Friday, March 11, 2011

Devotional reading 110311

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I can’t believe it is Friday again. Time really flies and we should better take good use of the opportunity that He gives us each day. No matter what kind of responsibility that God has appointed you to do today, do it as a sacramental worship to the Lord with love and joyfulness. God never forsakes you even though you may go through tough time in life like those who suffer in natural disaster in Japan. Pray that God will comfort those who lost their loved ones in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. There are many missionaries station in that earthquake zone. Pray that Christians and the church in Japan will do whatever to help victims from this natural disaster. Seize this moment when you still have today to fulfill God’s purpose for your life, because nobody knows whether tomorrow will come or not.

A person’s religious experiences can probably be understood best in term of the way that person perceives the divine, and allows it to work in his/her life. As I have suggested, there are three main kinds of these experiences—the sacramental, the contemplative, and those giving an inner perception of the divine in images. The most common and widespread of these experiences are the sacramental ones in which the divine comes into focus directly through some element of the outer, physical world. In the Communion, for instance, a person has the outer experience of receiving the bread and wine, and at the same time may experience receiving Christ inwardly.

It is easy to look down on the original forms of sacramental experience as primitive, and consider it quite unconscious to project the inner, spiritual reality upon outer things…The great Christian sacraments, beginning with baptism, have offered a new step of breaking off from one’s old life and entering into a new relation with God. For Catholics and also many liturgical Protestants the Commune or Eucharist is the continuing place of renewal where the divine touches humanity. The bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; m partaking of them one actually shares the life of the Risen Christ. For the average Protestant the Bible itself has some of the sesame sacramental power. While most non-liturgical Protestants have shied away from the obviously sacramental, the Bible is literally seen as the congealed thought of God, and if this is accepted, one may then be in touch with God Himself. Total and absolute authority are often given to the words and ideas of the Bible, and thus authority is sometimes projected upon the one who preaches them, which sometimes causes explosive situations. In these churches there is an absence of sacramental action and this gap is only partly filled by services of prayer and great music.

Human beings do not outgrow their need to use sacramental experience. This should be clear to anyone who has ever fallen in love and known the power of projection. Suddenly to one in love another person appears luminous and carries all value and meaning. Poetry often flows, even from those who never before wrote poetry. As Plato originally pointed out, physical love lead to an appreciation of the beauty of spirit of another human being, and then on to worship of God Himself. Thus falling in love can in a sense be a sacramental experience of the divine.

Equally, anyone who has nursed a full-blown hatred or anger can understand how well projection works. Another person seems ns to become the very devil. One need not even know the person to feel the revulsion…People who project this evil onto others believe that the worst that can be done to them is fully justified, because the purpose of harming them is only to eliminate evil in the world. Even so, projection is an important function of the human psyche. So long as we do not think that what we are projecting is necessarily real in the outer world, this is one way of coming into contact with the forces that work from within, so that we can tap some of their power and even begin to learn about these forces.

Even the most conscious people find that some of their meaning and power comes to them through projection. There is great value in these religious experiences, in which spiritual reality is projected upon seemingly inanimate matter. By providing the religious community with its rituals, they offer continuity and stability to religious life. The group itself is held together and given energy by their experiences in common. Psychologically a person is safer in this experience than in many of the others because it is a religious experience that is brought down to a power level that humans can manage easily. Yet there are some real dangers when sacramental experience is seen as the only valid kind of religious expression. In The Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, the Scotch writer James Hogg turned one possibility into a delightful satire. His single-minded hero found himself among the elect of God and proceeded to act as God’s instrument to eliminate the non-elect by murder, beginning with his step-mother.

I believe the extreme form of fundamentalism begins from this form of sacramental type of religious experience. This is how cult begins. When a group of worshippers project their absolute love and devotion to a person, who is considered to be the only true messenger of God, they will do whatever irrational things or perform even immoral behavior without hesitation. Suicidal bombers from extreme Islamic group are typical example. To them, these suicidal acts of hurting others are acts of sacramental worship or ways to project their ultimate devotion to God. And this is definitely dangerous. Satan likes to turns blessing into curse. When worshippers do not discern their religious experiences in sacramental worship, they will become gullible to Satan’s scheme. Let’s not flow the baby out with the bath water. Sacramental worship is a valid religious experience. It is one of the ways to express our love and devotion to God. We should enjoy it as a gift from above but watchful at the same time, in case Satan will sow seeds of deception.

