–Today’s synopsis is written by Benjamin Greuter–
Scriptural Focal Point: John 7:37-39.
Today in our pursuit of “a state of life in the highest level of blessedness,” Brother Leo offers us the first two of four steps, or conditions, which according to Christ Himself need to be met such that the waters of life/the Holy Spirit may flow into, through, and out of our “bellies.”
Jesus lays out 4 conditions which, IF met, lead to a life filled and overflowing with the Holy Spirit’s influence, affection, and energy. The daily goal of a Christian’s life ought to be just this; the infilling and out-flowing of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Jesus expresses four conditions;
1)we must thirst for Him, realizing our need;
2)we must come to Jesus Himself, allotting time for spiritual meditation and focus on Him, His works, and His identity;
3)we must drink in, or internalize communion with Him;
4)we must believe about, in, and on Him, not only accepting His factual reality, but trusting, placing our confidence in, and expecting Divine action of Him.
Brother Leo helps us through fully understanding and realizing the first two conditions. Personal realization of our need for Him, His grace, and His DAILY input and guidance is often hard-fought, as the world spews and engenders self-reliance and self-sufficiency as virtues through self-justification. In John 4:7, Jesus offers one Truth not easy for many to take in; “If you only knew [who I am,]” you would ask Him for everything in your life, rather than Him asking you for some time, some effort, and/or some attention. If we only knew “the gift of God,” we’d spend all our time begging on our knees for it. This ignorance and arrogance that we unknowingly hold in ideals of self-reliance makes us blind to our own need for His wisdom, power, or grace in all things. Scripture can help you to open your eyes. Brother Leo suggests spending time in Psalm 139 and praying on some of those verses, asking Jesus to open our eyes to see our need, and for Him to create in us a desire for Him alone.
Brother Leo goes on to offer us understanding of the second condition, that is, coming to Jesus with that need, and allowing it to be filled through meditation on Who Jesus is, as well as what Jesus has done in our lives. 1Corinthians 10:21-22 expresses the reality that we cannot partake of two cups at once, one being the cup of demons and the other the cup of Christ, and that when we aren’t partaking of Christ’s offered cup, we partake of that of demons, provoking the Lord to jealousy as if we were greater than Him. Here, Brother Leo sends us to Psalm 63:6 and 7 to give us the image of meditation, and how its on Who He is and what He’s done for you. For many of us, the greatest challenge here is self-induced; we are of the mindset or mentality that we must find time to give to meditation or such prayer, or ask ourselves when is it possible, while the Biblical, God-given reality is that we should ask what is it that we are making time for? 1Timonthy 4:8, 12-15 expresses this quite clearly when we are given the contrast between one example of what people ‘make time for,’ namely exercise, and what is infinitely more profitable, namely, spending time in godliness.
So in Conclusion this week, Brother Leo, committing to continue offering us deeper insight into the second two conditions next week, challenges us first this week to spend time on at least 4 days this week, 30 to 40 minutes per day, following just these two steps. To spend half and hour in His presence, seeking his intimacy, asking for the thirst and awareness of our own need for Him, and at least ten minutes in biblical meditation on(the putting together in one’s mind of, the pondering upon, or the sighing or speaking softly of) who He is and what He’s done for each of us.
This will certainly take us closer and closer to His will for us, that “highest state of blessedness,” which He calls each of us to from the moment we bury our old selves with Him in baptism and rise again as new men and women in His Identity and purpose.