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JesussmercydarkLiving the Truly Christian Life – is letting Christ live through us … In order to truly live the Christian life we have to intentionally yield our selves to the Spirit of Christ so that He may not only live in us but also through us to the Glory of God the Father and the manifestation of His Kingdom in the world today!

<> Intentionally following Jesus begins the process … Jesus said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.” (Luke 9:23)

<> Jesus emptied Himself to let the Spirit of God work through Him… Paul told the Philippians, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Phil 2:5-7)

<> As we empty ourselves, the Holy Spirit conforms us to Christ our Master… Likewise we also must empty ourselves so that He may increase His life in us and perform His Works through us(cf. John 3:30). For… “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.” (Rom 8:28-29)

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

One of the main problems that we modern Christians have in really living out our faith is that we don’t understand that, in order to truly live the Christian Faith in Christ Our Savior and Lord, we have to let Christ truly “live in us” and “through us”, not just “around us”.   Because we incorrectly assume that, because we have received the Spirit of Christ at baptism, all we have to do to live the “Christian life” is through our own self-willed, efforts and diligence in living a “moral” and “sanctified life”. We never consider that this approach is not consistent with the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached. And, that living a religiously compliant life under our own self-will is exactly what the Pharisees were doing in Jesus’ time. Jesus is asking us to go beyond that.

The Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached indicated that, the Father, through His Son, Jesus, was opening the door for a new epoch in Man’s relationship with God. A relationship that would involve an intimate personal interaction of God with us, such that by re-birthing His Spirit in us, He would bring us into partnership with Him in order begin the process of bringing His Kingdom to this world. Since Jesus, His Son, was to be the Way for Man to enter into that partnership, He had to become one of us, yet without sin, so that He could, through the sacrifice of His Life and Resurrection, be the source of the New Life in the Spirit for those who believed in Him and accepted Him as their Savior and King.

Jesus accepted His commission from the Father when He yielded Himself to the Father’s Will and was baptized by John. In turn, we as believers, not only receive His indwelling Spirit at our baptism, but also the responsibility and honor of freely ratifying Jesus’ commitment to the Father by yielding ourselves completely to His Spirit in us so that He, and He alone, could work in us and through us to bring forth the Kingdom of God in this fallen world.

We must further understand that we, even though baptized, cannot, out of our own self-willed efforts, do anything spiritual, such as bringing forth God’s kingdom! It is only through the power and authority of the KING who dwells in us that anything spiritual may be accomplished. Remember what Jesus said, “…without Me you can do nothing”.

The only thing lacking for our full participation in partnership with Him, however, is our ratification of Jesus’ commitment to the Father. We ratify Jesus’ commitment and become His partners by yielding ourselves completely to His authority, and letting ourselves be empowered by His Spirit so that He, and He alone can operate in us and through us. And, by doing so, then we make it clear that it is indeed He who activates and empowers all that we do in His Name! “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory, Forever and Ever. Amen!”

Nevertheless, because we don’t know any better, most of us neglect to make this affirmation or ratification of Jesus’ Commission through the yielding of our lives to Him and thus fail to activate the work of the Holy Spirit in us to permit HIM to revive us spiritually and open us to a new awareness of the Spirit of Christ in us to move us towards the accomplishment of His purposes – not ours!

If however, when led by God’s gracious Spirit, we do make such an intentional yielding of the right to ourselves, we continue our normal everyday, intellectually self-aware living of our lives but we begin a gradual transition to a life lived in a new, transformed awareness – a spiritual awareness completely apart from the awareness we receive in this material world, that is, from our physical senses and our intellect and reasoning powers and our emotions. It is an awareness that we, sadly, didn’t even realize was available to all believers who have been converted and baptized into Christ.

I am speaking of a spiritual awareness where we can, without leaving our bodies, actually experience contact with the Spirit of God and His Holy Spirit and where we can experience a personal fellowship with the Triune God, who then, through this relationship, empowers us to live our lives, not for ourselves, but for Him, through the indwelling Spirit of Christ in us. To Him be the Glory forever and ever. Amen and Amen!

<> What Jesus told Nicodemus about  coming to a renewed Spiritual Awareness …

jesus_nicodemusWhen Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, came to Jesus at night (to avoid being noticed), he admitted to Jesus that the testimonies he had heard about the miracles Jesus was doing in the community, caused Him to realize that God must be working through Him. Jesus, in essence told him that if He had come to the awareness that God was working through His ministry, the only way he could come to that awareness was that God had activated his spirit to that sensitivity.

Here is what Jesus said, “ Verily, Verily I say to you, unless the spirit of a person be re-born (or re-activated), that person would not be aware of the manifestation of His Kingdom.” (see. John 3:1-18 for the entire discourse)

Nicodemus, like many of us, was incredulous, asking, “How is it possible for a mature living person to be “re-born”? Can he enter into his mother’s womb a second time?”

Doesn’t that sound like a lot of us when we first hear that our spiritual natures need to be re-activated in order to be aware of what God wants to do in our lives? Don’t we respond with. “well, I have been baptized, do I need to be baptized again?”.

Listen to how Jesus responded to Nicodemus’ question. “verily, verily, I say to you, unless a person is not only baptized in water [like I was] but also baptized in the Spirit [like I was] he cannot participate in the Ministry of the Kingdom. Being born naturally does not activate your spirit, only the Spirit of God can re-activate a person’s spirit [so that you become a new creation and be empowered to minister in the Spirit].”

He continued to explain to Nicodemus (and to us), “Just as you can sense when the wind is blowing in your face so also you can sense the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If you have not yet become aware of the leadings of the Holy Spirit working in your life, then you have NOT YET been born of the Spirit!”

<> Would you like to go further in Following Jesus?

Yes, brothers and sisters, we may have received our spiritual batteries at baptism, but have we, at the cusp of our maturity and free will, turned on the switch that turns on those batteries? Don’t you think it is time to do that and begin living our lives as instruments of His Love in us?

And say, that in the past you may have actually turned on the switch, but through the circumstances of your life, the switch was somehow turned off? Don’t you feel the Spirit urging you to turn it back on again?

And what is that “switch”? It is our free-will decision, out of agape Love, to die to self by relinquishing the right to our self-will, and yielding our self to the Rule of Christ our King so that He may live in us and through us! This is how we may all truly live out the Christian Life! Now, doesn’t that reach your heart?

Here is the opportunity to do so! Below are a brief set of prayers that will get the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through you to set about letting Christ work in you and through you! Praised be His Holy Name!!

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# Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit

As I have indicated before, a true and sincere conversion is the scriptural prerequisite to receiving the “Promise of the Father”, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, in your own personal Pentecost. This means you first need to discern whether you are indeed a converted Christian and not just a cultural one as I was. If you are not sure, and you have determined in prayer that you want to be right with God and have a hunger to know the Lord Jesus personally then that is easy to remedy.  Just pray as follows:

“Lord Jesus, I am deeply aware that my sins have separated me from you and from the eternal life which you have promised to those who believe. I repent of my sins and turn to you in faith for the salvation and forgiveness you won for me on the cross through the shedding of your blood even when I was yet a sinner and without merit before God. I surrender my life to you. Come into my heart, be the Lord of my Life. Be my Savior and my King. Live in me and through me so that I can truly represent you in my service to others in your Name. Amen.

Now, if the terminology,  “baptism in/with the Holy Spirit”, creates a theological hurdle for you receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, just think of what you are desiring as a  “release of the Holy Spirit” that is already in you through baptism and confirmation. The Holy Spirit is not so much concerned as to your theological understanding of the Promise of the Father as much as He is looking for your sincere desire to be open to His working within you and through you no matter how or what you call it! All He wants is your permission! Your surrender to His purposes in and through you!

Once this is settled in your mind, then you need to pray about what you are sensing in your spirit. If, after prayer and meditation on the scripture you sense a strong sincere desire to receive all that the Holy Spirit has for you and to be open to His working in and through your life (without restrictions on your part), then you are ready to proceed to the next step.

In asking for the Holy Spirit to empower you (whether in a community setting or a personal one) come into the Father’s presence and ask (something like this):

“ Father, as your child in Jesus I desire to be totally an instrument for Your Kingdom to manifest through my life. I desire to receive your Promise of the Holy Spirit to those who believe. Jesus, my Savior and King, baptize me in the Holy Spirit so that the power of your resurrection will work in me and transform me according to your will. Holy Spirit, empower me and fill me to overflowing. I hold nothing back from you. Work your gifts in me and through me, all of me, so that the Father’s Kingdom may be manifested in and through my life. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!”

