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Archive for June, 2010

The Challenges of Discipleship: Hearing God’s Voice … And Obeying it.

Hearing-Gods-Voice

If Anyone Hears my Voice ...

“He who is of God hears God’s words;” (John 8:47)

‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev.:3:20)

From the Gospel of John Chapter 10 we also read …

[4]   When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep   follow him because they know his voice.

[5]     They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

[14-15]   I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.

[27]    My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Perhaps the key characteristic of one who is a disciple to Christ is obedience, the Obedience of Love.  This level of obedience is an obedience that is not only given willingly but out of a sincere, self-denying, love for Christ. Such and obedience may only be derived through an intimate personal relationship with the Master, a relationship where our ability to listen to His word and His teaching is essential. For without an ability to clearly discern His voice we cannot faithfully follow His specific instructions for our lives.

It is unfortunate that most of us Christians, though sincerely desiring to respond to the call of discipleship that is placed on all who believe, are seriously hampered from fulfilling our call because we lack the spiritual discernment needed to hear the Voice of God, be it the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. Instead, we blindly stumble along life’s way using our human instincts and human guidance to guide us in what we hope is a walk that is pleasing to the master.

Of, course we have the Word of God and Church tradition to keep us from totally going out of bounds in general, but the specific guidance for our lives requires that those general guidelines be interpreted and directed to the specifics of each person’s life. This level of discernment may only be achieved through a personal revelation of the Holy Spirit that clearly tells us what the Lord is saying to us personally, regarding the conduct of our lives for His Glory.

The Lord may speak to us in any manner of ways, such as through prayer, praise and worship, prophecy, visions, dreams, spiritual direction, friends, relationships, circumstances, and of course, the Word of God. Of course, because we are humans and always susceptible to deception, we must, as St. John tells us, test every spirit to truly discern the voice of the Lord in all of these ways (see 1 Jn. 4:1).

One of the ancient traditions that helps in the discernment of  God’s voice speaking to us personally through the Word of God is that of “Lectio Divina” (click HERE to go to that section).

A more recent approach in listening to the Spirit of the Lord, is that expressed through prayer in His Word and community chanting as exemplified by the Taize Prayer Community (click HERE to go to that section).

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, is, of course, essential if we are to activate the spiritual gifts needed to open our spiritual ears (click HERE to go to the section on Pentecost and the Promise of the Faher).

Other Resources on Hearing God’s Voice in Relation to Discipleship

In order to provide you with some affirming resources I have compiled a several articles and links that will provide you further insight and instruction to assist you in your quest  for “Hearing God’s Voice .. and Obeying it”!

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Discerning Your Ministry

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The following was written by Renée Miller

(as excerpted from: http://www.explorefaith.org/tools/signposts/2010/jun_19.php)

And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offering and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the Lord?”
—1 Samuel 15:22

For nearly all of history, it seems, humans have believed that pacification of some kind is required to quell God’s divine anger. In biblical times, burnt offerings and sacrifices were thought to appease the wrath of the Holy One.

The sacrifices and offerings were motivated more by a desire to avoid God’s anger than as a symbol of gratitude and love. It is as if we do not really trust in the Holy One’s love for us, and we must somehow win that love through acts of offering.

In truth, the heart of God seeks nothing more from us than a relationship of love. The root of the word obedience comes from the French word audience and, loosely translated, means being near enough to hear. God does not demand works nor sacrifices that fulfill some human-made law.

What God wants is for us to be near enough to hear—near enough to listen to what the Holy One has to say—so near that our heart can absorb the words of God and act on them. Can you imagine how your relationship to and with God would change if you stopped trying to please a capricious and potentially angry deity, and chose rather to come close enough to the heart of God to hear the words of life?

O God, when my fear of you, or my own guilt, leads me to try to appease you with gifts, let me hear the soft whisper of your call simply to come into your presence.

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The following was written By Oswald Chambers

( as excerpted from: http://utmost.org/ )

. . do you love Me? . . . Tend My sheepJohn 21:16

Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . , he cannot be My disciple”Luke 14:26 ). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, “If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me.” A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, “Now I see who Jesus is!”— that is the source of devotion.

Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people— the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.” The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”— it will spring up and change the entire landscapeJohn 12:24 ).