You probably will not hear from me for a long time since I will be on my mission trip around the globe (Asia, Europe and Africa) for next two months. Please pray for journey’s mercy and open doors for ministry in new fields like East Africa. I pray that you will continue to walk with the Lord and digest the materials that I shared with you so far. If time allows in between trips, I will still drop you my devotional reading. May God bless your daily encounter with your Lover.

In Christ,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Devotional reading 090311

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I took 6 medical injections in preparing for my trip to Africa on Monday, and my immune system reacted “well” against those incoming “viruses” from flu and yellow fever shots. I felt symptoms of flu like body ache, fever and sore throat (Loretta had running nose too). They were not as severe as regular flu but uncomfortable. As a result, I need to take sick leave and stay home to rest for two days. We both recovered well this morning. Praise the Lord!!

Silence unbinds a person from ordinary perceptions and attitudes and offers a fresh look at life and reality, r. By giving us in the West a new perspective on the ideas we have inherited, it can bring us a vision of the world and humanity as more than just materialistic. Silence can open a door on a new dimension of reality. It is like finding a trap door or a secret passage, giving a way out of our usual, ego-dominated existence. Sleep often has somewhat the same effect. Sleep can separate us from the world of space and time in two different ways. Sleep can provide a dreamless rest which releases tension and recharges life and this in itself is a tremendous gift, bringing courage and energy to start on a new day. Then there is the sleep which leads one into dreaming and so into an existence which is experienced as outside of space and time.

Here the rules of our ordinary existence do not apply. The dreamer can be two different people at the same time, expanding or contracting time to fit the circumstances of the dream, merging one place into another or changing locations as if space were no problem. Logic and rationality no longer apply. And yet there is so much meaning in this strange movement of images that it can even show us the very meaning of our lives.

In sleep one automatically goes from outer physical sensations to a peaceful state. What happens in sleep seems so easy and natural that the person who has trouble sleeping is even considered sick. Yet one can also go from the outer physical world to the peaceful, quiet state while awake, by consciously deciding enter into it in meditation. There are much the same physiological effects in both sleep and the meditative state, as well as almost the same sense of a person’s losing life in order to gain it. Then there is the flood of images that in well-up in the same way in the psyche whenever one becomes completely still, whether in sleep or through a conscious, directed movement into the inner realm in meditation. Mystics of every tradition speak of the images that flood in upon one during silence, and in sleep much the same thing happens at least four to seven times a night in dreams.

Whether a person is willing to look at dreams at all depends upon whether one can see any meaning in them or not. In meditation one also has a choice—to pay attention to the images that arise within and see where they lead, or to dismiss them as meaningless, or as a dangerous distraction, and then return to utter and undisturbed stillness. In the latter case, one steps into a state which no words or images seem to describe.

Are the images of sleep and meditation a snare and a delusion, or do they lead us further and further into meaning? This is one basic question which faces the individual who learns to be silent, and the answer will determine the kind of religious practice that person takes up and follows. It is my suggestion that few things are much more important for the development of our religious matter how extraordinary it becomes—than knowing the images that arise within us and meditating upon them.

Many bible characters saw divine visions, and believed in dreams as some means through which God spoke to mankind. To them, those images or messages were as audible and visible like the way physical seeing and hearing. They anticipated that God would speak to them, just as Prophet Habakkuk described his “mystical” experience in the first verse of chapter two, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” Habakkuk looked with anticipation what God would say to him and how he would converse with Him in silence. I believe many Christians would think Habakkuk to be extreme if not cultic by expecting God to speak to him directly. But he is not alone. New Testament characters like Apostle Paul saw vision and heard angels several times (Acts 9:4-7; 22:7-9; 18:9-11; 22:17; 23:11 and 27:23), and the entire book of Revelation was what Apostle John heard and saw. We believe those images and records from John to be true revelation from God. And they were revealed to John through his meditation in silence.