Now, begin praising and worshipping God with all your heart. Release yourself from all the inhibitions you have and raise your voice in songs and psalms. Express those longings you have held in your heart for so long but were unable to let loose because of your inhibitions. As you sing and worship release yourself to the Holy Spirit so that He can pray and worship through you.

As you enter this time of praise and worship you will begin to experience a sense of the presence of the Lord. You will begin to lose your self-consciousness and you will sense that the flow of your prayers and song is coming as if from out of nowhere. In fact, as your praise increases you sense that you are uttering words that are no longer in your mother tongue. But you know in your spirit that these words are honoring God so your flow in these phrases increases. You have just received your prayer language. You are feeling so blessed, you find that you don’t want to stop. Don’t stop. Pray and sing your heart out, glorifying God!

Praised be His Holy Name! You have now ”Entered the Kingdom” of the Father! Walk in the leading of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His call!

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-20014].

Related Links

I Stand At The Door and Knock.

Has Jesus Arisen In your Hearts? (Part 1)

(… Part 2)

(… Part 3)

 

 

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Jesus In Deep Prayer

Thy Will Be Done!

[As He was praying in Gethsemane Jesus told His Disciples…] “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this [cup] cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. (Matt. 26:41-42)

 

My Fellow Pilgrims in Christ Jesus,

Like the disciples, our flesh is weak and sometimes our eyes get heavy especially when we are praying to discern God’s will for our lives. It is certainly a challenge of faith.

There are certain faith challenges that all Christians face regardless of our tradition or denomination. The most basic of these is discerning and obeying the Will of God in our lives. Not just God’s “declared moral will” and precepts as promulgated in the Word of God, but God’s specific will for each of us individually.

In order to proceed further we should all be aware that there are three aspects of the Will of God that need to be understood: 1) His Sovereign or Hidden Will, 2) His Perceptive or Declared Will, and, 3) His Permissive or Perfect Will.

Regarding the first aspect, the Lord has told us that “… My ways are not your ways , nor your thoughts My thoughts”. Unless the Lord reveals certain aspects of His Sovereign Will, it is hidden from us. This expression of God’s will is what God has decreed to happen in His creation regardless of what we or any created being may think, and is assured to happen as decreed. We humans can only view His Sovereign will in retrospect and, then, only when He reveals it to us.

His Perceptive or Declared Will, on the contrary, does not always occur and sometimes appears to diverge from His Sovereign Will. We are not responsible to fulfill God’s sovereign decree. But we are responsible to obey His declared or revealed will, which is plainly laid out for us in Scripture. This expression of His Will that is revealed is called “His Perceptive Will” or His “Declared Will” and, it is binding for us who beleive, in context with its conditions and qualifiers as found in scripture’. This is the second aspect of God’s Will. It is this Will, which requires compliance from every member of a Christian community, and is the basic foundation for Judaeo-Christian moral and community precepts.

The third aspect of God’s will that we see in the Bible is God’s Permissive or Perfect Will. This aspect of God’s Will is more oriented to that obedience to His will which gives God pleasure It is also called God’s Perfect Will because it is intended to bring forth the perfection of in those who respond to His Loving intent. In that sense, it results in what pleases God the Most. It is NOT, what some may think, as a permission to sin. No it is merely an expression that God has a “perfect” plan for everyone’s lives but our circumstances in life do not always permit an easy transition to that “perfect” plan, so through prayer and spiritual counsel the Lord will “permit” a gradual transition to His perfect plan for you – but it will involve a personal struggle which the Lord uses to bring you to the perfection He desires. (see #The Two Wills of God).

In Summary, here is a reprise of what this discussion may mean to you…

The basic approach of the average Christian man or woman to living out God’s will in their lives is to be submissive to His Declared will. That is, to be faithful to God’s Word and His Commandments to love God and our neighbor, avoid temptation, attend worship regularly, contribute to your church and community through your sharing of your time, your talents and your treasure. And, that, through obedience to the precepts, you stay within that frame-work, you will be complying with God’s moral will for your life.

In general, such an approach will keep you within the bounds of God’s Righteousness and permit us to lead a life that reflects the virtues of the life of Jesus that is in us through baptism. What is not usually understood is that keeping the moral Law and the general will of God for Christian society does not necessarily enable us to comply with the Lord’s specific or perfect will for each of us personally in this life.

While keeping God’s Declared Will may suffice as far as satisfying moral justice, we also need to be motivated by LOVE (agape) and His permissive will as well. That is, to do everything for God and your fellow human beings motivated by Love (agape) and not by coercion or obligation, because that is what is most pleasing to The Father. Sometimes this confronts us with a dilemma between fulfilling God’s Declared will and His Perfect or individual will for us, The dilemma we are faced with is how can we fulfill two or more “good” things we are being called to do in order to please His personal will for us.

To do that, we need to have an active personal relationship with Jesus and a Holy-Spirit-empowered awareness to enable us, not only to maintain that relationship through prayer, but also to discern and be obedient to the individual directives the Lord provides us through our interactive relationship with Him. If we do not have this level of spiritual awareness we cannot fully function as disciples, because disciples cannot function properly unless they are able to hear the “Shepherd’s” specific voice for us as individuals and obey it (John 10:27)!

We need to understand that the Lord has created each of us not only to live morally and in fellowship in our communities by loving one another and doing good, but that He also has a unique calling and purpose for each of us to be His partners in bringing forth His Kingdom not only in the community but also in the world at large. This unique calling and purpose is also God’s will but it is a “permissive” or “non-coercive will”. That is, we are free to accept this type of specific calling without any condemnation or sin. Such is the call to discipleship.

The Lord’s reason for this is made clear in scripture; He wants to partner with us in certain missions He has for us as individuals. But in order for us to be His partners as disciples we must freely accept this level of calling with out any coercion or compulsion – we must act out of a pure “agape” or selfless Love so He, through His Holy Spirit can work His purposes in us and through us – not just around us.

The Lord Jesus Himself is our primary model and example. He Gave Himself totally to the Father to the point of sacrificing Himself on the Cross for our sins. At Gethsemane He prayed painfully to that Father that if possible He would take this Cup from Him (Matt.26:36-46) but, in the end, He surrendered Himself to the Father’s will and accepted the role that fulfilled the Father’s will for Him personally, praying… “My Father, if this [cup] cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.”

When Jesus was to be baptized by John, and John resisted, He told John that it had to be thus in order that the Father’s Righteous Will for Him personally be fulfilled (Matt.3:15). Even at that point in the initiation of His Ministry, He was accepting the initiation into Cup of God’s Will for which He had been destined – He was always free during His walk in Ministry to move away from taking the Cup but, because He was free to do so, He gave Himself totally to the Father out of “agape” Love which is the only way His self-sacrifice would have been acceptable before God!

That is why, when Jesus told His disciples what was in store for Him (Matt.16:22-23), Peter said, “… it shall not be so with you, Lord”, that Jesus replied, “depart from me Satan”, for instead of helping Him accept the Cup of God’s will, Peter was tempting Him to walk away from His calling!

Mary, His mother, was also called into discipleship when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that God’s specific will for her was to be the Mother of His Son. Even though she knew her pregnancy would go against the social norms, she accepted her calling by just saying, “be it done to me according to thy word!” (Luke1:38)

I could go on to list others who likewise received their calling to God’s Perfect Will, such as Joseph, Mary’s husband, Peter, Paul, and others who are clearly delineated in God’s Word. What is clear is that each of these received an individual calling and each received their calling by denying their own self-will and taking up the “Cup” of the Father’s Will for them. In essence, they took up the cross of self-denial so that God’s will could be fulfilled in their lives through the Power of the Holy Spirit that dwelt in them! That is what true discipleship entails!

The Way of  True Discipleship

The Way of True Discipleship

“There are very few people
who realize what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace.” (Saint Ignatius of Loyola)

Now, the Lord is asking you to quiet your hearts and listen to His Voice and see if He is knocking at your door. If He is, then open you heart to Him in prayer and receive Him as your Lord and teacher by deciding to follow Him and Him alone! Then and only Then will His Perfect Will be truly and fully fulfilled in Your Life! Praised Be His Holy Name!

