Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Applause of Heaven

the following is an excerpt from Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy (the study that I've been attending since January) p.196, 200-203

By realizing the reality of our Prince within us, we are never bothered again by the fact that we do not understand ourselves, or that other people do not understand us. The only One who truly understands me is the One who made me and who redeems me... It is a tremendous freedom to get rid of every kind of self-consideration and learn to care about only one thing - the relationship between our Prince and ourselves. 
~Oswald Chambers

It is all too easy to become consumed with trying to understand ourselves, with trying to figure out who we are and what our purpose in life is meant to be. And it is all too tempting to become obsessed with wanting the world to understand us and validate our existence. In this day and age of self-consideration, our society exhorts us to have plenty of self-esteem... ...and yet the same society that encourages us to believe in ourselves also holds up the unattainable standards of physical perfection... Our culture breeds insecurity while heroically parading a message of self-esteem. And whether we listen to the one voice and constantly compare ourselves against unreachable standards, or give in to the other voice and spend our energy trying to feel better about who we are, both scenarios cause us to focus on ourselves. 

Practical Steps for Delighting in Our Prince
Here are some great practical questions to ask yourself: Am I wholeheartedly aware, on a moment-by-moment basis, of the continual presence of my Prince? Am I able to speak to Him and listen to His voice no matter where I am or what I am doing?  

Getting to the place of delighting in our Prince throughout the day takes focused effort. We live in a culture that specializes in creating one distraction after another for our minds and our hearts.

Someone once told me that I could determine the primary focus of my life where my thoughts went each night as I lay in bed, drifting off to sleep.

Developing a Quite Mind
Having a quite mind is not a question of choice - if we are to go on at all, we must have a quite mind. All to many Christians break down, not because of their circumstances, but because of a weary, fretting spirit too rushed to dwell in peace. 
~Amy Carmichael

My next step was to discipline my thoughts in the mornings, just after I woke up. Instead of immediately making a mental checklist for the day... I decided to try starting out my day by worshiping my Prince. ....usually it just meant taking a few moments when I first awoke to kneel by my bed, focus on Him, and thank Him for His incredible love and faithfulness to me. When my Prince became the first thing my mind dwelled on in the morning and the last thing I thought about before falling asleep, it was far easier to continue to focus on Him and communicate with Him throughout my day.

It is only when the waters are perfectly still that they can reflect the glories of the heavens.
~Eric Ludy

Only when our minds and hearts are resting fully focused on our Prince can we become reflections of His strong, steady, and unshakable peace.  Take notice of where your thoughts go when you are alone during the day or when you are lying in bed at night. Ask Him to assist you in conversations, guide you in decisions, and help you reflect His lily-white likeness no matter what you are doing. As you learn to speak with Him continually and open your heart to listen to His voice at all times, you will be amazed at how completely you will begin to delight in your Prince all day long. For in "in [His] presence is the fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11, NEB)

No comments:

Post a Comment