,

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

Wow i'm incredibly impressed by your insights on every given angle. You're able to discern the different elements of God's will and His character from each situation.

I have some feelings which may be jarring and disconnected. They don't always relate to one another but they're what I feel.

1) I struggle between what I think God wants to give me and my own will. I try my best to submit my will to Him by telling myself He knows best, way better than my limited human mind. He sees the future that I can't see and knows me better than I do.

Yet I find it almost impossible to relinquish my will to Him and let Him decide my life. Instead I find myself persistently telling Him what/how I want things to turn out for myself. I think it's one of the biggest struggles that a Christian faces- Giving up his/her will because the human will is so intrinsic to oneself. Especially for Christians who are born of this age as opposed to a hundred years ago, we're indoctrinated with worldly principles that tell us the world is our oyster and our destinies are in our hands and no one else's. And that if we fight for what we want, we WILL get it through sheer human effort, determination and grit. If you ask me, I'd be excited to not have to do anything and just lie back and relax while my heart's desire is delivered on a platter. Yet I struggle with mistrust and apprehension over whether what's doled out is to my liking.

i've tried telling God "this is how i want a situation to turn out, however if You want a different outcome for my life, may Your will be done. I won't be happy but i'll accept it." After which I find myself feeling like a hypocrite because I feel I can't accept it that way! I was lying to Him and myself.

2) I struggle with a lack of trust in His sovereignty. As Christians, we must believe that He is not only loving, but sovereign. He's not only a God who cares and gives, He is a powerful and invincible God. Not a wimpy two-bit God with little powers that only work certain parts of the year. When the world is at His hand and He can bless you with anything He wants, and since He loves you, there's nothing holding Him back from giving you only good things, why do I still feel this fear and distrust in Him? Since He is sovereign, He knows every one of my situations and sorrows, every injustice and pain. He knows my needs and desires. He knows what is best for me. Why am I still so afraid when rightfully, all the elements (God's love for me, sovereignty, power, omniscience and having the world as His footstool) that should add up to a feeling of whole-hearted trust and faith are present?

It ends up in me feeling like an ingrate. Yet I can't stop feeling this way. Just now I caught myself telling Him in the bathroom angrily "Why do you give me scraps?"

3) I struggle with a lack of patience in His timing. I've been reading a lot on God's timing and the resources invariably say God's timing is always perfect, never too late and rarely ever too early (although there were times I’m sure He’s shown His might really quickly after an emergency). Or so they preach. If His timing is always perfect, why is it that I feel now is already too late? Why do I feel that the time has long been ripe? Cos I don't know any better like Him right?

Is it really a case of an unripe timing that only His divineness is privy to, or does He actively engage in a two-way emotional ping pong game with us?

If we act in complete faith, He is pleased and then the time is right? If we continue to feel fear and doubt, He refrains from action?

Afterall the bible did state that a person of wavering faith should not expect God to intercede positively in His life. Joyce Meyer also wrote once that the longer we struggle in doubt and resist submitting our will to Him, the longer we "miss our timing".

If this is so (which I've not confirmed), it feels to me like Christians who struggle in doubt are being "punished" for their doubt through the inaction of Christ who holds their hopes.

Does it not mean that this God we're speaking of is rather small-minded and petty, and far from the unconditionally loving and sweet Father that He's always painted as? Sometimes I find myself tempting God. I wonder if I should continue to be in fear and doubt and should secretly hope that He will prove me wrong and come through for and tell me "Even though you doubted me, I showed you who's boss and I showed you this boss loves you."

Or should I tempt Him by forcing myself to suddenly be free of doubt and when things happen, I know He is a God whose love is conditional. Only when I successfully rid myself of doubt (like an salaried employee toiling for His wages to keep going in life) and earned His love and blessings, can and did I receive them.

It just feels to me, quite impersonal, calculative, conditional and mean. And is contraindicative to the vast and uncontainable love that the bible preaches about Him.

4) I struggle with anger towards Him. I know it's never right to be angry with God, but I feel it and I can't deny it. I know He is not the author of my misery yet I resent Him for not coming sooner or soon enough, for not rescuing me, or not giving me what's best (or what I FEEL is best). I feel angry for what I feel and go through. I know it's convenient to blame God. Otherwise who else can man blame in this world when every man is for himself? But I don't think my blaming Him is entirely forged out of helplessness and having nowhere to channel my anger and dissatisfaction in.

I blame Him because I feel my expectations of Him and what I expect Him to do for me in that bad situation were not met exceedingly. This leaves me feeling empty and disappointed. Where are You when I needed you most? Where? Of course many people say you will only realize God's presence in your adversities after a much later time. But what if I live each day and continue to trudge, with each step getting heavier by the minute, with that vain hope which never happens? Yes it's a lack of trust, point no.2

loy said...

