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Archive for May, 2018

<> About Coming to Spiritual Awareness

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going. ”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?               (John 14: 1-9)

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Eat my flesh … Drink my Blood

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Jesus also says to us, who have received Christ through Baptism…“Have I been with you all this time,… and you still do not know me?” … are you still not aware of my presence amongst you?

Being sensitive to the Spirit of God is very important to us as Christians if we are to fulfill The Father’s purposes for us in our lives. Now, it is true that Jesus told His disciples that, after He left, He would send them another “helper” (the Holy Spirit) that would teach them and lead them as they went about carrying out their mission. In accord with this Word, we, as repentant and baptized Christians, can be sure that the Holy Spirit is with us as we live out our Lives in Christ.

However, unless we activate the Holy Spirit that is in us to hear the Good Shepherd, most of the time we are operating in a very insensitive way to the Holy Spirit’s leadings for our lives. Because of this, we are every easily deceived by the enemy and fall into his traps, thereby forestalling the Spirt’s ability to work out the Father’s purposes for our lives. For this reason it is essential for all of us to come to a more intimate and personal encounter with Our Shepherd and learn to hear His Voice, so that when we yield ourselves to Him as one of His sheep we hear HIS VOICE in order to follow Him – and not the world or the evil one.

There are several reasons we have problems in hearing His voice. The first being that we must have “spiritual ears” in order to hear what He is trying to tell us in “the spirit” through “faith”. Remember that Jesus told us that “True” Faith comes by (spiritual) hearing and (spiritual) hearing comes by the spoken and anointed Word of God (cf.,Rom. 10:17). Of course if we can’t discern what is “spiritual” from what is not, we have a problem.

In attempting to discern the “spiritual” from the “natural”, remember that scripture also tells us that the Word of God is a “double edged sword” that helps us to do just that (cf., Heb. 4:12). So then, our starting point to activate our “spiritual” awareness must always be an “anointed” Word of God that activates our spiritual sensitivity, not our own initiative. For as scripture also says “flesh can only beget flesh” but it takes “Spirit to beget spirit” (cf.,John 3:6).

<>Regarding Nicodemus and Coming to “Spiritual” Awareness

An example of how the Spirit leads us to open ourselves to the leadings of the Spirit is found in the Gospel of John, (Chapter 3) where we are given the story of Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin who was being drawn to Jesus by what he heard of Him and the works He was performing. In order to avoid criticism he came to Jesus by night to try to discern how this carpenter from Nazareth was preaching,teaching, and performing works of healing and deliverance that could only be so if the Almighty was working through him.

Of course, the Holy Spirit was working in Nicodemus to move him to find Jesus. What the Spirit probably used to engage Nicodemus was His understanding of the scriptures and how the Divine manifested Himself through the prophets. But beyond that. he probably wondered how could a lay person with no formal religious training be empowered by God to perform such wonders. Wonders that were obvious signs of God’s Kingdom. Could this man possibly be the promised Messiah?

Upon confronting Jesus he asks: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” (cf., John 3:1-2)
Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above”. (John 3:3)

Nicodemus, then said to him, “How can this be! Can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born again?” (John 3:4)

Reacting to his astonishment Jesus tries to tell him that his seeking him was due to a flashing awareness of the Kingdom, but it was given as just the beginning of what God wanted to work in him. What Jesus wanted him to understand that his sensitivity flash was just a sign that the Father is also inviting him to go beyond spiritual awareness and, as a disciple, enter into a permanent relationship with the Father and His Kingdom.

Jesus, then, in order to explain entry into the Kingdom entailed, said to him …
“ ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter His kingdom without being born of [both] water and Spirit. [for] What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit’ ”. (John 3:5-6)

Jesus wanted Nicodemus to understand that  those who have been re-born spiritually are continuously sensitive to the Spirit, telling him …”The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (cf., John 3:7-9)

Again Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

<> What About Us Today …

In my case, I was just like Nicodemus, religious and Intellectually curious, but insensitive to the Spirit. Although I am a cradle Catholic Christian and was familiar with the Bible (including the Nicodemus story) I also asked myself, “how can this be?”.

I truly had never experienced the “wind of the Spirit” in my life, that is, until I met a Catholic Charismatic priest who proclaimed to me the anointed Word of Salvation and How to release the Spirit of God that was in me. Because of him and the Word he preached, I joined a Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at one of their meetings.

The Spirit’s active presence in my life changed my life and my personal relationship with Jesus forever! It was only then, that the following Words of St.Peter were validated in my Life…

“Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have […been infused with God’s] genuine mutual [all encompassing agape] love, [thus] love one another deeply from the heart. [Understanding from this type of Love that] You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring Word of God.” (1 Peter 1:22-23)

<> Pause and Pray ….

If the Holy Spirit is nudging you to enter into the Kingdom of His Love right now, I recommend that you click on the following link to a prayer that could satisfy your spiritual desire to release the Spirit of Love in your life as well! … # A Prayer to Release the Holy Spirit

Brethren, regardless of what you may be thinking in your mind, I encourage you to turn to your spirit (in your heart) and seek for His Kingdom of Love to be infused in you, then true discipleship will follow and the Wonder of His Love will manifest itself in you and through you! May All Glory and Honor Be His! In Jesus Mighty in Name! Amen and Amen!

Your Brother in Christ Jesus … Bartimaeus
Praised Be His Holy Name!

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2018])

<> Recommended Articles for Aspiring Disciples:
Hearing and Obeying God’s Voice
Cast your Net on the Other Side 

Sweet Yoke of Love
Enter in by the Narrow Gate
Walking the Walk
Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 1)
Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 2)
Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 3)
Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 4)

 

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