Thought this word I got again recently, might be a good introduction to the topic of nurturing your inner Life with Jesus in our times. Perhaps this word provides a motivation for our spiritual growth. As promised I will keep writing about and hopefully from spiritual growth and formation over this year! There are reasons God is emphasizing a deeper formation of His Son’s Life within us, in our times. And I think as things shake more violently, we will be thankful we prioritized the inner life and spiritual growth! The opportunity for accelerated spiritual growth is upon us, and it is God’s desire that our sanctification cut deeply into the bones and marrows of our entire being! A fuller incarnation of His Son into His People is what’s available in our times! A new level of formation! The re-formation was the start of a deeper incarnation, as i wrote before, but this formation goes deeper and radiates out much further. The circumference of the atomic Life of Jesus within us, will change the earth; shaking all people into an opportunity to choose God! The Father is kind in offering us a clear choice! The high contrast of these times, will make a clearer option between the ways of His Life, and the ways which lead to Death. This transformation begins with us.
(I will clean up this article later, but wanted to get out the raw elements of it, so it stops burning in my bones, and perhaps to inspire us to press deeper into Our Friend’s Life!)
The word I got:
“It doesn’t matter where or when, but WHO you are. Be transformed more fully into His Life. That’s the rule of thumb for your season on earth–BECOME MORE, do less; or do whatever, but be becoming through it. Formation is His priority now–starting in His People. Hunger for more depth of spiritual growth is the hallmark of those who are being called further, going further into His Life, into His Being. That is the way offered in these days. A deeper incarnation is needed and God Himself desires this! We must be formed more fully–experience a more whole salvation. Deeper sanctification, and accelerated!
A long time ago, God showed me this deeper baptism into His Name or Being. It’s offered now, in our days–a deeper communion, an inner abiding knowing intimacy. This will shake the rafters of the world. The more of Him within in His People, will allow them to be like atomic energy. He desires to more fully enter us! To be baptized into His Name until we manifest His Presence more fully, electrically with all the fruits of His Life made tangible!
This is an act of Mercy, both for us, and for the world; as it allows a high and clear contrast and the offering of a clear choice! It is kindness to make the choice obvious.
For His Church, this deeper incarnation will mean more holiness. More purity and power to overcome all sorts of darknesses, within and without!
Like a new pentecost! And the harvest will come from the deeper abiding of His Pentecost–or inter-cost! He enters more deeply at a high cost! Shaking begins with the house of God–yes! But it will effect all the world. Through the internet, God will make the choices clear.
Make a larger room within for Him to dine with you daily. Expand the walls, open the windows, all Him to occupy you more fully! He will.”
From the perspective of Christ, all things will work together for good. You will see it, and be glad you let Him form Himself through building a house, through having a life long marriage, through learning to format your teachings, through travels, through whatever you choose! Let all of life become a medium for His Formation! Regardless of what outer activities you are doing, let them flow from the inner life. You choose the medium. And choose it based on the ones which bring about the most formation!!! Now, at the same time, sometimes you are wearing watermelons. Like now, i wanted you to have more fun, but you got stressed yesterday. It’s ok, but don’t wear watermelons when you could be dancing in europe!!! If the point is His Formation, then you choose things which facilitate the most of it! Not always the easiest things, but those which serve to bring about the most of His Life placed inside of you!!!
And all things work together for good, also means we are free from perfectionism-even spiritual perfectionism! Really free. Because we can make our best decision, and trust God to meet us, and form the life of His Son Jesus within us. We can choose after counsel our best shot, and if it’s off, He will re-aim it. Season of choosing, and then knowing, all will work together for His utmost formation. His priority is our formation even more than our pleasure.
My article on the inner life:
The Enormous Inner Room
UNIONING with Christ in The enormous inner room–our inner source for our outer lives!
(on learning to live well; coming home; living from Center)
Meaning occurs when our outer actions are flowing from our inner communion with Christ! We have a crisis of meaning in our times. For our outer activities to have purpose, they must begin in this inner meeting place, this inner table where we are seated with Christ. This space is where our eternal self meets with He who is Eternity, and begins to grow into its own forever contours! The room of our friendship and exchange with Jesus, is the most important space in our lives, for all expression and action flows from this inner communion chamber. And this space is inviolable! It is His inner sanctum with us. Here is where we actively guard our hearts, and stay pure in our personal relationship with our Source. Here is where His words meet our spirit. Here is the origin place of our spiritual formation and growth. The Christian’s spirituality is basically about expanding this space, where more of His Life is abidingly incarnating and increasing within us, and therefore overflowing out into the world around us.