Hi Cheryl,

I think what you are expressing -- these mountains and valleys inside you, the wavering of doubt mixed with strong belief -- these are pretty much the human story. Maybe you express it in raw, present fashion, but what you are saying is a struggle that every human goes through, on some level at least.

And, very often, we humans are tempted in these areas every day, like it or not. For, I believe the central human struggle is this: the problem of waiting on God.

From our very first parents, Adam and Eve, the voice of temptation struck at trust, at waiting, at amending God's perfect plan and timing. And since then, the human story is one of creating one's own way -- often at the expense of truly intended relationships and plans. And, in the stories of faith, those who struggle with this recurring temptation [even imperfectly] are commended for their faith. For instance, Abraham and Sarah had many high-level screw-ups related to trusting and waiting on God... and yet God still worked through them, and still gave them the son of promise. And, God still showed up to Abraham after all Abram's failures, and said, "I AM your God, walk before Me and be perfect."

So, what you are expressing is not something you alone struggle with! No -- it's what I struggle with often, and all the most beautiful people of faith that I know... they struggle too, on some level.

FACT: It's really, really hard to trust the plan of God because it's so counter-intuitive to human wisdom, human advice, and modern Christian expectations [and counsel].

FACT: It's really hard to trust the plan of God because it strikes at the heart of our own inner pride and little idolatries.

FACT: The plan of God is not seen in human terms. We only see it by "looking not at what is seen, but what is unseen." When we follow like this, it's painful, sometimes! Other people don't get it, even family can be so confused and against the path...

And yet, the fact also remains that this path of God is precisely a. what is best for us, and b. what we were created to enter, and walk, in victory.

In all that, I believe that God is not put off by us being a Job, where we radically throw our questions to the skies, as a child -- even an angry child -- of God. Far better to question God like this, and be in active relation, than to grow silent with God, and gradually stop listening... growing numb to the point of just doing one's own thing and treating this as the will of God.

The will of God is a strange paradox: a union of destiny and human will, where we struggle with all our might to do what is right, and then find, on the other end, that He carried us the entire way...

Also behind your word, I think is a struggle for your true self. This is a large discussion -- much, much to be said here, but click on the label "true self" [on the side of the blog] and scroll down and read some of the articles, especially re: Kierkegaard and true self.

Perhaps these will help, in some way!

God bless you, Cheryl. Keep struggling, for that evidences your life...

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

Hi Loy,

wow you give such great advice. Indeed you're strong in faith and learned in the Christian walk.

"The will of God is a strange paradox: a union of destiny and human will, where we struggle with all our might to do what is right, and then find, on the other end, that He carried us the entire way..."

I wanted to ask you about this. You mentioned that the will of God is a union of destiny and human will. Does it mean that our will (what we want) actually plays a part in the ultimate will of God for us? Do you know if God takes our preferences into consideration when He decides His will for our lives? Assuming I have a deep passion for tennis and is crazy about it. It's my dream to be a professional tennis player. Does this in any way affect His will for me? Say He wanted me to be a housewife to a pastor, if that was His will for my life to be the emotional backbone to someone who was going to touch thousands of lives, hypothetically speaking. Would my dreams and desires of having a career in tennis affect Him at all or does He act arbitrarily?

God bless and may your days be filled with His grace

Cheryl

loy said...

Hi Cheryl,

I think you have a good point, that God does use our interests and passions, working in and through them to bring about His higher good, His "good and pleasing and perfect" will [Rom. 12:1-2].

However, that said, perhaps it needs also to be said that there is a difference between our natural human will and our true human will -- just as there is a distinction between the natural self and the true self [cf. Prayer as the path to true self].

God always uses our propensities, wants and desires, but He first takes them and sanctifies them. We lay them at His feet -- all our desires, talents, gifts and self -- and He takes them, declares them sacred, fit for use, and then gives them back. What He gives back was truly intended... and it is that true self in which we soar, on eagles wings, to the heights of divine will.

In other words, yes, God uses our desires -- He will use your love of tennis, for instance -- but sometimes God uses our desires and talents in ways we never could have imagined. The challenge is not to give up on God's good usage of our gifts, even when we can't see how those gifts are working out in human time -- maybe not according to our timetable or expecation, etc.

Just a little illustration: Amy Carmichael was so upset b/c God gave her brown eyes instead of blue eyes, and as a faithful, tender girl, she prayed and fasted that God would grant her prayer for blue eyes. She claimed the double promise of Christ, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. And whatever any of you ask in my name, I will do," and went to prayer, in child-like faith. But to her utter surprise, she wakened the next morning still with brown eyes!

Her faith was affected. She couldn't understand...

