For years in my Christian walk, I asked God again and again for peace, love, forgiveness, power, ability, etc. I read all the Christian "how-to books" and listened to the Christian "how-to sermons" and messages...on Christian radio, in church, conferences and seminars...anywhere and everywhere. I began jumping on (and off) the latest "Christian bandwagon."
Then I came to the end of my trying. My health was breaking and I declared, "I give up!" It was then that the Holy Spirit illumined my mind and heart to realize that all those things I sought were a PERSON who loved me...my Lord Jesus Christ!
This Loving Lord was not only at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He lived IN me and would live THROUGH me...if I let Him. He Himself was all that I sought.
So in those "how-to days" what I was really longing for was a greater experience of my glorified, indwelling Christ, who is Peace and Love and Forgiveness and Power and Ability and whatever else I needed in each and every situation of life.
He Himself is the Way, He Himself is the Means or Method, and He Himself is the End or Goal of it all.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me..." John 14:6 NLT
There is no system or procedure or activity that can effect anything God-ward...the Eternal Son of God is the only Way!
And He is the only End or Goal toward which all is headed. Read Paul's arresting words:
God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ— everything in heaven and on earth. Ephesians 1:9-10 NLT
So what about all those spiritual disciplines and methods and "how-to's"? I remember asking the Lord that very question decades ago in my younger years. It wasn't until years later, when I read a sweet little devotional book, entitled Bread for the Journey, by Henri Nouwen, that I got a satisfying answer to that perplexing question:
Discipline in the Christian life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance. Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God.
So the disciplines such as prayer, Scripture meditation, etc. make a space for the LORD to be Who HE eternally IS in our lives at any given time and in any given place and in the midst of any given situation. We experience HIM in His fulness...and we discover afresh that truly...
JESUS + nothing = Everything!
Better Than I
I thought I did what's right I thought I had the answer I thought I chose the surest road But some road brought me here
So I put up a fight And told You how to help me And just when I had given up The truth is coming clear
For You know better than I You know the way I've let go the need to know why 'Cause You know better than I
If this has been a test I cannot see the reason But may be knowing, I don't know Is part of getting through
I try to do what's best And faith has made it easy To see the best thing I can do Is put my faith in You
For You know better than I And You know the way And I've let go the need to know why 'Cause You know better than I
I saw one cloud, and thought it was the sky I saw a bird and thought that I could follow But it was You, who taught them to fly If I let You reach me Will You teach me?
For You know better than I You know the way I've let go the need to know why I'll take what answers You supply 'Cause You know better than I