Dec. 2, 2016

From Contemplation to the Cross to Healing

Contemplative spirituality is about “seeing”—seeing things in truth and wholeness, which can only be done through the lens of our own wholeness. Salvation in biblical terms means wholeness / healing. Jesus taught that this spiritual seeing opens the door to the kingdom of God with all its benefits (Jn 3:3). That is the key! It’s about taking responsibility for our way of relating to things spiritually, rather than aiming for any kind of perfect results or necessary requirements accomplished by our own strengths and abilities. We are saved by grace through faith, and not of ourselves, but by God's own handiwork in us to do His work through Him working in us (Eph 2:8-10) as we follow his way of the cross (Ga 2:20). The Christ of the cross working in us is our hope of glory (Col 1:27)! The cross breaks the dam that has held back the living waters from flowing through us.


Once you see skillfully, the rest follows. You don’t need to push the river, because you are already in it. The One Life is living Itself within us as living waters (Jn 7:38), and we learn how to say yes to that one shared life, which includes both the good and the bad sides of everything, rather than making a distinction between good and evil as Adam and Eve did, resulting in their fall from grace. This Divine Life is so large, deep, and spacious that it even includes its seeming opposite, death. This one great life does not end, it merely changes. This is true in the entire physical world, and Jesus tells us it is true in the spiritual world too. In fact Jesus and Paul taught that unless we die to self we will not be able to live through Christ Who is our hope of glory (Lk 17:33, Ga 2:20, Col 1:27).


My life is not about me; it is about God, and God is about love. When we don’t know love, when we experience only the insecurity and fragility of the small self, we become anxious, restless, violent, and hateful. But in contemplation we move to a different space where we see the illusion of separateness. We experience a constant flow of God's Spirit, in both directions, through that remembrance of our spirit with Gods Spirit. As David said: "Be still and know God" (Ps 46:10). Only in stillness do we become acquainted with God in Spirit and in truth. Also Jesus said that this is the only way that we can truly worship God (Jn 4:24).


The older we get, the more we’ve been betrayed, hurt, and disappointed (and this is “part of the deal,” according to Jesus!). Most of us learn to put up many barriers and resistances to love without even knowing it. This is why the healing work of “spiritual practice” is so necessary. Jesus said that when we pray to go within ourselves and close the door and pray to our Heavenly Father in secret (Mt 6:6).


Notice how most of Jesus’ ministry is about healing people (yet most churches hardly used the word “healing”) and if they do it is only limited to physical healing of a fleshly nature. Notice also how many of those healings done by Jesus had to do with spiritual blindness and deafness (Mt 13:12-13, John 9:41), the gradual healing of blindness (Mark 8:22-26), and the distorted world views that come from chosen blindness (Luke 6:39-42). Why? Because the contemplative mind is able to see fully and freely, which is to be healed of its hurts, unforgiveness, and other personal agendas always get in the way. Jesus said it is because of our spiritual blindness that we remain in sin (which is spiritual separation from God) (Jn 9:41). Actually this whole chapter deals with this subject. The irony of this is that most believers are not aware of their spiritual blindness and deafness (Mt 13:9-13). For this reason Jesus said: "Therefore take heed how you hear" (Lk 8:18). "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more open for a fool than for him" (Prov 26:12). "Lean not on your own understanding, but in every way acknowledge God" (Prov 3:5-6).


 "Most people do not see things as they truly are because they see things as they are, which is not to see at all. Their many self-created filters keep them from seeing with any clear vision. "Without a vision (redemptive revelation) my people perish, for words alone are not effective" (Prov 29:18:19). Paul specifically taught that the carnal mind works contrary to God's ways and knowing, and it prevents a believer from becoming a manifest son of God (Rm 8). 


The whole of life is almost perfectly calibrated to get you out of your own way, which is normally achieved by having to give up control, or through a persistent sadness, pain, or fear. Notice how the blind people invariably cried out to Jesus “Lord have pity on me” (Luke 18:39). 


From our pitiable state - a state of realized “powerlessness” - we then recognize that we are our own worst enemy and cry out to God for mercy. It is from that humiliation, we can learn how to see and love things as they are—and not just as we want them to be. This is why the Bible teaches that the cross /suffering has a redemptive value if we first count the cost and follow the way Jesus taught and lived - even to the end when he said: "It is finished”! 


Jesus said that this salvation was by entering the kingdom of God by the straight gate, but only a few would find it (Lk 13:20-29). "Those who suffer with Christ will reign with him" (2 Tim 2:12).


As for me, it was at the cross that I first saw the light!


© by Dragonslayer 2016. Used by permission.