Tag Archives: Christian mysticism

Divine Betrothal

At all times we must remember that we are His. We belong to the Lord, not to another. We are His. We have family, friends, spouses, employers and others calling upon us in varying degrees of need, but firstly we belong to Christ.

Jesus doesn’t want us wearing ourselves out trying to fix everything or running ourselves thin striving to please everyone. He simply wants our hearts, our love, and our obedience in that love. He asks not for us to be enslaved to Him but to be engaged to Him.

He is the One who calls us to come close. He calls us to serve as ambassadors of reconciliation for His Kingdom, yet He also beckons us to come and rest our weary heads.

Jesus, our Messiah, Lord, Savior and King. He is our Bridegroom. He longs to be our first go-to, our greatest Companion, our closest Friend. He wants to be the One we seek before we phone a friend, before we seek out the pastor. He wants to be the shoulder we cry on, the Deliverer we rely on. Continue reading

When Breakthrough Hasn’t Come

At times we may experience seasons of spiritual dryness in our journey with God. It may feel as if we are in a vast wilderness. Our prayers may seem to go without any answer. We may even feel as if God is absent.

The promises of yesterday may feel as if they weren’t true. The questions come and go: Will breakthrough ever come? Will I ever experience that healing? God may seem as if He doesn’t hear you or that He doesn’t even care.

But He does care. He sees you, beloved. He hears your heart cry.

If this is you, don’t give up. God has not abandoned you. He is with you even when you feel nothing; even when you have felt nothing for what seems like an eternity.

You aren’t being punished or forsaken. All is not lost.

Be encouraged. In this season, the Lord is calling you into a deeper place with Him. The wilderness that comes in the midst of your longing for Jesus is actually a gift.

Yes, a gift! This is an invitation from your Bridegroom King.

As you await the breakthrough, God’s love is purifying you. In this spiritual dryness, He is forming you into a purer vessel of His presence. His perfect leadership has brought you into a time of learning: Learning to walk by faith and not by what you feel.

It’s a difficult, narrow way, but I promise: it’s worth it. He’s worth it.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

Continue reading

Contemplative Prayer: What Is It?

Contemplative prayer is a tool that can help us grow in intimacy with Jesus.

This form of prayer has been often misunderstood, as it has been defined in both correct and incorrect ways. Let’s define contemplative prayer:

Contemplative prayer is about enjoying a close relationship with God and setting aside time to behold the beauty of Jesus.

As defined in the dictionary, the word contemplation simply means “the action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.”

“Thoughtfully” is a key word here: Full of thought that is focused on Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Word, which is very different than an emptying of the mind. We want to think and ponder on things that are godly, Christlike and pure, not sinful or worldly things (Philippians 4:8); we want to be a pure home for God’s Spirit.

We spend focused time looking upon the beauty of Jesus and thinking on the truths in His Word. As we do so, we are transformed. These very things come alive within our hearts as we experience His love and as He gives us revelation. We want God’s written Word to lead us to the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

As we quiet our souls and focus only on God, we position ourselves to experience His love for us and the beauty of our future heavenly home. This “beholding of His beauty” changes things on the inside of us: As we see His heart and beauty, we also begin to reflect His heart and beauty to those around us.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)

In addition, contemplative prayer involves communing with God’s Holy Spirit, who lives inside of us. This communion happens as we give time to lovingly dialogue with His Spirit within us in worship and conversation.

We also fellowship with God’s Spirit by intentionally talking with Him throughout each day. Doing so helps us grow in holiness and live by God’s Spirit, affecting all we think, say and do.

At its core, the aim of contemplative prayer is to specifically focus on enjoying friendship with Jesus. This differs from intercessory prayer, which focuses on praying for the needs of people or concerning specific issues affecting our world.

The focus of contemplation is Jesus Himself and knowing Him more intimately, and this is the very thing our Bridegroom Messiah says is eternal life:

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (NKJV)

It is important to clarify that the word for “know” in the above verse comes from the same word used to define the knowing shared by a husband and wife in intimacy, an expression of the closest union found in human relationships.