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The following are some relevant links that will provide more detailed instruction on Hearing God’s voice:

http://www.kyria.com/topics/spiritualformation/biblestudyanddevotions/15.30.html

http://www.seekgod.org/message/hearinggod.html

http://www.acts17-11.com/hearing.html

http://www.allaboutprayer.org/hearing-gods-voice.htm

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/biblestudyandtheology/Discipleship/CVB_Seven_Keys_Hearing_God.aspx

http://www.cwgministries.org/Four-Keys-to-Hearing-Gods-Voice.htm

http://www.thewhisperwall.com/whisper-wall

http://caprisgarden.wordpress.com/in-the-garden/

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Other related articles or posts :

My Testimony

Enter in By the Narrow gate

The Double Portion Anointing

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May the Holy Spirit Guide you in your desire to draw closer to Him in true discipleship!

Your Brother in Christ  ….  Bartimaeus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2010]

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The Sanctifying Gifts (Part 2) : Understanding the Gifts

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,

And a branch from his roots will bear fruit,

And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,

The spirit of Wisdom and Understanding,

The spirit of Counsel and Strength,

The spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the LORD,

And He will delight in the Fear of the LORD “ (Is. 11:1-3)

My fellow pilgrims and brothers and sisters in Christ,

In my previous article I reflected on the Sanctifying Gifts and the Inner Anointing as the expression of our partaking in the personal relationship between the Father and the Son. In this article I expand my reflection to the structure of the Gifts and what that structure tells us about their manifestation in our lives.

First of all, let me summarize the Sanctifying Gifts as they are normally adduced from the quoted scripture from Isaiah Chapter 11.  They are, namely: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety (devotion) and the fear (reverence) of the Lord.

Now, activating these gifts with which the Lord has graced us, let us, prayerfully, begin our journey into understanding the nature of these gifts.

In the quote from Isaiah 11 regarding the Gifts of the Messiah, we see that the first six gifts are coupled or linked in pairs. This coupling is not accidental (everything in the Word of God has a reason). The coupling is such that it indicates the manner with which the Holy Spirit works in order to infuse Himself into our lives, First He infuses His gifts into our hearts (spirits) and then uses that infusion to activate a corresponding gift in our minds (souls) which then causes our will to act, thus, bringing forth God’s will and His fruit in our lives.

For instance, Wisdom and Understanding are linked (with an “and”) because the operation of the Holy Spirit is such that He first infuses His gift of Wisdom in our hearts. Then He further helps us by translating that non-verbal inspiration into an understanding in our minds that will lead us to take an action in consonance with God’s will.

WISDOM

The Gift of Wisdom

Now, Wisdom, is the non-verbal, non-conceptual infused spiritual ability to discern God’s will, His judgments, and the desires of His heart in our spirits. However in order to actualize that wisdom in our lives by acting on it, we must first come to an intellectual understanding of what the Lord has placed in our hearts. Thus, the statement of these gifts: “… the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding”, infers that the Holy Spirit not only places the specific wisdom we need to understand God’s will in a particular circumstance in our hearts but He also assists our minds in converting that non-verbal inspiration into a particular set of thoughts that will move our will to act in accord with God’s will. It is through this, the process of  “renewal of our minds”, that this transition can occur. This is the Divine Wisdom under which Jesus lived His life here on earth and now wants us to share in it!

Wisdom, then, leads us to understanding God’s ways with our minds. For since the Lord has told us that,  “ … my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways (Is 55:8), He must, of necessity, infuse us spiritually with the capacity to come to an understanding as to what His thoughts and His ways are if we are to be truly in fellowship with Him. That is why this is a spiritual gift and NOT just a natural human gift that is blessed by God.

In the same manner, the statement, “… the Spirit of Counsel and Strength”, infers that the grace of steadfastness (fortitude, or strength) to remain in God’s will and way regardless of circumstances derives from the gift of spiritual counsel or guidance we first receive in our hearts from the Holy Spirit. For He alone indeed is our Counsel and our Strength! And if we know in our hearts that we are following the guidance of the Shepherd of our souls and what we are called to do is HIS will then we will, through this gift, obtain the strength to not deviate from His Way!