For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD,

plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart,” (Jer.29:11-13)

Your Fellow Pilgrim and Servant In Christ Jesus … Bartimaeus

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2014])

Related Links

# The Two Wills of God

§ I stand at the Door and Knock

§ Praying as Jesus Prayed (Part 1)

§ Praying as Jesus Prayed (Part 2)

§  Jesus, The Word Made Flesh

§ Has Jesus Arisen in Your Heart? (Part 3)

§ Our Father… It all begins with Relationship

# Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

§ Discerning the Lord’s Call

 

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Discipleship at Work: A Personal Testimony

fix-your-eyes

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Col. 3:1-5)

Dear Fellow Pilgrims in Christ Jesus,

There is NO “single-template” approach to true discipleship – or putting it another way there is NO “one size fits all” model for following Jesus. The Holy Spirit “tailors” each of our discipleship life stories to accomplish His purposes in us to the Glory of the Father. The basic underlying principle in true discipleship with Jesus lies in  rendering ourselves, out of “agape” love, as a living sacrifice to His Glory (Rom:12:1-2) – a decision of the heart, where we yield our entire life: body soul and spirit to Him who died for us so that He may live in us and through us to the Glory of His Name!

Once we have committed ourselves to follow Him along the “Narrow Way” (Matt. 7:13-14) of self-denial and have “set our minds on things above”, we compare notes with other fellow pilgims, we will find that each of our paths, though bearing some similarity in the gospel principles operating in our lives, nonetheless exhibit a great deal of unique differences in the details of our walk. The reason for this is that Jesus works at a very intimate, individual level with each of us in forming us into His Image in a way that is tailored to our own distinctive person-hood to achieve His purposes NOT ours. Because His purpose is to mold us like clay, He accepts us to walk with Him regardless of ur status in life. He takes us from where we are to where He wants us to be – but ONLY if we let Him! That is what True Discipleship is all about, “letting” Him do what he wants with us without any pre-condtions on our part.

Because He knows each of us intimately He knows that we are affected distincly by the circumstances and relationships in our lives as we wander through this fallen world. He, however, uses the flow of our life’s story to achieve His ends with us. That is why we cannot enter the way of true discipleship unless we have an intimate, transparent, working, and conversational relationship with Him! It is only within such a relationship that He can direct us along all the twists and turns of our lives.  Yes, it is His Word in Scripture that keeps us within bounds, but also His inspired Word working within us is what we must also rely on to work our our salvation in the everyday details of our daily existence. That us why daily prayer and meditation on His Word are essential to our walk with Him! Praised be His Holy Name!

My failure as an example

The other day, for example, I responded dishonestly to a business form I was requested to fill out. I, without thinking, I made a false statement that would let me look good in a particular business situation. As soon as I had sent that statement off, the Lord, speaking in the spirit, brought my dishonesty to my attention.  I stopped all that I was doing and concentrated on the strong awareness of my wrongdoing that His incisive judgement had made on me. I immediately repented, knowing that I had sinned and had tripped over a pot hole in my walk with the Lord.

I asked for forgiveness and that He restore me to our walk together, by the washing of His Blood. He only said: “Yes my son, I have forgiven you, even at the Cross I forgave you, but now you have understood that you cannot take what I have done for you for granted. You have to keep yourself constantly aware that you are still human and have a strong tendency to sin. You have to use the Grace I am providing you daily in the Eucharist to discern and fend off these temptations so that you will not fall into another hole along the way. It is through such an exercise of your conscience, based on my Word, that your spiritual formation will proceed.”

This event in my walk with the Lord is still resonating in me. I keep asking myself how could I have done this? I certainly receive His forgiveness but I began to see that I had become spiritually overconfident and prideful, such that I blinded myself to my own shortfalls and pride. I believe that if I had truly kept His Word in my heart for everything I do in my life, I would have reacted appropriately to the temptation and would not have fallen.

But I also realized that without the intimate personal relation I have with my Lord, I would have completely been blinded to my failure and deeply damaged the purity of my walk with Him! Thank you Jesus, for your Mercy and Grace! Thank you for letting me see where I failed so that I can ask the Holy Spirit to keep me from such a failure again!

I pass my experiences on to you my fellow pilgrims so that you may profit from them in you walk with the Lord and, that my witness, may incite you to  keep your heart pure every step of the way as you grow closer to Him.

Another example of the Lord using my transitions in life to teach me

During my daily prayer time, the Lord also reminded me that my spiritual formation will involve several transition periods which will also test my ability to remain faithful to my walk with Him and remain open to His Spirit in me.

The reason that this reminder came is that my wife and I are currently in the midst of  a “transition” whereby we are downsizing and moving to a smaller residence as we have become “empty nesters”.  In preparing for this transition, my wife and I both find ourselves being tested spiritually because we are being confronted directly with our attachment to “things” – things, like clothing, books, paintings, hobbies, etc., that, becuse of our attachments, we find difficulty in donating or discarding these objects.

It became clear to me that these attachments were drawing me away from my resolve to walk in the spirit with Jesus. This challenge, of course, also made me realize that my fleshly weakness would only lead to sin if I did not follow through in my intent to follow Him.  This tension within me prompted me to ask the Lord for His help in disconnecting from such worldly attachments. So I am dedicating daily prayer time for the Lord to grant me the grace and courage I need to be true to my desire to be His entirely, discarding all my worldly attachments..

Again, as I prayed about my down-sizing” problems, the Spirit brought to my mind the story of the rich young man, who was drawn to Jesus and approached Him asking,

“Master what good thing must I do to obtain eternal Life?’

“And He said to him,  “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

He said to Him,  “Which ones?”

And Jesus said,  “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The young man said to Him,  “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?”

Jesus said to him,  “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.” 

(Matt. 19:16-22)

Note that Jesus only mentioned the commandments regarding interpersonal relations – He intentionally left out the commandments regarding our relationship to God and covetousness (which is a form of idolatry). He did not mention them, because He knew this young man had undue attachments to his wealth – attachments which mean that his wealth was his god and He wanted the young man to come to that realization and repent of it in order to be able to be His disciple.

In going over this story in my mind, I realized that, in bringing this scripture to my attention, the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me that the young man’s problem was my problem also. In my Lord’s view I was like this rich young man who was desiring to follow Him but was unable to separate Himself from his wealth and his belongings.

Yes, I too was being drawn to Jesus, and yes I too was being asked to disconnect from my belongings so that I could truly be yoked to my Lord and Master. It was then, that I realized that my “belongings” were aslo controlling me and that I could not truly be yielded to Jesus as my Lord as long as I remained connected to my “things”.

As a result, I have made the decision to donate or discard whatever is needed to downsize without giving regard to any attachment I may have. I am drawing up the plans to do so and I pray that the Lord will strengthen me as I proceed to carry out my plans. Praised be His Holy Name!

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My dear family in God, the main reason telling you about these personal circumstances in my walk with Him, is to give you a feel about how the Lord Jesus will interact with you to teach you and guide you in even the small details of your life. It is the way that He merges His life with ours so that, with our willing cooperation, He may bring forth the Reign of God the Father in our lives. And, as He accomplishes His work in us He will also use us to influence those around us to draw other into the Kingdom as well. This is what happens when we yoke ourselves to Jesus. I can testify that if you are carrying a heavy burden, such yoking to HIm will bring rest for your soul (I refer you to my article on “The Sweet Yoke of Love”).

When you Yoke yourself to Jesus, you have submitted yourself to the Father’s Reign in your lives and from then on, you are a participant in His Kingdom – you are truly a Disciple!

Praised be His Holy Name!

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you. May the Lord be gracious to you and Shine His Face upon you and Bring you His Peace!

Your Brother in Christ and fellow pilgrim …. Bartimaeus

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2013])

For Further Information on “Intentional Discipleship” please Click on:

1]  “Cast your Net on the Other Side

2] “Build your Spiritual House on The Rock”

3) “Prayer of Commitment”

4)  “Forming Lay Disciples”

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Pray to the Lord of the Harvest (Part 2)

Jesus Calls His Disciples

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  (Matt. 36-38)

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In my previous article with this ttile, I mentioned that waves of spiritual darkness are enveloping this world and that we need not to despair but to understand that this is also a time of harvest that the Lord is using to separate the wheat from the chaff. The peoples of the world are feeling harassed and helpless spiritually, sensing the need for a Shepherd and Savior. As our Chief Shepherd, Jesus is telling us to Pray to the Father to send out workers (disciples) into the Harvest to proclaim to them the Good News of the Cross and the arrival of the Shepherd they have been seeking! To that end, we need to pray that the Lord help us to make more “lay disciples” to help in the Harvest, by bringing more disciples to the front lines, freely proclaiming the Good News of the Cross of Christ to the whole world.

I also tried to make it clear that one of the reasons we don’t have more “lay disciples” is because our modern religious culture has not adequately provided for the making of lay disciples and, instead, it (our modern religious culture) prefers to place the laity in a role as “stewards of time, talent, and treasure” to help maintain the religious infrastructure of the church, thus “placing the cart before the horse”. In one case, a high ranking clergyman responding to a question as to what exactly was the role of the laity in the church, responded by saying that the laity’s only roles were to : “pay, pray, and obey”.