Meditation and spiritual dreams were like lost arts in Christian spiritual exercises. We read books that are records of other people’s meditative journals, but not hearing from the primary source - God Himself. If theology is prayer language, commentaries and other spiritual books are definitely language of meditation and silence. If we don’t have time to rest or still, in no way we can communicate with God and experience His cleansing power from inside out. We need some good sleep to recharge our body. And we need some good silence to recharge our souls, so that we can become blessings to the world around us. So, enjoy your day of conversation with God in wherever you are now…

With Love in Him,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Devotional Reading 040311

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for this spring like weather, even though Daly City was covered by fog. Praise God for His daily presence and work in the lives of His children. In my quiet journey to work, I enjoyed His words of encouragement whispering to my soul. He surfaced the concerns and struggles that I had from within. He called me to repent and relinquish all my concerns to Him…then the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding sprang up in my soul. I need this kind of cleansing work of God that helps refocus my life in the midst of my busyness.

There are some similar forms of prayer found in the West, but without concentration on the name of Jesus or on any particular words. One of them which has had an influence halfway around the world was developed by a lay brother who remained a cook and servant. In The Practice of the Presence of d Brother Lawrence told how he tried to make the least thought or the leanest task an offering in the presence of Jesus, even to picking up a straw from the scullery floor as he went about his job of cleaning up after others.

There is no finer description of this way of quiet, of realizing the presence of God, than the writing of Thomas Kelly, another Westerner who practiced this kind of prayer. Kelly died as a relatively young man, and his writing were brought together by Douglas Steere. A Testament of Devotion tells essentially of living on two levels at the same time, being aware of the outer world of business and people and at the same time being in touch with a deeper level and with a quiet and living presence. In it Kelly clearly suggests that this joining of awareness does not make one less adequate in dealing with outer things, but more responsive and able to act.

Our understanding of the Holy Spirit or the actual presence of the Christ Spirit forms a bridge ‘to the use of the Jesus prayer. This prayer can then become a way of entering and reinforcing our inner stillness so that this Spirit can be heard and given leeway to accomplish two things in us. First, we can allow it to work upon the images of divided parts of our own personalities, helping us to become integrated or whole. Second, we can then allow it to form a deep pool of quiet within to which we can return again and again for refreshment, renewal, regeneration.

Researchers have demonstrated that people have the capacity to receive information from other minds without ordinary communication (telepathy), and to be in touch with both the future and the past (pre- and post-cognition). Other students are working on psycho kinesis (the capacity to influence objects by mind power alone) and psychic healing. Each of these capacities has been verified by research using careful scientific controls. Almost overnight we are being forced to realize that we have the ability to receive knowledge which does not come through ordinary perception and consciousness, and that the way this happens most often is in a relaxed condition of mind and body, either in the natural state of dreaming or in a meditational state.

Each of the ways toward silence that we have considered is an external vice, a method meant to help the individual find a way to seek an individual experience of God through silence. Any of these practices can be helpful so long as one is fairly sure that this is a method that fills one’s own personal need then follows it consistently and sincerely toward the goal of being silent. Christianity suggests there is more to life (in Christ) than silence and detachment and if this is clear to us, we can make use of these practices without becoming lost.

Prayer is more than words, meditation far more than a rational or cognitive process. It involves the whole person, the entire being—breathing, moving, acting, rising up and lying down, entire days and nights. Only as the whole person is turned toward the meditative process does the experience of God in Jesus Christ become a reality.

It is true that the scientific community has not fully explored the dynamics of our mind. There are so much in the “spiritual” consciousness of our mind that we have not used. In silence we are in touch of the untouchable (physical sense). We recognize the work of the Holy Spirit within and among us, yet we have not really tasted the beauty and power of His presence. Satan would do whatever to stop us from exploring not to mention exercising the power of God, which has been bestowed upon us in Christ. Jesus made it very clear as He commanded the disciples to do the Great Commission, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19). It is not by our own power and might to fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus knows well that our human effort is limited. We need super-strength or super-perseverance to meet this challenge. Spiritual authority is available to us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the question is whether we are aware of the authority and exercise the authority against the evil resistance. Charismatic movement recognizes the spiritual power from within and focuses on exercising the power to reach out or to grow the church. Evangelical community tends to be more intellectual and concerns the danger of this “unknown” spiritual power which may lure us away from the passion for God’s word. To me, we cannot serve without the power from above, and this power is fed or charged by God’s word. In silence we recognize the reality of a spiritual warfare from within. The more we engage in this spiritual warfare, the more we agree with Paul that we need to put on the full armor of God which include truth, righteousness, peace of the gospel, goodness, salvation and God’s word. And to Paul, the battle field of this spiritual warfare is within our mind (2 Cor 10:5b). So if we do not resist Satan in our mind, we surrender to his dominion even though we claim to be on God’s side. Have mercy on us, O Lord. We give up too easily before we have not even engaged the spiritual warfare. Help us draw close to you through meditation and prayer in silence…

Your fellow comrade in Christ,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Devotional Reading 030311

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It gave me good feeling to be able to run some errands at home before coming to office. Procrastination should be treated as some kind of chronic disease. It definitely involves changing one’s lifestyle or habit in order to heal procrastination. And we know that kicking a habit is not easy. I guess it is the same in developing a good habit too. Pray that you will not continue to give yourself excuse not to develop the devotional habit for your own well being.