And, it wasn't until years later, on a clandestine mission to save orphaned girls in India, that her brown eyes were actually intened before the world began -- to save both her life and the lives of many, many girls -- young girls who would have otherwise been sold into ritual Hindu temple prostitution... and early death.

Of course, that illustration is a bit different from a talent or something learned, but the underlying truth is the same: God does nothing arbitrarily.

Every drop of rain in our lives is ordained by a loving God, the One whom we call Abba Father, in Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.

In grace, there is a place we can come to, where we can say in all honesty, empowered by the Holy Spirit... "There is no difference between my will and the divine plan."

This, I think, takes what the Apostle Paul called daily death -- death to the false self and new life in the true, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Like this we will see our natural desires raised to a divine level, where they can be called true, a reflection of the Person of Truth.

Or, as the psalmist put it in Hebraic theology: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

The delight mentioned here is the union of destiny and free will that I talked about -- where our will is united in delight with divine decree: we delight in Him and find in such delight that our desires have been fulfilled.

Selah.

Many thanks for your kind words and blessings, and I trust this answer is helpful!

in Christ,

Loy

Loy Mershimer said...

Just a point of editing: The paragraph re: Amy Carmichael should read:

And, it wasn't until years later, on a clandestine mission to save orphaned girls in India, that she realized her brown eyes were actually intended before the world began -- to save both her life and the lives of many, many girls -- young girls who would have otherwise been sold into ritual Hindu temple prostitution... and early death.

Sorry about that -- kinda got ahead of myself typing, lol.

:-)

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

Hi Loy

How do I go about it? How do I come to the place where my will is merged with His divine will for me? I have great difficulty giving up my will and it makes me feel bad about myself as a Christian. I feel that it has to boil down to 2 reasons – that I don’t love God enough and that I love myself too much.

I read what you said about delighting in the Lord that my will comes to a place that unites with His divine decree. I interpret it as I have to feel love for God enough that loving Him is enough and I don’t even feel any desire or urge to seek my own will and desires anymore, because they have been replaced with a seeking of His heart only.

Sometimes I’m plagued with guilt about being a bad Christian. I feel bad that I don’t love God enough. I feel bad about hurting someone in the past and I wonder if God has not forgiven me for what I did, which is why He’s withholding His blessings to me now and delaying in coming to my rescue despite my daily pleas to Him. I wonder if I’m being punished for my past misdeeds to that person, which God must have witnessed.

I chanced this website http://www.worldends.co.uk/ that makes the controversial and shocking claim that Paul is a false apostle! You must read it, even if it’s just to entertain yourself.

Paul has always been my favourite apostle for two reasons. The first is that he suffered greatly for the glory of Jesus. The second is that he was chosen to preach to the gentiles (of course owing to the fact that he’s a gentile himself). He was symbol to the world, the strong and unambiguous statement that God loves both jews and gentiles. Before the old testament, it certainly appeared that God only loved the jews. The jews are the chosen race and even Christ came as a jew. When I read and come across the jews who reject Christ, it makes my heart sink (pretty much the majority of them). As a Chinese Christian and as a citizen of a country where Christians only make up over 20% of the population (about 800,000 of us and almost all Christians are chinese), I sometimes identify with Paul.

Today in church, my pastor said something that cracked me up. He said we must always never forget that we’re favoured children of God. Each of us. He told us to repeat it everyday no matter what our circumstances were. “When something good happens, say ‘that’s because I’m God’s favoured child! When something bad happens, say ‘it’s temporal because I’m God’s favoured child!’”

I attend a mega church, one of a handful of mega churches here gaining exponential momentum and popularity. My church is the object of a lot of criticism, brickbats and disapproval by the Christians who attend the non megachurches because they accuse it of 1) preaching prosperity to the congregant 2) preaching a flawed and misguided doctrine that’s based on the overemphasis of grace, encouraging and giving free rein to the congregant to sin freely without cares or guilt because by grace, all our sins are forgiven.

I think I have steered way out of kilter in my conversion with you in this post!

Have a blessed night and may God’s grace and eyes watch over you always.

Cheryl

Cheryl Lim said...

editing: I mean, before the NEW testament, it certainly appeared that God only loved the jews.

Also, i hope you do not have a hard time reading my words because I write in British spelling. eg "favoured" as opposed to "favored". "critisise" as opposed to "critisize".

=)

Cheryl Lim said...

oh my god! i did some reading on the net by googling "Paul" and "false teacher" and i discovered more websites created by Christians who believe that Paul was a false prophet. I'm quite confused now.

http://yahuah.org/Paul.html

this is another one.

loy said...

Hi Cheryl,

First off, no problem on the British spelling of words! I have many favorite British spellings, as many of the great authors used this style, including C.S. Lewis. I love spelling gray "grey" and traveling "travelling." I use a good many of these spellings and appreciate them, so np there!