In this second article I wish to point out that due to this tradition of lay disenfranchisement, most the laity do not even know that they are called to the same discipleship as the clergy, and, even worse, they are not even sure as to what true discipleship entails and how they may enter into such a calling. I have, in all my previous articles on this topic, tried to inform my readers, about just what discipleship entails and its cost to those who respond to the call.

In summarizing my position in this matter, I will first begin by telling you that discipleship is NOT a self-willed program where we enlist in a variety of religiously commandeered activities or efforts to do something for God and His people, the church. It is also NOT merely the scheduling ourselves to participate in pietistic devotions and scripted group prayers as if somehow, our attempts at establishing our own “holiness” will enhance our standing as “disciples”.

No, dear family of God, true discipleship is NOT our work! It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us to conform us to the image of the Son! As such it is a spiritual work accomplished by the Spirit in us, so that the Spirit of Christ that is in us may manifest itself through us to bring forth fruit for the Kingdom to the Glory of the Father! It is the process whereby the world is crucified to us and we to the world (Gal. 6:14). The end result being, that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us and through us! (Gal. 2:20)

Our only part in entering into true discipleship is cooperating with the Spirit through a decision of our will to surrender ALL of our selves to the Father and placing His will above ours in all that we do in our lives from that point on! When Jesus was asking His followers to follow Him, He was not asking them to perform works of religious piety – He was asking them to place themselves under the Reign of the Father, as He himself was, so that the Father Himself could use them (and us)  to manifest His Kingdom in this World for His Glory, not ours! That, of course, is what we are praying when we say, what we call the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9-13) but, is in fact, the “Disciple’s Prayer” of commitment and surrender to the Father’s Will. The sad part of this is that for today’s Christians the meaning of this prayer has been culturally obscured so that is merely repeated pietistically supposedly to honor the Father and ask for His sustenance and forgiveness.

No, it is more than that! It is a prayer of consecration where we are saying to the Father, that, in honoring Him as Creator and Father, we also recognize that, through His Sons’ Sacrifice on the Cross, we acknowledge that He has accepted us as His “children”, and therefore, because of faith in Him and His Love, we gratefully place our lives ENTIRELY under His Command (Kingdom) so that HIS WILL (and NOT ours) may be manifested on Earth as it is in Heaven!

The Apostle Paul similarly re-states what this entrance to “true discipleship” involves in his epistle to the Romans, where he states: “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, unless you have made such a serious and intentional consecration of your self to God the Father, so that you yield your will completely to His in all things in your life, you are NOT a true disciple of Christ. This level of consecration of self to the Father is what Jesus did at His baptism and if you are truly “following” Him, it is a consecration that you must make also. Understand however, that, this decision must flow out of your personal and intimate relationship with Jesus or it will NOT be considered sincere. Remember what Jesus told those who said to him that they had done many mighty works in His Name. He told them: “… depart from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).  For a deep intimate relationship with our Lord and Master must, of necessity, be at the core of our discipleship or else we are just deceiving ourselves.

Francis accepts his call to Lay Discipleship

Francis accepts his call to Lay Discipleship

Now, this consecration is merely the point at which the Holy Spirit can begin the process of conforming you to the image of the Son. The spiritual transformation involved will encompass your entire lifetime! This transformation is NOT your work or your effort, it is only accomplished by the Spirit in you and through you as you immerse yourself in the Word of God and activate that Word in you by acting on it and speaking it. In this way you let the Word rule in your life to bring the transformation about!  All you need to do is cooperate through your obedience in Love to let “His Kingdom Come” into you and through you!

It must also be clear that every believer is called to make such a commitment but is NOT obliged to do so!  In order for your dedication to be truly an act of Agape Love, your choice must be totally free and you must be acutely aware about its cost in order to make that decision without coercion. Because of this freedom, your salvation is NOT contingent on what you choose. That is why the Lord told his disciples that “many are called (to be disciples) but few are chosen”. If you sense the call of the Lord in your spirit and respond to this call by consecrating yourself as a “living sacrifice” then you have been chosen if you respond positively to His Call.

This call to discipleship is for ALL believers NOT just the clergy or religious. Unfortunately, due to the current culture, the laity are often not taught this and, mainly for that reason, we do not have all the workers that are needed for the Harvest at hand!

Once you have made your consecration, the Holy Spirit begins His work in your life regardless of what your situation is: married or single, student or professional, male or female. etc. All that matters is that you dedicate yourself, through prayer and meditation on the WORD to hear what God is asking you to do and be obedient to His directives. He will be your teacher, your guide, your helper, and He will empower you to accomplish that which He has directed you to do, In His NAME! That is all that He is asking you to do! That is what true discipleship is about!

If the circumstances you are currently in appear to be an impediment to your decision, just remember Jesus’ exhortation to His disciples:

“ Seek first to place yourselves firmly in obedience to God’s Reign in your lives, seeking always His approval in all that you do. If you do this then all the circumstances in your lives will fall in to place for you as you carry out His commission.” ………………(my understanding of Matt: 6:33)

Also keep in mind Pauls’s exhortation to the Colossians:

“So, if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.”  (Col.3: 1-4)

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In order to inform the Body Of Christ as to the dire dearth of true lay discipleship and our need for  it, I am attaching to this writing with a paper written by a group of lay Catholics in a rural parish in Northern California, discussing the subject of lay discipleship. This paper summarizes the historical dissolution or diminishment of lay discipleship within the church over the centuries. The paper is presented by me in two separate posts. This being the second.

The first part dealt with the first thousand years of church history and this second part deals with the last thousand years. I will leave its message to your own discernment through prayer and meditation. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will work through what I am presenting to you to guide you in determining your response to the message.

But above all, pray that the Lord of Harvest will send forth workers into His fields!

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you. May the Lord be gracious to you and Shine His Face upon you and Bring you His Peace!

Your Brother in Christ and fellow pilgrim …. Bartimaeus

For Further Information on “Intentional Discipleship” please Click on:

1]  “Cast your Net on the Other Side

2] “Build your Spiritual House on The Rock”

3) “Prayer of Commitment”

4)  “Forming Lay Disciples”

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2013])

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The views presented in the following papers are those of the Issues Group and are not necessarily representative of the people of St. Aloysius Parish nor the Roman Catholic Church.

 (Copyright Pending; Elk Altar Society Inc., Elk, Ca.)

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Catholic Issues Series:  The Church Today

The Role of Clergy and Laity

Part II :  Cleric and Lay in the Second One Thousand Years of the Church

From the time of the Constantine emperors to the first centuries of the new millennium most people were uneducated and powerless. For this and other reasons, the breach between cleric and lay by the year one thousand was the widest in the two thousand year history of the Church. But it was also the turning point. Form the year one thousand to the year fifteen hundred, ordinary men and women began to play a more active part in the shaping of daily events. Power and wealth increased with a growing middle class, and the primitive beginnings of representative government in small towns and national assemblies began to take root and grow throughout Europe. Scholars, writers, artists, musicians, changed the world view. This was the age of Giotto, Chaucer, Dante, Boccaccio, da Vinci – all non clerics. Architecture redefined cities, and the sciences of medicine and law opened up new horizons. Universities were increasing in enrollment. A rich merchant class emerged. Papal and royal authorities were finding themselves more frequently challenged, not yet out of anger or dissatisfaction in this time of innocence, but out of an ever increasing knowledge and research. Because of this, but ever so slowly, lay progress was made in the church. The Franciscan movement, as well as others, helped define a new laity spirituality and encouraged lay teaching and scholarship. Thanks to the Crusades, knights gained new lay status in the Church’s structure. Women began to exercise roles within the Church not exercised since the fourth century, particularly in writing the renewal and reforms of western mysticism.

With these changes came an ever growing unease within the Church. On the one hand there was a sense that something was seriously wrong at the Church’s very core. Why was not this new lay voice more actively incorporated and listened to? Why was not power and authority shared? Why was it that only the cleric half of the Church seemed to share in the discipleship of Christ and not the whole Church? From the years one thousand to fifteen hundred, the theme was time and again reform, reform, reform. From the reforms of the Avignon papacy to the Gregorian reforms, to the Council of Trent, the Church struggled to come to terms with the new realities of emerging lay men and women in a changing world, but in terms of structure it also resisted. This new reality was not welcomed by Church leaders. To be equal to the constant challenges by the royal courts of Europe, the papacy in its view could not allow itself to be weakened by lay influences. In the centuries to follow, the results of this irony would be cataclysmic. Because of its rigidity the Church would be ever altered by the Protestant Reformation and what is called the Counter Reformation that followed.

