Now that we have somewhat of a picture of Church History in our knowledge, per P-3, we see that for the first 200 years our early church fathers focused on “Tables in Homes” and not “Temples of Stone”. But then, with much influence from a very carnal Roman Emperor, the church began its first tentative steps back towards Temples; and mans’ heart began turning back towards cold stone, until they eventually became so hard that even torture, theft, bribery, and burning someone at the stake was done by the church in Jesus name. It strains our brain to understand how such a thing could happen. These were very dark days, indeed.
Once upon a time, the true child of God, “the church”, lived in fear of the Roman government. Who could ever have imagined the day would come when the church itself would be the worst enemy of God’s people? Like they say, fact is stranger than fiction. What a story to be told. Who needs to make up fiction when reality is so mind-boggling?
Our Bible speaks of evil spirits, dark forces we do not see with our eyes. Is it so hard to believe, when you look at such a dark and twisted path, and try to understand in a purely logical way how such things happen? Surely, there is more at work in the earth than anything purely logical. But whatever happens in the kingdom of man, the heart of a Christian Mystic is already living in God’s Kingdom. NOW…not future.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m feeling a little mystical myself, just sitting here pondering things of God while I sip the coffee. We spoke of Abraham living in the Promised Land even before he could prove his ownership of it, for indeed, how could he ever prove such ownership? All he had was a promise from God, a word from God, like Peter heard the word “Come”, and he walked on water.
Abraham, the father of our faith, was enjoying God’s promised future in his NOW. This is faith. This is also the Christian potential. We speak of the “human potential”, but what of the “Christian potential”? (For it exceeds that which is merely human.) This is faith. This is an internal condition we can possess no matter what the external kingdom of man may be trying to do. I observe the kingdom of man from my inner peace of the Kingdom of God. I help the kingdom of man from my inner love flowing from the throne of God.
When I speak of faith I picture a state of mind and spirit that is always in forward motion. This is why I usually speak of faith as F.F.M. (Faith Forward Motion). Even when it is all I can do to simply “stand”, that is still forward motion if I’m standing in faith. So we must understand, that even though faith is a perfect state of REST, the paradox of God enters in and we discover the REST also produces action, a forward flow. God is always advancing, never retreating.
As long as there is even just one forward step to make, that God has revealed to me, even if it is to simply pray, then I have my next step of faith, my forward motion, and God will likely reveal more, once I take that step. But I must not touch God’s work!
This is where we get in so much trouble and end up burned out and defeated. The mind of faith, the mind of Christ, the mind of perfect REST and PEACE, does not try to do what only God can do! We must be an Abraham who says, “Sarah, either you’re going to have a baby, or there will be no baby. Unless God does his part then it will not be done, and I’m not going to worry about it.” (Oh if only Abraham had known this. But like most of us, he learned it the hard way.)
Peter is the one I like to use for this illustration of faith. Whether he realized it or not, his walking on water started with a prayer. He sees Jesus coming to them on the water, and he says to the Lord, Lord, if it be you, bid me come to you on the water! Yikes! Peter is speaking to God, and he asked for something! He prayed to God! And God answered his prayer when he simply said, “COME”.
Now here’s the deal. There is a very bad storm going on and rough waves on the ocean, not to mention the fact that water will not hold the weight of a man without special devices. Does Peter think to himself, “Okay, lets see, I need to stop this storm first, then calm the waves, and finally, solidify the water, increase its density. Then I will be able to do this.” You may laugh, but how often is it, that we think and act in this very way?
Peter really only has one step of forward motion he can do, and must do, if he is to enter this miracle of God. He can begin climbing out of the boat. For him, the storm should not even be a factor. It’s a non-issue. That’s God’s challenge, not mine. The waves are not a factor. Can Peter do anything about even one of those waves? Nope, only God. Not Peter’s problem. The wind…not Peter’s problem. Either God is going to make this happen or in a few seconds I’m going to be more wet than I already am. That simple.
So…Peter prayed…God answered…”COME”…what’s next step? Pray again? Maybe…but eventually, either Peter starts climbing out of the boat, or not; if no forward motion, everything stops with Peter’s lack of forward motion. The storm must be ignored… the waves and wind ignored…the science of water ignored. Peter can’t do a single solitary thing about any of these things. It is all he can do to start climbing out of the boat, and one more thing…
Keep his eyes on the Lord.
One very feeble little act at a time, and Peter goes down in history as a man who walked on water, and also discovered that the power to do that was keeping his eyes on the Lord. We are all meant to learn from what Peter showed us that day. Now “my” COME, may not be to walk on water. But what is the “COME” God speaks to you in the quiet of your soul? Have you climbed out of the safety of the boat yet? Have you reasoned in your own mind that the storm must stop first? Are your eyes on Jesus, or the storm?
Be sure to listen closely to what God hath said. If Jesus said, “Wait Peter, I will calm the storm first, then come.” If that had been his instructions, then do exactly that. Nothing more, nothing less. Yes, you must become the mature sheep who hears the leading of his shepherd. This is mystical. There is mystery here. This is of the spirit and not the flesh. This is the way of God’s Kingdom, not man’s.
It’s Sunday morning and my coffee has been good. Grandpa White Feather has a grandchild with him today and we have seeds to sow in his soul. Words, stories, truth, faith, love, fellowship, a Table, a temple building in his heart. Praise the Lord. Perhaps someday my young grandson will even read this article, and understand.