Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Together (In the Word)

Good morning, we are a group of ladies reading the Bible.

Reading The New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.

This weeks reading Ephesians 2-6, Psalms 45-55 and Proverbs 13

My musing is from Ep.3:16

I Had always prayed on my knees, but when I became pregrant with my daughter, I was all stomach, and was unable to kneel down. I feared that God would not hear me pray. I came a cross the following poem about a group of Christians who were arguing about this.

One insisted that the only way to pray was on your knees.Another insisted that it had to be standing with bowed head. A third asserted that the only way to pray was to be seated in a chair looking up to God. One, who till then had been silent, told of an incident in which he accidentally fell head first into into a well. While he was hanging there upside down, he prayed a prayer which he said was the most effective he had ever prayed! So it isn't posture that is important.

....That according to the riches of His glory...Eph. 3:16RSV

God's glory is God's being, God's person. He himself is his own riches of glory. And when God wants to display his glory he shows you himself. He reveals what he is like.You are not going to some cold, distant being -- sitting up on some remote Mount Olympus somewhere, his eyelids in contemptuous indifference to your needs -- to ask for help. You are coming to a tender, concerned, loving Father, who is deeply involved with you, who wants you to grow, who is concerned about your welfare, and who will not leave you in some state of arrested development. That is what Paul sets before us sets before us in this prayer.

...he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man,

The Spirit dwells in the inner man, although that is true. Rather, the idea here is that the Spirit might infuse his own strength into your inner man. Well, what is your inner man? You and I are of course familiar with this distinction between the outer man and the inner man. We take care of the outer man carefully. We dress it, we feed it, we comb it, we pat it, we primp it, we wash it, we dry it, we smear it with cream. We are always concerned with the outer man - the body and its needs. But we are also aware that there is an inner man.

The inner man is the spirit, the human spirit. And it is here that God begins the work of recovery -- not in the soul, in the spirit. Not in the realm of our feelings, in other words, but in what phychologist would call the realm of the subconscious, the deep-seated part of our life, the fundamental elements of our nature. You know that when you are really discouraged, really broken-hearted, and have given up the way your condition is often descriped as dispriited. That is an accurate term. You have become dis-spirited. Your fundamental nature is dissatified, discontent. It is not merely a question of temporary boredom. That would be in the realm of the soul. But this is something which touches the spirit, right at the very deepest level of human life.

This is where recovery must begin. And what the apostle tells us here is the capability of the Creator himself, our loving Father, to give us a fresh infusion of strength by his Spirit into our spirit into the inner man. In First Corinthians 12, speaking of believers, Paul says, "by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body (We have been made members of the body of Christ). and...made to drink of one Spirit," (1 Corinthians 12:13 RSV). That is what our human spirits are for -- They are to drink of the Spirit of God, so that the Spirit of God is able to refresh us and revitalize us. Just as taking a drink refreshes your body, so drinking of the Spirit refreshes your spirit, at the deepest level of your life.

Now, that is not the realm of feeling. Less not get hung up on this. In the process of spiritual recovery;, but always wanting an instantly good feeling. We seek some instant sense of relief. Well, relief will come, but it doesn't start there. It starts down at the level of the spirit, and may be nothing more than some conciousness of reassurance that things are going to work out eventually.

This beginning step is not your responsibility, it is God's. Doesn't that help? You don't have to start it. He does. All that is necessary is that you ask him for it. You ask, or someone else asks on your behalf -- one or the other. Paul prayed that these Ephesians might have this granted to them. And they could have prayed for themselves, if they had known what to pray for, because a prayer is nothing but a cry of helplessness: "God help me." When we ask on this level, God promises to give.

Remember what Jesus himself taught in that great passage on prayer in Luke 11, at the end of the story of the importunate friend: "What father among you, if his son asks for a fish;, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?"(Luke 11:11 RSV). Would any earthly father do that? Would he tantalize, torture his son that way? " Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?" (Luke 11: 12 RSV). What kind of a father would do anyghing like that? "No, of course not," Jesus says, "neither will God." If you then, who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more..." (Luke 11:13aRSV). Do you feel the force of his argument? ...how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" He is not talking about how to be indwelt by the Spirit, but about how to recover from losing heart. The way to start, is toask God to grant you that your spirit will receive a new infusion of strength, that you can drink again of the river of the Spirit of life which is in you, and that your spirit will be restored so that you begin to operate as God intended you to. You won't feel this, necessarly. We sharply feel what occurs in the soul, but only sort of deeply sense things taking place in our spirit. Paul prays that God may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit into the inner man.

Thank you for your visit today. For more Tuesday Together in the Word see DeeDee over at I have no greater joy.


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