Although the role of the lay person was not central to any of the Protestant reform movements at the beginning of the sixteenth century there is little doubt that the role of the lay person was greatly enhanced by these movements. Luther’s central issues of justification, good works, grace, as well as John Calvin’s views on women in the church and in society opened to thoughtful Catholics the prospect for new possible roles in the Church. Discipleship could be seen as something broader than simply one’s loyalty to the Church. It was once again seen as sharing in Christ’s mission of salvation to the world. Like Paul, one could be a disciple by being a tent maker, a non-cleric. The message was by baptism into Christ and sharing in the Eucharist of Christ we are disciples of Christ. We do not become disciples by virtue of ordination.

It cannot be said either that lay persons were a central focus of the Council of Trent (1545-1573), but they were affected. The bishops of the council hoped to enhance the lay person by focusing on better trained and more deeply spiritual clergy, something of a holy trickle down theory. The results were mixed. The council was further hampered by a continually defensive leadership and the fear of Protestant taint if a gospel rather than an ecclesiastical approach to the issues of lay men and women were adopted.

Yet the world continued to turn. Locked out of ecclesiastical power, lay men and women advanced in the secular world. Through the American and French revolutions they redefined western civilization. The concepts of unalienable rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, government of the people, even freedom of religion, empowered every citizen. The divine right of kings had given way to the divine right of the common man. From now on it is the citizen who is the foundation of civil power, not the king or the emperor. Still the Church remained negative and defensive. This was true for many reasons. For one, there were strong anticlerical sentiments in the revolutionary movements. Also the Church was still connected to the falling nobility, not the emerging citizen. But now the old order was fading. Except for the Church, monarchical rule was by and large dead.

But even within the Church progress was made, no matter how grudgingly and indirect. By the nineteenth century Catholic lay groups and Catholic Action had become essential parts of the Church. As women advanced in the civil world they also advanced in the Church in fields of education, health, administration, and social welfare. Yes, in terms of status, the lay person was still on the bottom rung of the Church ladder. Yes, loyalty to the institution still largely defined lay discipleship. And yes, right up to today the Church is more understood as the hierarchical institution than the Christ centered faithful. For many still, Sunday Mass is the Church experience while the day-in-day-out challenges of the other six days are the real world.

Disconnected and authoritarian the Church moved into the turmoil of the twentieth century. And thanks to great lay men and women of vision who truly believed in the Church, men and women who pressed with all the perseverance of the widow before the judge, who used the education and talents and skills they had garnished from the world, the Church with time was brought to a new dawn. With their secular influences and powers, outstanding men and women guided the Church not from within the hierarchical structure but from without, yet as surely as anyone who sat upon the seat of Peter. Great lay and clerical voices spoke throughout the century, Jacques Maritain, Danielou, Teilhard de Chardin, Francois Mauriac, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Carol Houselander, Dorothy Day, Yves Congar, Leon Joseph Suenens, Karl Rahner, and so on. Their message was one and the same. We all share in the one discipleship, we are all the one Church. There is no within and without. There is no order of worth or status higher than the living faith of the Christian. And they were heard. John XXIII threw open the windows and launched the greatest reform in the history of the Catholic Church.

But thirty years after this council we may sadly ask for what? With all our advancements, with all our supposed education, both cleric and lay, we still for the greater part remain stuck in old precepts. We have dropped the ball. Those on the right with their dire warnings and those on the left with their ire and wounds both drink from the same muddy well. It is not enough for us to be defined by the past, we have been called to define the future. The Church is not a finished structure handed on from generation to generation, it is an unfinished structure that needs it artists and artisans. We owe our love and awe and respect to this often failed and imperfect institution, and owe to its future an awful responsibility.

In terms of opportunity and education no generation has received more than we. Future generations will rightly judge if we were wanting, and neither our fears nor our complaints nor whimpering will amount to much, I am sure, in their assessments. Where then are the great voices? Where are the heirs of the Mauriacs and Greenes and Rahners, those who shepherded the Church with Peter to the greatest of all councils and did so without fear of the future or resentment of the past? Where are the visionaries? The new millennium needs its prophets. If we today cannot accept the great gift given to us by the council and claim the Church as its true disciples, then it will not have been a council that failed us but we who failed a council. Without Christ there is no Church. Without discipleship fully shared, lay and cleric, there is also no Church. But striving together for the sheer glory of it in Christ, we can, after two thousand years of trying, finally be what the early Christians always knew themselves to be: together in Christ, the Church.

In the first paper we looked at the first one thousand years to see where we came from and how we grew. In this paper we  complete this process by looking at  the second thousand years and bring history to our own doorsteps. From here perhaps we will discern the parts we must play in launching the third one thousand years.

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We have done our best to credit our sources. Please forgive us if we have overlooked any.

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Pray to the Lord of the Harvest:  Lay Disciples are Needed

Harvest is Full

The Harvest is ready, but where are the workers?

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples,

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt: 9:36-38)

Dear Brothers and Sisters In Christ,

A season of spiritual darkness is beginning to envelop the world – a period where the godless world system is attempting to impose its values (or lack of values) and its humanistic and godless philosophies on the nations and the  communities of Christian believers world-wide.  We can already see the signs of the times as the darkness increases: abortion is proclaimed as a liberating good and giving birth as touted as an evil, where deviant sexual practices are to be lauded, chastity and virginity to be decried, and traditional marriage is accused as being unjust.

Clearly, this is a depraved era, just as the one spoken of by Isaiah, a time of … “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Is.5:20). It is a God-denying, God-defying era, opening itself for a manifestation of God’s wrath that will subject all humanity to a fiery testing This, also, is an era where the church itself will be judged and tested to separate the wheat from the chaff and to cleanxe it  from the leaven of the “world”, the secular humanism through which the forces of darkness are operating to obtain control of all humanity,

Our Lord Jesus himself warned His disciples about the “leavens” His church would need to confront and remove in order to maintain and fulfill the Kingdom of the Father in this world, He specifically warned us of the “leaven” of the Pharisees (religious hypocrisy), the “leaven” of the Scribes (adding human tradition to the Word of God), and the “leaven” of Herod (power and ambition). He also spoke metaphorically of the woman (the world system) kneading “leaven” into the pure unleavened flour of the church (Matt. 13:33).

All of these “leavens” are spurious and infectious rebellions against the the Divine Will and His revealed Word to which the church must take immediate action to repel the source of these “leavens”with all the spiritual armaments at its disposal. Leavens, which are basically fast spreading demonic proclivities that will bring down others in the church until it so pervades us that we can no longer function on behalf of the Father and His Kingdom.

Unfortunately for us, it is also a time when the church has, in general,has let its guard down regarding spiritual warfare and even has neglected arming its lay troops at the front line with the discipline and understanding of the Spiritual Authority given by the Father to all Christians through the Spirit of Christ that is in us – given, so that ALL (not just Clergy) of the church may stand firm and use the spiritual weapons the Lord has given it to disarm the enemy and bring forth  fruit for the Kingdom of God to His Glory!

Discipleship is the means through which the army of God is trained and prepared not only to manifest the Kingdom but to defend and defeat the enemy which challenging God’s reign over His creation. And it is through dedicated disciples that he will make other disciples to increase the troops he has at hand as we enter into this warfare.

Discipleship is the process through which we all enter into the spiritual transformation and renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:1-2) that we are all called to, so that we may truly be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29), not only in holiness but in the power and authority required to take the battle to the enemy instead of the enemy bringing the battle to us!  We the laity are being called by God to take our place in the front lines of this battle and become true warriors of Christ against the powers of darkness. This can only be accomplished through the spiritual “boot camp” of “Intentional Discipleship” for the laity.

The Lord intends to use the coming darkness as an opportunity to bring in a Harvest of souls. We must not only be ready to respond by making disciples as He has commended us, but also, to “pray to  the Lord of the Harvest” so that He may prepare these lay disciples to man the front lines of the Harvest, our world today!

First, we must learn to be Disciples Ourselves …

“Intentional” discipleship is the key part of the process of our spiritual  transformation that proceeds from conversion and baptism as follows:

[Conversion] =>
[basic training] => [unintentional discipleship] =>
[intentional discipleship] => [Instinctive discipleship]

For most of us “basic training” is our initial education in the Faith and the Word of God” after conversion. After that, for most of us, we begin our walk in what I term, “unintentional discipleship”. That is, with every good intent, we attempt to follow all the teaching we have received out of love of God and neighbor. But we do it out of our own self-will as a means  of gaining favor with God  or doing something for God, rather than submitting ourselves totally to the Father, so that, through the Holy Spirit, He may work His will in us and  through us to accomplish His purposes in this World. It is in this phase of spiritual growth that most  of us get stuck into, mainly because that is what is expected of laity in the current religious culture we live in. In this phase we could also call ourselves “accidental” disciples because even though our motives are not completely pure, the Lord can still work around us to accomplish His purposes.

