November 20 / Proverbs 20 / Luke 7

Luke 7:48

“Your sins are forgiven.”

All your wrongs are completely pardoned, restoring intimate relationship with our Maker…

IF you confess & turn away from them. Not meaning you will never slip up in the flesh, but you have truly turned away from what damages relationship.

Do you live in this freedom?

Or do you still live as though you must pay?

Living in guilt toward God is your own fault, not His, not anybody else’s.

Tell Him about it, be done with it, & He does not hold it against you.  Usually we hold it against us.

Usually we hold it against us.

Proverbs 20:27

The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.

Motives.

They are what drive us.  They are related to desire.  What we really want in the hidden recesses of our heart.  This propels us day to day, making the choices we make.  We may not even know our own deep motives ourselves.

But God does.

And when we open to Him, and converse candidly with Him without pretense, He sheds His light on us that we may see who we really are.  We find out what is actually driving us.

Most of us do not go to these hidden places where God wants to meets us and heal us.  Teresa of Avila wrote about this via the metaphor of our soul as a castle, The Interior Castle.   She envisioned it made entirely out of diamond or clear crystal, something very precious, and having many rooms.  Most seem content to hang around the outside of the castle, in the courtyard focused on “external matters”, but never entering.

The door of entry to this castle is prayer and reflection.

Not long ago a very learned man told me that souls who do not practice prayer are like people with paralyzed or crippled bodies; even though they have hands and feet they cannot give orders to these hands and feet.  Thus there are souls so ill and so accustomed to being involved in external matters that there is no remedy, nor does it seem they can enter within themselves.  They are now so use to dealing with the insects and vermin that are in the wall surrounding the castle that they have become almost like them.  And though they have so rich a nature and the power to converse with none other but God, there is no remedy.  If these souls do not strive to understand and cure their great misery, they will be changed into statues of salt, unable to turn their heads to look at themselves, just as Lot’s wife was changed for having turned her head.

And on prayer, she writes:

A prayer in which a person is not aware of whom he is speaking to, what he is asking, who it is who is asking and of whom, I do not call prayer however much the lips move.  Sometimes it will be so without this reflection, provided that the soul has these reflections at other times.  Nonetheless, those who have the habit of speaking before God’s majesty as though they were speaking to a slave, without being careful to see how they are speaking, but saying whatever comes to their heads and whatever they have learned from saying at other times, in my opinion are not praying.  Please God, may no Christian pray in this way.

What is your motive in prayer?

To connect relationally with God?

What is your motivation in work, ministry, your family, life?

To feel good?

Positive results?

To please God?

Praise?

To help others pay attention to God?

To help others pay attention to you?

Love for God?

Love for people?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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