The post-modern world is full of a frenzy of activity. The ability to stop, and enjoy silence is lost to a generation with cell phones, computer tablets, let alone the old TVs and radios. Everyone feels that they must be doing something all the time. The inherited churches often try to compete. They offer services that are ones of wild excitement or the euphoria of ecstatic music. They are more show than teaching. The people are entertained while their souls starve.
The inherited churches are full of platitudes on spirituality, but true spiritual depth is never offered or achieved. Those wanting spiritual enlightenment cannot turn to the inherited churches. Those hungering for such a life, often find that the only methods of spiritual enlightenment that are taught now come from pagan ideas, the spiritual methods of Buddhism, Hinduism, Native Americans, etc. These will only lead to destruction.
The Bible’s answer is the contemplative life, where the soul is disciplined to be still.
To be still in Hebrew is rafah meaning to sink down, relax, abandon, forsake. It is only in the still moments when we have abandoned the cares of the visible world, that we can begin to see the invisible spiritual world that is all around us.
To know in Hebrew is yada’ and is the same word as in-
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, Gen. 4:1a
It is a word of intimate relationship. As in marriage where in the quiet of the day a couple plans their future together. God also has plans and purposes that He will reveal to those who are still enough to hear.
God is exalted among the Gentiles. This is the work of Messiah, to open salvation to the whosoever will.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God is now exalted in all the earth, from the time that the teachings of Messiah began the exaltation has been growing.
Messiah proclaimed an invisible kingdom, to a skeptical world where the established order of pagan gods and imperial power were no longer held in high esteem. Society was crumbling at its foundation. Messiah offered a kingdom of deeper values, and new view of life. As the old order was failing, Messiah promised a new kingdom of faith and service. The old order had visible gods of stone and wood, whereas Messiah offered an intimate relationship with an invisible all present God. The old order had an empire with visible solders marching about persecuting the people and fighting civil wars. Messiah offered a life of service in the Kings of King’s army, to build an invisible empire of faith.
As this new faith grew, this new army of believers took heart and turned their faces toward the front lines of this new spiritual war. A war where it was not the might of arms that won the battle, but the might of faith. Women, children, and old men were just as valuable as young men.
Recently the inherited churches have taken a set back as the world has offered the counter teachings of socialism and evolution. Both of which are total failures.
Socialism has failed everywhere it has ever been tried. But there are always gullible people who will be taken in by the idea that everyone receives an equal share of the things of life. The gullible believe that its previous failures were due to the people in charge. That they will not be like those people, and not make the same mistakes. Somehow the sinful nature of mens souls is lost on them. They believe that they will conquer this nature. This is not possible. For all are sinners.
. . . as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; Rom. 3:10
Evolution has failed to produce a single fact that supports the theory, Not One. All of their facts have proven to be nothing more than fakes or fictions perpetrated by frauds.
However instead of loudly explaining the facts about these humanistic philosophies many have felt a need to justify the faith by its contributions to man’s material needs. They have tried to move into political, economic and social spheres. To as it were, christianize society. This tendency is to believe or at least teach that if men are fed, clothed and recruited the social problems will solve themselves.
They are motivated by a feeling that religion is losing the battle of ideas. Let it lose. It is not about religion, it is about an intimate relationship with the King of Kings. There is a hollowness in this service of humanity, a misunderstanding of the task that was set before us. The social welfare of a population must not be measured only by outward accumulation of things, but by the spiritual inward expansion of the soul.
True faith is not about civilization. It is about a personal walk with God, with every person their own prophet, priest, and king, submitting only to the authority of the Son who is sent from the Father.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1Pet. 2:9
Religious activity is not spiritual growth. We need to sit down and be still, abandon all this running around trying to make these false ideas happen. All this activity may expand ones personal life in breadth and height but depth is lost.
The still contemplative life that brings such depths is no longer sought, taught, or requested. Instead it is ridiculed for it accomplishes nothing for others. The needs of others are somehow felt to be important where the needs of the soul have been abandoned. There is a false conviction that life is determined by external earthly relationships. If those relationship are improved, then life will become satisfactory. This teaching has no ability to draw from an inner source. It does not bring peace.
We were not told to feed the poor, provide shelter, or clothing. We were told to make disciples.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt. 28:19
Those that has striven for these achievements find that for all they gain with their loyalty to these religious ideals, is a lack of true power, love, and self control.
. . . for God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. 2Tim. 1:7
The still contemplative life is one where the soul lives a life independent from the world. To triumph spiritually the soul must win an inner depth, it must fight for internal stability and peace. For the outward relationships to be right, the inner must be strong. This strength comes from testing. Temptations and persecutions must be faced not avoided. Burdens, sorrows, and inner imperfections must be faced and dealt with. Without this struggle it is possible to transcend the world and thereby gain the victory.
2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; 14 but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. James 1:2-15
This deeper life in Messiah then becomes the worlds example. In the deeper things we find the renewal of our minds, and the strength to bring every thought captive. For all must be submitted to our Master the King.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2Cor. 10:5
The first step is to be still and know that God is in control, to listen for the still small voice. Our job is to find and do His plans and purposes. It is His will that needs to be done. It is easy to do as it is all written down in the Book.
Are you a daughter of Martha or Mary? [Luke 10:38-42]