The next phase, “Intentional discipleship”, however, is the real entrance into true discipleship, it is where we learn to take up our “cross”.  It is where, through a sincere decision of our will,  we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Father (Rom 12.1-2) so that His will and not ours may be done through our lives – thus opening the Door for the Spirit of Christ to truly be Our King, Our Lord, and Our God so He and He alone can work in us to work the true purposes of the Father in our lives. This phase is also a process that takes time because the Holy Spirit is gentle with us in our transformation, but, because we have freely consecrated our very selves to Him, He  will use us to the utmost to achieve His purposes through us. It is in this stage that that we truly are able to act out our obedience to the father “in Jesus’ Name” because it is really Jesus at work in in us to the Glory of the Father!

The Way of  True Discipleship

The Way of True Discipleship

This, then, is the challenge of true discipleship that He lays out for us: “And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. “ (Luke 9:23-24)

Once we have accepted our cross of placing God’s Will over ours, Jesus will then truly reign in us, in ALL things in our lives, and then and only then do we enter into what I term “instinctive” discipleship. This is the stage in our spiritual growth where we are so united to the Spirit of Christ in us, that we no longer have an awareness of ourselves in what we think or do or say. It is the stage where we, like the Apostle Paul, can truly say: ” It is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me”, where we are in such a spiritual union with Christ that we no longer need to discern between our will and the Father’s will because we know instinctively that the Spirit of Christ reigns in us to such a degree that we “know”  that all that we think or do or say emanates from His presence within us.

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In order to inform the Body Of Christ as to the dire dearth of true lay discipleship and our need for  it, I am attaching to this writing with a paper written by a group of lay Catholics in a rural parish in Northern California, discussing the subject of lay discipleship. This paper summarizes the historical dissolution or diminishment of lay discipleship within the church over the centuries. The paper will be presented by me in two separate posts. This being the first.

The first part deals with the first thousand years of church history and the second part will deal with the last thousand years. I will leave its message to your own discernment through prayer and meditation. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will work through what I am presenting to you to guide you in determining your response to the message.

But above all, pray that the Lord of Harvest will send forth workers into His fields!

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you. May the Lord be gracious to you and Shine His Face upon you and Bring you His Peace!

Your Brother in Christ and fellow pilgrim …. Bartimaeus

For Further Information on “Intentional Discipleship” please Click on “Cast your Net on the Other Side”

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2013])
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The views presented in the following papers are those of the Issues Group and are not necessarily representative of the people of St. Aloysius Parish nor the Roman Catholic Church.

 (Copyright Pending; Elk Altar Society Inc., Elk, Ca.)

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Catholic Issues Series :  The Church Today

The Role of Clergy and Laity

Part I :  Cleric and Lay in the First One Thousand Years of the Church

Volumes could be written and have been, on either the lay or cleric states in the Church. I have attempted an overview in only a few inadequate pages. What binds these two states together is the discipleship of Christ they equally share. It is in this shared discipleship that we will attempt to understand cleric and lay as we move through two thousand years of history. And all this in less than two thousand words.

Our faith is in a person. Jesus Christ. He is the source of and the model for all we are to be. In faith He has called us to be his followers, his disciples. There is not one discipleship for clerics and another for lay persons. There is only one discipleship. The New Testament is a written record of our call to follow. In our responding together to Christ we become a community, the Christ faithful, the Church. Without Christ there is no church, but without his community of faithful living out their discipleship there is also no church. It is in this sense then that we say in Christ we are the Church.

From the Resurrection to the beginning of the fourth century the Church was far different from what we know today. Not only different because it was new and evolving, but different in the very way its members related to each other as equals, depended on each other in worship and service, and sought together as a community to live out their discipleship in Christ. There was no clear distinction between a cleric and a lay person, between those appointed to service and those who brought other talents and skills to the community. Each was valued for his or her discipleship, not for their roles or functions. Young or old, Jew or Greek, man or woman, it was their living faith that defined them. If a person was chosen for a leadership or service role by the community, it was based on the merits of his or her discipleship. No one chose these roles for themselves, they were chosen by the community, for the community. And it was the community and its well being that was of the utmost concern to the early Christians, how to protect it in a hostile world, how to nurture its faith, how to help it grow. From these concerns evolved the communal liturgies: baptism to accept the newly faithful, the Eucharist to spiritually nourish the faithful, reconciliation to reunite those who had failed to live up to their faith, and the service/leadership liturgy to select and consecrate those thought worthy to administer to the needs of the community. These liturgies, including service and liturgies, existed for the community, not vice versa. For a leader to be imposed was inconceivable. Structure existed from the beginning of the Church, but it was communal and elective not hierarchical. It was from the bottom up, not from the top down.

But in the beginning of the fourth century a dramatic change took place in the Church that would determine its course down to our present time. A much maligned, threatened, and persecuted Church was suddenly accepted and smiled upon by the Constantine emperors and given the chance to flourish. Seizing this opportunity, the Church embraced the empire. It was a powerful marriage. The Church was now Roman and the Roman Empire was now Holy. One church, one empire. The Church became the official church, intolerant of all others. Church leaders soon broke with the past by adopting the order or hierarchical structure of the Roman world. It was henceforth a person’s position, and or function that determined their status in the Church, not discipleship. As the institutional church developed its own power class by emulating the power structure of its new secular counterpart and partner, the church of discipleship, the church of community, the church of the gospels and the early Christians was replaced. The line between cleric and lay was no longer fluid, but sharply drawn. All power was assumed by the new clerical class, and the lay or nonclerical was disempowered.

As the empire was all powerful, so now was the institutional church. As the empire was Roman it was also now Christian. Secular authority as well as clerical authority touched every aspect of a person’s life. The Church gave the empire unity and stability and the empire advanced the Church’s doctrines and moral teachings. Each believed that as long as they were one the world had reached its ideal and salvation. This world was divided into the governed and the governing, the common Christian citizen and the often times overlapping royal and pontifical courts.

By the year 700, it was generally accepted that the positions of king and pope were divinely instituted, and these domains were frequently at odds as each sought power over the other. In this medieval period up to the year 1000, the split between the leadership and the disempowered members of the Church became even more defined. Monasteries were firmly in the hands of the clerics. All aspects of liturgy were taken over by clerics. The lay person was relegated to the role of passive observer. As Latin increased as a common language, liturgy became even more unintelligible to the largely uneducated common person. Unless a lay person was of the noble class, he or she was generally excluded from any meaningful role. The term church gradually came to mean the hierarchical institution and not the community of faithful. Wealth also played a part in the growing disparity between lay and cleric, the taxed and untaxed, the nonprivileged and the privileged. Like society, the Church had become feudal.

To conclude then, once the secular world, through a mandate of imperial power became the Christian world as happened in the fourth century, the Church began to incorporate the secular order and the structure of that world. Historically it made good sense. The Church became strong and universal. The morals and teaching of our faith were promulgated throughout Europe and Asia Minor. But the new ordering inevitably led to the disempowerment of the lay person and a break between the cleric and lay states. This did not happen by design or manipulation, the educated became disconnected from the uneducated, the untaxed from the taxed, the leaders from the led, the powerful form the powerless. We can only understand our historical church and our positions today as lay or clerical members if we understand this history. No other institution transcends these past two thousand years like the Church. Empires, kingdoms, and states have passed. The Church remains. It is the vessel of our heritage and faith. The fact that it survived at all and played the great part it did in history is a tribute to its greatness and glory and the presence of the Spirit. But if we are to define ourselves in terms of discipleship as we have done throughout this paper then by the end of the first one thousand years we would have to say that the lay voice was no longer equal to the cleric as it had been in the beginning. There was an essential wrong at the Church’s core. For in the Church of the gospels all of us are called, not some of us; all of us form the community, not some of us; all of us share in the ministry of Christ, not some of us; all of us share in the service/leadership of the Christ believing, not some of us; all of us are the Church, not some of us.

In this paper we looked at the first one thousand years to see where we came from and how we grew. In the next paper we will complete this process in the second thousand years and bring history to our own doorsteps. From here perhaps we will discern the parts we must play in launching the third one thousand years.

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Reflections Regarding True Prayer: Introduction  (Part 1)

Praying In the Spirit

Be still and Know that I am God!

