Though I've been a Christian since childhood, remaining faithful to God, I did not have understanding beyond head knowledge. Maintaining a personal prayer time was a dreadful challenge: I'm not full of words, lists of petitions were not my style, keeping up a one sided conversation was beyond my introvertish ways. Just worshiping in song and playing my guitar seemed senseless and rather empty, also distracting. I felt like 'God's reject' because of my failing.
Eventually, a person came along who knew how to impart to others an understanding of how to draw near to God. I began to see that the Bible does show the way, but I needed help perceiving it.
I was afraid of my vivid imagination, because I saw so many people taking wrong paths due to the imaginings of their hearts. It was obvious to me that they were sidetracked, because the scriptures clearly showed it. I didn't want to become deceived by my imaginings. However, I've since learned that my imagination is a great tool for drawing near to God, but that it simply must be tempered by knowing His truth. God did create the imagination. He also gave His logos word; they must be used together.
So, I began to seek the Lord in a new way. In my imagination, I would sit at His feet. After all, "heaven is His throne and the earth His footstool." No matter where I am, I am always at His feet. I began to see that it's important to take my place at His feet. From there, I peel my mind off of everything else (a major effort, but essential), and begin to consider wonderful things about the Lord. I visualize Him and ponder His words, as He's described in Revelation 1. I behold His beauty, which is both visual and also the character that He radiates. Everything about Him is so awesome, wonderful.
I ponder the fact that He is the buried treasure, and the pearl of great price. He is my ultimate goal, the treasure I seek, the longing of my heart, and the only One Who can fill up that longing. He knows me, and He tailors our time together just for me. He is multifaceted beyond measure, and I am His image and likeness, a tiny part of it, and He knows exactly what part and who I am, and He meets me at exactly who I am. Nothing is more satisfying.
The spiritual encounter with the Lord becomes so overwhelmingly wonderful that it translates into a physical sensation of being overwhelmed as well. I weep. I jerk. It is not at all unpleasant, but sometimes it's more than I can bear. Yet, I crave it. I always come back for more. How amazing it is to abandon oneself to the God of the universe! And He actually invites us!!!!
This is how the Lord wants to meet with His people, tailor made to each individual. It just blows me away that something so insignificant, so dust-of-the-earth as I, is not only allowed this privilege, but it actually pleasures the Lord to meet with me.
In the story of Mary and Martha, it's not hard to visualize Martha working diligently to lavish on Jesus, her guest, a sumptuous feast. She is generous and hard working, and she loves Jesus with all of her being. What's wrong with that? Nothing! Mary, on the other hand, is seated on the floor, just gazing at Him, hanging on His every word, and enjoying lively dialogue with her very favorite person - while Martha works her butt off. My tendency is to side with Martha, yet Jesus says otherwise. He's inviting Martha to forget about the favors and just come be with Him. Being with Him is, as He puts it, the good part.
We all make Martha's mistake, because we fail to see that what the Lord wants first is our hearts, our affection. He longs to just be with us. He made us for this purpose. God breathed His own breath into mankind and gave him being. He often walked with Adam and Eve in the garden; it was part of their daily life together. As for our service to God, it needs to flow from our intimacy with Him. Even Jesus operated exactly this way, which is why He was able to say, "I tell you the truth: the Son can do nothing on his own; he does only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does." (John 5:19) In the gospels, we see Him going off by Himself in order to abandon Himself to His Father in intimate, private, sweet fellowship - prayer. Jesus was wholly man (and wholly God); as such, He became our perfect example, living His life as Father God would have us live ours.
A word of caution: When we clash with God, it is not He Who is out of line. Jesus cleanses us of our sins, but we need to acknowledge our sins and repent (turn away). We must have clean hands and pure hearts to enter the holy place. (Ps. 24: 3-6) It is of utmost importance that we train ourselves to know God's ways, and that is done by reading His word, the Bible, and by seeking His face. Both are essential. Always enter His presence with a repentant heart.
Never think that God's holy ways shift with cultural trends. Knowledge is indeed increasing (Dan 12:4), but understanding - our society has NOT!
The veil in the great temple in Jerusalem was the earthly gateway to the Holy of Holies, an earthly pattern of the place of the Mercy Seat, the throne of God. (Act 7:44; Heb 8:5) No one could go in there, except the high priest, once each year, with sacrifices for his sins and the sins of the people. (Heb 9:7) Jesus went to the cross and offered Himself, the perfect sacrifice.
Remember, the veil was rent in two when Jesus died - a profound invitation!!! (Mat 27:51; Mar 15:38; Luk 23:44)
MY PUBLICATIONS AND PRODUCTS
"COILED ART WITH PINE NEEDLES-REVISED EDITION" This book is for beginners as well as experienced coilers who want to learn more. It includes all the original Coiled Art text, including Basics for Beginners, the stitch glossary, lids, inserts, handles, loops, beading, shaping, everything. Booklet: $10.50 includes shipping. How to order.
"COILED ART WITH PINE NEEDLES AND RAFFIA" Covers everything from beginner to most advanced techniques. Very thorough and complete. Compilation of my original publications plus more. Many illustrations. Booklet: SOLD OUT - no longer available. Purchase "Revised" instead..
"BIRCH BARK QUILL BOX PRIMER" All the basics thoroughly explained, with illustrations and templates. Booklet: $6.50 includes shipping. How to order.
GORGEOUS BASKET JEWELRY: Gemstones in gold filled settings for your coiled baskets. Prices vary. How to order.
Iris Teneriffe Pattern: Explanation and diagrams for weaving the iris. How to order.
Illustrated coiling pattern: $4.00 includes shipping. How to order.
Lake Superior Agate Inserts - click for pricing. Agate photos and information.
Various Gemstone and Mineral Inserts - click for pricing. Gemstone and mineral photos and information.
Reed and Coiled Basket Patterns: Various patterns for reed and coiled baskets. How to order.
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