Likewise, Jesus–our Bridegroom and King–yearns to have the closest relationship possible with us, even on this side of eternity.

Spend time today in intimacy with your Savior, quieting your soul from all distractions so you can experience the depths of His love. Ask God to show you the superior pleasures of knowing Him and to help you in beholding His beauty.

When your thoughts wander into daily tasks or worries vying for your attention, do not stress but write them down, and then simply pray, asking the Father’s help, or sing worship to Him. Again fix your gaze on Jesus and His Word, loving on Him and letting Him pour out His love on you.

I hope this information on contemplative prayer helps you in your journey.

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord, & to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)

Union of Hearts

“Someone once asked, ‘Do you know God?’ But there’s a question that is far more important: Does Good know you? The issue on the great day of judgment will not be whether you know God but whether God knows you.”
– Bob Sorge, Secrets of the Secret Place

In that day, many will say they know God, saying, “We did so much in Your name!” Despite their exclamations, they did not have a genuine, intimate relationship with Jesus. They did not talk and walk with Him, the Person, though they knew about Him and did things for Him outwardly. Inwardly their hearts were far from Him, like the religious folk of Jesus’ day (see Matthew 7:21-23).

LoveQuote

Love God, and love others; in doing so, also love yourself as God loves you. Of all things, love is of the most importance, and if our actions do not stem from the roots of love, they profit nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 13).

Jesus tells us, “Abide in Me…” He spoke not only of abiding in His Word, but in Him and in His love (John 15). Abide, have your dwelling in Him, friendship. Intimate relationship where you disclose all of you, your thoughts, your feelings, your sins and faults, your victories and hurts.

True communion is more than reading about God and His Word or talking to Him, but the union of our hearts to God’s, where we allow Him to speak and respond to us, letting Him move upon our hearts with His love, light and truth.

May we pursue the most important ambition in all of life, the very purpose for which we were made: Relationship with God the Father, His Son Jesus and the Spirit of God living in us. For this reason we live and breathe, to be loved and to love, growing in intimacy day by day.

 

True Mysticism and Union with Christ

“The theme of union with Christ occurs in numerous places in the [Word of God]. It is that union enjoyed by believers, individually and corporately, with the Lord Jesus. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘unio mystica’ or mystic union, as its fact is established without understanding the mechanism.” (That is, we don’t really comprehend how it happens or is a reality in us.) – Theopedia

Mostly because new age and Eastern religion has so twisted it, the word “mystic” brings negative connotations to our minds. But there are those who are considered Christian mystics. Some we must avoid, as they too have fallen into the new age deception of thinking they become gods themselves, but others truly live the truth. So let’s make this practical:

In relation to being a Christian, the term mystic refers to one whose sole aim is to be in union with God. Simply, it is the mystery of a Biblical truth that we can be one with God. This is illustrated well by the picture of a husband and wife whom the Word says become one flesh.

In John 15, Jesus uses the picture of the vine and its branches to describe the relationship He desires with us. The vine and branches are one yet not the same, and the branches cannot thrive without the vine. Only God could make such a thing possible and He has done so through Christ’s sacrifice all because Love (God) loves to love!

As stated before, many make this far too complicated or turn Christian mysticism into something it is not. Know this: We are NOT God and we will never be. Remember: If it exalts self above Christ it is wrong!

Union with God is about us becoming a people unified with His heart and each other, who care more about Jesus and what He cares about than ourselves. It is about becoming a people who seek to give all of themselves to love God and to love others as He loves. It’s about becoming closer to Him daily as our most important relationship.

We deny ourselves and let God’s will reign in our lives and beings, so that we can live as reflections of Christ and grow in love (1 Corinthians 13), whether through moments of joy or times of suffering. He uses all things for our good and in order to conform us to the image and character of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

Know that this can come ONLY through you having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is an ever-deepening connection to Him in fellowship and surrendering yourself. It is not some surreal, dream-like or far away thing, but true connection to a person who happens to be the most important One of all: God!

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.”
(Ephesians 5:31-32 AMP)