Secondly, on the issue of the Apostle Paul, please don't let it cloud your mind -- and don't spend your time embroiled in such men as forward this teaching against Paul.

The Apostle Paul is NOT a false prophet, though he sometimes says things that are hard to understand. He, a Hebrew of the Hebrews [as he puts it in Philippians 3:5] was called by Christ to go to the Gentiles -- and this cost him beatings, stonings, deprivation, scourgings, shipwreck, endless travel, dangers, scorn, slander, false stories from false teachers... all b/c of his love for Jesus Christ.

Please don't even give one millisecond of your mind to the false teachers who would set Paul against Christ.

C.S. Lewis has a great line in "Screwtape Letters," which details [in creative story form] how demons try to snare human souls. Here, Lewis depicts an older demon overlord [Wormwood] talking to Screwtape, a lesser demon, telling him how to manipulate young Christians. And look at how it sets Paul [later Christianity] against Jesus, the Founder:

You will find that a good many Christian-political writers think that Christianity began going wrong, and departing from the doctrine of its Founder, at a very early state. Now, this idea must be used by us to encourage once again the conception of a "historical Jesus" to be found by clearing away later "accretions and perversions" and then to be contrasted with the whole Christian tradition... We thus distract men’s minds from Who He is, and what He did.

Those who set Paul against Christ always try and replace what Christ did through Paul and what Christ taught through Paul, relating to the mysteries of the gospel and of grace. These are modern day cults who would bring believers into bondage, if they could. But these false teachers will have their deadly works upon their own heads...

Thirdly, in regard to your question, "How do I come to the place where my will is merged with His divine will for me?" I think the answer has to be wrapped up in grace. Only in grace are we brought to the place of delight in Him. So, to go higher in grace, we seek the means of grace: the sacraments of baptism and Lord's Supper [truly taken], prayer, action in obedience...

To delight in Him means to discover what He delights in, and make it your delight also...

So, as you seek that union, ask yourself, honestly, "What does God delight in?" And then seek those things, do those things as an act of your will, in obedience.

At some point, delight will come, a union will come -- a moment of light. But this is just the beginning! From there, we "die daily" as the Apostle said, dying to ourself and living with Christ.

Delight is not a panacea. Please don't be misled! It is Light. And sometimes Light is hard work, for our human hearts in love with little darknesses...

"But He giveth more grace!"

And therein is our hope!

:-)

Have a blessed day and night!

in Christ,

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

I need to ask you this. I know it is mentioned in the Bible. But does God have a plan for all of us? A good plan. Or does He leave things to chance?

Does He have a plan for me with the regards to meeting the right person?

loy said...

Hi Cheryl,

Jesus said some really beautiful things in relation to your question of whether or not God plans specially, for you.

Listen to these words of Jesus:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


Question for you: If our Heavenly Abba cares for the flowers of the field; if He cares for the sparrow that falls; if He cares what we wear, or what we eat and drink... don't you think He cares about something as important as the person you marry -- specifically?

Many good Christians say that God has no specific will for the person you marry -- you just make a good choice out of all the choices before you, and this becomes the will of God for you.

And, that may be the case for some people -- God certainly can work through different circumstances to bring about His will... but I strongly disagree that marriage [or other important things] is haphazard or non-specific in divine intention.

God is sovereign over everything -- even the little details of our lives. It is a fact of His nature that He cares for the sparrows of the field -- individually. Jesus said that a single sparrow could not fall apart from Him.

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Cheryl, if your Abba has counted the stars, and calls them all by name, if He has the very hairs of your head numbered -- don't you think He has a good plan for you, in detail?

Modern Christianity has sold God short, so desperately. And in no place is this more obvious than in its teaching on good choices and marriage. So eager to defend human will, they define sovereignty out of daily life... They define the perfect will of God completely out of the most important choice any woman can make in human time: marriage.

And we live with the results in modern Christianity -- non-stop counseling and seminars trying to fix two different people, trying to create what was intended in holy dance all along...

The secret is in the true self: the place of your dreams is the place of your true self.

If you would have the person that God intends you to have, then strike out in the vast journey to become the true you intended before the world began. Seek first His kingdom like this, and your intended one will be added to you as well...

A hard saying, perhaps! but I believe it is true.

Have a blessed day!

in Christ,

Loy

Cheryl Lim said...

Hi Loy!

So intriguing is your advice!

How do i become the true me intended before the world began? It sounds so mysterious and esoteric. I don't even know how to begin the journey for i don't know what I am supposed to be in God's eyes.

I've tried asking Him but nothing happened. I do hope that He's listening.

How do i know that I'm not already this true self? And if not, how do I become this true self?

May God bless you with happiness

Cheryl