Renewing The Self By Entangling With God
“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
I grew up in an incredibly dysfunctional household. My Mother a Native American Woman who was mixed blood with European backgrounds. Was a severe alcoholic. Quite often I received a lot of physical and mental cruelty from her alcohol fueled assaults. My Step-Father was not very kind to me either. If my half brothers and sister did something wrong. I often received the blame for not stopping them from doing things. There was a Methodist Woman who took care of me often. She lived in a small white house on Walter Street in Madison. I believe that she was probably the one who planted the seeds in my heart through Prayer to seek God.
When I was in my early twenties. I was pretty ill physically. I had discovered a very small fundamentalist Church in Palm Harbor, Florida. I was a fairly destroyed man. Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally. It was also a time of tremendous healing for me. It was in that small church that I learned how to pray, and to develop a relationship with my best friend. I would continue that relationship throughout every trial and tribulation. When times were good, I still maintained a deep connection with the awesome activity of God.
After a short time period I would come back to Madison. Where I would join yet another fundamentalist Church for a short time. It became too much for me. Because often I would hear disparaging language toward the LGBT from the Pulpit. It happened just about every Sunday Morning and Evening. I had left this Church and decided at that point to become a Solitary Man of God. So I began studying, praying, seeking God and discovering that the language used to clobber LGBT. Was not really a part of the original text in the sacred books.
I would struggle at times to live a life of holiness. Sometimes the path was not always clear for me. Often it seemed like It was a difficult journey. Being a disabled marine who struggled with PTSD was not easy. It would take me many years to heal on so many levels. Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually. I would eventually recognize that I was broken. So much so that I was ready to hurt myself. I checked into the V.A. Hospital twice. Shortly after that I discovered a Progressive Church on Madison’s South East Side. The Minister, a Mystic Man of God. Spent many moments with me. Helping me. One of the first few times in a Sunday Morning Service. He was preaching, and clipping along. All of a sudden he got a strange look on his face. Stopped cold, looked at everyone in the room. Then he said “I really hope that you don’t believe everything that I have to say.” that was what hooked me. That this very humble man recognized that he was fallible. After he made that statement, he didn’t skip a beat and went right back into his Sermon.
There was a powerful woman of God who daily showed up at the Church. She would sit in the prayer corner where the Prayer Chaplains would sit to pray with people before and after church services. She did this EVERY single day. Continuously interceding for the people of God and the rest of the world. She was a rare gift to humanity. Because of her, I myself am now on the Prayer Chaplains team. Her example was a powerful one for me.
Here are some methods that I employ today. I rise up daily at six in the morning. To greet God and to Pray as well as to meditate on the things of God. Throughout my day, I pray without ceasing. It has been an incredible blessing to be this connected to God. I thank the almighty all day long for the incredible journey and abilities to overcome. A Bashford friend told me recently. You have a weathered peace. Yeah, that was fairly accurate.
The Scripture in Isaiah is commented on in the Rabbinical Commentaries as such. They that entangle themselves with God. Shall exchange their weakness for his strength. Like two ropes braided together. The Man or Woman of God renews their strength. They can take on any task when they are intertwined with the depths and power of the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you to read Galatians and pour over the sacred text concerning the Fruits of the Spirit. There is a Gold Mine of information there that will help you to discover the depths of the Holy Spirit. A Spiritual person who seeks a right relationship with God. Implements the fruits without even trying. To Love, and experience Joy, to walk in peace, with the tremendous gift of patience. To practice goodness toward others demonstrates faithfulness to God. Being gentle with ourselves and others, exhibits the power of self-control, against these things. There is no Law. For it is through the Faith in God that we truly practice the commands that Jesus lays out in the Gospel. To Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and to love our Neighbor as we love ourselves. It is the key to this great mystery.
The Jewish people’s have a prayer. It is called the Shema. You probably know it as “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one.” The prayer is this Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheenu, Adonai Echad. In some Jewish circles it is considered so sacred a prayer that you are only to pray it once. Rabbi Kaplan in his book Jewish Meditation says that this isn’t the complete picture of the Shema. That it goes much deeper than that. He also points out that in scripture whenever Israel is used. It is a metaphor for the spiritual man. When it says to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It is speaking for inner peace, in the heart. So the Shema actually translates as such “Hear with a listening heart and ear o spiritual person, you and all that is in the universe, and God, are one.
We truly are Spiritual Beings having a physical experience. As such we should embrace the things of God in the deep daily. To seek out the counsel and the direction of the divine. In whatever we do. To seek being Spirit Led, and Spirit fed. Quite often when problems happen in the Church, it is due to a term called quenching the Spirit. Restraining God from moving freely in the Church. The Reverend Kibby in her book Flood Gates calls this Log Jams. It is what happens when well-meaning people of God try to do and implement things based on what they think is best. Without considering the Holy Spirit’s desire. How do we implement having the Flood Gates open? Through daily prayer, and contemplative meditation, along with Sacred Text Devotionals. All tools for a deeper understanding and acceptance of the Fruits of the Spirit and a deeper walk with God. When we entangle ourselves with God, we renew our strength. That my friends is when we begin to fly.
Further Reading And Other Sources:
- 14 Creative Ways To Engage With God
- Engage With God
- Flood Gates - Sue Nilson Kibbey
- Jewish Meditation - Aryeh Kaplan
Document created on April 22, 2020 By AJ White-Wolf
Updated And Revised May 25, 2020 By AJ White-Wolf