No other function of the body is as sensitive to our inner state as our breathing. The slightest excitement produces a noticeable change. If one is worried about making a plane, rapt in watching a sunset or a new puppy, in communion with a loved one, or waking out of a peaceful sleep, the breathing is quite different. The idea of controlling it sounds strange to most Christian ears. Our “Christian” religious practice has been largely cerebral for so long that we have built up a sizeable tradition which scorns and rejects the body. We have almost lost any understanding of the relation of the body to the religious encounter.

Breathing is one internal function which the conscious mind can control with comparative ease. With a little attention one can learn to use certain muscles, making the breathing more rapid or slow, more shallow or deep, quite at will. Then by taking careful note of the muscle action when awakening from peaceful sleep, one can learn to produce almost the same effect by directing it consciously. This kind of breathing comes from the diaphragm. The chest barely moves, while the impetus comes from below in a slow rhythm of the abdominal muscles. This takes practice and discipline, but it is effective in quieting both mind and body.

The effect of controlled breathing is almost like communication with the less conscious parts of one’s being, saying to them: Simmer down and listen there is something beyond this turmoil. It is communication in action that often works when words merely ‘ go in one car and out the other, not even changing the cognitive mind. In essence the effect is to turn all the elements of one’s will toward stillness and waiting…Researchers in brain activity have learned that this breathing pattern goes along with alpha and theta wave activity in the brain, which is characteristic of our mental state in meditation. Again, simply learning to breathe in this way will often help a person to reach this state.

The ancient Christian traditions of Hesychasm stressed the use of the Jesus prayer and an imageless sense of God’s presence as well as awareness of breathing. The essential element linking these practices was the search for silence, for inward stillness. For centuries one form or another of the Jesus prayer has been used for this purpose. One form is simply to invoke the name of Jesus, using it almost as a mantra. Usually the longer form-“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”—is used, and not only at times of meditation. The goal is to repeat this prayer until it can be heard within oneself at all times, until it becomes an unconscious or subliminal turning toward the Christ. Beginning in the silence, constant repetition makes this prayer the underlying theme of all one’s activity.

Using the Jesus prayer is something nearly anyone can do. As one awakens and goes to sleep, one repeats this prayer; working on the job or playing, one repeats it; and in times of pleasure or of personal struggle, one keeps repeating the prayer over and over within oneself, like the beating of the heart. The hope is that not only the words t the presence and spiritual reality of Jesus will permeate every aspect of one s being. The underlying idea of this prayer is that somehow the reality of Jesus is tied to the name…If this kind of prayer can be used as a way of becoming quiet so that the individual is able to find a relationship with God and be reshaped by it, then this way has much to recommend it. Otherwise, using the Jesus prayer becomes an end in itself, often more like the devotional practices of Eastern religions than a truly Christian practice.

I found this practice to be helpful in calming down my brain activity and focus on Christ. It is important to recognize that this kind of spiritual exercise is only a means to help you enter silence. And as you enter the silence state of mind, you want to focus on Christ Jesus our Lord in meditation and prayer. So the practice of the little prayer of Jesus focus not on the means but the end. If you confuse the means to the end, which is attentive to the Holy Spirit who lives in us, this kind of spiritual exercise could become misleading and even dangerous – you are lost in the spiritual world of unknown. We are living in the information age that is filled with all kinds of distractions and temptations. If we don’t make intentional effort to focus our brain activities on God, we can be totally distracted in our spiritual sensitivity. I usually use this breathing exercise and method like Jesus prayer to calm down my mind before I meditate with the Word of God. While I am meditating on the portion of Scripture I follow each day, I either use a written journal or computer to assist my interaction with God. I found this process to be fruitful and refreshing. I hope you will take your devotional life seriously by developing some good habit in meditation.

