Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Devotional 100209

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is so refreshing after a day of Sabbath before the Lord; a day of rest and recuperate from a busy week. We all need a time to be still before the Lord instead of busy bee all the time. The more busy we are, the more self reliance we become. We will become autopilot – just keep on going. It is dangerous to put your life on autopilot mode because you will not be as alert. Satan will easily creep in to take control of your heart without you even aware of it. We need to take a break from time to time, and re-invite Jesus to come on our driver’s seat to take control of our lives. Amen?

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? It is He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing” (Isaiah 40:26). The people of God in Isaiah's day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental or holy. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.

The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination into captivity. Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol representing your self? Is it your work? Your conception of what a worker should be? Is it your experience of salvation and sanctification? Then your imagination of God is starved, and when you are up against difficulties you have no power, you can only endure in darkness. If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God Whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination. Rouse yourself, take the warning that Isaiah gave the people, and deliberately turn your imagination to God.

One of the reasons of confusion in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God. We have to learn how to be broken bread and poured out wine on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact. Imagination is the power God gives a saint to posit himself out of himself into relationships he never was in. Meditation becomes a lost art. We seldom use our imagination in our prayer and in our devotional reading. Imagination reaches deep into our soul or emotion. It drives tears to my eyes when I see Christ on the cross with my imagination; it is not that I created the cross in my mind. It was a fact that Jesus was nailed on the cross. But I never witnessed it with my physical vision. Imagination helped me reached beyond my physical limit to witness the love of God on that very cross in my imagination. Have mercy on me O Lord. I don’t deserve your sacrifice for me. Immediately, in my imagination I over heard Jesus’ words for Peter, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Then, my heart is filled with thanksgiving for the sacrificial love of God for me. I hope you will experience it too.

Love you because of that love in me,

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