The Call to Morning Prayer with St Patrick's Breastplate

The Call to Morning Prayer with St Patrick's Breastplate

The indwelling Holy Spirit calls to my soul in the early morn — to turn my thoughts toward Him and away from the anxieties, fears, stresses, and “to do lists” of my weak, broken and “know it all” flesh.

With every morn my life afresh must break
The crust of self, gathered about me fresh;
That thy wind-spirit may rush in and shake
The darkness out of me, and rend the mesh
The spider-devils spin out of the flesh …

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A Hard Detachment: Letting Go of Our Own "Figuring It Out to Fix It"

A Hard Detachment: Letting Go of Our Own "Figuring It Out to Fix It"

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take....

Catherine Marshall says the the hardest thing to relinquish is our will. But I might add that equally hard is yielding our own wisdom, our own understanding, our own abilities, our own "good intentions," to another, even to our Ultimate Other, the Lord Himself. Lately, God has been personally speaking to me again about this very issue. 

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Revelation -101: How NOT to See & Hear God

Revelation -101: How NOT to See & Hear God

You read that right "Revelation MINUS 101." 

I wish I didn't have to write this post, but I wouldn't be honest if I didn't.

And can I be honest? I've been cranky . . . crabby . . . "out of sorts" . . . ok, nasty! Ask my husband. I had gotten tired of being a "punching bag" in little ways in a certain relationship. My house is torn apart with a pending reconstruction project. I feel in limbo emotionally (aftermath of my husband's and my retirement?) . . . all potential reasons but very poor excuses!

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The Rest of the Gospel: God's Process of Growth (Chapter 15)

Chapter 15  God's Process of Growth Key Verses:

I am writing to you, little children,     because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers,     because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men,     because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children,     because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers,     because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men,     because you are strong,     and the word of God abides in you,     and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2: 12-14 ESV

Key Question:

What is Christian growth?

Read chapter 15 and answer the following:

1. Have you been tempted to believe that Christian growth occurs in only one certain How did that look to you?

2. What was the result of trying to put a box around God’s process in you?

3. Dan talks about three stages of growth from First John 2:12-14. What did God say to you through this description about God’s process of growth?

4. What does it mean to you that “God takes us in love” (p. 168)? What is God saying to you through that statement right now?

5. Think of two or three difficult circumstances in your life right now. Have you accepted that God is working on you to your benefit in each of these, or are you resisting God’s work? How does He want you to respond to Him in each circumstance?

6. Is there a contradiction between Christ living in us, as us, and Dan’s call to obedience on page 168? Why not?

7. Are there any areas in which God is calling you to be a responder to Him, to be obedient? If you have not yet responded, what has that done to your windowpane?

8. On pages 169 and 170, Dan says that God causes us to grow as He “uses the storms in the soul” to drive us to a place of inner rest. In what areas of your life are you not at rest? How is God telling you to respond to Him in those areas?

9. In what ways is your soul still turned outward, its attention on the body and the world? Is there an area or two in which you hear the wooing of God back to Him? What would it look like for you to respond to His wooing?

The Rest of the Gospel: Revelation -- God's Way of Knowing (chapter 11)

Chapter 11  Revelation: God's Way of Knowing Key Verses:

 ...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe... Ephesians 1:17-19a ESV

Key Question:

What is the difference between "knowing" something spiritually and "knowing about" something spiritually?

Read chapter 11 and answer the following:

1. Has God brought you to the place where in your heart you know that you can’t live the Christian life on your own?

2. In what ways are you still seeking flesh answers to flesh questions (p. 123)? What is the answer to all spirit questions?

3. What are you trying to produce that you are incapable of producing? Or, to put it another way, how are you still trying to live out of your own effort? Are you ready to stop trying and trust God to do it instead?

4. Are you still expecting yourself to succeed at trying to live the Christian life? Does God see you as a failure when you are unable to? What is His perspective on your failures (p. 123)?

5. What is the practical meaning to you of “know-about means we must earn; know means we understand it’s freely given”?

6. What are some things the Spirit of God has revealed to you, things you know, that you can’t be shaken from?

7. What is the good news in the fact that true knowing comes by revelation of the Spirit, not our analysis?

8. Can you be content with where God has you in His process? How might He want you to trust His timing in your life? What does He want you to stop being anxious about?

9. What are some things God is telling you to believe? Review the three things Dan beginning at the bottom of p. 129. What is God saying to you about these three things?


The Rest of the Gospel: The Real You (chapter 9)

Chapter 9  The Real You Key Verse

 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21 NASB

Key Question

What is the flesh?

Read chapter 9 and answer the following:

1. How is Dan using the word flesh, or false self? Define these terms.

2. Does flesh always produce things that look bad on the outside? Why or why not? 3. How is focusing on ourselves, instead of on Christ as our life, flesh-based?

4. When God looks at you, what does He see? What is His point of reference in looking at you? Is He pulling the wool over His eyes when He looks at you, or is this the way you really are?

5. What does it mean to stop trying to become who we already are? What does this mean for you personally?

6. What are some things already true about you as a new creation in Christ? Will these things ever change?

7. How does knowing our true identity help us understand that there is no condemnation?

8. How does knowing our true identity enable us to live with a Christ-consciousness instead of a self-consciousness? Why is this important?

9. In what ways do you still attempt to draw your identity from externals? How is that dangerous to you and others? What is God’s solution to that problem?

10. What does it mean for us to focus on the spirit, instead of primarily the soul?

11. What is your true identity as a child of God?

12. What is the prayer Dan suggests regarding your identity at the end of the chapter? Would this prayer be an appropriate one for you to be praying?

Doors...One always Open, one to keep tighly shut

LORD, I'm scared!  I feel something ugly and destructive arising.  The combativeness of my imposter-flesh is rearing it's ugly head...seeking to burst forth!  It scares me that in a moment of weakness, I may open the door to that ugly monster, disguised as "rights" and promising "satisfaction."  If I choose to open to it, forgetting that I died to that nasty, already dead thing, it will flood out to destroy everybody and everything in its wake.

You and I have been friends long enough for me to know that whatever I open up (yield) to controls me.  That dead thing, behind that padlocked door is awaiting final destruction.  Why would I yield to it and unlock the door?  Your door is always fact YOU are the DOOR!

I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. Revelation 3:8 ESV

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9 ESV

I yield to YOU, O precious Savior.  Carry me along in YOUR loving way.  May your indwelling, empowering LIFE have control...bringing harmony, peace, joy, love...responses rather than reactions.  By Your mercy and grace...that YOU might be satisfied and honored...unto YOUR purpose and pleasure today and always.  Amen.

For more on the ins and outs of the flesh in the Christian life see: UNION-with-CHRIST-a-summary