With His eternal love for us,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Devotional Reading 020311

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It has been several years since I started sending out my devotional journal to you. I hope you will find it helpful. This journal is only a sample of meditation tool that I have been using personally for my spiritual growth in Christ. In no way I consider this as the way of devotional exercise. Nevertheless, journal is an aid in the practice of silence. Otherwise your “walk with God” becomes superficial and ritualistic. My purpose of sending you my journal is in hope that you will follow my footstep. It is like what Paul said to the Corinthians, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). This is an act of discipleship.

There are some ways of coming to silence and starting on the inner journey besides the ones we have been considering in previous chapters. While certain of them may seem too far out for some people to try, these are suggestions that may prove helpful to one individual or another, and at least one of them is probably vital for almost everyone who seeks the inner silence. This is the use of a journal which prepares a person to slow down and helps to direct the inner processes of thought, feeling, sensation, and intuition. In a different way controlled breathing may be almost as important for many people because it reinforces and deepens the stillness in one’s own body.

For some people a small group of like-minded individuals, a prayer group. Opens the way into silence and beyond. For others relation with a spiritual director, which resembles the prayer group in many ways, is a necessity. Often the dream gives people a re-entry to the stillness from which it came. Meditative reading and the use of images are further aids in entering silence and drawing out the meaning that arises. These particular practices require special discussion, and in this chapter we shall consider mainly those that are aids just for getting into the silence. Let us start with the journal which is important both at the beginning and later on.

It is difficult for many people to quiet their minds. As soon as they beg center down, ideas start to come up that jar them out of the silence. Perhaps one has been thinking about some problem, and in the quiet right away a new solution pops into mind. Or there is suddenly a picture of some vitally needed new project. One part of the mind tries to hold onto the problem or the good idea and get it worked through. For such people it is helpful to have a notebook at hand. If one quietly records the thought—and it may be a very valuable one— one can let it go and return to stillness. If the thought keeps on returning, one can then push it aside and say to it: You are taken care of. Stop bothering me.

Sometimes if one has been involved in a trying emotional situation, he or she may be so flooded with ideas and experiences that it seems futile to even think about settling down. One seems to be caught in a squirrel cage, running as hard as possible and getting nowhere. At times like this almost anyone will find real help in writing the feelings and thoughts down in a journal or notebook…Simply the fact of setting down these thoughts, fear other emotions gives them body and makes them distinct. The more concrete they become the easier it is to separate them from one’s soul. The most difficult reality to deal with is the kind that appears like a grey amorphous cloud. One cannot understand it or get a picture of it. There is no way to get a handle on it…Pushing these things out of the way only makes the worse. We can usually deal with the reality if we will look at it and bring it the silence.

There is a great difference between avoiding a thought or emotion and laying it aside after taking the trouble to look at it. In the first instance a person is pretending that there is nothing there, and so repressing these things and later on they can rise up from the depth and harass one. The other is simply a way of marking out one’s inner place of stillness and putting these calls on hold, asking them to wait until one is better prepared to take care of them.

I agree with Kelsey’s experience that it is difficult to come to silence until I have paid these aspects of myself their due. With a journal and pencil ready, I start by looking at the circumstances that have been bothering me. As I write down what- ever comes to mind about them, often bubbling up helter-skelter, they begin to lose their power over me. The concerns are no less important. They will be there when I get back to regular activity, but I know by experience that I will have a fresh outlook about them because of touching a level beyond my ordinary ego life. Keeping a record that gives a before and after look is a tremendous help to me in slowing down and ceasing activity. Moreover, the journal can be used as my dialogue with God when I submit all these concerns of mine to Him.

Sometimes, the emotions and thoughts that flood my mind in silence could be issues that I need to deal with in the light of God’s words. They could be “things” that God surfaced for me to encounter. Instead of resolving them by my own wisdom and experiences, I surrender them to Christ and admit my inadequacy in handling them. I resume back to a quiet mode of listening to what God has to say to me. Journal writing definitely serves the purpose of focusing on God in meditation and prayer. Finding words to write my prayer to God helps clarify my understanding of the situation that I am facing in life. And to my surprise, I found insight coming through silence while I was writing my prayer or love letter to God. I sincerely encourage you to try out this path of communion with God in silence.

