Have you experienced the Dark Night of the Soul?

We can experience two types of “being lost.” Both types can be spiritually dangerous. All of us have experienced the loss of something—-wallet, money, car keys. I remember boarding a plane in Tel-Aviv, Isreal and not seeing my wife who was just behind me. I stood in the plane frantically looking for her thinking if she misses the flight, how will she get back? I felt i had lost her. Lost is seperation. We, until our born again experience in Jesus Christ, are seperate from God in terms of an intimate covenant relationship.

The second type of being lost is what St.John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul.” John was a Spanish Carmelite monk (1542-1591), a student of philosophy and theology. St. John defines the ‘dark night.’ “The ‘dark night’ is when persons lose all the pleasure they once experienced in their devotional life.” The experience feels like God does not exist.

St. John suggests that God wants to wean us from depending even on our own consciousness and experience of God. This is pastorally challenging territory. Some folk just cannot fathom the dark night of the soul and end up jettisoning their faith. Had they the will to persevere, the God on the other side of the dark night would be closer, bigger, much more loving. We’ve produced an American infantile spirituality that requires God to be our security blanket. What if God “disappears”?maxresdefault (1)

 

St. John of the Cross describes new believers as eagerly devoted to Christ and rigidly disciplined in spiritual practices. In their following Jesus they develop a “secret pride.” They become “too spiritual,” condemning others who are not as spiritual as they are. They stay disciplined in order to be esteemed by others. They begin to avoid confession because confession may ruin their image. They become more spiritual for their own sake, not for God’s. Enter the dark night. The dark night is a purging work of the Spirit. John writes, “For the truth is that the feelings we receive from the devotional life are the least of its benefits.

The invisible and unfelt grace of God is much greater, and it is beyond our comprehension (emphasis added). …For true spirituality consists in perseverance, patience, and humility. …No soul will ever grow deep in the spiritual

life unless God works passively in that soul by means of the dark night.” The dark night is called dark for a reason; it is an inner darkness that makes one feel like he or she is wandering toward the inky abyss.

In short, if the Dark Night (DN) of the senses is the move from loving God for pleasures sake to loving God for loves sake (God turns out the light on our sensual spirituality), then the DN of the soul is the move from the love of God for loves sake to the love of God for *Gods* sake (to paint w/ a Broadbrush!).

Ironically, “consolation,” Gods “felt presence,” is for the less mature/younger believers to *encourage us & reinforce behaviors; “desolation,” Gods “felt absence” is for the more mature believers to “‘expose behavior (Spirit takes us deeper into the “putting off’ process-­detachment). We cannot get rid of the self unless we through the self!!!

In the DN of the spirit/soul (love of God for loves sake to love of God for *Gods* sake alone) the Spirit begins to purge us not only of our vices, but now also our virtues we developed as non-christians & young believers.

Most 15,20,40+ year old believers in the faith, if they are honest  will tell you that deep down when trials come we instinctively, & autonomously, tend to appeal more to our own intellect, character formation, will, etc we have accumulated over the years than opening to the Spirit from beginning to end. “Apart from me you can do…”

This does Not mean we get rid of all the *wonderful* important, foundational attributes we have gained over the years! On the contrary, God Himself begins to “darken” these deep parts of the soul in order to bring Deeper dependence on the Spirit’s wisdom in the moment (& ultimately bring more profound insight as they are subordinated to God).

Sanctification nurtures the same psychological soil as justification, “I can’t do it!” only in much deeper places. God also moves us from trusting in our own character to deeply abiding in the Vine. During this process, a DN indeed, anxiety, fear, worry, guilt, shame, etc are *God’s* invitations (idiot lights on the dashboard of our soul) to journey deeper With Him leading the dance & not appealing to our own autonomous “gifts.”

Its been said that feelings are lousy leaders. Absolutely! But they *are* Excellent windows into the soul as well.

