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The Privileges of God

by:John

The following are two brief reports from a class on Practictical Spirituality. The second is a summary of some great books I browsed over for the class. Enjoy

Our birthrights, privileges and relationship in Christ

What has most impacted me throughout this class is connected to identity and relationship. What I mean is that when I grasp a true understanding of both my identity as a child, friend, and servant of God, and the privilege and responsibilities that come along with those relationships, I know I shall be transformed. Why, because the privilege of my relationship and identity is to be before my Creator God and to fellowship with Him continually. It is His presence in my life that transforms me into His image, and in fact, when I am in the presence of His Spirit, I can not help but be transformed..
As a requirement for my last course, we were to spend one hour of “quiet-time” in the chapel a day. This requirement was very helpful for me to realign myself with who I am and what my right and responsibility is.

Picture of the throne room of God.
Without a revelation from God, we can not fathom the glory of the Lord. Yet, His word tells us that we may enter His presence any time by the blood of Jesus.

So often my “birthright” (to enter before God’s presence) sits aside while I settle for less because of being unaware of who I am. Well, the one-hour chapel-times were times where I was reminded of my birthright and of the immense value that is contained there. The value is that of sharing the glory of the Lord. I do not want to settle for an identity as a philanthropist, a good guy or teacher, or even as a missionary because none of those identities come with the right to share and partake in the Life of God. No! I want my identity to be firmly rooted in my identity in Christ so that I have an understanding of the right that that gives me to partake of the goodness of the Lord.
What this means is that I may enter into His presence. When I am there, all knowledge becomes less important, all problems become insignificant, all worries dissipate, and my heart is able to take it’s rest with the reality that the sovereign God, who is over all, and whom no one can stand against, is in love with me and cares enough about me to protect the life He’s given me. And the reason that He protects my life is because He has shared His own life with me and the life that I now have is unified together with His. For Him, the main goal for His children is that we may be one with Him, and that our will, emotions, mind and heart would be fully connected to His own. This is the life that Jesus led, always connected to His Father, always getting away from the crowds to fellowship with His Father. This is the life that He has promised to us through Grace. And, this life He has promised us is one that will never perish, spoil, or fade, and that, no one, or nothing can ever take away. And, we needn’t worry about this life not bearing fruit, because He promises that when we are connected to Himself, we will bear fruit (John 15).
Help me Lord to live in the privilege and responsibility that you have given me on the cross through grace. I love you Lord and want to be where you are!!!! Amen!

Reading Report

Josef Pieper's book
I have really been blessed by this book. Heavy reading, but it’s worth it.

For my readings I enjoyed the first three chapters of Josef Pieper’s The Basis of Culture, two chapters of Bob Sorge’s Secrets Of the Secret Place, and also two chapters of Mike Bickle’s book, After God’s Own Heart.
The most impactful book of these readings for me was Josef Pieper’s book on Leisure. Never mind the fact that I had to read the preface about 5 times to get a cursory understanding of the thing. You might also need to over look the fact that I had to read each chapter about 2 times fully through and then reading the majority of the paragraphs several times in addition, just to get what he’s saying. And, I also needed to keep an online Latin-English dictionary open to translate many of the thoughts (some of which, even the dictionary didn’t know). But, I am so glad that I pushed through with this book because, the information contained in these pages was really profound and impactful.
One statement that really blows our western paradigm apart is connected to the true meaning of idleness. We usually think of Idleness as not doing something, or not keeping busy. Pieper says, that in the Middle Ages, it was actually thought of as “an inability to be at leisure… that the restlessness of work-for-work’s sake arose from nothing other than idleness.” Furthermore, he was saying that the true idleness and the busy-working mentality was derived from a lack of understanding where our real and true identity lies. It is really awesome and freeing to understand, and lay hold of the principles put forth here because it allows you to not always be searching for an identity in works.
The Mike Bickle book also impacted me, and for much the same reason that Pieper’s did—that it helps to give understanding into our true identity. Really, it seems that a fundamental problem of mine (and perhaps of all humanity) is that grace is never really allowed to run it’s full course in my life. What I mean is that we are burdened with guilt and a general feeling that we are not good enough for God to really love us and enjoy us. This hinders us from being able to live in the peace that He offers, and the peace that He offers is more than just the internal feeling of tranquility. It is that, but what’s more is that it’s a peace with God that allows for us to enter before His presence any time without being struck down dead instantly. This is a peace that I have been given, and yet still do not always walk in. Yet the grace continues…Thank you Lord!!!

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