Love you because of His passion for you,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Devotional reading 010311

Dear brothers and sisters,

Good morning. Thank God for spring like weather – cool but filled with sunshine. God is doing amazing thing each day. He plans to use His children to become channels of His blessing to the whole world. We are blessed when we become His blessings to others. In order to experience this kind of blessing, we need to encounter Him in silence. Silence is not an easy practice – it directs you into the spiritual realm, which is unfamiliar territory to most of us. It may be scary for beginners. But once you familiarize this encountering, you will enjoy the beauty of it.

Out of silence disturbing emotions often come to the surface which are difficult to control. They can range from vague apprehension to terror and panic. Or they may vary from bitterness and indignation to aggressive hatred and rage… Most of our lives are constricted by half-conscious fears of some kind extreme reaction like becoming rigid at the thought of seeing the doctor or the fear of losing a job, or exploding with anger over some imagined slight.

It is not easy to accept that these violent and disturbing emotions are a part of our being and not caused just by some situation in die outer world. Realizing this, however, is not the end of the difficulty. Since these feelings do arise essentially within us, it seems on the surface that we should be able to still them to the point of extinction. And once they are under control, why should we let human passions disturb our meditation at a we should be able to reach a state of perfect relation to God that will free us from any disruption m our emotional life.

We forget that the real task is to bring the totality of our psychic being to God and not just to repress and split off those parts of ourselves that we cannot change. If we deny our emotions, we do one of two things. We may successfully repress them and so cut ourselves off from one vital source of energy, becoming zombis, half dead. Or else we dam these emotions up to the point where they break loose on their own and use up that valuable energy, usually in the most destructive ways. Easterners deny the value of the physical world and so there is little legitimate reason for emotion.

The difficulty lies in making these reserves of psychic energy available for our best use. This is possible through meditation and the effort to grow up spiritually and emotionally. In the silence one can allow feelings to arise, disconnect from their ordinary targets in the outer world, and learn to deal with the depth of the psyche directly. Meditation requires silence, and silence opens a person to the direct impact of emotions and to knowing the autonomous images that arise along with them…

People who have tested the use of silence in this way often speak of finding the transforming power of God. By making an effort to bring as much of themselves as they can to the encounter, they almost always find a plan for their lives. They often emphasize their realization that God’s greatest desire for the individual is to find wholeness, the integration of every aspect of personality into a whole. This work of redemption and salvation goes on in the silence when one is free to allow something besides ordinary occupations and ordinary levels of being to have an effect. The net result is spiritually mature individuals who have something to give to God, as well as taking something from Him.

Sometimes people have a profound experience of God and then fail to realize its full meaning for their lives because they do not stop long enough to listen. Unless such an experience is brought into relationship with one’s desires and fears and angers, it inevitably loses most of its force. An experience of God can begin to change our old feelings into new strengths—for instance, our desire for power over our children or employees, or our fear of the government or of a hostile universe, or our hostility toward our neighbors or people in the club— but only if we will bring these feelings into relationship with that experience of God. Few people find this way of integration until they try to be still.

Realizing the dividends of silence is like eating. Few of us quibble about our need to keep on eating. We can even sense the dangers of starvation. In much the same way, the life of the soul in most people needs to be sustained by the regular practice of silence, day after day, month after month, year after year. One cannot go in for silence in a big way, make a pile and then retire. It would be better to settle for a more modest undertaking so that one could stay in business and keep at it. Otherwise the profits soon dry up. One loses the capacity to have a sustained relationship with the world of the Holy Spirit and with the Father. Silence, for many people, allows the soul to grow and develop in its spiritual dimension. In fact, the more one finds the reality of silence, the more significant it becomes. While this in itself is a danger, the same is true of anything else we touch which has such real value.

This kind of soul search is very challenging. It takes time to quiet before the Lord, and emotional maturity to handle. If our devotional practice is simply Scripture reading and prayer for only 5 minutes a day, we cannot even touch the surface of our soul. We need time to dig deep, and it requires time. Modern people just don’t have the time to do such kind of soul searching…as a result we miss the transforming power of God, and experience Him in a most intimate manner. Yes, we may not have enough time to meditate and pray each day. We need to at least set aside time to encounter God in silence during weekend. Otherwise, our inner being remains undelivered from Satan’s bondage, even though we claim that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor 5:17). We need to take our spiritual life seriously, or else we will not be able to grow and stumbling other people along the way. Have mercy on us O Lord! We need your help to transform us on a daily basis…

Encourage you in His love,