Devotional Mood


     "And what is the devotional mood?  It is nothing else than constant awareness of God's enfolding presence, the holding of inward conversations with Christ and private worship of God in spirit and in truth.......Every advance in the spiritual life must be made against the determined resistance of the world, the flesh and the devil."  A.W. Tozer........"Many people are willing to go wherever God wants them to, but are planning to stay right where they are."  Robert McQuilken from his book, The Great Omission....."Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."  Ephesians 6:10......"Watch and pray that you do not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."  Matthew 26:41
      I've used a diverse group of quotes and scripture.  There's reason in my madness.  Much is made today of fulfilling The Great Commission of going and making disciples.  We like to call it being missional.  My problem is not in the commission, but to borrow from McQuilken, with what is the omission.  We are willing to go, but all the while, we plan to stay where we are.  Perhaps not in the phsyical sense, but certainly in the spiritual.  We will go out, but it is in the manner of our going out that brings about a great problem.  Ephesians 6:10 tells us that we're to be strong in His power and might, depending on it.  I think more often, we are far more dependent on our own.
     I am not aiming to be critical here, for I have been guilty of it myself, and far too many times, but we in the church have become adept at planning our strategies of outreach without ever having truly prayed them through with Him.  We are skilled at knowing what we think, but fully ignorant of knowing His thoughts.  We spend hours talking with one another, and minutes, if that, talking with Him.  We schedule three hour planning and strategy sessions, and precede them with 3 quick minutes of prayer.  He's welcome to hang around, just so long as He doesn't interrupt the agenda printout.  Ridiculous you say?  What took place in the last board, committee meeting or planning session that you may have been a part of?  Closer to home, when it comes to the real affairs of your family and life, how much of the thinking comes from your mind and heart and not His?  It is so easy to speak, teach and preach about living in His Spirit, but it is even easier to just live in the flesh, depending on our own understanding in all of it.  Just as Christ says, the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is surely, weak.
     So, how do we overcome it all?  By living in what Tozer called the devotional mood.  "Constant awareness of His enfolding presence."  This can only be realized by an ongoing lifestyle of cultivating His Presence, by abiding in Him consciously at all times.  The power of His Presence then saturates our lives, thinking, and behavior.  Those inward conversations he speaks of manifest themselves in our outward actions.  We live in the power and might of His life, and not ours.  How might such a life revolutionize our homes, relationships, and His church if we truly did live in that devotional mood?  All the resistance of the world, the flesh and the devil would be for nothing in the face of such lives, and such a church.
     McQuilken said that we are willing to go anywhere with Him, but plan on staying where we are.  I know he meant physically going first and foremost, but I see those words in the spiritual realm.  We talk much of growing in grace, of being transformed from glory to glory, but all the while, we plan on staying mostly where we are spiritually.  It's comfortable there, familiar, and low risk.  We can manage that place in our own strength.  Moving past it, not so much.  He does wish to send us out, but before that can really be, He calls us forth to Himself, to His cross. There, we find the power of His resurrected life.  There we enter into the devotional mood, which is only found by way of the cross.  We know what we're willing to do today, but what are we planning on?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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