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James Goll Shills for Contemplative Prayer, Visualization, Centering and Inebriation

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In fact, the entire chapter is about being ministers of the New Covenant. As partakers of this New Covenant in Jesus Christ we do not need a veil over our eyes like Moses nor have a veil over our hearts like the Israelites. We are free and because of these great truths we are being transformed into the likeness of Christ as we behold His glory. There is so much powerful theology in these verses but Goll misses the boat by miles because he is trying to use the bible instead of reading it to hear what God has to say. He continues:

"In contemplative prayer, we as Christians do not relate to God primarily as the one who sits on His throne in heaven; we connect with Him instead through the reality of our new birth in Christ, as the one who has taken up residence inside us. We each have a throne in our hearts where He dwells in a very personal way. Richard J. Foster, a Quaker and author of the modern-day Christian classics Celebration of Discipline and Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, is a longtime student of various forms of prayer. Through his studies and experience, he has encapsulated contemplative prayer into three stages: recollection, the prayer of quiet and spiritual ecstasy." -- James Goll

It is important to not gloss over this thinking because it is at the heart of so many of the heresies we see today. It is not understanding the truth about our relationship with God. He is the Creator and we are the created. He is the Lord and thus we are His servants. It sounds so pious to say we now relate to Him on the throne of our hearts but the problem is in forgetting to relate to Him on His throne in heaven. That is what leads to false worship like "I am a friend of God" instead of realizing I am a servant of God. We need to stop singing about friendship and get back to teaching the truths of Lordship. Let's see now the three stages of this false Christian practice:

"Recollection. Phase one is recollection, which means letting go of all competing distractions. That is the idea behind Psalm 46:10a: "Be still and know that I am God." Some translations reflect a more contemporary focus: "Relax and let go, and know that I am God." There is a correlation here between the inner knowing, in a revelatory way, of God's great love for us, and repentance on our part. "Repentance" means to turn away from sin and turn to God. In recollection, it means turning away from all competing distractions in order to focus on the Lord and His presence. While resting in quietness, we ask the Holy Spirit to make Jesus real to us and close off everything else. Foster teaches that one way to do this is to see Jesus sitting in a chair across from us. He truly is present, but sometimes we need help to visualize that reality. God created our imagination and, like every other faculty we possess, we need to sanctify it, surrender it and use it for God's purposes." -- James Goll

That is most definitely NOT what is behind Psalm 46:10a. Remember Goll is setting up this façade that contemplative prayer is Christian so he must twist the bible to make it appear so. Now I have no issue with shutting out noise when we are praying but Goll wants to go much further than that. If the Holy Spirit is indwelt why do we need to ask to make Jesus real to us? To accomplish this Goll recommends practicing another famous part of Eastern Mysticism -- visualization. Did I miss the chapter in Acts where Paul practiced yoga, meditation and visualization?

"Our ability to flow in the gift of working of miracles, including creative miracles, comes in part from our surrendering to the Lord our imagination, because that is where we begin to believe the impossible. Utilizing our imagination in contemplation is perfectly appropriate and one of the best uses to which we can put it when we ask God to sanctify and fill our senses with His Spirit. This is not the same as New Age imaging but simply what Brother Lawrence called "the practice of the presence of God." If frustrations and distractions press in on us, we need a strategy for shutting them out. Madame Jeanne Guyon, the French Christian mystic of the late 17th and early 18th centuries and a pioneer of contemplative prayer, had a strategy to deal with this problem. She wrote that when competing distractions vie for our attention, we should muse, meditate on, ponder and mutter Scripture. Meditating on Scripture helps us refocus our attention on the Lord." -- James Goll

Arrgghh. We do not "flow in the gift of miracles beloved. The Holy Spirit decides who gets what gifts and when. There is certainly no scriptural basis for the notion that surrendering our imagination will lead to us performing miracles. I would also argue that my belief in the impossible begins with my faith -- not my imagination. My faith is in Christ but my imagination resides in my deceitful heart. This is new age imaging. Do not be fooled.

"The Prayer of Quiet. As we grow accustomed to the unifying grace of recollection, we are ushered into the second phase of contemplative prayer--what St. Teresa of Avila and many others called "the center of quiet," or the prayer of quiet. Through recollection, we have put away all obstacles of the heart, all distractions of the mind and all vacillations of the will. Divine graces of love and adoration wash over us like ocean waves, and at the center of our being, we are hushed. There is a stillness, to be sure, but it is a listening stillness. Something deep inside us has been awakened and brought to attention, and our spirit is now on tiptoe, alert and listening. Then comes an inward steady gaze of the heart, sometimes called "beholding the Lord." Now we bask in the warmth of His dear embrace. As we wait before God, He graciously gives us a teachable spirit. Our goal, of course, is to bring this contentment into our everyday expressions of life, but this does not normally come quickly. However, as we experience more and more of the inward attentiveness to His divine whisper, we will begin to carry His presence throughout our day. Just as smoke is absorbed into our clothing and we carry its smell with us, so the aroma of God's presence seeps into our being, and we become carriers of His fragrance wherever we go." -- James Goll

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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