“Who has learned Your counsel,

unless You have given wisdom

and sent your holy spirit from on high?” (Wis. 9:17)

The Gift of Knowledge

The Gift of Knowledge

The statement, “… the Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of the Lord” is perhaps the most awesome gift because it tells us that we share in Jesus’ knowledge of the person of the Father. You see, the term “knowledge here refers not to human intellectual knowledge but to the intimate relational “Knowledge” or “Love” that exists between the father and the Son at the spirit level and it this Knowledge of the Father’s Love in our hearts that brings us to our knees (indeed on our faces) before Him. Thus our response to this “Knowledge” is a heartfelt, sincere adoration of Him who is above all – Our Creator and our God. It is a Knowledge that Jesus promised to all who believe in Him. For as scripture tells us, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). And as , Jesus himself told the Pharisees, “…if you had known me you would have known my Father” (John 8:19)

This gift of Knowledge, then leads to a reverence of God that is born of this intimate “Love” relationship with Jesus who reveals the Father to us. This is the “fear” or reverence that God desires in us, not an insincere reverence that is based on legalism, an outward reverence that is not based on Love,  but rather, a reverence such as is derived from a personal intimate “Knowledge” of His Person. The Apostle Peter corroborates the concept that this spiritual Gift of a personal and intimate Knowledge of God as a person brings us into a sharing in the Divine nature.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust ”(2 Peter 1:2-4).

The last statement , “… And He will delight in the Fear of the LORD”, is  probably the most misinterpreted and therefore most misunderstood of all the Gifts. Because it mentions Fear or Reverence a second time, most interpretations interpret the first time it is mentioned as “Piety”, whereas at this mention it is interpreted as the gift of “Fear” or “Reverence” although it is the same term or word in the original Hebrew.

The misunderstanding arises because the statement is taken out of context.  In order to fully understand this “gift” we must look at the verses that follow as well.  Thus the full statement we are attempting to understand should be read as:

The Mercy Seat

The Mercy Seat

“And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with mercy for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.” (Is 11:3-5)

Taken In the full context, and in the appropriate understanding of the original Hebrew, the full quotation might be better transliterated as follows:

The Gift of Divine Mercy

The Gift of Divine Mercy

“Because He (the Messiah) will be extremely sensitive to the reverential Majesty of God and His Righteousness (Justice), He will not judge in human terms but will rely on the Spirit of Divine Mercy and Justice to guide Him and with that sense of Mercy and Justice He will judge the poor and decide with fairness for the afflicted and execute judgment on those who mistreat them.”

When understood in this manner this last Gift really sounds more like what we would call Social Justice, but it really exposes the Heart of God’s Love for the poor and oppressed, which is expressed through the Spirit of His Divine Mercy  or Justice. I, somehow, think this gift should be renamed.

What we have to ask ourselves is, “Am I living this gift out in my life?”, and if not, why not?

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Now, my brothers and sisters, I don’t expect you to totally agree with me on these my reflections on the sanctifying Gifts, rather, I present this theme to you to challenge you.  Yes, to challenge you to test my reflections against the inspired Word of God by calling forth the Inner Anointing you have received in Baptism, and you, yourself, asking the Holy Spirit to give you the Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding to comprehend to the depths the scripture regarding the Gifts of the Messiah in Isaiah Chapter 11 and see what He will reveal to you. For has not God promised: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jer 33:3)?.

For you see brethren, you can only grow in these spiritual gifts if you experience them yourself and continue using them in your lives.  You will not experience or grow in these gifts if you merely take for granted every religious or theological concept that is handed you (including mine), and you accept these uncritically without understanding the depths of the Word of God from which they should proceed. The Gifts of Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding and others are activated by any inquiry directed to the indwelling Holy Spirit that is impelled by the sincere desire to Know God, to Obey Him, and to Love Him and Him alone!

Be careful, however! In opening our spirits we must also be aware that not all that our spirits sense is of God. That is why the Apostle John tells us (1 John 4:1), that in order to truly discern the Holy Spirit’s work in us we must test every spirit, including our own. That grace also comes through prayer and practice!

I pray, brethren that that by sharing my reflections on this subject you will be incited to really desire the true Gifts of the Inner Anointing so that, in doing so, you may truly come to truly KNOW Christ intimately and not just know about Him!

Praised be His Holy Name!

Your Fellow Pilgrim and Brother in Christ!