For those of us who are extroverts or constantly aware of “other”, maintaining this inner space with Him becomes ever more important each year of our life. To be being formed in and by Christ, so we speak less about Him, and more from Him, becomes our way. For those of us who struggle with perfectionism or performance orientation, it must become a discipline to regularly return to this inner space of communion with Him throughout our days. To practice His Presence, as brother Lawrence put it. To return often. It is our part of receiving the Grace of His Presence.
There is an enormous inner room where you and Jesus dwell alone. This is your home. Others cannot pull you from it; external pressures cannot keep you from it. You can always return home, as Neuwenn calls this place within us. And you can return as often as you wish or choose. Here is your inner sanctum and wellspring of your true identity. It is inviolable. No one or thing can take it away. Yet, it can be neglected. To neglect this room, is to dim and diminish all other, outer rooms. Your secret meeting place with Jesus, is the Center of life, the place from which all other aspects flow.
Be big people in a small world! Stay in His enormity within, and everywhere you go will become a circus tent for others to meet His Presence beneath! Our personal communion space, begins to be a place of meeting or tabernacle for others, as we press on into this inner communioning! The inner big top is our home, and we give to others from beneath the canopy of this place of sacred exchange with Jesus! That’s our nucleus of spiritual power, firstly for our own transformation and formation; then outwardly for the transformation of others and our world! It always starts at home, then flows outwards. The inner births the outer.
Jesus often went to His garden with The Father. We are meant often to tend this inner garden or room as well. This place between Jesus and The Father could not be abused–it was and is an eternal bond between them. We have such a bond with Jesus, and only we can neglect it. It’s our vital lifeline. It’s our inner core pulse. It is where Christ and I touch and know one another in holy inner communion. Tend this room, and your outer rooms will shine much brighter, and new colors will suddenly appear on your walls! And doors and windows in unexpected places will form.
Your true identity is born here in this enormous inner room. He whispers to you your “white stone” name. The nuances of your eternal identity begin to be whispered in this inner space of exchange! To know who we are, is to dwell with Him in who He is. Peter could not know himself, until He was shown who Jesus was! It is the part of yourself which is beheld and loved by Him in this communion. We are made real in the presence of Christ! We see Him, and He tells us who we are. And your identity is held safe in Him, and can never be touched, but only formed in Him. He is The Way, which contains all our little ways–those smaller paths which we are. Each of us is a way in The Way. Nothing can violate your true identity with Christ. But we must often get to this room alone with Him, and just dwell there, and resonate with Jesus Your Lover, Friend and Guide into all things.
Jesus’ spirituality, as the spiritual Master, was about returning to the garden space–the space of intimacy-with His Father. The garden reminds us of who we are, it tells us how to act in the world, and sends us out to do purposeful activities. It solves the three basic needs of humanity-identity, morality, and purpose. When we are intimate with Jesus, we know again who we are, how to behave, and what to do.
One of the major problems in our times is the disembodied or dismembered self. Jesus is One, and He makes us one as we sit with Him. He desires integration for us. Our real self is not meant to be in one room, and our social or external self in another. We, too, are meant to become one integrated person. When we are dismembered, or disintegrated, we lose a moral center as well, which has all sort of awful consequences, which we see in our season on earth. If we are not seated with Him in the heavens and within, we don’t know how to act on earth in His righteousness. Righteousness, is how we behave when together in His Righteousness. His Righteousness starts to infect and form our inner person, so that we find ourselves behaving better because of our communion with Christ! That’s our moral practice. If, we are not centered with Him, either some false ideology comes in, or psuedo-spirituality enters to fill the vacuum of true spiritual home. He came to dwell with and in us. The good news, is that we can come home in Him, and live, even here, with and in Him! We can start to be conduits of His Righteous behavior on the earth. Partners in His goodness.
Overextended identity has many causes, but it is not enough to analyze the problem. As believers we need to be part of modeling the solution. If I am not centered in Him and by extension myself, i have no moral compass to tell me what is wrong or the way i should behave. So morality becomes a problem. Few of us actually live from our inner home constantly. We get pulled away by the pressures of daily life, or warfare, or just lack of focus. So we need practices to come back home. We have a global problem with disintegrated self. So how do we come home to this enormous eternal room inside with Jesus. What are the practical practices we can be doing daily to dis-extend ourselves in fragmentation. How can we become less fragmented. In this sense, coming home to this inner space of communion with Christ daily, is one of the most important practices we can do for the good of the entire planet!
Acting our way into Jesus. The theatrical aspect of putting on Christ, until we know what that costume is like. Imitating Christ, or acting like Him is the starting point. Sometimes we must theater our way into that space with Him. Believe in order to see. But once in, we are home, and start to know Him and thus ourselves. I remember the old phrase in american christianity–what would Jesus do; it always bothered me, because I was more concerned with what is Jesus doing! I wanted to move out from His Life, not be acting “as if” He were alive, but living from His aliveness. That’s still my aim, but I have come to think that the first stages of this growth is often about acting like Jesus until we meet Him.