The louder they scream will constitute how deep our (disordered) attachments reside, and *that* is when we need to lay down our defensive (often unconscious) shield of acquired wisdom, character, willpower, etc & go with God  as He Lovingly invites us to the spiritual discipline of listening to our hearts (where the Triune God resides!) & to the call of God that echoes*deep* in the heart of every emotion. God Himself will do this in the DN of the spirit/soul.

This was Very brief but hopefully helps a little. There are many signs & temptations that accompany believers here and a good spiritual director/pastor familiar with this terrain is needed.

 

Does anybody really care?

Imam recites Quran for the first time in the Vatican

Presented for your listening pleasure, as well as a leg up on the new catechism. The pointy headed leader of the world’s Roman Catholic Church is on a roll in his effervescent outreach to blend all religions into Rome; after all, all roads lead to Rome.

HISTORIC FIRST EVER ISLAMIC PRAYERS AT VATICAN SIGNALS START OF ONE WORLD RELIGION.historic-first-muslim-prayers-vatican-pope-francis-revelation-17-false-prophet-one-world-religion

“AND UPON HER FOREHEAD WAS A NAME WRITTEN, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14
CHRISLAM WILL BE THE ONE WORLD RELIGION (Rick Warren is gushing)
The book of Revelation is quite clear when it discusses the Catholic system in chapters 17 and 18. The Vatican sitting on seven hills is called the “mother of harlots”, a pagan system of worship that has control over the whole world. She is carried by the beast, and is the enemy of God. More than that, she will rule for a period of time with complete power over kings, mighty men and all the inhabitants of the earth. The One World Religion during the time of the Great Tribulation.
Historic-first-muslim-prayers-vatican-pope-francis-revelation-17-false-prophet-one-world-religion “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4
So it is with great interest that we note that the Vatican, which represents 1 billion+ Catholics around the world, and Islam which claims more than 1 billion+ Muslim adherents, have begun to merge and join forces.

The Roman Catholic Church startled the religious and secular world today, with the official announcement – admitting: “ISLAM has now become the world’s largest religion – the Vatican newspaper said in Sunday’s “Vatican City” ‘For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,’ Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Al Arabiya reports this: For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level.

Here is what Muslims think about Jesus.muslim-koran-what-they-say-about-jesus

 

This from followers of a man who was illiterate, a bandit and took a  9 year old girl as his wife. Now there’s a theology that “The religion of men” can be proud of. Have you ordered your foot bath yet?

 

 

TWO NEW MYTHICAL SAINTS

TWO NEW MYTHICAL SAINTS(Friday Church News Notes, May 2, 2014,www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) – Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII are the latest editions to Rome’s mythical sainthood. The Vatican Information Service reported that half million people crowded into St. Peter’s Square and the surrounding area to witness the canonization ceremony on the morning of April 27.zz_2popes

Delegations attended from over 100 countries. There were 20 heads of state and many figures from the world of politics and culture, including the king and queen of Spain, the king and queen of Belgium, the president of the European Union, and the president of the European Commission. Special hymns were written and sung to both popes. Pope Francis made the following pronouncement: “We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be Saints and we enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church.” John Paul II was put on a fast track to sainthood because of his great popularity and his role in vastly increasing the stature and popularity of Roman Catholicism in this generation.

Both popes had a massive role in promoting end-time ecumenism. John XXIII was the convener of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s which opened the door for Rome’s ecumenical relations with Protestants and Baptists and prepared the way for the creation of the apostate one-world “church” described in Revelation 17. Both popes were great venerators of Mary.

