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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Worship God in the Heart

From the words of Brother Lawrence:

We must, during all our labor and in all else we do, even in our reading and writing, holy though both may be – I say more, even during our formal devotions and spoken prayers – pause for some short moment, as often indeed as we can, to worship God in the depth of our heart, to savour Him, though it be but in passing, and as it were by stealth. Since you are not unaware that God is present before you whatever you are doing, that he is at the depth and centre of your soul, why not then pause from time to time at least from that which occupies you outwardly, even from your spoken prayers, to worship Him inwardly, to praise him, petition him, to offer him your heart and thank him? What can God have that gives Him greater satisfaction than that a thousand times a day all His creatures should thus pause to withdraw and worship him in the heart?

Intimacy With God

Quoting Don Francisco:

Each of us in the Body of Christ has the ability, because of His love for us, to minister to and bless the Lord. We can bring joy to God just as a loving son or daughter does to their parents, and as a friend to a friend. Worship from the heart is one of the best gifts you can bring to your heavenly Father. When we worship Him, not because of fear or pride or obligation, but out of an overflow of love and gratitude, we bless and minister to God. This is a privilege that He has given to all His sons and daughters. A worship leader is not necessarily more “spiritual” than anyone else; he or she simply is willing to help a group of people reach a place of loving intimacy with God via music.

The Sinfulness Of The Mind!

This excerpt from the writings of Thomas Goodwin reminds me of these verses:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. (Romans 8:5-7 ESV)

Let us now read what Goodwin has to say on the matter:

O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you? (Jeremiah 4:14 ESV)

The vanity and sinfulness of the mind appears in a loathness to enter into holy thoughts, to begin to set itself to think of God, and the things belonging unto our peace; even as loath they are to this as schoolboys are to their books, or to busy their minds about their lessons, their heads being full of play; so loath are our minds to enter into serious considerations, into sad, solemn thoughts of God or death, etc. Men are as loath to think of death as thieves of the execution; or to think of God, as they are of their judge. So to go over their own actions, in a review of them, and read the blurred writing of their hearts, and to ‘commune with them,’ at night in the end of the day, (as David did, Ps. lxxvii. 6,) men are as loath to do this as schoolboys are to parse their lesson; and the false Latins they have made. Job xxi. 14, ‘Depart from us;’ say they in Job unto God; from their thoughts they meant it, for it follow; ‘we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.’ They would not think of him, or know him, by their good wills. And therefore our mind; like a bad stomach, are nauseated with the very scent of good things, and soon cast them up again: Rom. 1. 28, ‘They like not to retain the knowledge of God.’. . .

The vanity and sinfulness of the mind appears in the godly, that though they entertain good thoughts, yet the mind is not, will not, be long intent on them. Some things there are which we are and can be intent upon, and accordingly dwell long upon them; and therefore, in Job xvii. 11, the thoughts are called the ‘possessions of the heart,’ – so it is in the original and noted in the margin. Such thoughts as are pleasing, the heart dwells on them; yea, so intent are we often, that they hinder our sleep: as it is said of wicked men, ‘They cannot sleep for multitude of thoughts,’ Eccles. v. 12; so, ‘to devise froward things,’ Solomon says, Prov. xvi. 30, that ‘a man shuts his eyes,’ that is, is exceeding attentive, poreth upon his plots; for so a man doth use to do, to shut his eyes when he would be intent, and therefore it is so expressed. But now let the mind be occupied and busied about good things, and things belonging to our peace, how unsteady is it! Which things should yet draw out the intention of the mind; for the more excellent the object is, the stronger our intention should be. God is the most glorious object our minds can fasten on, the most alluring: the thoughts of whom therefore should swallow up all other, as not worthy to be seen the same day with him. But I appeal to all your experiences, if your thoughts of him be not most unsteady, and are, that I may so compare it, as when we look upon a star through an optic glass, held with a palsy-shaking hand. . . . So when we are hearing the word, how do our minds ever and anon run out of the church, and come in again, and so do not hear half what is said! So when we are at our callings, which God bids us to be conversant about with all our might, Eccles. ix. 10; yet our minds, like idle truants, or negligent servants, though sent about never so serious a business, yet go out of the way to see any sport, run after the hares that cross the way, fellow after butterflies that buzz about us. And so when we come to pray, Christ bids ‘watch to prayer,’ Mark xiii. 33; that is, as if we were at every door to place a guard, that none come in and disturb and knock us off. But how oft doth the heart nod, and fall asleep, and run into another world, as men in dreams do! Yea, so natural are distractions to us, when we are busied about holy duties, that as excrements come from men, when very, weak and sick, ere they are aware of it, so do worldly thoughts from him; and we are carried out of that stream of good our mind was running in, into some by-creek, ere we are aware of it. (“The Vanity of Thoughts”)

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