Keep God constantly before your eyes- mindfulness and acceptance of God's sovereignty.
"I have the LORD always before my eyes; because he is at my right hand, I will not waver. 9 Therefore my heart rejoices and my soul exults. My flesh also shall rest in safety. 10 For my life thou wilt not leave to Sheol; thou wilt not suffer thy devout one to see the pit. 11 Thou wilt make known to me the way of life; Fullness of joys is before thy face, Loveliness in thy right hand forever." ( Psalm 16:8)
"A little lifting up of the heart is enough; a little remembrance of God, an inward act of worship, even if uttered on the march and with sword in hand, are prayers which, however brief, are yet very pleasing to God, and far from taking away the soldier's courage in the most dangerous situations, are rather to strengthen him. Let him then think of God as often as possible, so that he may gradually become accustomed to this small but holy exercise; no one will notice it, and nothing is easier than to repeat these little acts of interior worship often during the day." (The Practise of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence).
"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice! 5 Let your goodness be known to all people! The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in all things let your requests be made known before God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. 7 And the peace of God, which is higher than all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Continue, brothers and sisters: What is true, what is honorable, what is just, what is pure, what is lovable, what has a good reputation, whether it be virtue, whether it be praise - be mindful of this! 9 Whatever you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:4 ff)
My dear friends, dear women of God,
"I have the Lord continually before my eyes"-and this is also bitterly needed in a time when the cries of war resound from all sides. Right now it is easy to get into the wrong waters.
The stress level is high in the Christian community, which is in upheaval - and not in a peaceful process, but in one that can only be described as division. Christian nationalism, NAR and the establishment of God states, disguised racism and money dominance. Outraged resistance to heresies, and heresies that present truths as heresies. War, strife, shouting, sharpened weapons, and a church that lets itself be stirred up by Satan, completely preoccupied with itself-and little with Jesus. No, it is not an easy time to be a Christian.
My long, Christian journey has been as unconventional as the fact that I have moved countless times in my life.
Curious by nature, truth-seeking, convinced that God's truth must always prevail in the end, must always remain true even when everything seems to oppose it, I claim to be free. I claim what few claim and so many read over: That the Holy Spirit is our teacher, not a person, a leader, a denomination. I claim the bigger picture, the bigger God, the bigger church as my home.
Often, very often, I marvel at the slow precision with which God works toward His goal of final knowledge of Himself-through millennia, starting in a small Garden of Eden in Mesopotamia, with a small people group toward Christ, and the reconciliation offered toward the goal of adding other peoples so that in the end all knees bow before Him in admiration, awe, and love. The path itself: So long, so multi-faceted, so irrefutable, so intricate and self-affirming, so sovereign, that we, who see only a small section, cannot comprehend this greatness.
Where are they, the gods who caused so much turmoil next to YHWE, where are they, the priests of Baal from Mount Carmel? Where are they, the Babylonian deities, Apollo, Thor and the Celtic goddess, where earth mother Gaia?
Forgotten legends they are, dead idols, while the name of YHWE and that of His Son Jesus Christ endure to this day. The small, insignificant sect of the Acts of the Apostles, persecuted by the Pharisees and the Romans, counts today more than 2.1 billion members - without counting Judaism.
Unwaveringly God goes his way. Sovereign and all-powerful. Sublime and with stoic calm nothing falls from its course, while world empires sink and convictions waver. "I am"- says the heavenly Father. Irrefutable, true are set his principles, inevitably everything will give way except his grace ( Isaiah 54:10).
We, on the other hand, often lose ourselves. We, in our limitedness, we see what lies before our feet. As a mosquito becomes an elephant, so our problems pile up before us. All the false doctrines, all the inner-congregational conflicts rise up like threatening shadows, the events of our lives slam us like thunderous waves. (Psalm 93). We are outraged by the "ungodly", by those who appear as false prophets, we fear for the salvation of those we love.