Prayer is an absolute necessity  if we are  to draw closer to the Divine. But if we are to truly come to communion with the Godhead we must also come to understand the basic guideline the Lord has given us to connect with Him, namely,  “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10)

If we are to be still, we ask,, how then are we to pray? The answer is obvious, we must  separate ourselves from the world and our own fleshly thoughts and desires so that we might enter the Inner Stillness of the sanctuary within us – that is where true prayer begins, that is where we may come into His Presence and experience His Person!

Entering the Inner Stillness

Enmeshed in life’s commotion,

Our ears deadened in the strife,

As cries our famished spirit

For the real sustenance of life.

 

From an inner thirst and hunger

Beyond all the world can impart.

Beyond the parched desert of emotions

For a Love that satisfies the heart.

 

Why then, do we refuse to listen,

 If so desperate our plight ?

To words of Life beyond our hearing,

To visions of Love beyond our sight.

 

A Love that knocks incessantly

  ‘Till our gates we open to its Life.

To drink in the Living Water

  And consume the Bread of Life.

 

Enter then, that inner stillness,

  God’s sanctuary, in your soul,

And imbibe that Love Eternal

  That fills and makes you whole!

[Jorge Alfonso Madrid Sr., AMDG]

My fellow pilgrims and brethren in Christ,

In order to further assist you in your spiritual walk with our master and Lord, Yeshua HaMashiach, I wish to share with you in a series of postings that present some basic concepts  we need to keep in mind regarding the nature of prayer. I believe that the principles embedded in these concepts will help us to grow and mature in our intimate relation with the Divine by inciting us to go beyond the superficial modes of prayer we encountered in our youth and proceeding on to those modalities that open us up to a person to person encounter with the Saviour of our souls. These articles have been excerpted from  a booklet titled, “Thy Kingdom Come”, by Jorge Madrid Sr. and entered here with the author’s approval.

I begin with an introduction by the author to his section on prayer titled:

Prayer: Our Response to God’s Call

If you have ever felt a tug at your heart to experience a level of prayer that takes you beyond the rote repetition of formalized prayers you should consider that it is the Lord who is urging you forward. It is the way the Lord calls us to a more intimate personal relationship with Him. It is He who is saying to you. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”. He is calling you to  intimacy through personal one-on-one two-way prayer. Will you disappoint Him? Will you not open the door of personal intimate prayer?

Formal prayer plays a key role in communal or liturgical prayer because it is necessary that all in the praying community be united in a particular prayer. Either we sing or recite the same prayer or add our agreement to the prayer with an “Amen”. Without detracting for the need for communal or liturgical prayer, we must understand that the strength of our communal or liturgical prayers is directly related to the intensity of each individual’s personal prayer life. As a community we are instruments in bringing God’s glory into our services. This happens when a sufficient number of individuals in the community bring the prayer energy of their personal prayer life to the community service.

When non-praying or skeptical individuals come into a truly anointed praise and worship service, the Holy Presence breaks down their defensive composure against anything spiritual and the Holy Spirit begins a work of conviction in them to bring them to conversion or renewal. Knowing, then, the importance of personal prayer, it behooves us to always pray from the heart because sincere prayers from our hearts are the ones that what reach God’s heart.

Personal Prayer is Key

When we enter into personal prayer, the use of formula prayers tends to stilt or limit rather than enhance our personal dialogue with God.  Let us remember that  prayer is the means with which we actualize our personal relationship with the Divine. Like all such relationships the more personal we can get the better.  Since our Creator knows all our words even before we  initiate them  it is clear that the Lord does not need to hear our uttered prayers no matter how beautifully worded they are. What He is looking for is the prayer of our hearts. This means that our spoken or verbal prayers need to flow from our hearts and not from our minds. Formal prayers can be of value at this personal level only if we have made them our own. That is, we should have meditated sufficiently on the words of the prayer that it conveys the deepest expression of our hearts. If we sense the words don’t quite express what is in our hearts then we change the words as the Spirit gives us utterance.

Because God looks at our hearts sometimes even words can get in the way.  There are times when the most appropriate prayer is the prayer of silence where we merely present ourselves before God for our spirits to commune with His Spirit without any words to spoil the purity of the communications. As we become more comfortable with the Lord in prayer we will find that although we may still initiate our prayer time with a heart-felt formal prayer, we will enter into His presence with a time of silent reflection during which we open our hearts before Him.

Entering into stillness

One way with which this opening of our hearts will come is by meditating in silence on His Word and His presence in us letting our deep desire for His Person take precedence over any petitions or concerns. By quieting our own minds and putting aside our worldly concerns we make ourselves available to hear the voice of the Lord within our spirits. Once we sense His presence our prayer can be as simple as Samuel’s prayer: “Speak Lord, for thy servant  is listening” or “Jesus”. At this point your spiritual dialogue with Jesus will begin.

Another way to open our hearts to Him is to quiet your mind and imagine yourself in a setting where the Lord is present to you. As you look into His face you sense His compassion and love for you as he reaches out His hand to your shoulder. Immediately, those things which have been burdening you come out of your mouth. As you tell him about the deepest feelings of your heart, He begins to tell you of His Love and how He wishes you to respond to His Love through the circumstance you are facing. As you converse with the Lord you find your concerns fading into the background and your attraction to the person of Jesus increasing until you throw yourself into His arms and embrace Him with a Love that you did not know you had in you!

Overcoming Some Basic Hindrances

Because of our confused understanding of prayer, we have come to believe that the only function of prayer is to petition the Godhead for our needs or the needs of others rather than purely for the delight of communing with the Lover of Our Souls. If we come from a liturgical tradition we also are trained to find some kind if a formal prayer written in beautifully expressive language that expresses something close to what our petition encompasses. And so we have books that are collections of such prayers that we rely on in our attempt  to express the yearning of our hearts to God who already knows those yearnings better than we do. Sometimes we use a mechanically repetitive prayer as a means of attempting to communicate our petitions to God as if somehow the repetition of the words will emphasize the sincerity of our prayer and convince God of our need.

I think that the Lord winks lovingly at our uninformed piety and answers us just because he sees the intentions of our hearts and in His compassion understands that we really don’t know any better. We also sometimes think that God will not listen to us personally because we  are imperfect sinful creatures and that we must therefore find someone who is “better” than we are to intercede for us before God. In the truth expressed in His Word we find that God the creator of the Universe, the God who created  us, is more desirous than we are to have  an intimate communion with each of us. A communion that liberates us to fellowship with Him in a way that cannot be imagined by our religiously organized mentalities.

Entering the Throne Room

It is true that sin and our own hardness of heart are barriers to this fellowship with Him. But they are barriers we ourselves create, not God. In fact God loves us so much, he has provided the means for us to clear out these barriers. He has done this through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Jesus, who continually intercedes for us before the Father so that nothing can interrupt our fellowship with the Father.  It is because of the Precious Blood of Jesus that every believer can come before the throne of the Almighty and enjoy fellowship with Him! All we need to do to enter this supper of divine fellowship is to consciously and verbally open the door of our hearts to Jesus. Acknowledging our need for Him to clear out the  barriers of sin that encumber us and to maintain a loving fellowship with our fellow believers in His Name. Of course we must also invite the Holy Spirit into our supper with the Lord, since it is the Holy Spirit who reveals the person of Jesus to us. If we do this we are ready to enter into a new and wonderfully intimate relationship with our God!

Once we begin our revived prayer life we soon find that although we have concerns we leave these behind when we enter into His throne room and we immerse ourselves in His Presence enveloped in His Love. Then, as we interact with Him during our intimate prayer time, He will ask or bring to mind our concerns. He will also add to our list some concerns we had not even thought about. It is then that we present them to Him, knowing that if He places a concern in our hearts then we can be assured that our petitions have been heard. Our role, then, is to be His instruments in bringing forth His Kingdom by permitting Him to perform the very things He has already, in His sovereign will, determined to do. He merely desires us to be His partners in the manifestation of His Kingdom

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The articles that follow this introduction will provide a brief summary of what the author learned about some of the basic principles of prayer and upon which my own growth on prayer was based. These are: Faith, Communion in the Spirit, Content, and Form.

I pray that this series will likewise edify you and encourage you in your spiritual walk with our teacher and Lord

Thank you Jesus! Praised Be Your Holy Name! Baruch HaShem Adomai.

Your Brother in Christ….  Bariimaeus

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2013])

Related links

About Prayer

Our Spiritual Inheritance

I stand at the Door and Knock!

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A Renewed New Life for the New Year!

