When discussing meditation and prayer, it is important to remember that there isn’t some formula or technique to be used. Because the Bible doesn’t specify any such thing.
We must remember that this is all about a relationship with the Lord. It’s about how we communicate with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is a Person; not a force or idea or a consciousness we must tap into. We are talking about the One God that knows us at an infinitely intimate level. And He desires to have close fellowship with us on a moment-by-moment basis.
That being said, it follows, that whenever we desire to know God or even to know what is happening in our own souls, we are not entering into some vacant, neutral territory.
Because, this world is not neutral. There is no place that is spiritually neutral.
As in great stories of ancient kingdoms, lost worlds, great heroes and epic battles, people have found themselves subject to some higher authority. Everyone has had to live in a realm governed by some lord or king.
Whether or not they wanted to follow a particular lord or king, they were forced into subjection by those with greater power.
And, it is the same today. All men upon this earth are subject to some principality or power — both seen and unseen.
In a similar way, in the spiritual realm, we each must choose which Master to serve.
Looking for God in All the Wrong Places
In the midst of this epic struggle, men desperately seek a place of peace. Not just for the outward stillness of a wilderness lake but for a deep quiet within their souls — at the core of their being.
Eastern mysticism is all about seeking after this stillness. Finding the deep, quiet within the heart. (Which is based on the dangerous presumption that the heart itself is solid ground.)
An increasing number of modern Christians seek the same thing as those mystics. Though they would argue against that idea; believing that one is able to mix religious traditions as easily as one chooses items from a Chinese buffet.
Surprisingly, both are using the same basic techniques to reach this hidden place.
- Employing the same spiritual exercises to make oneself clean and free
- Using similar, inner spiritual exercises to follow the path to stillness
- Seeking a direct way to God by bypassing the word of God and doctrinal truth
By using these techniques, both are often finding similar things when arriving at that inner place.
- A spiritual entity to guide them in their lives
- A sense of oneness with all things
- A sense of peace regarding sin and conscience
- Developing an openness to other ways to know God rather than seeking Jesus Christ and His word exclusively
So, what is the source of this enlightenment? What are people really encountering in this inner place?
The Neutrality Myth
As we stated before, there is no neutral power or spirit in this world. That is a myth. Or more accurately, a lie.
We are not merely animals walking through an impersonal world. It is not simply existential man against a neutral universe. There are forces at play here that are beyond our comprehension.
But the world, as a whole, is in denial of that. The mystics, especially, teach that we are all one. That God is one and all is God. That God is in all things.
And that men can become like God. Or that we each are God. We simply need to find the god within ourselves.
That we are all in some big pantheistic play. And that going deep within ourselves we can contact guides that will reveal this truth to us. Who will open us up to a marvelous new world.
And they are correct . . . . . at least about the spirits.
Spiritual entities are ready and waiting to influence whomever will open themselves up to them. These beings will do whatever is necessary to draw people in to a very seductive world.
Toward a new world religion.
Who is in Danger?
It makes no difference if one proclaims to be a born-again believer. When we open ourselves to the influence of spiritual entities (including good angels) other than the Lord Jesus Christ, we allow ourselves to be misled by demonic forces.
This is not the same as demonic possession. But it is still very serious. Once open to this deception, one will have a difficult time shaking it. Or, to be brutally clear, them — the familiar spirits and demonic entities that have attached themselves to the believer.
Which will follow the believer.
And it makes no difference if we come as Christians or Buddhists or Hindus or Occultists. The spirits are the same. They are powerful and deceptive. And will take whatever forms they need to deceive us.
Satan can transform himself into an angel of light.
How strange, that the entities often encountered in Contemplative Prayer are described as beings or angels of light.
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (II Corinthians 11:14)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (I Peter 5:8)
All the smokescreen of religious devotion and religious discipline is simply an illusion. Whether spread by Catholic mystics or Contemplative Christians, the outcome is the same. It results in a dangerous breakdown in biblical faithfulness and spiritual peace for the seeker.
The Shield of Faith
This is why discernment is so critical. This is why doctrine is so critical. The Lord uses these gifts to keep us out of mischief.
Faith is not based on feelings. Contemplative Prayer and spiritual disciplines are based on feelings and a misplaced trust in religious devotional techniques; not on the Lord.
There is no other way to know and please God outside of faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him…” (Hebrews 11:6)
The Sword of the Spirit
Faith is based on the word of God. Faith is created by reading the word of God. We grow in the knowledge and in the grace of the Lord by studying and meditating on His word. And by seeking Him personally for fellowship and understanding.
This is a supernatural thing. The word of God is a supernatural thing. It produces supernatural results in us.
There is no hope for the believer who seeks to find goodness within his own heart. It is like looking for something clean and pure in an outhouse basement. We are never given any hope of finding something within ourselves that is salvageable and acceptable to God.
That is why we turn to the Lord Jesus to be our Wisdom, our Righteousness, our Sanctification and our Redemption. (I Corinthians 1:30)
Only through Jesus Christ, can a man know God. To know Him according to His word.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
To be Continued:
To understand the Contemplative Prayer Movement more thoroughly, check out the following link:
A Way of Departing by Ray Yungen
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