Meanwhile, the eternal, firstborn Son and High Priest Jesus Christ, the right hand of the Father, intercedes for us for all eternity. He vouches for us, who see only the small fraction of the history of this world and its end-and the final triumph of the only true God. At this moment, the eternal Jesus Christ is interceding for you. And his word has the highest weight.
We want God tamed, tangible and predictable.
Our perception cannot grasp his eternity. His time spans, his dimensions. And so we argue about whether it's a matter of recognizing and experiencing Him or living by His principles and orders.
"I have the Lord continually before my eyes".
This phrase plays a central role in Judaism. Why?
Because all the laws and regulations that the Jews follow so meticulously to this day had, and still have, precisely this goal: Not to forget God through the day and in the mundane, everyday. To give and consecrate everything to Him. Every aspect of life is linked to the presence of God, to pause and worship in reverence. It is a pursuit of communion with God throughout the day.
Paul said that the law is not evil, but serves to make us realize that we cannot do it in our own strength. We don't manage not to forget God throughout the day. We fail to seek the good and make the morality of God, His good laws, His good orders the standard of all things. Laws we obey- sometime we obey them as automatism. We mumble words without feeling them. We make Bible reading a compulsory exercise, the ritualized prayer is "chanted down" while we are already eating with our hearts greedy. We get through tiresome duties, but our heart is hardened and full of our own opinions, struggles, worries, our political position, striving for power, our restlessness, our striving- and our addiction to judge everything into good and bad- and thus spreading war, suffering, division and hatred. The fruit of the tree of knowledge was eaten by creatures who could not handle its power.
Jesus fulfilled the law for us on the cross.
Jesus freed us from the law, the ordinance, being "unclean."
What he did not do, however, is free us from the heart's longing for God, from wanting to know and experience him and embody in word and deed that we belong to him. No, following commands and prohibitions without sense and reason does not promise us freedom, but pressure, obligation, and shows us our failure. True worship, true following becomes an attitude of heart only where we are free to choose in what ways we do it- and where we put God's authority back in his hands and entrust ourselves to Him.
"I have God constantly before my eyes".
It means to do everything we do in admiration and gratitude. We live to him. We follow him. We recognize him. We study him. We love our brothers and sisters who seek him as well. We meditate on his word day and night. We marvel at his greatness and trust that he who has held all this in safe hands for millennia can also guide us in safe ways.
"20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead as the firstfruits among those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also comes the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every one in the order appointed for him: as the firstfruits Christ; afterward they that are Christ's, when he shall come; 24 Afterward the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, having destroyed all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until God has "put all enemies under his feet. "26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For "he has put all things under his feet" But when it is said that all things are put under him, it is evident that he is excepted who put all things under him. (1 Corinthians 15:20 ff)
We may rely on the fact that it will be God Himself who will put Christ's enemies under His feet. The Father Himself will do it.
May we do what Jesus commanded us to do:
May we value one another, serve, love, encourage, may we esteem the other higher than ourselves, may we clothe the poor, bandage the wounded, visit the prisoner, lay hands on the sick. May we spread the good news that the victory on the cross has been won and that He is coming again, that the curtain to the Holy of Holies has been torn and the gatekeepers have been deprived of power. For we live only a little while. We are a tessera in a work of art that is greater than we can comprehend. But this little piece of the mosaic that we are: It is important to the big picture. It has a place next to others. And where it belongs, what color it is and what shape, what it needs to get the right shape and what needs to be polished to fit- that is seen by one alone- and that is God Himself.
When we live in this consciousness, elephants become mosquitoes again, huge demons become small, insignificant scorpions that we can step on.Our Father is eternal- sovereign and omnipresent. He is love, and through Christ we are His, sanctified and preserved.
And what I am decides, He will do. He has decided to bring you to His Son. And he has decided, bought and paid for the salvation of your soul. Nothing will stop him from bringing you to the destination, little soul. Rely on that.
Sibylle/ Daughter of Zion.