One of my recent obsessions, is how to guide people home or into this inner intimacy space with Jesus, so they can live from their intended Center in Christ. At this stage of my life, i am interested in learning to guide others as well as to be a way or model. When i look at those who have lived well, and described the inner life well, i get excited. Not only is it hopeful to see those who are more mature than yourself, but also their unique expressions of this inner journey, inspire us towards deeper union with God through intimacy with His Son. This journey is not threatening, but welcoming. He welcomes us to the inner table daily. And we start to know, that this is the most important meal we will eat all day.
We cannot carry His Burdens, but we certainly can see them, and honor Him for carrying our iniquities–by His Stripes, we are healed. And His burden is light for us, but not for Him! We are not meant to be depressed by His Burden, but to be in awe that His Love would carry so much awareness of suffering and pain. By HIS stripes we are healed. Not by our stripes. Back in therapy school, i used to try to heal others by my stripes. In truth, people are not healed by my wounds. I can empathize if we have similar hurts, but I cannot transform another person by my hurts. It is rather, by sharing the part of Christ formed in that wound by which I bless another person. We confess the sin of as if we could carry another person’s sins away, rather than Jesus. Confession–our inability to heal others apart from Him. He is the Healer. We are not the healers. If we confess, He is then able to…what’s our confession in terms of helpers–our own self reliance. i will carry this, not Jesus. He is too busy etc.
The way of Christ is the way of integration, oneness. Let them be one as we are one, Jesus prayed. He prayed this from His Own inner enormous room with the Father! The way of integration is the way of intimacy, being with and close to God at all times. Coming home to this inner garden of communion space in prayer, and having this fixed gaze on God regardless of our outer activities is one method. Praying without ceasing. We need ways to both come home, and stay home internally, regardless of where and what we are doing in the outer life. So that the outer flows from the inner life. To be “in Him” more constantly is our practice. Communion with Christ has to first become our priority in a practical way. Being with Him, has to become our goal above all others. To the degree it does, we have a sense of self, meaning and purpose in our lives.
(Holy Spirit you are welcome. Father You are here. Jesus, we are one. We invite Your Presence into this little poetic meditation on communion and union in You).
We are meant to be integrated, yet we tend towards entropy! This disintegration happens in the church as well, when it gets so busy doing for Jesus, that it is no longer being in Him! When we are evangelizing “for” rather than from and in Him, we are dismembering ourselves, and giving a very broken image of what life is in Christ! We have the gospel with no power of His Life with it. The purpose even of evangelism or serving the poor, or any outer activities is to deepen our inner union with Christ, and therefore, out from His Life.
Jesus did only what He saw the father doing. He had constant communion. We are to do only what we see Jesus doing. This requires us to be constantly inwardly, with Him, and therefore outwardly in Him. Of course we are often interrupted either by our own sin, or patterns of distraction, or the clamor of the world. But when our issues or “pulls” emerge, we should come to be aware of what our typical blocks are, and bring them more quickly to Him in thankful confession, and move back into communion or inner union with Christ. And then, if He send us, out to others to serve with and from Him. But our practice is to return to Him often throughout the day and night. To live with and from Him is Christian spirituality.
The less broken this intimacy, the more peace and all the other fruits of the Spirit, pour forth. And the better life is lived. Our inner communion with Christ, brings forth the fruit of our outer lives. If you want to live well, BE well with Him in that secret inner space you two share. Get to the garden of communion more often in your day. That you can be one with Him again, as He desires to be one with you. Go to that communion set for two inside; and then come out for tea with the world. For even ministry, if not flowing from that secret place, is worthless. Ministering to others is just another medium through which to know Him. If we are not in Him when ministering, it is just about our gifts, and not in His Life.
In counseling, i will often ask. What is the inner problem causing this outer manifestation or issue. If I can address the inner problem, i change or transform the outer. Sometimes, we have to go in through prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to show us the inner problem in ourselves or others we are helping. I try to do this with my own problems as well. What’s going on inside that is causing this behavior or friction outside. How can I know Christ-His Peace and Fruits-in that area, and appropriate His Life there. Where is the block to union with Him. It’s certainly not in Him! It’s in me. And often the Holy Spirit will reveal things which need to be confessed, or victories already won, but unclaimed, or area the enemy is distracting us from union.
