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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Practicing the Presence of God

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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5255
NC, USA

 Re:

Amen to that Heartsong!

(See, there are some things we agree on!)


_________________
Todd

 2014/7/15 18:19Profile
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: Isn't it strange that a book like "The Pursuit of God" can caused you to reject it but it created in me just the opposite effect of hungering and thirsting after God, wanting
to know Him more?

I don't find it strange and I fully expected the types of replies that we are seeing. But as for me I am going to stay away from a any book or teacher that encourages me to, constantly practice a habit of inwardly gazing upon God.


_________________
Colin Murray

 2014/7/16 0:10Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5255
NC, USA

 Re:

But Murrcolr--

"[T]he Kingdom of God is within you." Lk 17:21.


_________________
Todd

 2014/7/16 6:23Profile









 Re:

It is not wrong or just some type of religious self effort to remind ourselves of what God in Christ has already done for us and in us.

It is very important to know that this thinking can never cause these facts to be true or make them true. The Devine facts of what God in Christ has already done for us and in us can never be changed but we can embrace them and enjoy them. Lets never forget that true Christianity is fact that it is Christ Himself living and dwelling within us.

We can embrace these facts every day and just enjoy Him!

 2014/7/16 7:18









 Re:

Murrcolr, has God not taken up residence within your heart?......bro Frank

 2014/7/16 8:24
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: The Kingdom of God is within you. Lk 17:21

Let’s look at the verse you mention context.

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20-21

Surely the Jesus wasn’t telling the Pharisees that the kingdom of God is within them. No the word here within has been wrongly translated entos (the Greek word that is translated “within”) can also be translated “in the midst of” The New American Standard Bible, the NIV, the Modern King James Version and Green’s Literal Translation translate this phrase “in your midst.”

In this sense, Jesus, the King of the coming Kingdom of God, was standing in the midst of the Pharisees. These translations are clearly better, for the Kingdom of God was not in the hearts of these Pharisees.

Unfortunately, in reading Jesus’ statement that “the kingdom of God is within you,” many have wrongly limited the Kingdom of God to a philosophical perspective.

On that note, we are to proclaim the Kingdom of God, not inwardly gaze upon it.


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Colin Murray

 2014/7/16 21:41Profile









 Re:

Dear Murrcolr, it is the man who cannot see that God dwells in him that has reduced this spiritual reality to a mere philosophy.

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Praise God that The Father and the Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts. This is no mere theology, it is reality. And those who talk about inward gazes merely use flowery language to speak of this reality, this includes Tozer and many others........bro Frank

 2014/7/16 22:01
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Murrcolr, has God not taken up residence within your heart?

Yes - God Spirit dwells in me.

Quote: And those who talk about inward gazes merely use flowery language to speak of this reality, this includes Tozer and many others.

Well that your opinion that it’s only flowery language.

Towzer Quote: Many have found the secret of which I speak and, without giving much thought to what is going on within them, constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God.

No - what I found when reading Towzer book is that he was leading you somewhere; Using his own words he describes it as a “secret”, there is a secret that’s hidden behind the flowery language, there is a secret he is trying teach and that secret is to “constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God”

This is something worrying that I find in a lot of Holiness teaching, here is a part of a testimony of a man who has a Holiness website and seeks to promote Holiness.

Quote: During this period I developed a technique after I had read about the life of the medieval monk “Brother Lawrence”.

Ah he found the ‘secret’ and developed a technique based on the book of Brother Lawrence.

Quote: This was a very spiritually healthy practice quite similar to my familiar yoga.

He used a technique based on a book by Brother Lawrence, which is quite similar to his familiar yoga. If we have ears to hear it's the same secret technique promoted by Tozer.

Now I really don’t care how flowery someone may paint it; I will not go down that route of practicing a secret technique that similar to yoga in my quest for holiness.


_________________
Colin Murray

 2014/7/17 0:23Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1994
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Solaveritas writes:

Quote:
I have read this book more than once and it has been an inspiration to me. In the hands of a discerning Christian with sound biblical theology it may inspire to follow “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23)and to keep God's presence in mind. However it is not a Gospel based book and can mislead an undiscerning person into a mystic, feelings based type of connection to God, that is not Christ centred and therefore void of the power of the cross. As such I would like to suggest that one reads it with a discerning mind.