Christ is our New Life

Christ is our New Life

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons,  God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,  crying out, “Abba, Father!”So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.” (1 Gal. 4:4-7)

Brothers and Sisters, my fellow Pilgrims in Christ,

Regarding Resolutions for the New Year

It is common practice, for most of us in the west, to make some resolutions at the beginning of each new year that will lead to improvement our lifestyles through the removal of unhealthy habits and/or the initiation of what we may suppose are good ones that will truly bring about the desirable changes in we envision.

Unfortunately, especially for those of us who are Christians, the truth is that we always approach these attempts at personal renewal from a purely worldly viewpoint ,that is, mainly to permit us to live longer and, we hope, more enjoyable and prosperous lives in todays world. Rarely,if ever, do we undertake “New Year” resolutions to improve our spiritual lives to really come to a renewed spiritual  life in Christ, a union so intimate, we can without any hypocrisy, cry out “Abba or Daddy” to His Father and our Father. A union that permits us to dialog with the Divine in such way as to truly experience, in the spirit, our heritage as adopted sons of the Father and heirs of His Kingdom.

The primary reason for this secular tendency on our part, is that our life in this world remains the focus of our reason for living. For many of us the “spiritual life” is merely a theological term that does not resonate with us as being an accessible reality. Oh yes, the songs and hymns we sing in church may stir up some pietistic emotions that we may consider as spirituality but hardly ever do we find these emotions moving us to act in faith so that the Spirit of God may transform our lives so that we can truly see the changes we know we need, so that we may escape from the enticements and lusts of the world that have such a hold on our lives.

A Resolution Where God Brings You To Life – Through His Grace

Because all of us are a composite of spirit, soul, and body we usually have a hunger for true spirituality that goes unfulfilled. The reason for this is, that although we pay great attention to the needs of our soul and body, we tend to ignore and neglect the spiritual side of our being. We mainly attempt to meet the spiritual emptiness inside of us with non-spiritual solutions for our soul and our body,without tending to our spiritual needs first.

Yes, we need to make a resolution for the New Year, but it should  be a resolution to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, to yield ourselves to Him, so that He can activate our spirit, work in  us to feed us with His Word, and bring us to a new life in the Spirit by conforming us daily to the Spirit of Christ that is in us through our conversion and baptism (cf., prayer to the Holy Spirit in the referenced links)

In making such a resolution we must avoid thinking that what we will be doing is a dedication of our own human efforts to enable a spiritual change in ourselves. Please understand, we have NO WAY to bring spiritual life to our selves or to others. Just as Jesus said: “Spirit begets spirit and flesh beget flesh”.  True spiritual life can only come from the source of all Life, Jesus, the Word of Life. As John the Evangelist said: “In Him was Life and the Life was the light of men” (Jn.1:4), Jesus who is the Word made flesh, He is the one who brings us to life, not only in human flesh but in our spirits as well. He, and He alone, is the Door to spiritual life and, as He told us: “I am The Way The Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father but by me” (Jn.14:6).

So you see, our resolve must be to yoke ourselves to Jesus (Matt:11-29) and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit for the rest of our lives. For only through Him and His Word can the Spirit of God be released in us to bring us to new life in Christ and thus satiate our spiritual hunger!  Our only part in the resolve is through an act of faith in Christ, that is, an act of our will where we repent of our attachments to the world system and ask Jesus to come into our hearts and be, not only our savior, but also our Lord, and thus open the door for Him to take control of our lives through the working of the Holy Spirit. In this manner it will be the Holy Spirit working in you and through you who will effect a true living spirituality in your person to the Glory of His Name!

Our Response to God’s Renewing Grace In Believing Communities

It is the making of such a resolution that is the foundation for a sincere and true Christian life. It is a resolution that has has also been the foundation of all historical Christian communities. Yes, God has provided the Graces needed for renewal through Christ, but in order to activate these Graces we must respond in Faith. That is the Challenge for all  Christians and for their communities.

As an example let us look at St. Paul’s dealings with the Colossian community, whom he initially founded. He tells the community, in His letter to them, that he is constantly praying for them that they may be strengthened in Christ who will sustain them in their resolve. He does this because he knows that, although they received the Gospel, they are struggling to extricate themselves from the pagan culture and world in which they are embedded and that they are in need of an affirmation of their faith to strengthen their resolve. Listen to the words of encouragement he gives them and take it to heart for yourselves.

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”

(Col. 1:9-24)

Then, to the Ephesian community, which was also struggling in being conformed to Christ, Paul exhorts them to “Put of the old nature and  put on their new nature in Christ, which is, of course what yoking yourself to Christ will effect in you!  Listen to Paul in his own words:

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:17-24)

In accord with Paul’s exhortation and encouragement, I urge you, my brethren and fellow pilgrims, to commit or renew your resolution in this New Year and to separate yourself from the world by to yoking yourself to Christ and by yielding yourself to the Holy Spirit so that , together, we may continue more faithfully in our walk in the spirit through the narrow gate to Life, not the flesh but in the spirit! There is no other way, for it is only in the spirit that we can truly worship and it only through true worship that we can drink from the living water of Life!

To this end I attach a prayer (below) to the Holy Spirit that you may amend or use, as the Spirit leads, to formulate your own personal response for your resolution to enter into Life. I pray that you will listen to what the Spirit is urging you now so that you may take your first step into the Kingdom of God’s Love!  

Praised be His Holy Name! To Him be all the Glory Forever and ever . Amen!

Your brother in Christ Jesus …. Bartimeaus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-20013].
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# Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit

As I have indicated before, a true and sincere conversion is the scriptural prerequisite to receiving the “Promise of the Father”, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, in your own personal Pentecost. This means you first need to discern whether you are indeed a converted Christian and not just a cultural one as I was. If you are not sure, and you have determined in prayer that you want to be right with God and have a hunger to know the Lord Jesus personally then that is easy to remedy.  Just pray as follows:

“Lord Jesus, I am deeply aware that my sins have separated me from you and from the eternal life which you have promised to those who believe. I repent of my sins and turn to you in faith for the salvation and forgiveness you won for me on the cross through the shedding of your blood even when I was yet a sinner and without merit before God. I surrender my life to you. Come into my heart, be the Lord of my Life. Be my Savior and my King. Live in me and through me so that I can truly represent you in my service to others in your Name. Amen.”

Now, if the terminology,  “baptism in/with the Holy Spirit”, creates a theological hurdle for you receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, just think of what you are desiring as a  “release of the Holy Spirit” that is already in you through baptism and confirmation. The Holy Spirit is not so much concerned as to your theological understanding of the Promise of the Father as much as He is looking for your sincere desire to be open to His working within you and through you no matter how or what you call it! All He wants is your permission! Your surrender to His purposes in and through you!

Once this is settled in your mind, then you need to pray about what you are sensing in your spirit. If, after prayer and meditation on the scripture you sense a strong sincere desire to receive all that the Holy Spirit has for you and to be open to His working in and through your life (without restrictions on your part), then you are ready to proceed to the next step.

In asking for the Holy Spirit to empower you (whether in a community setting or a personal one) come into the Father’s presence and ask (something like this):

“ Father, as your child in Jesus I desire to be totally an instrument for Your Kingdom to manifest through my life. I desire to receive your Promise of the Holy Spirit to those who believe. Jesus, my Savior and King, baptize me in the Holy Spirit so that the power of your resurrection will work in me and transform me according to your will. Holy Spirit, empower me and fill me to overflowing. I hold nothing back from you. Work your gifts in me and through me, all of me, so that the Father’s Kingdom may be manifested in and through my life. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!”

Now, begin praising and worshiping God with all your heart. Release yourself from all the inhibitions you have and raise your voice in songs and psalms. Express those longings you have held in your heart for so long but were unable to let loose because of your inhibitions. As you sing and worship release yourself to the Holy Spirit so that He can pray and worship through you.

As you enter this time of praise and worship you will begin to experience a sense of the presence of the Lord. You will begin to lose your self-consciousness and you will sense that the flow of your prayers and song is coming as if from out of nowhere. In fact, as your praise increases you sense that you are uttering words that are no longer in your mother tongue. But you know in your spirit that these words are honoring God so your flow in these phrases increases. You have just received your prayer language. You are feeling so blessed, you find that you don’t want to stop. Don’t stop. Pray and sing your heart out, glorifying God!

Praised be His Holy Name! You have now ”Entered the Kingdom” of the Father! Walk in the leading of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His call!

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-20013].

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Related Links

I Stand at the Door and Knock

Sweet Yoke of Love

Releasing the Spirit

Praying in the Spirit

The Kingdom of God: Our Spiritual Inheritance

Reclaiming Our Legacy In Christ

Hearing God’s Voice, and Obeying It

Pentecost and the Promise of the Father

The Empowerment Gifts (Part 1)

The Empowerment Gifts (Part 2) 

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2013])

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