Engraved in John Paul II’s wooden coffin, viewed at what has been called “the world’s largest funeral,” was a large letter M for Mary (The Evening Standard, London, Apr. 8, 2005). When elected pope in 1978, he dedicated his papacy to Mary, taking as his episcopal motto the Latin words “Totus Tuus,” meaning “Totally Yours” (“John Paul II’s Devotion to Mary,” Inside the Vatican, special insert, May 1996). He had these words of blasphemous devotion to Mary embroidered on his papal robes.PopeJohnPaul-Ext-02-HP-Up

In his autobiography Crossing the Threshold of Faith, which sold four million copies the first year alone, he said: “During the Second World War, while I was employed as a factory worker, I came to be attracted to Marian devotion. … Mary is the new Eve, placed by God in relation to Christ, the new Adam … the Mother of God shares in a unique way in the Resurrection and in the Glory of her own Son…” The Bible condemns this heresy in the clearest terms. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).

Manny’s thoughts:

The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) has throughout its history recognized certain individuals as official saints. It “canonizes” them for extraordinary deeds of charity and faith, an gives them public recognition. But on November 1st, commonly called “all saints day,” the RCC also recognizes every believer as an unoffical saint. In Ephesians 1:1, Paul instructs us that even if we don’t feel like we deserve such a title, God sees each believer as a saint. 

 

 

Hearts of Stone in Relationships.

In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is He who does not love, for this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 1 John 3:10,11.

“I-You” relationships: Each “I” meets and treats all others as a revered “You” spirit to spirit, heart to heart, mind to mind, openly and without hindrances. Those who learn and live in “I-You” relationships learn to cherish the other person. He hurts in anticipation of the other’s hurt and stops before a personal action might damage the other. This is the true function of a working conscience.

Question, what loving mother would destroy not only a developing relationship with the blessing of a baby, conceived in a marriage of love but would carry out the hardness of her heart. I would hope none, but abortion figures do not lie. There are apparently an awful lot of hardened hearts just having sex and murdering  the innocent child.

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To whatever degree of adamancy (hardness, imprisonment, stubbornness) in their hearts, (caused by the deceitfulness of sin) people are unable to enter into “I-You” relationships.

In these encounters, people are restricted to “I-IT” relationships.

In “I-IT” relationships, we dehumanize the other person; we view them as something other than a person someone who is subhuman, a lessor human being. As the pro-choice people claim that what is growing in the womb is not a life but a thing, I wonder why after a child is born and grows up that they resemble their parents?

Those who are in “I-IT” relationships do not have a functioning conscience, because to them no other has ever become a cherished “You.” Any other remains only an “IT” to bounce off of, attack, or run over.

When we try to reach out we do so from our shell (our hardened hearts) to their shell (hardened hearts). The “I-IT” works both ways and our lives become less and less human.

Our Lord Jesus came to restore our humanity which has been beaten from pillar to post by the malignant one Satan. A hardened heart is just one of his devices used to deceive a person who worships self instead of our Lord and chooses to live in sin.

Our goal is to bring forth the spirit (personal spirit) to embrace, and then build “Truth” which is “The ability of heart and mind to interpret meanings and cherish others intent.”

Open hearts and minds comprehend. Hard stubborn hearts are not able to comprehend. These hearts cannot stay in fellowship (cannot sustain) in the relationship.

John 4:24 Our Lord Jesus said, God is Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

It is humanity that Satan desires to destroy. It is the heart of stone which is Satan’s tool to block humanity. As stated above, it is Jesus who became human to meet and melt hearts of stone, to give us hearts of flesh (there is a good flesh).

It is a heart flesh in Jesus, which is God the Father’s gift to restore humanity. For that reason Jesus came to “baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” Matthew 3:11 only the fire of love can melt a heart of stone. Let us meet in “I-You” relationship.

 

Hearts of Stone

Yesterday’s reblog from Delight in Truth is a classic example of Hearts of Stone. Calling on the law of the land to take precedence over what people with a tender heart are trying to warn others about murdering babies is not only disgusting it is an outright sin against God’s plan for His creation.

Heart, kardia, Strong’s # 2588: The heart, the chief organ of physical life (“for the life of the flesh is the blood,” Lev.17:11). By an easy transition the word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and emotional elements. In other words, the heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life.

