26 January 2022
While it doesn't excuse our failures, you should understand that God is so happy to see us respond to His Word that He pours out more blessings on our partial obedience than is actually warranted.
While the principle is in the Bible, it's not clearly stated where everyone can see it. So it made a major comeback among Charismatics, most recently. They noticed that the first flush of miracles was very strong. However, after that initial spiritual honeymoon, it was clear the individual was expected to move on and reach for a deeper personal holiness. The first flush of miracles faded and they might not see so many for a while.
Outside the Charismatic atmosphere, it's the same with the sense of internal blessing among Christian Mystics. The experiential lore of Christian Mysticism has known this all along. The first flush of blessing seems to go stale within a matter of weeks. That's because it's God's way of testing our faith. Can you train your brain to obey when there's no apparent feedback from the Lord? Can you condition yourself to remain faithful when the novelty wears off?
Of course you can, but that's not to say you will. The end of the spiritual honeymoon has been mourned in many a song. This is where it becomes utterly essential that you live in your heart, not in your head. Your mind cannot find the confirmations that it can register, but your heart knows it requires you maintain progress during that period of apparent silence. The Spirit has not withdrawn, but without a heart-borne awareness, you won't know that.
Eventually you realize that this is the pattern for each leap of faith. Each time you make a significant move up in faithfulness, you get that thrill. Then it wears off and you are held accountable for keeping up your end of faith, because you can. Teach your mind to simply assume the moral truth of God from your heart without feedback.
It teaches you to be consistent, gazing upon your existence from that higher faculty of faith. You are supposed to see that parallel universe of the moral realm, overlaying what your flesh can perceive.
The best exercise for this is communing with the natural world. Need I remind you that the natural world is not fallen? It's like flipping a switch somewhere in your conscious awareness -- the natural world sings to celebrate the joy of the Creator, and mourns the sins of fallen mankind. You should be able to perceive in your heart directly that disjuncture between the moral character of God woven into Creation and the human insistence on not seeing it. Go out into a wild place, especially one that has recovered after human activity has ceased. It will speak to you if you know how to listen.
It takes time. For example, if you try to commune with rocks or stone formations, they tend to speak very slowly. You'll need to take a seat and just turn on your heart-borne awareness. Focus on that for a while, and you should be able to hear that welcome. It works faster for trees, grass, and other plants. If you can keep your awareness on that plane for a while, birds and harmless insects tend to gravitate to your presence. They are hungry for heart-borne human contact. All of Creation is like that.
Keep doing it, as often as possible. It's a very critical discipline for Christian Mysticism. You really need as much time doing that as you can squeeze out of your daily existence. It helps to just get out and hike, bike, or simply sit in isolation away from other humans. It helps you to reconnect with that thing Jesus sought so often in climbing mountains to get away from people to be with His Father.
It grows on you, and you'll miss it when you can't do it. It makes you grumpy even, wearing on raw nerves. The point is that you invest time into that. You don't need to do anything except be open to the voices. However, there's nothing wrong with speaking out loud to get things started. Just talk to the Lord if you feel too silly talking to the natural features around you.
By increments, you'll establish a much stronger sense of who God intended for you to be, and what really matters in your life.
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