Bartimaeus

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2010])

Related Links

§ The sanctifying Gifts (Part 1)

§ The sweet Yoke of Love

§ The Key of Knowledge

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The Sanctifying Gifts (Part1): The Inner Anointing

A Shoot from the Stem of Jesse

The Branch of the Revived Olive tree

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,

And a branch from his roots will bear fruit,

And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,

The spirit of Wisdom and Understanding,

The spirit of Counsel and Strength,

The spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the LORD,

And He will delight in the Fear of the LORD “ (Is. 11:1-3)

My Fellow Pilgrims,

I have spoken to you in the past about my reflections on reconciling the concept of the Sanctifying Gifts (Is. 11:1-3) and the Empowerment Gifts of the Spirit (see my post on Pentecost). Today I wish to continue to share with you my further reflections on the Sanctifying Gifts – the Gifts of the Spirit that bring us into conformance to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29).

The main reason I need to continue my sharing on this subject is that, as the Holy Spirit guides me through Holy Scripture, I am more and more convinced that our human interpretations are sometimes lacking in getting to the deeper meanings that the Lord has embedded in His Word.  I am painfully aware that I am just a layman trying and praying that the Lord would reveal the meaning of His word to me as I plod along with my inherently dimmed human mentality.

I, therefore, come to you in humility of spirit because I am attempting to explain to you something I have only recently learned and find myself completely overawed by what the Spirit has taught me.  I also find myself completely overwhelmed by knowing that I have lived most of my life without clearly understanding the mysteries of God associated with the inner anointing, the sanctifying gifs of the Spirit!

First of all we understand from scripture that these are the spiritual gifts accorded the Messiah and are the Gifts that form His innermost character, that is, His Spirit. or as we Catholics would say, His Sacred Heart. They are imparted to us when we receive the Spirit of Christ in Baptism with the intent by the Father that these gifts be activated in us to bring us into conformity to the image of His Son, Jesus, the Messiah. The gifts represent the inner anointing of which John speaks in his first epistle. Note that the inner anointing includes the gift of “Knowledge”. Later, I will share with you what this gift entails.

“But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge.” (1Jn. 2:20)

“As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him. “ (1 Jn. 2:27)

Some of us inquisitive believers are initially challenged by at least two questions regarding the inner anointing and the sanctifying gifts:

1) Since, according to scripture, we have already received these gifts when we are baptized into Christ, why do we pray annually for these gifts at Pentecost?

And,

2) Why is it that when we attempt to define these Gifts we usually describe them as glorified human traits derived from our nature rather than as supernatural spiritual graces that are completely out of the range of capabilities of fallen humanity?

It is my intent in these two articles, not only, to present to you my views on these two questions, but also to share with you what I believe the Lord is really trying to tell us in His Word regarding the Sanctifying Gifts and the Inner Anointing.

Regarding the First Question

A superficial response to the first question might be that praying for what we have already received, indicates either a lack of faith in the graces we receive at baptism or a lack of understanding of the doctrines of the faith. Such a response is not only misguided and judgmental but fails to comprehend the basic nature of the spiritual gifts and how they function.

A wiser and more spirit-led response is that, the Lord graces our spirits with the sanctifying gifts at baptism, however, our human problem is that, in the course of life events, we lose the awareness that, in each of our individual circumstances, the gifts need to be activated by faith in order to manifest in our lives.

When we ask for the gifts in generic sense such as at Pentecost, our faith is not really active because we are not asking for the Holy Spirit’s help in a particular situation where that gift is to be applied. Yes, we may intellectually believe in the gifts but without an object to apply that belief to we will NOT be operating in faith.

For instance, scripture tells us that,

“If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-7)

We see from this that the Lord wants us to ask for these gifts but the asking of the gifts needs to be an act of Faith. When we ask for the gifts in a ritualistic, routine manner, without a need or a purpose in mind, we will not manifest the Gifts at that instance. That is why the Word tells us, regarding the gifts, that our asking is not to be a one-time or annual event but a continuous turning to the Lord and asking at every opportunity.

“And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:9-13)

It should be noted that, in the Greek, the tense of the verbs, “Seek”, “Knock”, and “Ask”, really mean, “Seek and keep on seeking”, Knock and keep on knocking”, and “Ask and keep on asking”. Thus affirming the need for our faith to be activated continuously in order to activate the Spiritual Gifts.

Opened Your Gifts Yet?

Opened Your Gifts Yet?