The whole of Christian life is about unioning with Christ. All our outer activities are to serve this ultimate purpose. Christian spirituality is about coming into deeper union with Jesus Christ. All our practices are to serve this purpose–prayer, fellowship, study, serving others etc all serve this purpose of an ever deepening mystical union with God through the Life of His Son Jesus Christ! Our spirituality is about more and more of His Life forming in us. We are those who dwell in Jesus Christ.
Jesus prayed near the end of His time on earth: Father, that they would be one, as You and I are one! John 17! This oneness of union with God and in Him is what makes fellowship possible with other people. We are the ones “in Christ”! That is our only distinction. We are moving in His Spirit. And through it, are unioned with Him. Where He is, there we are also! This is because of our union with Christ. All we do in this life is meant to bring about a deepening of this bond. All the various seasons and activities of life, are mediums through which to deepen our connection with Jesus Christ! That is the Christian purpose, or true spirituality.
In union, we grow into Christ’s Nature and Life. Thus our character becomes more like His, so our morality is formed in and with and from Him. Then, also, our sense of who we are is revealed more–“Who do you say I am”? Peter–God! Right. Ok, so by seeing who Jesus is, we know who we are! Our identity is revealed “in and by” Christ. We gaze again at Him, and He beholds and reveals us to ourselves. So the issue of identity is met in Christ. Lastly the sense of mission or purpose is also met in the Life of Jesus. Our callings or jobs or tasks with which we partner with Him and co-bear fruit, are “in Christ” for us; Eph 2:10–the path prepared beforehand to be our way! This path is IN Christ. And is revealed and walked out, in union with Him. So all our basic needs are met in union with Jesus. Sense of who we are; how we should act (justice and morality) and our sense of purpose or meaning, or what to do in life (the path and party prepared beforehand to be our way!) all are in Jesus Christ. And our practice is then to be in active union with Him through all our activities each season of life! We apply this truth to ourselves in the Wisdom of His Love and are thankful for our inner communion space with Jesus, and that the author is also the finisher of our faith! Making the beautiful contours of His dwelling within us daily! Teach us to commune in and with Your Being daily Lord, as You did while on earth with The Father, so let us do daily with You through the power of Your Spirit within us. Amen.
Let us dwell more often in that enormous room, from which we come out and are helpful to others again. Teach us to live with You, and therefore to serve from You Lord.
It has been said that we often re-discover something which gave us spiritual inspiration at an earlier stages of life, later in life. I’ve been doing this with the mystic pastors like Fenelon, Nouwenn, Merton, St John of the Cross, Kempis etc–those who describe in detail the contours of Reality and the spiritual journey. Those who nuanced its stages and dimensions. Now, we revisit these great spiritual teachers for different reasons, in each season of life. To learn how to live well in the midst of responsibilities and the turbulence of daily life in our times. Earlier, we were excited that someone was trying to speak from union, from a spiritual way of living; that others had tried to describe a life truly lived in His Spirit. Now we think about how they guided; we come and need these daily practices in a practical way to live well. Many have written well from and about the inner life. The Catholics seem to have had most of them; but throughout church history there have always been those who just wanted union with Christ, and who described the nuances of sanctification! As we get older we get drawn to these nuances and the inner contours of the spiritual life. We want to live in more constant communion, and invite others into this enormous room with Christ! All we ever wanted was a more perfect union and permission to go all the way into the Life of Christ. Later we become interested in how to maintain that inner journey, and how to guide others into it! And we find, we have had mentors of this way, all along!
To study and practice the inner spiritual practices offered by our spiritual parents is a needed retrieval in our times, as the sickness of hurry and consumerism and entertainment orientation pull us into fragmentation. He desires people who are moving towards wholeness, and can model that trajectory towards oneness for others. Many are turning to the monastic traditions, and those who learned to live out from the Life of Jesus in a practical way. We must become practitioners of The Way of Christ. This is never more needed than in our tumultuous times. And this requires spiritual discipline–not from a religious perspective, but from one of union in His Life. We want to be more filled with His Very Nature, so we reflect Him outwards into a very confused and disintegrated world. Let Him form this more perfect union in us as we carry on!
More on the joys of the inner life will ensue. I’m really enjoying revisiting the writings and teachings of those who have learned to live the way of Christ in practical ways, and guided many into it. We are not orphans in the spiritual journey. And that journey continues into greater fullness each day! Jesus is our hope of a better life, a fuller life, and a more meaningful life. For He is becoming our life, and we are becoming His! Here, together we are learning to dwell in our enormous inner rooms, which expand into our eternal lives together forever! Together forever! Why not start here in this life! The spiritual practice of learning how to live from your inner relationship with Him, and allowing Him to occupy more of the enormous room within is one of the most important activities in our times. If you want peace to come in the world, we must know the true contours of this inner chamber with Our Lord.