May your hidden self be settled and strong

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Savor the time”
Our Bible verse for today: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “May your hidden self be settled and strong”
Basil Pennington was a Trappist monk who looked like Santa Claus. He was a bit hefty; he had a full head of snow-white hair and a big flowing beard to go with it; he had puffy cheeks that were rosy red; and a big friendly smile that put you at ease. I would have liked to have met him. Someday in heaven I will.
Pennington is best known for his writing and teaching about the contemplative way of life. He was especially an advocate of what he called “centering prayer”. He maintained that most of our prayers are way too chatty and too superficial. To a large extent we’re just saying stuff because we think we’re supposed to, we think that’s what prayer is.
While it’s true that God is interested in all aspects of our lives, and He does want us to talk to Him about all of it, there’s also a time and a place to simply “Be still, and know that I am God.” There needs to be time when we just sit quietly and enjoy God in adoring silence. Often, that turns out to be the best time of prayer. It’s certainly the most relaxing and renewing.
If you’re like me, then often your prayer time is not relaxing and renewing. Instead, it’s more like work. It’s spiritual warfare. Sometimes prayer feels like I’m wrestling with both God and the devil, sometimes both of them at the same time! But that’s okay. Sometimes prayer is like that. Prayer is work and it is warfare. But it shouldn’t be like that all the time. Sometimes prayer should be a deep dive into the mystery and majesty of God. It should be like jumping off a rock on a hot summer day into the cool refreshing waters of a mountain lake.
Pennington wrote a series of books on the subject of being still before God. His most popular was “Centering Prayer”. In it he teaches us how to quiet our noisy minds so we can simply be with God in adoring silence. His prayer for his readers is, “Out of his infinite glory, may God give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong.
I like that phrase, “for your hidden self to grow strong”. Your spirit is your hidden self. It’s your real self, but it’s hidden deep within your physical self. And when your hidden self is strong, your physical self will reveal it. Your spiritual strength will be evident and it will show itself by how you live and how you interact with the world around you. Learning to be still before God settles your spirit and thereby settles your body. Your spirit is calm so your body is calm.
I encourage you to spend some time this morning just being still before God. Don’t feel like you need to talk and talk and talk, working your way down a long list of issues and items. Instead, truly savor and enjoy your time with Him. My prayer for you is that your hidden self will be settled and strong.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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