Another hindrance to activating in the Sanctifying Gifts in our lives is that these Gifts flow out of the personal love relationship between the Father and the Son , thus in order for those gifts to manifest in us we must be partakers in that relationship. All who believe in Christ and have been baptized in Him are partakers in the relationship at our “spirit” level but not necessarily at our “soul“ level. What is usually missing in our training is that we are not taught the basic truth that while we possess the gifts in our inner man (our spirits) we need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit so that these gifts may be activated or released in our outer man (our souls).  That is, we must bring the awareness of that relationship to our “soul’  level through  our willful and Loving  acts of obedience to the Word.

St. Paul terms this process, the “renewal of our minds”[1] and, therefore, we need to understand from the Word just what the “renewal of our mind” entails and for this we do need to pray that the Holy Spirit help us in this process of renewal by activating the Word of God in our daily Lives so that the Gifts which are already in us may be made manifest by His Grace.  Since the inner anointing reflects the personal relationship between the Father and the Son, one of the things that may be hindering us from a renewal of our minds is the lack of a committed personal relationship with Jesus.

Regarding the Second Question

Regarding the second question, I believe that we humans sometimes have a tendency to block out the “spiritual” sense of what the Lord is communicating through His Word.  On of the reasons is that we tend to interpret everything through our cultural filters. These intellectual filters treat anything that is “spiritual” as some “blue sky” opinions or concepts that don’t have a real meaning that is relevant to living out our life. We only focus our concepts on what we can see, feel, hear or otherwise observe and to which we can personally relate or reason.

Operating under these filters we attempt to fit the sanctifying gifts into our better human qualities or character traits, although slightly glorified. For instance, the gift of “Knowledge”, may be taken as an extension of our ability to intellectually evaluate God’s creation and the good things of this world in relation to the Divine. Now there is nothing wrong with placing high expectations on our natural abilities and praying that the Lord will use these abilities for His Glory, but as I will explain later, the Spiritual Gift of “Knowledge” that is in Jesus and which is now in us is much, much more than this, for it is a supernatural gift that reveals to us the true characteristics of the loving relationship between the Father and The Son.

This brings me now to the major discussion regarding just what I believe the Sanctifying Gifts really signify.

The Sanctifying Gifts and Our Personal Relationship with the Divine

Let me begin this discussion by making it very clear that the Sanctifying Gifts represent the Mystical Inner Character of the Lord’s Messiah – they form the basis of the spiritual relationship between the Father and the Son, because the Gifts are the spiritual graces contained in that relationship – a relationship into which we are immersed when we accept Jesus as Lord and redeemer, repent of our sins and are baptized into His Spirit. Thus our interest in understanding these gifts should come from the desire to understand and know the Father in the same way that the Son knows the Father. Just as Jesus said: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt.11:27).

It is through the Sanctifying Gifts, then, that Jesus makes the Father’s heart “known” or “revealed” to us believers through the Spirit.

Before continuing, I pause in our sharing by asking all my readers to pray and meditate on the scripture from Isaiah 11. We do this in order that the Holy Spirit will help us to comprehend in our spirits the depths of this “Knowledge” of the Father which we share with the Son through baptism.

The apostle Paul, speaking of this type of Wisdom and Knowledge says,

“O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?’

‘Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?’

For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be the  glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36)

Continuing with his exhortation, Paul then tells the Romans, and us, the manner with which we activate the gifts that are in us so that they may be made manifest in our lives.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12-1-2)

So there it is! In order not to be conformed to this world we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And we do this by the grace of God when we surrender ourselves totally to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God! When we do this, we enter into a personal relationship with the Divine. It is only through the living out of this relationship that we will begin to see these sanctifying gifts that we so desire and pray for be manifested in our lives. This is so because the Gifts are the embodiment of the “Knowledge” relationship between the Father and the Son into which we are joining ourselves through the Holy Spirit. It is this type of “Knowledge” that is the Key to the Kingdom!

In Part 2 of this discussion, I will be reflecting on the structure of the Gifts and how understanding this structure helps us in activating the Inner Anointing and releasing the gifts that we term the Sanctifying Gifts.

I pray that in reading through this sharing the Holy Spirit will open your Hearts to come to a deeper understanding of His work of Love in us so that not only the gifts of the Spirit but also the fruit of the Spirit may be manifested in your lives.

Your Fellow Pilgrim and Brother In Christ … Bartimaeus

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[1] Rom. 12:12, 2 Cor. 4:16, Eph. 4:23, Col. 34:10

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(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2010])

Related Links

§ God’s call to Personal Intimacy

§ The Key to the Kingdom

§ A New Commandment

§ The Sweet yoke of Love

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