The Bible describes human depravity as in the “heart,” because sin is a principle which has its seat in the center of man’s inward life, and “defiles” the whole circuit of action.

Eph. 4:17, This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, (to live without the Illumination of God) having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (Porosis # 4457, Porosis, metaphorically denotes a dulled spiritual perceptivity, poros, a kind of stone, to be petrified like stone, spiritual blindness, and hardness ) of their heart; who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

hardheart 03

Blindness of heart means to lose the power of understanding. Perception comes through yieldeness to the Word of God. According to the Word of God, you determine the condition of your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

The heart in effect, is the whole person in all of his/her distinctive human activity as a thinking, planning, willing, feeling, worshiping, and socially interacting being. And, of course, when the person is not living according to God’s will, it is the heart that is described as darkened, rebellious, callous, unfeeling, or idolatrous. It is within the heart that God works, so the human heart may be tender and soft or as hard as stone (Eze.11:19).

The task is to see the heart of stone and melt it in the fire of love. Our Lord Jesus came to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matt.3:11. The fire of love can also melt a heart of stone.

Your Soul’s Nourishment and God’s Word.

 “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your father’s know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:2, 3 NKJV.

this humble

As I am fond of saying, “then as now,” God is still humbling His people and revealing what is in their hearts for the purpose of bringing healing and divine direction. Moses places emphasis on the faithfulness of God toward His people. The wilderness experience was divine discipline; so they would not forget what He taught them.

sould-food

Our Lord is deeply concerned about hearts, He always has been. Heart in our text refers to the basic attitudes of the people toward God and His commandments. It took testing to know such inner attitudes. Please remember the difference between temptation and testing. God never tempts, but tests us to teach us that we stink and need cleansing, and need His help always.

Jesus quoted this text in Matthew 4:4, when He faced Satan’s snares in the wilderness. The obvious message of the passage is that there is no survival of the soul without God’s Word –daily.

The parallel is used of Israel’s receiving the daily supply of manna makes clear that a regular, daily portion of God’s Word is to be sought and fed upon by us. This is not some call to determine if we are saved, but an matter of personal responsibility, determining one’s obedience to the almost non-existent pathway of discipleship.

Let’s not fool ourselves spiritual survival is not possible for long without the nourishment of God’s Word. 1 Peter 2:2, tells us that God’s Word is as essential as milk is to a new born child. So drink up daily.

Godliness and Moral Purity.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV.

romans_12_2_by_blugi-d546yv4
Conformed, suschematizo, Strong’s #4964: compare “scheme” and “schematic.” This word refers to conforming oneself to an outer (schema, # 4976) fashion (schematizo, # 4862) or outward appearance, yielding oneself to a model or pattern. Used in 1 Peter 1:14 also. In our text we have me, not, and suschematizesthe, with this age. As in, do not fall in with the external and fleeting fashions of this age nor be yourselves fashioned by them, but undergo a deep inner change by the qualitative renewing of your mind as the Spirit of God alone can work in you.fashioned
To “renew” is “to renovate,” meaning to restore to freshness or to an original state. It discloses the potential of redemption’s power to reinstate features of God’s original intention for humanity and the recovery of many potentialities of the human soul (mind, will, emotions) as designed before the fall.
The “mind” constitutes the intellect or understanding, but also includes all that is understood in the word “mind-set,” that is the emotions and will. Being “transformed” by the renewal of the mind indicates a literal “change in the form or formulas of thought or being.” This describes redemption’s provision of power to instill godliness in us-a power that transforms:
• Our thoughts which lead to formulating
• Our purposes, which proceed to dictate our actions, and thus,
• Our actions become character-determining habits, shaping the life and setting the course for the future.
The path to godly living is not complicated, nor is it energized by the flesh, but it does call the believer to willing submission to the father’s provision and ways.
We are to prove by practice in everyday life that God’s will for us is good and acceptable and perfect.
Tomorrow: God’s Word a purifier unto holy living.

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