The Awakening Practicing God’s Presence in Our Midst
This is a publication from the desk of Pastor Gene Yotka depicting his and other people’s observations of God’s Presence in and around our Epworth UMC community and beyond.
Hi Everyone, I pray blessings upon you, that you are experiencing the presence of God in every moment of your days. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak in your heart.
Exploring Our Spiritual Dispositions Part 4
This week we continue to consider spiritual dispositions1 as we take a look at what we refer to as Threshold Dispositions. You will remember in our discussion on the disciplines of attitude that, although all dispositions come to us by the grace of God, we undertook these initial dispositions with intention and thought. Last week in our discussion on disciplines of relationship we began to see the inner work that allows for these dispositions was made possible through our relationship with Christ. This work cannot be accomplished apart from a deeper surrender to God where we become less and Christ becomes more. This is true in our lives in general and, more specifically, our spiritual formation. These dispositions of relationship still carry with them a mutuality that is inherent to any relationship. Now we come to what we refer to as threshold disciplines. These are fully a gift from God that comes to fruition as we fully surrender to God’s gift of joy and peace. The work at this point is to simply be receptive to the reality of these gifts given to us by Christ. As you meditate on these disciplines you will find that the work of a properly oriented attitude towards God gifts combined with our deepening relationship with Christ, brings us to the realization that if we are going to move any further in our spiritual journey it will only be because of an awareness God’s true joy and peace, which is only possible through humble submission and pure receptivity to what God is doing, and has already done, in our lives. We then discover find that this joy and peace form a corridor to union with God, where we participate in Love as Love would have us participate. The dispositions of joy and peace are those that form the corridor to union with God. These two dispositions belong to Jesus Christ, who gives them to us as we enter into an “in Christ” existence, which brings us to a threshold place where heaven and earth overlap and interlock. This is a place where we become deeply aware of the kingdom of God in our midst. This awareness leads to the ability for intentional participation in the kingdom of God, through Christ Jesus our Savior. By being immersed into these threshold dispositions we discover life where joy is noticeably unshakable and peace is our natural inclination. Once again, as we have been doing throughout this series as, prepare in the following manner. Allow yourself to encounter the spiritual dispositions of joy and in the following meditative readings. 1. Sit quietly and comfortably. 2. Feel yourself breathing. 3. Take three deep rhythmic breathes. 4. Settle into the space around you. 5. Close your eyes and listen to, (or read and listen if you are doing this alone) the reading. What stands out or strikes you as particularly important to your life situation right now? Meditate on this for a few moments. 6. Speak out loud the word, verse, phrase or concept that has been placed on your heart. 7. In as little as one word or, at the most, a sentence or two, write down what you have heard in your heart as prompted by the questions provided. 8. Take three minutes of silence 9. Answer the questions provided.
Meditations on Threshold Dispositions
Follow the process previously outlined for each of these two meditations.
Joy Joy is an uninterrupted inner sense of well-being regardless of life’s circumstances. Joy is not an emotion, like happiness, which is responsive to current events, but a sacred inner realm that transcends all events. Joy exists within us as a gift of grace from Christ Jesus. Joy is a place of rest and stillness in which steadfastly stands the truly real, truly alive, eternal love of God. Joy is the place of Holy Presence.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. NRS John 15:10-11
But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. NRS John 17:13
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding joy? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how joy is present in your life?
Conclude this section with 5 minute silent break
Peace But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. NRS John 14:26-27
1. How does this Scripture speak to you regarding peace? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how peace is present in your life?
Take 15-20 minutes silently considering how Christ is speaking joy and peace into your life right now. It is there, stay with the silence as long as you can, asking Christ to speak to your heart, to show you, to make you aware of the gift of joy and the gift of peace that is yours, just waiting to be discovered.
Next week we conclude our brief discussion on spiritual dispositions with the disposition of union.
1 The Awakening Institute offers a five week course on the development of spiritual dispositions. For details please email you request to firstname.lastname@example.org