I read that book once as a very young believer and at that time I too felt it was a good practical book on "praying without ceasing." I remember I tried applying it and it seemed to go good for a while but I was only able to hang in there with this deep concentration on nothing but God for about only a whole day. After that I found it too hard. The thing with this is you have to be careful not to fall into condemnation or legalism.

But it is indeed needful for us to seek hard after God. We just need to be careful not to try to do that in the wrong way, like with contemplative, vain repetition. That type of unbiblical stuff is running rampant today with the emergent church movement and it is infiltrating many evangelical churches. It is deeply ingrained in much of Roman Catholicism, the new age movement and eastern mysticism.

Because I know that this book was written by a Catholic monk I wouldn't recommend it. Imho we don't need any Roman Catholic writings. There are too many serious errors within that system for us to play around with it. We need to stay close to the scriptures. And we cannot separate our Lord Jesus from His Word. Our Lord esteemed the Word of God very highly and so should we. There are many scriptures that speak of the need of having a high view of God's Word.

These are a few articles that deal with some of these dangers I mentioned:

What is Contemplative Prayer?
http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html

What is Centering Prayer?
http://www.gotquestions.org/centering-prayer.html

What is Contemplative Spirituality?
http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-spirituality.html


_________________
Oracio

 2014/7/17 1:54Profile









 Re:

Oracio wrote:

Quote:
That type of unbiblical stuff is running rampant today with the emergent church movement and it is infiltrating many evangelical churches. It is deeply ingrained in much of Roman Catholicism, the new age movement and eastern mysticism



Indeed, this is the false mysticism that is invading the church at present.

Quote:
Contemplative prayer begins with “centering prayer,” a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. The purpose is to clear one’s mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may be more easily heard. After the centering prayer, the practitioner is to sit still, listen for direct guidance from God, and feel His presence.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html#ixzz37TVZy9oG



Quote:
A practitioner is exhorted to completely empty his/her mind, to just “be.” Supposedly, this helps one to open up to a greater spiritual experience. However, we are exhorted in Scripture to transform our minds to that of Christ's, to have His mind. Emptying our minds is contrary to such active, conscious transformation.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-spirituality.html#ixzz37TV4dZeC



This practice is indeed what eastern religions do - empty the mind and as we know from scripture, this is a dangerous practice as there is no such thing as an empty mind, some spirit will come into it.


Quote:
Contemplative spirituality also encourages the pursuit of a mystical experience with God. Mysticism is the belief that knowledge of God, spiritual truth, and ultimate reality can be gained through subjective experience. This emphasis on experiential knowledge erodes the authority of Scripture. We know God according to His Word. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God's Word is complete. There is no reason to believe that God adds additional teachings or truths to His Word through mystical experiences. Instead, our faith and what we know about God is based on fact.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-spirituality.html#ixzz37TVPeNL9



That we are to experience God subjectively, is scriptural, and not just 'mystical' and the belief that it is not, comes from the side of the church that will not accept any gifts of the Spirit for today's church nor will they accept a secondary experience by whatever name we wish to call it.

If God spoke directly to men under the Old Covenant, why would it be more blessed to have a book in our hands instead under the new? The apostles heard God speaking to them directly and in fact Paul received all of his teaching directly from the Holy Spirit.

The problem is that this false teaching of mysticism is mixed up with genuine experience of knowing Christ intimately and hearing Him speak to our hearts as a constant companion, teaching us which way we should go, to the left or to the right, in order to keep us from sin, and this knowledge of God is the union of Him that has been spoken of by spiritual believers in the past, like Andrew Murray with their directions of how to get to that stage, which is through submitting ourselves absolutely to Him in obedience to the light given already and spending time in fervent prayer.

This type of spirituality, was not invented by evangelicals however, it can be found throughout church history and for a large part, the church WAS the Catholic church unless you wanted to be put to death and there has always been room in it for this type of spirituality to survive.

If we throw out the baby with the bathwater all we will be left with is a book even a holy book. We were not to have a relationship with a book but to have a living, moment to moment feeding on Christ for our very life.

It is also a mistake to dismiss the whole thing if we have not managed to reach union, or second stage or whatever when there could be something important in the way, but if we refuse counsel from someone who has achieved it because of our own prejudices, or stubborn pride, then we have sold our inheritance for a pot of stew.

 2014/7/17 4:36





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